This Town On A Great Lake's Shores Is Regarded As Canada's Prettiest For A Reason

Canada is a massive country, but with a low population relative to its size. While Canada is still definitely not without major cities like Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver, its vast swaths of land without too much hustle and bustle make way for multiple hidden gem towns and beautiful nature to explore. Not to mention the fact that this northern country is among the safest destinations in the world.

Among Canada's hidden gem destinations is Goderich, which is often thought of as Canada's prettiest town. Approximately three hours from Toronto, this tiny town sits on the shores of Lake Huron and has plenty of beach space. The lake views are beautiful and peaceful, but there is much more to this town than the lake. Goderich features nautical structures, a unique city center, nature, classic Canadian restaurants, and quaint places to stay. Start your relaxing getaway at Courthouse Park. There is a farmers' market here every Saturday from May through October, which has been a regular event for Goderich since the 1840s.

Watch the sky meet the water at Goderich's beaches

Streets jut out from Courthouse Park like bike spokes and there is plenty to do year round. In this part of town, take your pick from bakeries to bistros to cafes. Try a popular cream puff at Culbert's Bakery, always made fresh. For something more savory, head to Part II Bistro for a varied menu which includes maple bacon perogies. Brunch delights are at Cait's Cafe, including vegan options. Tim Hortons — a quintessential Canadian staple — is less than 10 minutes away from Courthouse Park. To get an idea of the popularity of the Tim Hortons franchise, the café and restaurant chain even partnered with Shawn Mendes by putting the Canadian heartthrob's image on their cups back in 2019.

Courthouse Park is a 20 minute walk from Goderich Main Beach. From here, you can get close to the Goderich Lighthouse on land and gaze out onto the Lake Huron water to see the Goderich Breakwater Lighthouse.  The latter of the two dates back to the 1830s. The wheelchair accessible Goderich Main Beach also has restrooms and a playground. All of these beaches have bright blue water and space for relaxation.

Explore nature at Morris Tract Provincial Nature Reserve

Goderich's extensive Lake Huron shores also include St. Christopher's Beach and Rotary Cove Beach, each with restrooms and playgrounds. Between these two beaches and slightly inland is Butterfly Park. From here, you can get wonderful lake views and enjoy a family-friendly bug themed playground. Any of Goderich's beaches make for lovely picnic locations as well.

A 20 minute drive from the beaches is the Morris Tract Provincial Nature Reserve. The reserve's river, tall trees, rare plants, birds, and amphibians make it a hiking haven. The trail conveniently begins at the reserve's parking lot. Follow the river to the small but picturesque Maitland River Falls (pictured above) too.

The small but cottage-like Maple Leaf Motel is less than 10 minutes away from Courthouse Park. After a long day of exploring the town or hanging out on the beaches, you can relax at this motel which comes complete with patio space. To stay in a Victorian home, book a room at Colborne Bed and Breakfast also located near Courthouse Park.