A quick reach-out to the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation with a wish-list of eco-friendly tourism ideas, turned into the makings of a pretty memorable family getaway.
The goal was to find options that were family-friendly, with an eco-friendly edge. The result were a pair of destinations that offered the promise of all we had hoped for. Our itinerary would start with a visit to?Clovermead Apiaries and Adventure Farm, near Aylmer, ON where an educational experience about bees is combined with an agricultural adventure farm full of great activities for the young and young at heart.
Also included was an overnight at Long Point Eco Adventures - a unique 'glamping' experience where all 15 accommodation units or 'Wilderness Suites' are actually pimped-out tents that come with beds more comfy than at most 4 star hotels, hardwood floors, electricity, Wi-Fi, a full washroom and a chance to shower under the stars.
While at Long Point Eco Adventures we also booked an observatory experience at night plus zip lining with myself and my 3 sons the following morning. While our observatory experience was muted by the overcast skies, they did open up enough to get a unique glimpse at Saturn and it's rings. We were told that the observatory is located in one of the darkest spots in S.W. Ontario so the chance to see stars and galaxies is usually quite good.
To make the eco-tourism theme more complete, our chariot of choice was a?2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid. The Pathfinder Hybrid is one of only a very select few of 3 row, 7 passenger hybrid vehicles and offers drivers the fuel efficiency roughly of a mid-sized sedan but in a much larger package.
To review this trip properly, I decided that a video camera was better than a still, and with that as my baseline, I was able to put together this video recap.
While it might be easy to overlook Ontario's southwest when it comes to family getaways and instead look towards the more traditional getaway destinations of the north and east, we quickly discovered that doing so would ignore a host of great opportunities and ideas.
A handy online resource for the area is?www.ontariossouthwest.com - where information on travel ideas, destinations, accommodations and events can be found.
Agriculture and wind farms may still be the engines of the landscape, but it seems that toursim and plenty of great destinations offer plenty of thrust on their own to keep the area vibrant and strong.
Disclaimer: Admissions and accommodations relating to this travel experience were provided by the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation.
Eric Novak is a father of 4 who also thinks that environmental stewardship is a requisite of parenting. He's not a professional Dad nor is he an environmental scientist, but he's someone who gives a damn and is trying to make the right decisions as he lives his life as a father, environmentalist and business owner. Eric and his wife Karen have 4 children and reside in Ajax, Ontario. Be sure to check out his website at www.envirodad.com