A five-minute drive south of the 401 down the tree-lined, gently winding County Road 30 is all that stands between you and Brighton, a waterfront community filled with all the historic character and charm you’d expect of a small Ontario town.
Lola’s Coffee House
74 Main Street
The tall ceilings and expansive windows give the café an airy atmosphere and the warmth from wood details complements the lively chatter of seated locals. A cappuccino and date square were the perfect caffeine-sugar combination I needed to start my day’s adventures. Organic fair-trade coffee with dairy-, gluten- and meat-free options make Lola’s an easy and smart choice for those with special dietary needs.
65 Main Street
I’m an introvert, and bookstores have a magnetic pull on me; I found a kindred spirit in store owner Kathryn Corbett (an ex-librarian) as we discussed books and photography. She also pointed out a replica of the Presqu’ile Point Lighthouse (much smaller, thankfully) in the window display of the aptly named business.
The Whistling Duck Restaurant
75 Harbour Street
Large windows along the west and south walls offer a great view of the bay, regardless of where you’re seated (but snagging a seat on the patio in summer should go without saying). The adjacent marina will make your “slip” into waterfront dining a breeze. Bonus: the local and delightfully dry Empire Cider is available here.
Mrs. B’s Country Candy
7 Prince Edward Street
The warm scent of fresh waffle cones hit me like a tonne of mouth-watering, vanilla-scented bricks as I walked through the door. It prompted the first difficult decision of many: Kawartha Dairy ice cream or Mrs. B’s own gelato? I eventually filled my wicker basket with salt-water taffy, requisite lighthouse-shaped chocolates and a Belgian chocolate L to appease my partner, Luke.
End of the Thread Antique Emporium
13 Main Street
Tip: Walk slowly so you don’t miss hidden gems. You’ll discover a mix of new items and older, character-filled pieces such as the antique cash register and coffee grinder that caught this author’s eye. Thankfully, the store’s in-house café has modern equivalents to fix you a well-brewed cuppa.