Woodstock is a charming city located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, known for its rich history, cultural events, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a food lover, Woodstock has something to offer for everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Woodstock:
1. Woodstock Museum National Historic Site
Begin your journey by delving into the city’s history at the Woodstock Museum. Housed in a beautiful 1853 building, the museum showcases artifacts, exhibits, and stories that highlight Woodstock’s past. It’s a fantastic place to learn about the region’s First Nations heritage, pioneer life, and the city’s growth over the years.
2. Southside Park
This expansive urban park is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. Southside Park features walking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds for families to enjoy. The park is also home to a serene pond where you can feed ducks or simply sit back and enjoy the tranquility.
3. Biking and Hiking Trails
For outdoor enthusiasts, Woodstock offers a network of scenic biking and hiking trails. One of the popular trails is the Trans Canada Trail, which passes through Woodstock and provides an excellent opportunity to explore the surrounding natural beauty.
4. Theatre Woodstock
If you appreciate the performing arts, make sure to catch a show at Theatre Woodstock. This community theater group puts on a variety of performances throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and more, showcasing local talent and providing enjoyable entertainment for all ages.
5. Downtown Woodstock
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Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque downtown area, filled with charming shops, cafes, and restaurants. The heritage buildings lend a distinct character to the city’s core, and you can find unique gifts, antiques, and delicious local treats.
6. Oxford County Cheese Trail
Woodstock is situated in Oxford County, which is known for its delicious artisanal cheeses. Embark on the Oxford County Cheese Trail to visit local cheese producers, learn about their craft, and, of course, sample some of the finest cheeses the region has to offer.
7. Upper Thames Brewing Company
Craft beer enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Upper Thames Brewing Company. Located in the heart of Woodstock, this microbrewery offers a variety of handcrafted beers and a warm, friendly atmosphere to relax and unwind.
8. Pittock Conservation Area
For nature lovers seeking a more immersive experience, head to Pittock Conservation Area. Here, you can hike through wooded trails, enjoy scenic views from the lookout tower, and partake in various outdoor activities like fishing and canoeing.
9. Woodstock Art Gallery
If you’re an art enthusiast, don’t miss the Woodstock Art Gallery. The gallery features a collection of Canadian art, with a focus on works from Southwestern Ontario. It regularly hosts exhibitions that showcase local and regional artists.
10. Woodstock Peace Lighthouse
One of Woodstock’s unique landmarks, the Peace Lighthouse, stands as a symbol of peace and hope in the community. The lighthouse is located in Victoria Park and is a serene spot to contemplate and appreciate the surrounding natural beauty.
11. Cowan Park
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This recreational park is perfect for sports enthusiasts. It offers various sports facilities, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, and a skatepark. Whether you want to play a game or just watch local athletes in action, Cowan Park is an excellent place to spend some active time.
12. Woodstock Farm and Craft Market
If you happen to visit on a Saturday morning, make sure to check out the Woodstock Farm and Craft Market. Held in the downtown core, the market features a vibrant array of fresh produce, artisanal goods, handmade crafts, and local delicacies.
13. Springbank Snow Countess Monument
Pay a visit to the Springbank Snow Countess Monument, which commemorates the most famous cow in the world, Springbank Snow Countess. This statue stands as a testament to Woodstock’s agricultural heritage and its historical significance in the dairy industry.
14. Kayaking on the Thames River
For a more adventurous experience, consider kayaking on the Thames River. Several local outfitters offer rentals and guided tours, allowing you to paddle through scenic stretches of the river and explore its natural beauty.
15. Wildflowers Farm
A short drive from Woodstock, Wildflowers Farm is a lovely destination for those looking to escape into nature. This charming farm offers flower picking, farm-to-table experiences, and seasonal events that will connect you with the simplicity of rural life.
16. Woodstock Raceway
If you’re interested in harness racing, head to the Woodstock Raceway, where you can enjoy thrilling races and perhaps even place a bet or two.
17. Sakura House
Pay your respects at Sakura House, a residential hospice providing compassionate end-of-life care. The surrounding gardens, including a Japanese-inspired section, offer a tranquil place for reflection and meditation.
18. Woody’s Dog Park
If you’re traveling with a four-legged friend, visit Woody’s Dog Park, a spacious off-leash area where dogs can roam and socialize with other pups.
19. Dairy Capital Cheese Shoppe
Indulge in more delicious cheese at the Dairy Capital Cheese Shoppe, where you can find a wide selection of local and imported cheeses, as well as gourmet treats to take home as souvenirs.
20. Woodstock Peace Garden
Discover tranquility and serenity at the Woodstock Peace Garden. This beautiful garden is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding among different cultures and religions. Take a peaceful walk through the garden, admire the sculptures, and find a quiet spot to meditate or contemplate.
21. Annual Woodstock Fair
If you’re visiting Woodstock in late summer or early fall, don’t miss the annual Woodstock Fair. This beloved event celebrates agriculture, local produce, and rural traditions. Enjoy the thrill of amusement rides, indulge in fair food, and explore the various exhibitions and shows.
Golf enthusiasts will find several excellent golf courses in and around Woodstock. Spend a day playing golf amid picturesque settings, enjoying the well-maintained greens and fairways.
23. Norwich and District Museum
Take a short drive to the nearby town of Norwich to visit the Norwich and District Museum. This museum offers a glimpse into the agricultural and cultural heritage of the region, with exhibits on local history, pioneer life, and more.
24. Wine Tasting at Local Vineyards
Woodstock is situated close to several wineries and vineyards in the region. Consider taking a wine tour to sample some of the finest local wines and learn about the winemaking process.
25. Victoria Park
Relax and unwind in Victoria Park, a central green space in Woodstock. The park features a beautiful fountain, mature trees, and a peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic with family and friends.
26. Attend Local Festivals and Events
Throughout the year, Woodstock hosts a variety of festivals and events that showcase the city’s culture and community spirit. Check the local events calendar to see if there’s a festival or event happening during your visit.
27. Woodstock Public Library
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If you’re seeking some quiet time or want to learn more about the city’s history, stop by the Woodstock Public Library. Besides its vast collection of books, the library often hosts events, workshops, and exhibitions.
28. Explore Oxford County
Woodstock is a great base for exploring the wider Oxford County region. Consider taking a scenic drive through the countryside, visiting picturesque villages, and experiencing the welcoming hospitality of rural Ontario.
29. Coyle’s Country Store
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Step back in time and visit Coyle’s Country Store, a historic landmark in Woodstock. This charming general store has been operating since 1865 and is known for its nostalgic ambiance and a wide selection of unique items, including candies, toys, and household goods.
30. Woodstock Farmers’ Market
Experience the local flavors and produce at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market. Open seasonally, this market features fresh fruits, vegetables, artisanal products, and more, supporting local farmers and producers.
31. Outdoor Yoga and Fitness Classes
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Stay active and join outdoor yoga or fitness classes offered by local studios or community centers. Practicing in the beautiful surroundings of Woodstock can be a refreshing and invigorating experience.
32. Harvest Run
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If you’re a running enthusiast, consider participating in the annual Harvest Run, a local road race held in Woodstock. Lace up your running shoes and join the community in a fun and challenging race.
33. African Lion Safari
Located a short drive from Woodstock, the African Lion Safari is a unique wildlife park that allows visitors to observe animals from Africa in a naturalistic setting. Take a drive-through safari tour or explore the walking areas to see lions, giraffes, elephants, and more up close.
34. Harvest Festival
Embrace the fall season by attending Woodstock’s Harvest Festival. This event celebrates the region’s agricultural roots with activities such as pumpkin carving, apple picking, wagon rides, and live entertainment.
35. Woodstock Curling Club
If you’re visiting during the winter months, try your hand at curling at the Woodstock Curling Club. This traditional Canadian sport is a fun way to engage with locals and experience a unique winter activity.
36. Winter Lights Display
During the holiday season, don’t miss the Winter Lights Display at Victoria Park. The park transforms into a magical wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a festive and enchanting atmosphere.
37. Trillium Woods Provincial Park
For nature enthusiasts, Trillium Woods Provincial Park is a must-visit destination. This beautiful park offers hiking trails that wind through lush forests, showcasing the region’s natural biodiversity.
38. Woodstock Rotary Dragon Boat Festival
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If you happen to be in Woodstock during the Dragon Boat Festival, make sure to attend this exciting event. Watch teams compete in dragon boat races on the Thames River, and enjoy the lively festival atmosphere.
39. Woodstock Water Works
For a fun-filled day with family, head to the Woodstock Water Works, a water park with thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a splash pad for younger kids.
40. Brewery Tours
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In addition to the Upper Thames Brewing Company, consider exploring other craft breweries in Woodstock and the surrounding area. Many offer guided tours and tastings of their unique brews.
41. Volunteer Opportunities
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Engage with the community by participating in local volunteer activities. Woodstock has various community organizations and initiatives that welcome volunteers to contribute their time and skills.
42. Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
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During the winter months, explore the snowy landscapes around Woodstock by going cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the many trails in the region.
43. Attend a Live Performance
Keep an eye out for live performances and concerts happening at venues like the Market Centre Theatre or local pubs and bars. Enjoy an evening of music, comedy, or theatrical entertainment.
44. Woodstock Public Art Trail
Embark on the Woodstock Public Art Trail to discover an array of public art installations throughout the city. These artistic displays add vibrancy and creativity to the urban landscape.
45. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Baseball enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, located just outside Woodstock. Explore the exhibits and learn about Canada’s baseball heritage.
46. Pick Your Own Fruit
Depending on the season, you can visit nearby orchards to pick your own fresh fruits, such as apples, strawberries, or cherries. It’s a fun and rewarding experience for visitors of all ages.
Places and Things To Do