On the temperate north shore of Lake Erie, Port Stanley is a petite fishing village offering a laid-back maritime retreat with small-town charm. Known affectionately by residents as “Port,” it was once a thriving harbor used to ship goods between the United States and Canada. It remains a popular vacation destination thanks to its fair weather, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and historic attractions. Fun fact: the name Stanley comes from Lord Edward Smith-Stanley, sponsor of the first Stanley Cup.
Canada has a reputation for chilly weather, but thanks to its proximity to the lake and unique weather system, Port Stanley enjoys a fairly temperate climate with abundant sunshine, earning this region the nickname of “Canada’s banana belt.” Vacationers flock to the lakeside hamlet year round, but especially during the beautiful warm summer months when they can fully enjoy the lake. You’ll find soft white sand at Port Stanley Beach. Close to downtown with lifeguards on duty, it’s a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Sport in Port offers stand up paddleboard and kayak rentals.
Away from the lake, the historic Port Stanley Terminal Rail offers fun themed rides (how about a murder mystery dinner aboard a train?) and beautiful views of the lake and surrounding forests. Port Stanley boasts a variety of parks and nature preserves ideal for hiking and wildlife spotting. Hawk Cliff is a must for birders and raptor-lovers. Hikers love Fingal Wildlife Management Area, an old air force base transformed into a 100-acre nature preserve with 25 miles of hiking trails. For the dedicated hikers, take in the serene Carolinian Forest country along the 25-mile Elgin Hiking Trail. Following Kettle Creek from Port Stanley to St. Thomas, it’s also popular with snowshoers in the winter.
Downtown Port Stanley is a pleasant shopping destination, with quaint boutiques, art galleries, and relaxed cafes. Enjoy old fashioned treats at Broderick’s Ice Cream Parlor, a 1950’s style ice cream parlor boasting homemade desserts and a generous list of ice cream flavors. For an upscale dinner or lunch, enjoy fresh seafood at the 19th-century Kettle Creek Inn amongst their charming English gardens.
Less than an hour’s drive north you’ll find London, a friendly, smallish city on the Thames River with a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Take in the art and history at one of the city’s many museums, like the venerable Museum London or the Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum. London is also a prime destination for live music. Take in a show at the London Music Club or the historic Aeolian Hall.
You can get to bustling Toronto in just under three hours from Port Stanley (or catch a train from London.) This thriving metropolis offers endless entertainment, nightlife, and a much-lauded culinary scene. Home to a variety of professional sports teams, you can watch the Blue Jays, Raptors, or Maple Leafs live. Check out the serious view from 360 Restaurant at the top of the iconic CN Tower, enjoy the seasonal, seafood-focused menu at award-winning Edulis, or savor Canada’s most famous gravy-drenched dish at Poutini’s House of Poutine.
Knock one off your bucket list: legendary Niagara Falls is less than three hours from Port Stanley.
For easiest access to the lake, look for accommodation in the Erie Rest, Invererie Heights, and Grimmonds Beach neighborhoods (Grimmonds Beach offers access to the popular Port Stanley Beach.) Grab a rental near Bridge Street and Main Street for proximity to the shops, galleries, and restaurants downtown.
If you’re arriving by air, nearby major airports include Toronto and Detroit, Michigan but London International Airport is the closest at just 30 miles away. You can also travel into London by train. No matter the airport or train station, you’ll likely want to rent a car to get to Port Stanley itself. Once you’re in town, a car is convenient although the village’s size and pleasant streets make it fairly walkable.
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For travelers planning for an extended stay, long-term lodging and corporate rentals only cost an average of $25 a month. Save hundreds with Tripping.com and even book instantly with properties marked “Instabook.” Port Stanley has 19 gorgeous homes with 4 pet-friendly rentals to choose from, perfect for your furry friends. Check out our listings now to get the latest deals, and book the right vacation rental for you and the whole family. Feel at home wherever you are and experience an unforgettable vacation with Tripping.com.Search properties from 6 rental sites in Port Stanley where the top providers in that area are Booking.com, CanadaStays, and HomeAway. There are 7 Booking.com rentals, 4 CanadaStays short term rentals and 3 HomeAway vacation rentals.