Hamilton Exploration Bucket-List: Major Must-Dos!


Enjoy your Hamilton, just the way you like it!

Roaming the streets of Hamilton can be a less-than-exciting experience for those who are new to the city and are unfamiliar with all the thrills that fuel it. If you’ve paid downtown Hamilton a visit and didn’t have anything that caught your attention, do not fret: the city is truly a “wonderland” of its own, with festivities and attractions that place it on its own pedestal! From carrying the title of “Waterfall Capital of the World” with over a hundred waterfalls to leading as the “Steel Capital of Canada”, producing over 60% of Canada’s steel, Hamilton has both the aura and the industrial splendour to set itself apart from other cities across the country!

Not quite sure where to begin your exploration as you delve into the depths of the awesomeness? The following is a bucket-list – a list of major must-dos – to get you started!

  1. Ti-Cats: Check out a Hamilton Tiger-Cats game and cheer on your home football team!
  2. James St. North Art Crawl: For all those into art, this is for you! Come on out on the second Friday of every month and explore the various art show openings hosted by galleries across Hamilton.
  3. Farmer’s Market: Go on out to Jackson Square or visit the Farmer’s Market on-campus if you are looking for fresh change in your meals!
  4. Hamilton Waterfront: Sit by the wonderful fireplace at the waterfront, try the waterfront trolley, enjoy ice cream on the boardwalk, or get your daily physical activity in by biking or walking along west harbour and waterfront gems like Bayfront and Pier 4 Parks.
  5. Escarpment stairs: Put your climbing skills to the test and give the city’s escarpment stairs a try if you are looking for a challenge!
  6. Westdale Theatre: Take a breather between all those midterms and assignments, and enjoy a relaxing few hours at the theatre downtown with friends, family and peers.
  7. Doors Open Hamilton: Learn and enjoy a few of Hamilton’s many fantastic architectural, cultural and historical sites by visiting properties not accessible to the general public, through organized group tours, displays and activities with Doors Open Hamilton!
  8. Cootes Paradise: From its waterfront trail to its beautiful lookout points, Cootes Paradise is not only the largest wetland at the western end of Lake Ontario, but a scenic trail known for its splendid sights as well!
  9. Film/Theatre Festivals: Don’t miss the wonderful Hamilton Fringe Festival or Hamilton Film Festival if you enjoy performing arts or are looking for a great source of entertainment.
  10. Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and HMCS Haida: If you have a knack for history or are in search of something different, these museums are the place to go to, with over forty aircrafts and naval equipment.
  11. African Lion Safari: Hop into that car and fasten your seatbelts for a guided tour through this wild animal park with over 1,000 different animals!
  12. Dundurn Castle: Pull back the years and take a sneak peek into life in the 1830’s through a look into this magnificent castle and a tour of the national historic site.

It’s hard to reduce a city as vibrant as Hamilton to a short list of must-dos; the city is bustling with opportunities and avenues for people of all ages and interests! Other attractions to explore include:

  • Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology
  • Spencer Gorge Conservation Area and Valens Conservation Area
  • Canadian Football Hall of Fame & Museum
  • Hamilton Aviary and Weir’s Lane Lavender and Apiary
  • Wild Waterworks
  • The Pearl Company
  • Willow Valley Golf Course and King’s Forest Golf Club
  • Canada Marine Discovery Centre
  • Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery
  • McMaster Museum of Art
  • Aquarius Theatre
  • Hamilton Zoo
  • Kiwi Balloon Company (one-hour balloon flight within a four-hour experience)
  • SkyCity
  • “Tim Horton’s Shrine” (the first Tim Horton’s to ever be established)
  • Haunted Hamilton Ghost Walks
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