Are you ready for a memorable adventure in Windsor, Canada?
Windsor is a vibrant and multicultural city in Ontario, Canada, located on the south bank of the Detroit River across from Detroit, Michigan. Windsor holds the title of the “Automotive Capital of Canada.” It boasts a prosperous history and culture, a flourishing arts and music community, exceptional cuisine, and an extensive array of attractions and activities that cater to visitors of all ages.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Windsor or a seasoned one, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 unmissable things to do in this exciting city. So, pack your bags, put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore all that Windsor has to offer.
Explore the Outdoors
If you are a nature lover, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore Windsor’s beautiful parks, trails, and waterways. From scenic riverfront paths to sprawling conservation areas, there’s plenty to discover in this city’s great outdoors.
Walk, Run or Bike along the Detroit Riverwalk
A great way to appreciate the stunning beauty of the Detroit River is by taking a leisurely walk, invigorating run, or scenic bike ride along the Detroit Riverwalk. This breathtaking trail spans 5 miles along the riverbank and offers a truly picturesque experience. It offers unparalleled views of the river and the downtown Detroit skyline, making it a must-see for locals and visitors alike.
As you walk, jog or cycle along the waterfront, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the sights and sounds of the water. You might catch a glimpse of the Windsor-Detroit Ambassador Bridge or the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel that connects the two cities. Along the way, you’ll also find parks, public art installations and historic landmarks that give you a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Whether you want to walk with your family or get your heart pumping with a run, the Detroit Riverwalk has something for everyone. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way. At the Detroit Riverwalk, you can enjoy various outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking and canoeing.
However, the Detroit Riverwalk can get crowded at peak times, especially on weekends and holidays. This can make it difficult to thoroughly enjoy the walk’s scenic views and peaceful atmosphere. In addition, the noise of nearby traffic and industry can detract from the overall experience.
Visit the Ojibway Prairie Complex for Bird Watching and Hiking
The Ojibway Prairie Complex is a must for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Located in southwest Windsor, this natural gem spans 160 hectares and offers diverse habitats, from tallgrass prairie to forested wetlands.
One of the main attractions of the Ojibway Prairie Complex is the fantastic bird watching opportunities. The area has been designated an Important Bird Area by Bird Studies Canada, and visitors can see over 200 species of birds, including rare and endangered species such as the Prothonotary Warbler and Least Bittern.
In addition to bird watching, the Ojibway Prairie Complex also offers several hiking trails that wind through the various habitats, allowing visitors to explore the area’s natural beauty up close. The trails are well-maintained and offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, including panoramic views of the Detroit River.
A special feature of the Ojibway Prairie Complex is its commitment to conservation and environmental education. The Ojibway Nature Centre is located on the grounds and offers interactive exhibits and educational programmes for visitors of all ages.
The Ojibway Prairie Complex is undoubtedly a fantastic destination for nature lovers, but it can get very crowded in high season, and parking is limited. In addition, some of the trails aren’t suitable for visitors with mobility problems, as they’re steep and uneven in places.
Take a Picnic to Dieppe Gardens
Dieppe Gardens is a beautiful waterfront public park in Windsor, Canada. Its lush greenery, colourful flower beds and picturesque views of the Detroit River make it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Walking through the gardens, you’ll be surrounded by different plant species, including vibrant roses, fragrant lavender and towering trees. The park also has several fountains and sculptures that add to its tranquil atmosphere.
Once you have found the perfect spot for your picnic, you can spread out a blanket and enjoy a delicious meal while looking out over the river. Besides its natural beauty, Dieppe Gardens hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals and art exhibitions. Keep an eye on the park’s calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.
The peaceful atmosphere, breathtaking views, and ample relaxing space make the park ideal for a sunny afternoon.
However, the park can get crowded, especially in the high season. Finding a quiet spot for your picnic can be difficult, and you may have to compete with other visitors for a spot. Also, some visitors don’t clean up and leave litter behind, which can detract from the park’s beauty.
Experience Windsor’s History
If you are a history fanatic or simply interested in learning more about the city, experiencing Windsor’s history is a must-do on your trip itinerary. From exploring museums to visiting historic sites, there’s plenty to see and discover in Windsor.
Visit the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum
The museum is located in the Guildhall, which has been at the heart of the town’s civic life for over 300 years. Inside the museum, you can discover the story of Windsor and the surrounding area through various fascinating exhibits.
As you enter the Windsor & Royal Borough museum, you’ll be greeted by a large interactive touchscreen display that allows you to explore the town’s history from prehistoric times to the present day. You’ll also find exhibits on the town’s development, the royal family’s connection to the area, and the impact of the two world wars on the local community.
One of the museum’s most impressive exhibits is the Windsor chair collection, which includes over 200 chairs dating from the 18th century to the present day. The collection provides a fascinating insight into the town’s furniture-making industry and its place in the history of British design.
Another highlight of the museum is the collection of royal artifacts, including objects associated with the town’s most famous residents, the British royal family. For example, you can see items such as Queen Victoria’s writing desk, a lock of George III’s hair, and a set of ceremonial keys used to open the gates of Windsor Castle.
While visiting the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum is an excellent way to learn about the town’s history, the museum is more geared toward local residents. Therefore, it may provide less context for visitors unfamiliar with the area’s history.
Check out the Windsor Sculpture Park
Windsor Sculpture Park is an outdoor art gallery on the banks of the Windsor River with over 35 sculptures created by artists from around the world. This free attraction is necessary for art lovers and anyone looking for a unique cultural experience.
As you stroll through the park, you’ll come across various sculptures, including abstract, figurative, and installations that incorporate the natural environment. The sculptures are made of different materials, including bronze, stone and metal.
One of the park’s outstanding features is the panoramic view of the Detroit skyline and the Detroit River. It is ideal for a leisurely stroll or a picnic with friends and family. The park is also wheelchair-accessible and pet friendly.
Windsor Sculpture Park hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year, such as artist talks and guided tours. Check the park’s website for upcoming events and plan your visit accordingly.
While Windsor Sculpture Park is undoubtedly a must-see, be aware that the park is outdoors, and weather conditions can affect your view of the sculptures. It’s best to visit on a sunny day to fully appreciate the artwork’s beauty and the river’s stunning views.
Enjoy the Arts and Culture
Immerse yourself in Windsor’s vibrant arts and culture scene, where creativity and diversity are celebrated in every corner. There’s no shortage of cultural experiences, from world-class museums to lively festivals.
See a Show at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor
If you’re a fan of live entertainment, a visit to the Capitol Theatre Windsor is an absolute must for you in Windsor, Canada. Located in the heart of downtown, the Capitol Theatre boasts a stunning Art Deco design and a rich history dating back to its opening in 1929.
In the early 2000s, the theatre was extensively renovated and now shines in new splendour. It’s a state-of-the-art venue for concerts, plays and other performances. With a capacity of 1,200 seats, the Capitol Theatre Windsor regularly hosts a variety of local and international events, making it a centre of the city’s vibrant arts and cultural scene.
Whether you’re a theatre buff or just looking for a memorable night out, a show at the Capitol Theatre Windsor is an unforgettable experience. Something exciting always happens on stage, from Broadway musicals to classic plays and contemporary dance performances.
However, ticket prices at the Capitol Theatre can be expensive, especially for popular performances. Seating in the theatre can also be cramped and uncomfortable for some patrons.
Check out the Chimczuk Museum
The Chimczuk Museum, located in downtown Windsor, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the rich history and culture of the area. The museum houses a diverse collection of artefacts and exhibits that showcase the city’s past, present, and future.
As you explore the museum, you’ll learn about the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region for centuries before the arrival of European settlers. The museum’s exhibits include items about Windsor’s rich history of the automotive industry – a defining factor in the city’s identity.
One of the unique features of the Chimczuk Museum is its focus on contemporary art and design. The museum regularly hosts exhibitions featuring works by local and international artists and special events and workshops.
Its fascinating exhibits, engaging programs, and stunning architecture offer a truly immersive experience that will leave a lasting impression.
However, the Chimczuk Museum’s operation hours may be limited, so it’s important to check ahead before planning your visit to avoid disappointment. Additionally, as a relatively small museum, some visitors may find the exhibits limited.
Visit the Art Gallery of Windsor
The museum in the city centre displays an impressive collection of over 4,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures and mixed media works.
Its focus on contemporary Canadian art is unique to the Art Gallery of Windsor, with many works by well-known Canadian artists on display. The museum also hosts various temporary exhibitions annually featuring local and international artists.
Visitors can participate in guided tours, artist talks and other special events to enhance their museum visits. In addition, the gallery features a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and one-of-a-kind artworks.
However, the Art Gallery of Windsor may not be easily accessible for people with mobility impairments as there are several floors and no lift. In addition, some visitors may not find the collection as extensive and diverse as they had hoped. As the gallery focuses mainly on contemporary Canadian art, those looking for a more extensive collection of art styles may be disappointed.
Savour the Local Cuisine
If you’re a food enthusiast, you won’t want to miss out on the delicious local cuisine in Windsor. From classic Canadian dishes to unique ethnic eats, this city has something for everyone.
Try Windsor’s Famous Pizza
The city has a reputation for serving some of the best pizzas in the country, thanks to its unique style that is unlike any other. There are several pizzerias throughout the city, each with its interpretation of the classic dish.
One popular place is Arcata Pizzeria, which has been serving delicious pies since 1963. Their signature dish is the “Gondola”,” a huge pizza with many toppings, perfect for sharing with friends or family. Another local favourite is Capri Pizzeria, which has been around for over 50 years and is known for its thin crust and homemade sauce.
Whether you like a classic pepperoni pizza or something more adventurous like seafood or a vegetarian pie, you will surely find something to satisfy your hunger in Windsor.
Just be prepared for a long wait during peak hours. Especially on weekends, these pizzerias can get crowded, so it’s best to come early or be patient. Some visitors may also find the pizza too greasy or heavy.
Sample Some of Windsor’s Ethnic Cuisine
Windsor is a melting pot of different cultures, and this is reflected in its diverse culinary scene. When you’re in Windsor, one of the unmissable things to do is sample some of its ethnic cuisines. From Italian and Greek to Lebanese and Indian, you’ll find a variety of international flavours to savour.
One of the best places to try some of Windsor’s ethnic cuisine is the Walkerville neighbourhood. Many restaurants here offer everything from classic Italian pasta dishes to traditional Greek souvlaki. Lebanese cuisine is also popular in the area, with many family-owned restaurants serving dishes like shawarma, tabbouleh, and hummus.
If you’re in the mood for something spicy, head to Windsor’s Little India neighbourhood. Here, you can find many Indian restaurants serving flavorful curries, biryanis, and tandoori dishes. Don’t forget to try some of the delicious naan bread too.
Sampling some of Windsor’s ethnic cuisine is necessary when visiting the city. You’ll be able to try new flavours and dishes and experience the diverse culture that makes Windsor unique.
Windsor, Canada, is a city that offers something for everyone, from history buffs to outdoor enthusiasts to foodies. With a vibrant arts scene, rich cultural diversity, and stunning natural beauty, it’s no wonder this city is a must-visit destination in Canada.
From exploring the outdoors to experiencing the local cuisine, there are many unmissable things to do in Windsor. So pack your bags, bring your appetite, and get ready to discover all these amazing city offers.