Travelling the world is always a great experience, whether you are on the plains of central Africa, the markets of south-east Asia or the mountains of South America. Travelling allows you to see and understand customs and people, which are unique and different from the familiar surroundings of home.
We, as Port Perry-ans, are fortunate in, that we do not always have to travel far and wide to experience a taste of something different. There are many quaint spots within two hours of our town.
One such unique place is the Town of Oakville, only 75 minutes away along the 407, QEW to Trafalgar Road. Last year this unique, Ontario municipality celebrated its 150th anniversary with all kinds of events. Dozens of shops welcomed tourists and many restaurants catered to the taste buds of everyone.
My favourite is the Green Bean, located in the Town Square. It is a small, quaint establishment that makes the best apple and brie sandwich I have ever tasted. Complimented with fresh fruit or chips, a cup of fresh coffee and fulfilled with a decadent slice of dessert, it makes my mouth water just to think of it.
I have also had the pleasure of dining at the charming Paradiso restaurant, which specializes in Mediterranean food and great wine. I found the excellent food and great service a treat and would recommend it to anyone. All together Oakville boasts 167 restaurants, which, in a city of 168,000 is quite astonishing. When you do the math it means one restaurant per 1,000 people (Port Perry has 22 eating establishments and our population is less than 20,000 so the ratios are the same and also quite amazing).
Anytime is a good time to visit Oakville and take advantage of the fashion shops, galleries, antique stores and more, including a giant kitchen store, but the best day of the year will be July 18th when Oakville celebrates ‘Midnight Madness’. Commemorating 30 years, Midnight Madness is downtown Oakville’s largest retail event of the year, drawing over 50,000 people.
The city is transformed into a party with live music on every block, strolling entertainers and the best buys in town! The main roads are closed to vehicles and stages are setup everywhere with at least eleven bands playing all evening.
Delicious ribs are prepared on an open spit BBQ in front of the local butcher. Restaurants spill onto the street and even the fire department gets involved by offering a bird’s eye view of the town in their automated ladder.
The event is spectacular and well worth the trek. Oakville, with its friendly people, historic sites, waterfront parks, and many shops is a must for your summer outing schedule and best of all, it’s nearby.
Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel TV show can be watched on RogersTV and YouTube. To follow Jonathan’s travel adventures visit photosNtravel.com