The Big Apple in Colborne, Ontario. Right: Mini putt golf course and games off Highway 401.

The Big Apple in Colborne, Ontario. Right: Mini putt golf course and games off Highway 401.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

If you've ever passed the town of Colborne while driving down Highway 401 in Ontario, you've likely spotted the giant red apple looking out onto the road.

There is also a large sign indicating the number of pies (in millions) sold since the bakery's opening. It's a road trip tradition for me and my husband to try and guess what the tally has reached. It currently reads more than 6.7 million pies.

I stopped at The Big Apple in Ontario for the first time, and there was much more to do and buy than I had expected. You could easily spend an afternoon playing games, eating and browsing. Here is why I think it's worth a stop.

The Big Apple off highway 401 in Ontario. The Big Apple off highway 401 in Ontario. Megan Johnson | Narcity

Upon arriving at the roadside attraction, I noticed multiple buildings and a larger property than I had anticipated. There is a petting zoo with various fluffy and feathery friends that seemed to be a hit with the kids. There were sheep, donkeys, a llama, a peacock and other creatures.

Sheep in a petting zoo at The Big Apple in Ontario. Sheep in a petting zoo at The Big Apple in Ontario. Megan Johnson | Narcity

As you head to the main shop, you'll pass a carousel, a mini golf course and other games, as well as a garden centre store and food trucks with a spacious outdoor patio. The menus outside featured seafood meals and smokehouse BBQ options, not to mention the full menus of food you can find inside.

View of a mini putt golf course from the observation deck off Ontario's Highway 401. View of a mini putt golf course from the observation deck off Ontario's Highway 401. Megan Johnson | Narcity

The main building is split into two stores: one with 401 Cider Brewery, a maple shop, a candy section and café, and the other full of baked goods, a variety of foods and gifts. You can enjoy a full meal or a sweet treat, which I much preferred over the long lines I often find at ONroutes and other food stops along the highway.

401 Cider Brewery at The Big Apple in Ontario.401 Cider Brewery at The Big Apple in Ontario.Megan Johnson | Narcity

You can peek through giant windows into the brew house to watch beer and cider being made or into the bakery to watch pies and sweets prepared before grabbing some to go. I tried the hard cider later that day and liked how dry and not too sugary.

There are so many desserts, including pies, fritters, donuts and loaves — you can even find BeaverTails, a quintessential Canadian treat.

Information boards and observation deck inside Ontario's Big Apple.Information boards and observation deck inside Ontario's Big Apple.Megan Johnson | Narcity

Of course, we couldn't leave without checking out the giant apple itself. Not only can you take your photo in front of the apple but you can climb inside to an observation deck on the top. There are information boards inside so you can learn more about Ontario apples before admiring the view.

This is a fun road trip stop with great opportunities to stretch your legs, buy gifts and indulge in treats. It's also just a few minutes off the highway, so it won't cause a big delay in your travel agenda.

The Big Apple 

Price: $3.50 per can of cider,

Address: 262 Orchard Rd., Colborne, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can add an adventure to your drive across Ontario with a stop full of sweet and savoury treats and fun activities to stretch your legs.

Website

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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