Thanks to a burgeoning art scene and network of green spaces, the once-industrial town of Hamilton is enjoying its day in the sun.
When George Hamilton created his eponymous city in the early 19th century, he probably didn’t imagine it would become such a creative center. Hamilton is, after all, an industrial town at heart. Steel and manufacturing have long been the economic mainstays in this Ontario community, and factories still shoot through the skyline. In recent decades, however, Hamilton vacation packages have shifted to incorporate more artistic holidays. It’s no wonder Canada’s ninth-largest metropolitan area is studded with gorgeous green spaces, impressive museums, and an almost overwhelming array of multicultural restaurants. Adventurous tourists can get their kicks at the nearby waterfalls, and luxury lovers swear by the local boutiques. Hamilton travel offers something for everyone. Start your Hamilton vacations with a tour of the most creative sights. The Art Gallery of Hamilton is the best spot to check out Canadian masterpieces, and the McMaster Museum of Art regularly features special events and lectures. Downtown’s James Street is an incredible place to get a taste of the city’s funky personality, and you’ll find so-cool art galleries and hip cafes dotted along its sidewalks. Take the extra time to browse the shops on nearby King, Ottawa, and Locke Streets. The antiquing in this area is top notch, and you’ll likely score a few cheap Hamilton deals and discounts. From King Street, grab the free shuttle to the waterfront for a peek at the Pier 4 Park and a hike along the Princess Point trail. Outdoor enthusiasts can satisfy their sense of adventure at the nearby Tew’s Falls, and families can soak up the scenery — and hit the local beach — at the Christie Lake Conservation Area. Of course, every trip to Hamilton should include a jaunt through the city’s historical wonders. The 19th-century Dundurn Castle is an absolute must, but don’t skip surrounding sights like the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. If you’re traveling during early May, you can even take part in Doors Open Hamilton, an annual festival designed to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the community’s oldest and most remarkable buildings. It's a great way to explore the region's history from an insider's perspective.