What to do in Cobourg, Ontario while visiting

Cobourg is a beautiful little town located east along the 401 and situated on the shores of Lake Ontario. The town has some charming historical attractions as well as beautiful parks, a beach and quaint shops and restaurants that will make this a place you will want to visit over and over again.

cobourg, ontario

We were able to access the Ford press fleet to help us get there for this article and they hooked us up with the new Ford Explorer Hybrid for our journey. The large SUV is great for family trips. With three rows of seating, the vehicle has some great accommodating features for everyone on board. We loved the USB-C plug in the front as well as the type B 120v plug in the second row. In this day and age, the more power outlet options the better. We also loved the automatic folding 3rd row seats at the push of a button to allow more room for storage and groceries.

The 116 km drive took about an hour and a half with Cobourg being roughly half way to Belleville and Prince Edward County. When first arriving in the town and driving along King Street, you will immediately notice how well kept and beautiful this town is. Flower baskets hang on every street lamp with immaculately kept gardens and parks in every direction.

What to See and Do in Cobourg

Cobourg Beach + Splash Pad

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Cobourg has a beautiful sandy beach located steps away from their main strip. The beach is very popular in the summer months so come early if you want to secure a good spot. The beach also has a “Splash Pad” for kids with water fountains and games similar to the old Ontario Place water park with pipes kids can turn on and off creating waterfalls and water spouts. It is also located next to Victoria Park.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is central to Cobourg, located along the main strip, leading to the beach. The park is used for many events throughout the year and is a great spot to relax or have a picnic with your friends and family. Grab some takeout from King Street and head on over.

Boardwalk

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Just west of the main beach and marina you can follow the boardwalk along the waterfront. This is a great spot to bike or walk and enjoy the calmness that surround this part of the town. You will pass some beautiful homes as well as the Ecology Garden.

Ecology Garden

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Located near the marinas and the boardwalk is the ecology garden where organic gardens are used to help increase awareness of the need to protect natural environments. Take a walk through their  lush grounds and learn about their preservation efforts and the need for green spaces in communities.

Sifton Cook Heritage Centre

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This historical attraction has themed exhibitions, historical artifacts, an outdoor model railway, local literature and more! Come learn about the area and its past through this centrally located landmark.

Heritage Homes

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One of my favourite things to do in Cobourg is to wander the historical district to see the amazing homes. Many preserved or renovated with some very interesting designs from the past 200 years. I could easily post 100 photos I took while wondering the streets but then this post would become just about them. This is a must do while visiting!

Marie Dressler House / Marie Dressler Museum

The Marie Dressler House is now a museum that is currently being renovated to include exhibitions on the history of the home and the region. Learn about the Hollywood star and her rise to fame in the From Cobourg to Hollywood  exhibition. Keep up to date on their website with the current happenings.

Victoria Hall

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The large centrepiece of this town is Victoria Hall. Although it was closed while we were there, the building house some government offices as well as the art gallery. We will be sure to visit this for our next trip.

Where to Eat in Cobourg

The El + Taps & Corks

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The El restaurant is a great spot to grab some lunch or dinner. It is located along King Street opposite Victoria Hall and features a great menu included some awesome burgers. I had the OG Chicken Sandwich which was soooo good. You can choose your side including fries or salad. The El has a great patio and if it is full, the neighbouring bar Taps & Corks allows you to use theirs, given that you get drinks from them.

The Buttermilk Cafe

This family diner cafe has some very friendly staff and is a great spot for some cake and coffee or for breakfast and lunch. It is also located along the main stretch of King Street and is a nice spot to relax both inside or outside on their patio. We took a break from our walking to have some of their delicious Pastry Chef’s Special Desserts which was Nan’s Carrot Cake. Yummy!

Harbourlight Delights and Dairy Dream

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Cobourg seems to love its ice cream! We spotted several spots that serve creamy soft serve including this beautiful spot by the beach called Harbourfront Delights which also serves some other fast foods and desserts. Dairy Dream is another place we found which was located on King Street close to Victoria Park.

Oasis Bar & Grill

If you are looking for some pub food and a nice patio, Oasis Bar & Grill is located along the main strip of King Street and is a common hotspot for visitors and townsfolk alike.

Where to Stay in Cobourg

The King George INN

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The King George Inn is a jail themed hotel, yes you read that right. At the site of an old jail, visitors can get a bit of history while staying close to the city centre.

Breakers Motel on the Lake

If you want to be really close to the beach, the Breakers Motel on the Lake opens onto the water, providing visitors a front row seat and their own beachfront property for the duration of their stay.

Willowmere Bed & Breakfast

Willowmere B&B offers more waterfront accommodation with a beautiful garden and yard that faces the water. Visitors can have the comforts of home while staying close to the action. Breakfast is also included with your stay!

MacKechnie House

This Greek revival home has beautiful large rooms that will make you feel apart of the history of the town. The building is stunning and will have you feeling very proper. In their large dining room you will be treated to meals offered though this B&B experience.

 

 

 

About Joel Levy 2166 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography