With gorgeous green landscapes and charming cities in its midst, the Waterloo region offers the perfect swirl of man-made and natural wonders to discover. Whether you’re a city mouse or an eager beaver for nature, this region has something for every type of adventurer.
A blissful getaway to the Waterloo region in Ontario will provide a much-needed refresher and provide you with cherished memories. While exploring this region, you’re in for a trailblazing treat, from riveting road trips to spontaneous excursions to the nearest city.
Unsure what to do in Waterloo this weekend to ensure you capture a glimpse of what makes this sublime space so unique? We’ll take you on a trip through the best areas to visit to have an unforgettable experience.
Best Way to Experience the Region – What to Do in Waterloo
While visiting a city in the Waterloo region is always a fun time, why choose one when there is a fantastic array of places to explore? By embarking on a weekend road trip, you’ll finally have an answer to what to do in Waterloo this weekend.
From Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, you’ll be able to hit the open road and soar through the picturesque plains of Waterloo. Get your car games and free-spirited mindset ready — we’re off on an exciting weekend escapade!
Places to Visit in Waterloo – Road Trip Itinerary
With the endless supply of car snacks, fast-moving snapshots of nature, and a good road trip playlist playing in the background — a road trip is an ultimate escape from life’s trials. Take a look at what cities you’ll be delving into this weekend break:
To start your journey off with a bang, this town is the perfect place to experience a diverse set of things to do in St. Jacobs to stoke the fires of wanderlust. This vibrant village is situated in the township of Woolrich, which is near the city of Waterloo.
You’re in for a whirlwind of enjoyable activities, from finding discarded treasures at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ and Flea Market to sipping a frothy pint at Block Three Brewing.
Make your way to the Waterloo Railway Station to explore this area in a historic locomotive that will be sure to make any train enthusiasts swoon.
By taking this mode of transportation, you’ll be able to see this village’s best attractions with ease. This chugging capsule will be a highlight, whether it’s the gentle rumble of the train on the railway or finding a way to escape the steering wheel for a few hours.
You can also take on a variety of hiking trails to enjoy Ontario nature in all its splendour, such as the Health Valley Trail. From train tracks to trekking valleys, you’ll be able to cover this terrific terrain in no time.
Top Place to Stay: If you’re looking for accommodation with a cottage-core feel, 1842 Bed & Breakfast is your spot. With a bountiful buffet breakfast and charming garden on the premises, this cozy den will have you tempted to stay an extra night (or three).
With a mere 15-minute ride from St. Jacobs, Kitchener is the perfect stop on your trip through the Waterloo region’s scenic spaces. This city has a remarkable history of German heritage embedded in its roots and can be enjoyed through various cultural activities, such as the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest.
This festive event is about drinking beer and delving into the mouth-watering world of the foodie splendours at the various festhallen available. From prancing parades to nibbling on traditional German delicacies, this lovely atmosphere will have you celebrating like a true local.
If you don’t plan to travel to this area between September 24 and October 11 (when this event takes place), various other fun Kitchener activities will be sure to tickle your fancy. Whether you enjoy snowy activities or want to experience the je ne sais quoi of the Kitchener art scene, this city supplies the goods for any thought-provoking excursion.
Top Place to Stay: While fun things to do in the Waterloo region might have you exhausted from the excitement, Forest Hill Bed and Breakfast is the perfect sanctuary. This space is made to unwind in luxury, from its koi pond to its flat-screen televisions in the rooms.
Situated in Southern Ontario, the whimsical place of Waterloo is located a mere eight minutes away from Kitchener, which is its neighbouring city. While it might be small in stature, this place has a wide range of Waterloo things to do for your experience.
To learn more about this city’s remarkable past, you can take a trip to the City of Waterloo Museum to explore the ever-changing exhibits. From the history of Waterloo Park to a peek into the wonderful world of Canadian whiskey making, you’ll always find something new to learn about at this cultural haven.
Another fascinating excursion is strolling through the iconic Waterloo Park to revel in the gorgeous natural scenery and exciting structures peppered throughout the greenery. If you find yourself at this park during the festive season, you’ll be able to walk through this space illuminated with Christmas lights for a winter wonderland experience.
Top Place to Stay: To add a sense of glamour to your trip, you can book a night at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Waterloo for an elegant escape. With a hot tub and sauna on the premises, you’ll have a splendid time soaking away your troubles at this establishment.
As you end your road travelling journey, Cambridge is the ultimate place to conclude your trip in a city peppered with pristine natural scenery and activities. With less than a half-hour drive from Waterloo, you’ll have ample opportunity to experience the best things to do in Cambridge at full throttle.
One of the most iconic places to experience in this city is the kaleidoscope of fluttering colours at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory near Cambridge. With well over 2,000 insects and birds within the vicinity, you’ll have a beautiful array of subjects to practise your nature photography skills.
While the butterfly can be considered one of the most stylish insect species, you can continue your journey into the fashion world by going to the Fashion History Museum. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the inner workings of this industry, with displays of the manufacturing processes, as well as gorgeous garments throughout the ages.
Another cool thing to do in the Waterloo region that combines the beauty of nature and art is the Cambridge Sculpture Garden. By taking a trip to this culture-infused space, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the flowering shrubs while contemplating the meaning behind the various sculptures on display.
As Cambridge is known for its stunning natural settings, a trip through its slices of outdoor adventure heaven is a must if you want to experience this city fully. Whether you’re after a stroll through Mill Race Park or looking to cast your line at Shade’s Mills Conservation Area, the stunning surroundings will keep you busy.
Top Place to Stay: The Homewood Suites by Hilton Cambridge-Waterloo is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a hotel with all the bells and whistles. From its barbeque facilities to its 24-hour fitness centre, you’ll be able to experience a home away from home with some refined trimmings.
Top Road Trip Tips | Visiting Waterloo Attractions
While setting off on the open road in a last-minute frenzy sounds like a romantic idea, you should instead plan your trip to ensure you don’t encounter some snags along the way. Take a look at these tricks to brave the streets of the Waterloo Region like a pro:
- Have a list of attractions and sights to prioritize – With so much Waterloo sightseeing to enjoy in each urban space, you’ll need to have a structured time frame when visiting these places. This will ensure you see and do everything you want without cramming your itinerary too full.
- Research the predicted weather before deciding on a time for your trip – While this might be a no-brainer, this is critical to ensure a comfortable journey. Nothing gets you down faster than frozen hands in winter or untimely sunburns in summer while enjoying some Waterloo tourist attractions.
- Keep your eye on the road conditions – This tip is especially vital when travelling in winter, as the roads are prone to be more hazardous for drivers. You’ll need to be prepared for anything, from blizzards to the dreaded black ice on the road.
- Have an emergency kit handy – To prepare for any sudden mishaps, keep a bag full of tricks to save you from road perils. This should include a flashlight, medical aid kit, and jumper cables.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Waterloo
From the harmonious town of St. Jacobs to the cosmopolitan flair of Cambridge, this road trip through the Waterloo Region will have you sampling a diverse set of different settings.
Whether you’re an adventure junkie or looking to relax after a hectic week, a weekend filled with exciting things to do in Waterloo, Ontario, is the answer to all your troubles.