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20 Things To Do in Windsor Canada in 2024

Located directly across the street from Detroit, many Canadians often overlook Windsor in favor of its American neighbor. But there are many things to do in windsor canada that warrant a weekend getaway or excursion. We have visited Windsor countless times as we only live 2 1/2 hours away and usually use it for our overland trip to the US.

In our opinion, Windsor is a great place to visit. It’s full of novelty and home to a trendy community culture thanks to its popular university. Many of my friends attended the University of Windsor to study musical theater and I spent many nights in downtown Windsor enjoying the views of the Detroit skyline.

The gorgeous views of Detroit’s skyline aren’t the only cool thing about this city. Windsor will surprise you with all the activities it has to offer. You can stroll along the riverfront, hit the bars in downtown Windsor, or learn about Native history and the American invasion of Canada in 1812, when the U.S. declared war on Great Britain. Windsor even has fascinating stories about the Underground Railroad and the rum trade, when alcohol was smuggled through the city during Prohibition.

Windsor has enough to offer to warrant at least a weekend stay. If you fancy day trips around Windsor, plan on visiting for at least two to three days. Ready to start planning the best things to do in Windsor, Canada? Before we move on to the main list, let’s take a quick look at our summary.

Best of Windsor Canada a Complete Guide

  • Worth seeing: Windsor Sculpture Park, Windsor University Campus, Willistead Manor and Pelee Island.
  • Where to Stay: Bestway Motel ($), A Hidden Bed and Breakfast ($$), and Sandwich Boutique Hotel ($$$)
  • Fun: Visit Adventure Bay Family Water Park, take a tasting tour at Walkerville Brewery, and cruise down the river.
  • Day Trips: Detroit, Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site, Pelee Island and Fort Malden National Historic Site.
  • Must try: Chicken Delight, Shawarma, Whiskey, Honey Balls and Paczki.

Best Things to Do in Windsor Canada

What to do in Windsor Ontario Canada

These are our 20 top recommendations for the best things to do in Windsor, Canada.

1. Windsor Sculpture Park

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Sculpture Park

Windsor Sculpture Park is an outdoor art gallery and one of the city’s most famous attractions. Scenically located along the Detroit River, Windsor Sculpture Park is home to dozens of colossal sculptures – including an elephant and a hand holding an apple.

Windsor Sculpture Park is a more exciting alternative to the usual indoor art galleries seen in major cities. Our advice? Grab a hot drink or a picnic and head out for the sunset. The place is open 24 hours.

  • Insider Tip: Head there in the evening to watch the sunset over Detroit.
  • Practical information: Open 24 hours a day and entry is free.

2. Ambassador Bridge

Best Things to do in Windsor Ambassador Bridge

The Ambassador Bridge is a landmark. The 2,300 meter long suspension bridge stretches from Windsor to Detroit and connects Canada to the USA across the river. At night it is illuminated with tiny dotted lights, which is particularly beautiful to see with the Detroit skyline in the background.

The Ambassador Bridge may have regular traffic between cities, but there is generally no pedestrian access. If you want to get close to this bridge on foot, your best bet is to visit Assumption Park (which we’ll cover later) or McKee Park. McKee Park is quieter and more peaceful. Geese and ducks relax on its flat banks.

Sunrise and sunset are good times to visit these parks as the sky is gentler over the bridge. Get there early to avoid the crowds and grab a coffee to go along the way. Alternatively, head there in the evening to enjoy a gentle sunset over Detroit.

  • Insider Tip: Admire the bridge from McKee Park for a quieter atmosphere.
  • Practical information: The Ambassador Bridge is not accessible, but surrounding parks are open 24 hours a day and entry is free, with great views of the bridge.

3. Jackson Park

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Jackson Park

With more than 10,000 plants, it’s easy to see why Jackson Park is one of the best things to do in Windsor, Canada. The park’s flora changes seasonally, from tulips in May to perennials in summer. The park lies outside the Windsor riverfront, further inland. You can take a short 15-minute bus ride from central Windsor or walk about 40 minutes.

In addition to its flowers, the park is also a well-known sports field. Visitors can enjoy the basketball court, baseball field, and tennis club on-site. If you’re looking for a day of sport in Windsor, this park is the perfect addition to your itinerary.

  • Insider Tip: Jackson Park is beautiful at Christmas and is home to hundreds of festive lights.
  • Practical information: Open 24 hours and free entry.

4. Take a Boat Tour on the Detroit River

Best Things to do in Windsor Boat Tour on Detroit River

When two countries are separated by a single river, it makes sense to head to the water for the best views. A river cruise offers scenic views of Windsor’s riverfront parks and dramatic views of Detroit’s skyscrapers. You get to know two cities and two countries in one experience – what’s not to love?

Taking a cruise on the Detroit River is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Windsor to take in the views of both of the city’s skylines. You can also book luxury experiences such as evening dinner cruises on the water.

Windsor River Cruises Limited is the most popular boat tour company and operates seasonally from April to October. Windsor Premium Cruises is also a popular choice for companies all year round.

  • Insider Tip: Dress warmly to make the most of your time outdoors and get the best photos.
  • Practical information: Prices start at around $50.

5. Chimczuk Museum

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Chimczuk Museum

The Chimczuk Museum houses a treasure trove of regional history and heritage. The museum traces the region’s history, focusing on indigenous peoples, the Underground Railroad and Prohibition.

There are five different galleries to visit, from the Original Peoples Culture and Legacy Gallery to The River and the Land Sustain Us. This is one of the best things to do in Windsor for families as there is also an excellent children’s gallery where children can have hands-on fun.

  • Insider Tip: Visit the Chimczuk Museum at the start of your trip to put Windsor in perspective.
  • Practical information: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. Tickets are $5.50 per adult.

6. Willistead Manor

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Canadian Club Brand Centre

Willistead Manor was built by the son of Hiram Walker – the famous founder of Canadian Club Whiskey. The mansion was built in 1906 and is a beautiful piece of architecture. The building has strong Scottish influences, which is only natural given the property’s whiskey heritage. Edward Chandler Walker even commissioned Scottish stonemasons to carve the gray limestone.

This stone-built mansion is one of the most traditional buildings in the city. Strolling the grounds of Willistead Manor is one of the top things to do in Windsor, Canada.

Aside from its architecture, Willistead Manor is also full of whiskey history. You can tour the interior and learn more about the whiskey distilling family and the property itself.

  • Insider tip: Try some Canadian Club whiskey beforehand and find out about Hiram Walker.
  • Practical information: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $6.25 per adult.

7. Dieppe Gardens

Best Things to do in Windsor Dieppe Gardens

The Dieppe Gardens are one of the most beautiful green spaces on the riverbank. The gardens offer impressive views across the river to Detroit and are the perfect place for a romantic stroll or picnic. It also offers one of the best views of Detroit’s skyscrapers.

Entry to these gardens is free and is easily one of the best value things to do in Windsor, Canada. You can bike or walk through this park, there is a large pond and a waterfall and there are always a lot of people. Solo travelers should feel safe in daylight.

  • Insider Tip: Come here after dark to see the Detroit skyline illuminated from across the river.
  • Practical information: Open 24 hours a day and free entry.

8. Coventry Gardens

Coventry Gardens are another beautiful addition to Windsor’s waterfront parks. Its real highlight, however, is the seasonal floating fountain with its daily light show.

You hike along small, asphalted footpaths between hydrangeas and well-tended hedges. If you visit Windsor over the May Bank Holiday weekend, walk through the park and to the Charlie Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain. This fountain is the world’s only international floating fountain. At night it pushes the water up to 70 feet and provides a beautiful light display.

Even if you don’t travel to Windsor in May, you can enjoy pop-up events throughout the year, including summer concerts and seasonal floral displays. We love that the gardens are free but have lots of different activities happening throughout the year.

  • Insider Tip: Visit Coventry Gardens in May to see the fountains.
  • Practical information: Open 24 hours a day and free entry.

9. Take a Ford City Walking Tour

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Ford City

Windsor has acquired an interesting nickname over the years: “Ford City.” This nickname actually refers to a neighborhood in Windsor called Dame du Lac. Because of its close ties to the Ford Motor Company, the neighborhood experienced a renaissance. The company’s Canadian headquarters located there around 1904 and eventually became its own city before being absorbed into Windsor city limits decades later.

While Ford’s headquarters eventually moved to Toronto, the automotive company’s tradition in this Windsor neighborhood remains. You can take walking tours to learn about the rise, fall, and current preservation of the neighborhood.

This is a fascinating story for any car lover. Likewise, these tours will be informative for anyone interested in the culture and development of the Windsor community. It’s an extremely important part of the city’s history that caught our attention and should definitely catch yours too.

  • Practical Information: Under $20, although it varies depending on what tours you book.

10. Walkerville Brewery

things to do in Windsor Ontario Walkerville Brewery

Windsor may be best known for its Canadian Club whiskey, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore its brewing scene. This brewery is one of the most historic breweries you can include on your itinerary. The microbrewery and craft cinema offers both tastings and tours.

The Walkerville area is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in the city and is great for walking. Right in the middle is the Walkerville Brewery.

As you enter the brewery you are greeted by the perfect mix of exhibitions and tasting experiences. Historical artifacts are on display and informative guides, delicious beers and ciders are available for you to sample on flights.

  • Insider Tip: Make time before or after to tour the Walkerville Historic District.
  • Practical information: Open Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 6pm, Friday from 11am to 10pm and Saturday from 11am to 7pm. Tours and tastings start at $7.

11. Dine at The Twisted Apron

things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Twisted Apron

One of the most popular local spots for a delicious meal is The Twisted Apron. Twisted Apron offers “comfort food with a twist” – think brunch includes good food. When visiting Windsor, one of the best ways to experience the fun atmosphere is with a quality, casual meal.

Try steaming bowls of fresh mac ‘n’ cheese or giant burgers and sparkling mimosas. There is no better way to get to know a place than through food.

Although Windsor isn’t a true food tour city, you should definitely plan at least one dining experience. This restaurant is an ideal choice and is also conveniently located in the Walkerville District.

  • Insider Tip: Try the seasonal cocktail menu – an absolute local favorite.
  • Practical information: Open daily from 9am to 4pm and costs around $20-30 per person.

12. Pelee Island

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Pelee Island

To get adventurous in Windsor, you can take a day and head to Pelee Island – a beautiful island in Lake Erie.

To get there, you’ll need to get creative and drive 40 minutes to nearby Kingsville or Leamington before taking a 1.5-hour ferry to the island. Once you get there, you can enjoy the slower pace of life and the gorgeous 360-degree views of the lake.

Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve is the most picturesque hiking spot on the island, with footpaths stretching through forests and onto a huge sandbar. For more traditional museum tours, there is also the Pelee Island Heritage Center. And of course there’s Lighthouse Point Provincial Nature Reserve with its huge, stone eponymous lighthouse.

  • Insider Tip: Take time to walk to the lighthouse and explore the nearby marshes.
  • Practical information: The return ferry ride costs approximately US$10. Timetables vary, but the ferry usually departs from the mainland at 7 or 8 a.m. and the last ferry returns at 4 p.m.

13. Sandpoint Beach

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Sandpoint Beach

Who wouldn’t want to plan a day at the beach in the summer months? Summers in Windsor can get pretty hot and Sandpoint Beach is one of the most popular spots for a sunny day. The beach is just outside of town, about 20 minutes by car or 50 minutes by bus. However, the shallow water and plenty of shade from the trees justify the trip.

Sandpoint Beach is a great way to save money and experience one of the free things to do in Windsor, Canada. The water is also ideal for younger children as it is so calm and shallow.

This beach park is one of the city’s hidden gems. But in summer it’s just too beautiful to keep to ourselves; We don’t mind sharing it with you.

  • Insider Tip: Stop by midweek and after-school holidays for the most tranquil experience.
  • Practical information: Open 24 hours a day and free to enjoy.

14. Adventure Bay Family Water Park

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Adventure Bay Water Park

On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending some money, Adventure Bay Water Park is a great way to spend time with your kids. For a fun city experience in Windsor, there’s nothing better than a water park.

The water park has its own wave pool, plenty of slides and a lazy river, not to mention the activity pool with all its floats and inflatables.

It’s the perfect way to escape the bad weather on a rainy day. Likewise, it’s a great idea for families visiting Windsor.

  • Insider Tip: This attraction is one of the best indoor activities in Windsor, Canada, so keep it up your sleeve for a bad weather day.
  • Practical information: Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm. $16.50 per person and under 3 free.

15. Windsor Riverfront

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Windsor Riverfront

Without a doubt, one of the most popular things to do in Windsor, Canada is exploring the city’s riverfront. The trail stretches for nearly six miles and offers beautiful water views along the entire route. If you want to hike the entire length, plan on about 2 hours.

We recommend that you start your hike walking towards Ambassador Bridge about two hours before sunset. This way you can enjoy the sunset over the Detroit skyline and Windsor’s most famous landmark.

There are many parks along the riverfront, but the best way to explore it in all its glory is with an easy hike. The views made it a must-read in this guide.

  • Insider Tip: Bring a hot drink and warm layers, as it can get breezy next to the water.
  • Practical Information: Open 24/7 and free to enjoy.

16. Sunset Point

Best Things to do in Windsor Sunset point

Technically, Sunset Point is one of the attractions in Detroit. But we also count it as one of the best things to do in Windsor, Canada. It is located on the river on the island of Belle Isle. To get there you have to enter the US side and cross the MacArthur Bridge to get to the island.

Once you arrive on Belle Isle, it’s a leisurely 15-minute walk to Sunset Point. From here you can watch the sun set over one of the city’s most iconic scenes, including both the Detroit and Windsor skylines.

Getting there may require extra effort, but if you can arrange a US border crossing, Sunset Point is one of the most beautiful sunset spots nearby. It is also one of the leading free things to do in Windsor, Canada.

  • Insider Tip: Organize a US border crossing and enjoy the island at sunset.
  • Practical Information: Open 24/7 and free to enjoy.

17. Duff-Baby House

The Duff-Baby House is rich in local heritage. It’s also one of the most difficult things to do in Windsor, Canada, as the museum has some of the strangest opening hours.

You can admire the exterior of the 18th century house at any time. However, if you want to take a tour of the interior, you’ll need to gain access on the open day. These only take place once a month. So check the official website to see if any of them suit your trip.

The Duff-Baby House tells you all about the history of the Sandwich District as well as the history of the house itself. It’s a great way to get “under the skin of Windsor.”

  • Insider Tip: Check in advance if tours are available and book in advance.
  • Practical information: These usually take place once a month. Opening times are approximately 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

18. Canadian Aviation Museum

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canadian Aviation Museum

This museum is a real treat for anyone passionate about aviation. You can get up close and personal with some spectacular vintage aircraft and there are plenty of military aviation artifacts.

By the way, the Canadian Aviation Museum is located next to Windsor International Airport. This means that after your visit you can stay for a while and watch the airliners take off and land.

This specialist museum is exciting and exciting. The number of aircraft on display makes the museum something very special, which impressed us.

  • Insider Tip: Remember to keep an eye on commercial aircraft afterwards.
  • Practical information: It changes seasonally, but is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the spring and summer. Tickets are $11 per adult.

19. Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve

things to do in Windsor Ontario Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve

If you love nature and observing natural wildlife, Ojibway is one of the most exciting things to do in Windsor, Canada. The deer are so friendly that they will run straight towards you. And you can spot everything from turtles to migratory and endangered birds.

We recommend going to the nature center before exploring some of the reserve’s hiking trails. Bring binoculars for bird watching, and families may want to bring magnifying glasses to encourage children to look at insects and plants up close.

Visiting the Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve is completely free, which is incredible. There is so much to do there and the city center is only 13 minutes away by car.

  • Insider Tip: Bring binoculars and a magnifying glass for a better experience.
  • Practical information: Open Wednesday to Saturday from 12pm to 5pm and free to enjoy.

20. Go Fishing at Queens Dock

Things to do in Windsor Ontario Fishing

Queens Dock is nothing short of iconic. To reach this little fishing spot, walk past the famous Sandwich Windmill and walk along Mill Street to the water’s edge. The harbor is usually full of small families and adults putting their fishing skills to the test.

You can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and mindfulness by the water. You can also rent fishing equipment and try your luck with a catch.

Fishing at Queens Dock is one of the most relaxing activities in Windsor, Canada. It is our top recommendation for a relaxed start to the day.

  • Insider Tip: If you visit in the fall, stop by and admire the foliage.
  • Practical information: Open 24 hours a day and free.

Olde Sandwich Towne (Old Sandwich Town)

Before it was incorporated into the City of Windsor, it was known as Sandwich Towne. Established in 1797, this historic district is one of the oldest settlements in Ontario and has been the site of several historically significant events in the province’s history.

This is an excellent place to stay and admire the historic architecture with beautiful old buildings and old windmills. It looks a bit like a model city.

Windsor has so much diversity to offer in its neighborhoods; Plan a few days to explore the different areas.

Tips and Information For Visiting Windsor

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Tips and information

Once you’ve figured out which of the top things to do in Windsor, Canada you want to check off, take a look at some of this important advice. Little things like knowing when to visit can have a big impact on your trip. Likewise, knowing where to take a leisurely walk and where to take a taxi makes a big difference. Here’s what you need to know:

Best Time To Visit

The two most recommended seasons to visit Windsor are late spring and early fall. This shoulder season falls on either side of the chaotic summer period, but the weather is still warm enough to enjoy all outdoor activities.

If you love autumn leaves, we especially recommend early autumn. Mid-September is teeming with orange and red tones. This makes areas like the riverfront even more beautiful – you can walk along the Detroit River, surrounded by orange leaves, with expansive views of Detroit’s urban landscape. Mid-September also sees parks like the Dieppe Gardens come into their own.

Getting There

The easiest way to reach Windsor, Ontario is through YQG Airport. The airport offers some domestic and international charter flights and is less than 8 km from the city center. But honestly, it would be better to fly into one of the most popular international airports.

Another option is to fly to Detroit and cross the border to Windsor. If you’re not a citizen, you’ll need a US visa for this visa, but it’s a great way to take advantage of Detroit’s cheaper, more regular long-haul flights. You also combine two countries in one visit. You can fly into Toronto and take a 4-hour train to Windsor for about $100. This is ideal for budget travelers flying internationally, as Toronto is an easy hub for cheap flights.

Finally, if you want to travel to Windsor overland, you can use Greyhound and Megabus buses from throughout the United States and Canada. Reliable Amtrak rail service is also available to Detroit, where you can travel to the Dearborn Transit Center and cross the border. If you have longer to reach Windsor, take the scenic, more sustainable route.

Getting Around

It’s easy to get around Windsor. Most parts of the city are so centrally located that you can reach the main attractions on foot. Many hotels also offer bicycle rentals, so you can easily explore the city center by bike or on foot.

Each neighborhood feels a bit like its own city, which is what it originally was. So if you choose the location of your accommodation carefully, it will be relatively easy to reach on foot.

If you want to go further afield, there are plenty of Ubers and taxis available. There is also Transit Windsor; This bus system has 16 different routes and easily connects the city for both tourists and commuters. Plus, you can get day passes starting at just $9.60.

How Much Time Do You Need

Ideally, you will spend two to three days in Windsor, Canada. The location is ideal for treating yourself to at least one day trip, and with at least three days you have time for one excursion.

Many people choose weekend trips. You could explore Windsor in a weekend and see the main activities. However, for a more memorable experience, you should stay about four days. Then you can add day trips to beautiful locations like Point Pelee National Park and sightseeing around Lake Erie and its small-town destinations.

Where to Stay in Windsor, Canada

Best things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada Caesars Windsor, Canada.

Finding the perfect hotel is an important task when staying in Windsor. While there aren’t many hostels, there is a good selection of affordable motels and B&Bs. Likewise, the more historic districts are ideal for stays in upscale boutique hotels.

The South Walkerville, Forest Glade and Riverside neighborhoods feature quaint residential streets and historic architecture. If you’re looking for more affordable accommodation, there are a number of affordable motels along Huron Church Road and its parallel streets. However, let’s take a quick look at the best places to stay in Windsor.

Here are some of the best hotels in Windsor to suit all budgets:

  • Luxury: The Sandwich Boutique Hotel is a beautiful 4-star red brick hotel, once a post office, in the historic Sandwich district. Guests have access to a shared lounge, terrace and kitchen.
  • Mid-Range: A Hidden Bed and Breakfast is a cozy choice for a sustainable hotel in central Windsor. Guests have access to comfortable boutique-style rooms and a shared garden area. Bicycle rental is also available on site.
  • Budget: The Bestway Motel is modest and pet-friendly, all for an absolute steal. Each room has a microwave and refrigerator, which is convenient for storing groceries and saving money.
Fun things to do in Windsor Ontario Canada

As you can see, Windsor definitely has a lot to offer. For tourists, it doesn’t get much better than Windsor’s mix of culture and fun-loving atmosphere. The waterscape and novel views of the Detroit skyline are just icing on the cake. It’s tantalizingly close to the US. You also have some great day trips right on your doorstep.

Once you’ve covered all the top things to do in Windsor, Canada, consider taking some of the best Canadian road trips. Once you’ve experienced all of the history and sights downtown, head out of downtown and explore more. You can use it as a perfect base for more extensive exploration of Canada and the USA. It’s a border town.

About author

Articles

Daniyal is an accomplished travel blogger boasting two years of extensive experience. Proficient in captivating narratives, Daniyal unveils the allure of undiscovered destinations and divulges insights into everything regarding traveling. Beyond the prose, he serves as the editorial architect, seamlessly incorporating editing finesse, SEO mastery, and strategic content deployment to ensure a sophisticated and enriching online travel experience.
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