The Best Time to Visit Tobermory

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Shhh...we have a secret. We just found the best time to visit Tobermory.

Everyone knows that Tobermory is an amazing place to visit. Yes, everyone. And so in July and August tourists swarm to this little piece of heaven at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. It has become the place to take friends and family in the summer. There’s so much to see and do; boat tours, Flowerpot Island, the Chi-Cheemaun, Little Cove Adventures, and of course, the Grotto. But with so many visitors coming during this short period of time, it can become a little, well, crowded?

A New Tradition

We visit Tobermory at least once every summer, but this year we thought we would push our visit to September to see if there was still just as much to see and do. We weren’t disappointed. In fact, the fall will now become our new time to visit!

We were still expecting to see some crowds, so we left early, but were pleasantly surprised to only see a few folks out for an early morning harbour stroll.

This gave plenty of time for a coffee at The Coffee Shop, where locals were enjoying each others’ company and ‘taking a breather’ after a busy summer. It doesn’t get any better than a hot coffee (ok, and a cinnamon bun) overlooking the tranquil Tobermory Harbour.

Early morning kayak

One of our favourite activities is watching the boats come in and out of the harbour. Many were enjoying the still-warm temps to get into the water and kayak.

Time to meander

As the village began waking up, we meandered through the quaint shops, always surprised at the variety and diversity between the shops. While a nautical theme can be seen throughout, many shops have items that are unique to their shop like fine art, Native crafts and cottage decor. 

No need to fight the crowds!

By the number of folks gearing up for scuba diving, we got the feeling that fall was there favourite time to come as well. The harbour was soon buzzing with activity, but not overly and it felt like there were just as many locals out and about as there were visitors. Tourists who were there, didn’t seem too upset with the short (or non-existent) line ups, or roomy boat tours.

Local whitefish...yum!

Lunch at Shipwreck Lee’s never disappoints, fresh Georgian Bay whitefish with crispy fries are a must try and the server (a friendly pirate) is always entertaining.

There are several great places to have lunch, some with incredible views like Crowsnest Pub & Restaurant or local brew at Tobermory Brewing Co.

Visiting the Visitor Centre

Our next step was going to really put our September visit to the test. The Visitor Centre at Bruce Peninsula National Park is one of the most visited attractions, and is always extremely busy in the summer, so we choose to stay away at that time.

As we pulled in, there were a few cars (which we later thought must have belonged to staff because the Centre was very quiet). We practically had the place to ourselves! We finally had the chance to stop and take time to visit each exhibit, learning more about our region than we could ever know!

A perfect day, finished on the trail

We took advantage of the peacefulness and finished off the day with a stroll on the Bruce Trail. The weather was still warm and perfect for a leisurely pace amongst the trees.

Fall will now be our favourite time to visit Tobermory, when most of the tourists have left, but all of the activities, and beauty remains!