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Good Weekend In: Sauble Beach

 
Kate Farrell
|
September 2, 2020

If you’re looking for a Cape Cod-esque getaway, without the whole “no travelling to the U.S of A” drama, may we kindly suggest making the drive to Sauble Beach?

Sitting pretty on the shores of Lake Huron, Sauble gets top marks from us for its pretty-much-tropical sunsets, retro vibes, tacos, easy access to trails and hikes and lookouts, and that 11-kilometre-long soft sand beach.

She’s a beaut in the summer months, obv, but definitely worth a visit in the fall; the crowds thin out and she’s all yours. Nearly.

Here’s how to spend a good weekend in Sauble Beach: where to stay and what to see, sip and snack on.

GOOD STAYS


The June Motel in Sauble Beach

The duo behind the extremely popular Prince Edward County motel that you have absolutely seen while scrolling IG are hanging out a shingle in Sauble. The hotly anticipated Sauble outpost opened on September 4.

What can you expect from the new digs? For starters, all the rosé and vibe-y neon signs you know and love from The June in the County, but with a slightly more grown-up, 70s surf lodge-esque twist.

The motel sleeps up to four in each of its 24 rooms, all of which offer pool views, private balconies, mini fridges, and old-school-cool decor. Heydays, the onsite resto, dishes up beachy fare (more on this in a sec). Beach yoga and a guests-only pool round out the experience.

Read all about our fave Sauble stay here.

Lobby looks at the June Motel in Sauble Beach.


Sauble Beach Alpine Retreat

Hand-crafted wood posts and beams, an exposed brick wall with a working fireplace, and decor straight from your/our Pinterest? Into it.

If the beach wasn’t a mere five-minute walk away, it would be tempting to hole up in the Alpine Retreat all weekend long. Three bedrooms, a play area for the littles, a fire pit, and a soaker tub make it a no-brainer, all-season pick for you and five of your bubble mates.

GOOD EATS


Casero Taco Bus

If you’re visiting Sauble on weekends between June and September, the Casero Taco Bus on the main strip is pretty much a must-do — not just for the obligatory ‘gram, but for the A+ Mexican fare made with produce from local farmers. The Casero crew serves tacos, burritos and cocktails through the window of a mega charming, circa 1949 double-decker bus.

Missed the bus? Head up the road to Casero’s Owen Sound location, a sit-down, year-round restaurant.

Hot tip: The pulled pork taco is a crowd fave for a reason. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

Heydays

We didn’t know we needed a New England seafood shack meets 1970s California coastal diner in our lives but it turns out we do. Meet Heydays.

Heydays is The June Motel’s casual on-site restaurant — but open to anyone! — run by the team behind Toronto’s Bobbie Sue’s Mac and Cheese. As per Chef Fred’s suggestion, we’re pairing a glass of Grange Winery’s Ombre Gris with the hot buttered lobster roll and a charred broccoli Caesar salad. And we’ll wash that all down with hot-fudge sundae, please and thanks.

Amicis Coffee Bar

For all your coffee and take-home gelato needs, head to Main Street, to local hotspot Amicis.

Start the morning by dipping a fresh cinnamon bun into one of their signature lattes (order the salted caramel iced latte; you’re welcome). Get here early, ‘cause those buns go fast. Enjoy your treats on their white picket fence-rimmed patio overlooking the beach, aka the ultimate people-watching spot.

Call ahead or check online before you stroll over; like many Sauble spots, operating hours change with the seasons.

Random fact:
The building is from the 1930s and has lived multiple lives, as a family cottage, a candle shop, a record store and now a cafe.

A golden hour evening at Amicis.


The Wellness Refinery

Yogis, hippies, clean eaters, and hangover cure-seekers will be right at home at the Wellness Refinery. This little cottage is part cafe and part lifestyle boutique. It’s also a Black-owned business that’s absolutely killing it.

The nutritionist-designed menu is heavy on the good stuff — kale-laden smoothies, microgreen-topped toast, etcetera — but also heavy on flavour (praise be). Our suggestion: get the signature avocado toast with seasonal sprouts and chili flakes, along with a Beach latte (because it contains blue majik and who doesn’t want some of that) and a couple of bliss balls to keep you going while you browse supplements, sage bundles, lotions and potions.

Hot tip: Back to what we were saying about community… Wellness Refinery owner Saida has put on supper clubs, yoga classes and workshops in the past; check out the Refinery IG page to see if there are any events planned during your Sauble stay.

GOOD BUYS

The Patch

This beloved vintage store sells all the second-hand clothes you’ve saved to your mood board — oversized flannels, tees, high-waisted Levis, cute dresses and the like.

They also have a separate store that’s all about jewelry; perfect for when you inevitably lose an earring while frolicking in the sand (we may or may not know from experience).

Hot tip: No joke about fall being a great time to take a roadie to Saubs. From October 8 to 15, the Patch offers a “bag sale” where you grab one of the provided bags and stuff it with as much thrifted goodness as you’d like for a grand total of $20.

Levi's stash from the Patch.



Sauble Beach Antiques

A treasure hunter’s dream. Thousands of tchotchkes, artworks, collectibles, baubles and more, spread out over not one, but two floors.

Just one thing: the owners are being very careful (yay!) and are asking that only repeat and serious shoppers swing by. Aka, no browse-happy window shoppers (wah!). But if you’re on the hunt and feel like dropping some cashola on some ephemera and etcetera, have at ‘er.

GOOD EXPERIENCES


Sauble Falls Provincial Park

Please ignore that ancient proverb “don’t go chasing waterfalls” and make your way to Sauble Falls Provincial Park for some hiking, picnicking, fishing and waterfall-peeping.

The park is open from mid-May to late October. When it’s hot, bring your bather. Visiting in the spring or summer? Well, it’s your lucky day because that’s when the rainbow trout and Chinook salmon make their way upstream to spawn. Nature!

Sauble Beach  

Duh.

The crown jewel, the town’s namesake, a long sandy beach so lovely the mayor had to shut it down in June 2020 when Toronto daytrippers (....) descended and forgot about a little thing called social distancing. But it’s fine now!

The southern side of the beach is part of the Saugeen First Nation. You have to pay to access it but it’s usually less crowded (and if you rent a cottage on that side, you get beach access for free). The rest of the beach is just as nice. Wade out into the crystal clear waters and chill on a sandbar, or finally see what all the standup paddle boarding fuss is about (rent from SUP Sauble; they offer free parking). In the cooler months, layer up and walk the stretch.

Hot tip:
Parking is free everywhere after 6 p.m. if you’re just looking to catch the sunset.



Ascent Aerial Park

A beachside obstacle course 12 metres in the air? Sure, why not.

This aerial amusement park is home to adrenaline-inspiring rock climbing walls, a ropes course, a “zipline coaster” (like a regular zipline, but fixed to a rollercoaster-like trolley, because, sure), some tall tower that you throw yourself off for fun (if that’s your bag) and some good old-fashioned axe throwing to work out that 2020 mood.

Lion’s Head

Okay so it’s not *technically* Sauble Beach, but it is Sauble-adjacent!

One of the perks about a visit to Sauble is that you’re a quick drive from some of Ontario’s very best trails. Like Lion’s Head, home to a crazy beautiful hike and lookout. Really go for it on the 15.3-kilometre loop or opt for the more approachable 5.3-kilometre loop. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with views of amazingly turquoise waters from towering limestone cliffs.

Hot tip:
It can get *extreeeemely* busy here in peak season. Go early. Oh and there’s some challenging terrain, too, so wear proper shoes (no Birks or flips, s'il vous plait) and leave the littles ones at home (that goes for puppers, too). If you want some more eye candy, take a quick detour on the Lion’s Head Pot Hole Side and the Giant’s Cauldron side trails, both of which have some rockin’ (sorry, we had to) geological formations.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

- Watch the stock car races at the Sauble Speedway
- Go spelunking at the Bruce Caves Conservation Area Trail
- When you want to watch the sun go down with a frosty pint and a basket of fries, grab a seat on the patio at Sola’s Grill
- Or really take your sunset viewing up a notch with a sunset boat cruise with Bruce Peninsula Boat Tours

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