While Toronto may get the spotlight as the go-to destination in Ontario, it’s in the city of Hamilton where you’ll find twice the hidden gems while also half the overpopulating crowds.
Things are done right in the 905: we've got an insane amount of nature trails, a killer food scene, and we're even home to some big movie sets. Sure, most of those movies are in the horror genre, but hey, it’s a start. With so much to do and see, here's a complete list of Hamilton's concealed locations that will make you want to plan a road trip here ASAP.
This pink cafe serves an over-stuffed menu inside an awesome atmosphere. Located on Barton Street - yes, Barton can be nice, too - the “motel no tell” requires no suitcase to check in, only good times and people.
Big movies on an even bigger screen. Even though you might pass out from a sugar rush before the second movie begins, this local drive-in is a Hamilton road trip essential.
Collective Arts Brewing Beer Garden
Hamilton takes their beer seriously, and apparently so does Burlington. The city's Collective Arts Brewing and Burlington's Nickel Brook Brewing collaborated to open a beer garden in their joint venue in The Hammer. (*whispers* "we win").
Located in a field in Flamborough, this insta-worthy spot offers the best kind of lighting - you know, the natural type from the sun.
Redchurch Cafe + Gallery
Mhmm, if only there was a place where you drink your coffee and be entertained at the same time. Oh, wait - there is! At Redhurch Cafe + Gallery, you can order a tasty drink from the counter and then head off to explore their decorated gallery space.
Chocolat On James
Okay sweet tooth enthusiasts, this ones for you. This dessert shop on James Street fulfills all of your five senses with chocolate, so expect your visit here to be legen - wait for it, and I hope you're not lactose intolerant - dairy.
FunSplash Water Park
Hamilton is a big city with lots of different communities, and a lot can be found in the community of Binbrook. Known as the “country” part of town, you can play in this water park while most likely jamming to a Luke Bryan hit off in the distance.
James Street North
Trend-setting and stylish, James Street North is a hot spot you can’t miss - especially if you’re visiting on the second Friday of the month. During that time, the city hosts James North Art Crawl, an event where people experience the city’s best artists as they stroll the streets listening to live music and savouring the taste of nearby restaurants.
This hidden gem holds the potential to fulfill most of your Stranger Things fantasies. Located at the end of Hess Village - hold the gag - this small venue is the ultimate place to go if you want something more than a casual bar experience.
Pier 8 Roller Skating
Located at Pier 8, the Hamilton Waterfront is a perfect location to spend a lazy afternoon. Once there, you can check out their ice cream parlour, their waterfront grill, or go roller-skating at their rink (which turns into ice skating in the winter).
While Hess Village may be more popular, it’s audience is a bit younger (and that usually means in the illegal sense). The go-to night scene for those looking for a rowdy yet still legal time are on Augusta Street, a small strip filled with some of the city’s best bars.
This restaurant's taco toppings range from beer battered cod, fried pork, and other stuffings so large you’ll wonder how a Hollywood star like James Franco could ever finish it (yeah that’s right, James Franco has been here).