Exploring Tobermory, Ontario

August 23-24, 2020

Exploring Tobermory, Ontario. Where to Stay, What to Eat and What to Do

Duration: 2 days, 1 nights
Destination: Tobermory, Ontario

Exploring Tobermory, Ontario is the BEST decision one can make in year 2020!  

Tobermory:  (Source:  wikipediaTobermory is a small community located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula in the municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula. It is 300 kilometres (190 miles) northwest of Toronto. The closest city to Tobermory is Owen Sound, 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Tobermory and connected by Highway 6.  It is an easy 3.5-4 hours drive from Toronto to Tobermory.

As you all know, year 2020 is a Pandemic year with Corona Virus (Covid 19), we are not ready to book a flight to our vacation destination yet.  However, we all need to take some vacation days and go somewhere to chill and recharge. 

 You must be thinking ” what are we going to do when we take vacation days this year?”  Stayation?  You need to soak up some sun and have fun even though it is pandemic time.  Do a road trip locally with your social circle or family.  Tobermory is the most beautiful destination to include in your road trip.

Things to DO in Tobermory, Ontario:

There are a lot of things you can do in Tobermory, Ontario (Source: Tobermory). It depends if you are staying in Tobermory for a week or just a couple of days. You can select the different activities based on the number of days spending in Tobermory:

  • Hike The Bruce Trail
  • Kayaking or Canoeing
  • See a Shipwreck
  • Watch a Perfect Sunset
  • Visit the National Park
  • Cruise to Flowerpot Island
  • Diving and Snorkeling
  • Enjoy Local Whitefish

Our 2-Day Itinerary in Tobermory (August 23-24, 2020) :coolcool

Day 1 (Saturday August 23, 2020):

We packed up our car with food/snacks/water/hand sanitizer/wet wipes/bed linens and pillows.  Then we started our road trip to Tobermory, Ontario at 8:00am on Saturday August 23, 2020.  We drove through the village of Caledon after 45 minutes drive.  As we reached Orangeville, we saw farms, windmills, cows and sheeps.  Then we went through Town of Chatsworth and straight along Highway 6 toward Tobermory bound.

Some Pictures on the Start of the Road Trip:

We FINALLY reached Tobermory, Ontario! cool

Exploring Tobermory, Ontario

We arrived inTobermory around noon.  My friend booked a 3-bedroom Cottage (Room-Type Myrtle’s Cottage) from Bruce Anchor Motel.  This cottage is at the BEST location!  It is only a few minutes walk to the lake where you can take the Bruce Anchor Cruises Boat Tour (Glass Bottom) to Flowerpot Island.  We were not able to check in to the Cottage until 4pm.  Therefore, while waiting for the rest of our crew, we parked our car at Bruce Anchor Motel parking lot (Hint: you need to go into the office to get a parking permit).  Then we walked to the lakeside to browse around and take some pictures.

Pictures along the Lake where you take the Flowerpot Island Boat Tour:

After a great meal at Shipwreck Lee’s Fish and Chips, we walked back to Bruce Anchor Motel to check in and get the keys to our cottage.  Before we settle our stuff down, we did a thorough wipe down with wetwipes on all counters in addition to vacuuming the couch and put the bed linen on the couch.  We brought our  own bed linens and pillows.  Once we are done settling down at the cottage and putting the food we brought into the fridge, we started to head out for the hike to the Grotto.  This is around 4:30pm.

Pictures of Myrtle’s Cottage:

Hike the Bruce Trail to the Grotto:

To visit the breathtaking Grotto, you need to make Reservations online (www.reservation.pc.gc.ca)  or by phone (1-877-RESERVE) (1-877-737-3783).  During Covid time, camp site has reduced capacity as of July 15, 2020.  Reservations are strongly recommended.


Grotto parking or Camping Reservations:  online click here or by phone. Book or call 1-877-RESERVE.

Helpful Tips: 

  • In order to save yourself money and ensure that you get the day you want reserved for the Grotto, it is recommended to book in advance as parking spots fill up quickly in the summer.
  • If you are unable to book a Parking Reservation for your desired day, you can try booking a campsite instead (although this costs more than a parking reservation). By booking a campsite, this allows you entry into the park and you can hike from your campsite to the Grotto.

My friend (Tiff) booked a campsite for us.  We drove 2 cars to the Bruce Peninsula National Park.  Therefore, we checked in at the camp site and pay extra for parking of the 2nd car.  The mistake that we did was we parked 2 cars at the camp site.  You are only allowed 1 car parked at the camp site. Additional cars have to be parked at the parking lot.  We were lucky that when we came back from the hike to the Grotto, we saw the officer who was about to give us a ticket because we have 2 cars on the camp site.  We apologized and were able to avoid getting the ticket.

It was so much fun hiking to the Grotto from the camping site.  The Bruce Trail offers the BEST hiking experience on the Peninsula.  The trees are so green!  We walked by Cyprus Lake.  We saw a chipmunk in the trees and we fed it a cookie.  So so cute!


Video of Chipmunk eating an Arrowroot Cookie:

What is the Grotto?

Source (Parks Canada):  “The Grotto is a scenic cave containing a pool of blue water, located on the Georgian Bay shoreline in Bruce Peninsula National Park, near Tobermory, Ontario.

Visitors will not be permitted to climb into the Grotto since physical distancing is not possible. The view of the cave can still be enjoyed from above. “

The Grotto - Tobermory
The Grotto - Tobermory

Gallery of Bruce Trail Hike from Camp Site to the Grotto:

Dinner at the Cottage:

We attempted to use the charcoal BBQ at the cottage to grill the wings and ribs.  However, the charcoal took too long to start.  Good thing we sous vide the meat ahead of time.  We were able to easily put in the oven to cook.  We had corn, caesar salad, wings, ribs and garlic bread for dinner.

Tip:  If you rent this cottage for your trip to Tobermory, do NOT depend on the charcoal BBQ to cook your food.

Dinner at Myrtle's Cottage - Tobermory

Recommended recipes for road trip:

Day 2 (Sunday August 24, 2020):

We woke up early to make scramble eggs, bacon served with side dish of strawberries and blue berries.  We had some left-over garlic bread for breakfast.  Then we spent some time to assemble chicken salad sandwich to bring on our kayak.  In addition, we packed 2-3 bottles of water in a small cooler. 

Tip:  Make sure to bring a SMALL Cooler with you when you go kayaing as you want the cooler to fit in the kayak.

Kayaking in Tobermory:

  • My friend (Tiff) reserved 3 tandem kayaks from Thorncrest Outfitters for $62.15 per kayak.
  • Bring $5 bill with you as you have to pay at the dock to load the kayak on the water.
  • Make sure to ask for the Stroller to make moving the Kayak from Thorncrest Outfitter to the water.  Check out the video on how to tie the kayak on the stroller.
  • If you don’t have the stroller, you need 2 people to carry the kayak to cross the street to get to the dock.  DO NOT drag the kayak on the ground.  There is a $1,000 charge if you drag the kayak on the ground and it damages the kayak.
  • Bring a sandwich and some water with you in a small cooler to snack on as the Kayak trip will take up to 4 hours on the lake.
  • Stop by the lighthouse for some picture and to eat your lunch there.  The view is amazing!
  • Check out the Shipwreck under the water.  Use the Paddle Map provided by Thorncrest to find location of shipwreck.
  • Look for Chi-Cheemaun to snap some pictures.

Tips on how to Tie the Kayak on a Stroller:

Pictures of our Kayak Adventure:

Where to Eat in Little Tub Harbour – Tobermory

As we were wondering around, we discover the friendly harbour village at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula!  At the “Little Tub Harbour”, we stumbled across this Fish and Chip place called ‘Shipwreck Lee’s”   We got seated on the white and blue picnic tableon the patio. The service is very Friendly. This is a Perfect place to grab a bite before we start our hike to the Grotto.

They offered Awesome all-you-can-eat fish and chips. Bottomless fish and chips with succulent Alaskan whitefish for ONLY $18.95 plus tax!  The local Georgian Bay whitefish (local fish) is NOT on the all-you-can-eat menu.  If you want local fish, then 2 pieces and fries cost the same as ‘all-you-can-eat’ menu (i.e. $18.95 plus tax).  On the menu, they have other dishes like fried calamari, chicken.  These were pretty good too.  The fries were crispy.  The fish is so fresh, it is perfectly battered (light) yet super juicy on the inside.  We ate4-6 pieces of fish per person for the all-you-can-eat menu.

What is Beaver’s Tail?

  • It is “a unique whole wheat pastry hand-stretched to the shape of a Beaver’s Tail and float cooked in Canola Oil. Served piping hot, topped with your choice of delectable toppings. Or try BeaverBites – our signature pastry bits, topped with frozen yogurt and candy”

My favorite beavertail is the plain and simple Cinamon and Sugar Beaver Tail!  So Yummy!

If you are looking for a Savoury menu, you can try their NEW BeaverDog. “A Nathan’s All Beef hotdog wrapped and cooked in Beavertails whole wheat pastry dough”.

Tobermory’s BeaverTails is located on the north side of Little Tub Harbour beside the Blue Heron Ticket Booth. 

Beavertails - Tobermory

Tips to protect yourself and others during Covid time while you are on the Road Trip:

(Source:  CDC)

  1. Wash your hands often if you can.  If not, use hand sanitizer.
  2. Do NOT touch your face.
  3. Avoid close contact (i.e. social distance if you can).
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others if social distancing is impossible, then follow #4.  Check out my friend’s hand-made masks for sale on instagram – 50 Shades of Thr3ad
  5. Cover coughs and sneezes
  6. Clean and Disinfect

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