Southampton lounges on a beach that rivals the best in the world: smooth white sand stretching for ages along the coast of Lake Huron; waves crashing, seagulls soaring overhead. But it is not your traditional beach town: no burger joints, ice cream stands or Tee-shirt huts; few umbrellas shading bikini wearers or speedo-clad sunbathers.
Southampton has class. Fill your days with a walk to the library, the art gallery or the theatre. Admire stately century homes facing the streets. During the summer stroll past the tennis club, the hub of social activity. Drop by on Cups Day as the teachers queue up along the net and their students use them as targets to practise their newly-learned skills. Or stay to watch as trophies are handed out to young and old. In the winter, visit the curling club where like-minded folks hang out on the ice and in the lounge, sharing dreams of summer.
Southampton welcomes shoppers. Some clothing boutiques are so high-end that you need to make an appointment just to browse. Antique stores invite bargain hunters and collectors alike. At the other end of the shopping spectrum is the Southampton Market, a mix of Value Village and Honest Ed’s: creaky wooden floors at odd angles, filled with bins of bargains and shelves of knick-knacks. Don’t stare too long at the kitchen utensils – you could fall into a trance.
Southampton residents love ice cream. Visit FUN Ice Cream Parlor, selling the popular Kawartha Dairy brand, and be prepared to stand in line. Watch when a couple order 4 cones each and then run-walk them down the street, hoping to make it home before they all melt. Laugh as a 3-year-old boy’s chocolate ball of heaven falls on the ground. He picks it up dirt and all, deftly plops it back in the cone, and continues licking.
Southampton is a natural paradise. Wander the trail along the shore of Fairy Lake and watch turtles mating, ducks and swans gliding by. Take in the water fountain in the middle and the alluring tree sculptures carved into tree trunks on the banks. Or go for a longer hike at McGregor’s Point a few kilometers south. Trails vary in length and offer different views of the natural environment. Try not to step on the geckos or tree frogs underfoot. Keep your eye out for an “active bear” sighted recently.
And of course, visit the beach. Walk along the boardwalk which stretches from one end of the town to the other. Stop for a rest on one of the many comfortable benches along the way, while your grandchildren take a turn on the swings or build a sand castle along the shore. Then visit the clean and welcoming bathrooms so they can wash their hands. On Friday nights, finish your walk at the Flagpole where a bagpiper entertains you.
But most of all, watch the sunset. Whether it’s cloudy or clear, the sun works magic in the Southampton sky.
7 thoughts on “Southampton Sunset”
Wowie. I want to go! You should be in Sales Susan
Sounds like a lovely place. You make me want to go there.
Who knew? 🙂
What a lovely piece of prose.
Great blog to round up the end of August. Do you for the tourism department of Ontario?😉
My wife and I were lucky enough to buy a small cottage between the “Flag and the River mouth 9 years ago.
We love it. Our family and grand kids do as well.
You have captured the town flavor very well.
We are trying to keep it a secret.