Featured Destination: Tiny, ON
This is part 1 in our new series, highlighting top places to visit within 1 hour of Barrie. First up? The aptly name, Tiny, Ontario. Ironically, Tiny isn’t actually that tiny. The entire region of Tiny Beaches is dotted with sandy beaches, clear Georgian Bay waters and plenty to explore.
Starting the day
44 minutes away from the bustling hub of Lakeshore drive in Barrie is the quaint township of Tiny Beaches. Tiny Beaches has long-boasted crystal clear water, sandy beaches and outdoor activities aplenty. We are going to let you in on some local Tiny Gems.
First up on our drive is the little inlet of Balm Beach. Famous for its boardwalk-style beach, and old-school arcade, this place is a true gem. Start the day off with a breakfast at The Surf restaurant. A family run restaurant, The Surf offers simple, delicious meals in a semi-nautical themed space. The patio is kitted out like a pirate ship, and offers some of the nicest views of Georgian Bay (Pro Tip: The patio also has incredible views of the sunset).
Across from The Surf is perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in Tiny, Ontario – The Georgian Grill and Arcade. This arcade has a delightful combination of original arcade games, plus some classic table games (think air hockey!). Their fully licensed café is a great spot to grab a midday beverage and poutine, in between rounds of Whack-A-Mole. If you have little ones travelling with you, this place is guaranteed to entertain – the open air space gives you a full view of the beach while being sheltered from the elements.
Just up the road from the arcade is the famous Balm Beach Go Kart track and mini golf course. Delightfully whimsical, these two places offer hours of fun for people of all-ages. We recommend Go Karts first, then winding down with a round of mini putt, before heading back down to the beach.
The beach is sandy and protected – looking almost like a pond at times. The best part? You are able to walk the beach for several kilometers in both directions. Or, grab a spot, roll out your towel and bask in the late-summer sunshine.
A few more local Gems
Our favourite, last-but-incredibly-important stop of the day is at Cawaja Pines – a 5 minute drive down Tiny Beaches road. They specialize in hand-dipped soft serve cones – which are truly out of this world. Far beyond the traditional chocolate / caramel (which they also carry), they offer cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip … and so many more.
Ice cream in hand, you may choose to end your day here.But there is one more local gem we must recommend; Wendy B’s in Lafontaine. They make preserves, baked goods, incredible lasagna and more. We highly recommend their red pepper jelly. Trust us when we say, your charcuterie will never be the same.
As you can see, Tiny has a lot to offer, and is one of our top places to visit within 1 hour of Barrie. If you are looking to get out of Barrie and explore for the day, we recommend Tiny, Ontario. Stay tuned for our next day trip feature.