Goderich doesn’t have the bright lights or urban density of Toronto, but as one of “Canada’s prettiest towns,” there’s a lot to love about this city on the shores of Lake Huron. For people in the area or even out-of-towners who want to hop in their Toyota Corolla or Yaris for an adventure, there are plenty of things to do in Goderich for couples and families. Here’s our list of five fun things to do in Goderich when you come for a visit.
1. Huron Historic Gaol
For history buffs, one of the biggest attractions in town is the Huron Historic Gaol, which still uses the old spelling of “jail” in its name. It’s a sprawling complex that was in operation for over 100 years until it was finally closed down and turned into a museum in 1972.
For people who come in the daytime, “self-guided tours” are available, and you can use a device that suggests places within the complex to visit. You can also interact with locals who are “in character” in different parts of the prison at different periods.
For visitors who want something out of the ordinary, you can follow along with a guided “ghost tours” at night, which covers some of the more grisly and less savoury details of life in one of Canada's oldest jails. Executions did take place on the grounds, so there are many stories to tell.
2. Cove Beach
Adventurers will love Cove Beach. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Goderich and offers a little something for everyone. The natural beauty of the beach itself can’t be denied, especially in summer. You can also walk along the boardwalks to see the views and stop by historical posts and places to eat.
You can wander off the established paths and, of course, on hot summer days, there's nothing wrong with taking a dip in the water. There's plenty of parking at Cove Beach, and prices are reasonable for the amenities, and there are even workout stations for people interested in getting some exercise in this beautiful setting.
3. Huron County Museum
Anyone who wants to learn a little something about history, you should consider stopping by the Huron County Museum. Discovering more about colonial history and settlement can be an eye-opening experience, and this museum boasts a combination of permanent and temporary exhibits in any given season.
In particular, one of the highlights of the museum is a full-size locomotive steam engine. Depending on the time of year you arrive, different events are also held here, and for a bit more value, you can buy a pass that allows admittance to both the museum as well as the historic gaol if you’re really into the history of the area.
4. The Celtic Roots Festival
If you’re planning to be in Goderich from August 5–9, and you either have an interest in Celtic culture or want to get more in touch with your own Celtic roots, then this is the event for you. Running since 1992, this is one of the largest Celtic-focused events in North America, with an emphasis on music, arts, crafts, and culture.
An artisan village runs during the event, with hand-crafted Celtic items that range from sculptures to knotwork and jewelry. There’s also a “Celtic College” that runs for four days in the lead up to the festival. People with more scholarly interests can learn about music and art through workshops from beginner to master level. And of course, there’s the music, with some of the biggest Celtic acts from the United Kingdom as well as Canadian and American performances.
5. Culbert’s Bakery
If you love good pastries, then an absolute must-visit is Culbert’s Bakery. For an isolated area away from the big cities, this bakery has continued to win awards and word has gotten around!
Don’t be too surprised if you arrive at a peak time of the day and find that you’ll have to wait in line to make an order. The bakery’s reputation is well deserved, and the puffed pastry is what most people drive down here to buy.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Goderich! Just hop in your Toyota, drive down, and see what the countryside of Ontario has to offer.