Travel Local: A Weekend in Barrie, Ontario
Sometimes you don’t need to travel far to have a great time. Even exploring your hometown can be fun and filled with new experiences and good times. Travelling local can be just as rewarding as flying halfway across the globe. If you travel local you will be putting money back into your own community. It also provides a new perspective on a place you frequent, opens your eyes to all there is to do and see and helps bring that joy of travel into your everyday life.
This past weekend I decided to enjoy my adopted hometown of Barrie, Ontario. Located an hour north of Toronto, in cottage country, Barrie is a thriving city on the banks of Lake Simcoe. Home to tons of restaurants, cafés and great festivals, Barrie has a lot to offer.
My weekend started out early Saturday morning when I picked up a friend to attend my first yoga calls at one of Barrie’s many great yoga studios. Flourish Vitality studio has a great location in downtown Barrie with its studio on the top floor with large windows offering views of downtown and Lake Simcoe. After getting my yoga on for over an hour I was all stretched out and motivated to take a little walk through downtown and check out a café I’d been meaning to visit for awhile.
Across from Barrie’s bus station and steps from the water front lies a small, quaint and eclectic café called The Lazy Tulip. How can you not fall in love with a name like that? Inside its dim interior were photos from travels, beautiful paintings and quirky gems like a Barbie and Ken doll attached to doors leading to their respective ladies and mens washrooms. The menu was filled with vegan and gluten-free options and great coffee and tea choices with enchanted names like the Dirty Chai latte, London Fog latte and the Barrie Black Eye. I decided on the Barrie Black Eye, a mix of coffee and espresso, and a spinach and cheese muffin – both were delicious.
The afternoon could have went so many different ways – it was Barrie’s Winterfest with lots of activities down at the waterfront, the Barrie mini winter Filmfest was also on, but we chose to do some browsing of the shops downtown and I even stumbled upon a new mural!
Sunday saw me back in Barrie to take in one of the films for Barrie’s mini winter Filmfest series called ‘Reel Stories’ films based on real life stories. As soon as I saw the list I knew I had to see Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict. The film explores the extraordinary life of Peggy Guggenheim, the famed art collector and socialite from New York who made her way through London, Paris and Venice’s art scene. She was a fearless and remarkable woman and after watching a film like that I couldn’t help but feel inspired to create!
Barrie is a great place to explore, for the afternoon or the weekend. There’s always something going on, especially from spring through summer. And I’m glad to have explored my adopted hometown of Barrie and see it in a new light.
So don’t discredit the opportunity to travel local, it will help keep the buzz that travel stirs up in you and you might just be surprised!
Do you ever play tourist in your hometown?