Road Trip to Wainfleet and Port Colborne

I love spontaneous road trips.

Since I have moved out here, Ken and I will often just pick a spot and head out for the day. Sometimes we do research and make plans before we go, sometimes not. This day was a no plans day, and it was such fun.

I had a vague idea that I wanted to head out to Wainfleet. I had seen beautiful pictures on Instagram, of historic houses out there – thanks to the gorgeous Old Ontario Houses account. By the way, if you aren’t following Old Ontario Houses, you really should. We have so many incredible historic homes in Ontario, and Michelle documents them beautifully.

Anyway, it was a stunningly beautiful Fall day, unseasonably warm too. After an enjoyable drive through the countryside, we ended up at Marshville Heritage Village.

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Marshville Heritage Village is set up as a re-creation of Wainfleet during the 1800’s. It features a school, a steam saw mill, a blacksmith shop, log cabin and several other buildings. All have been moved to this site to give people a glimpse of life back then. The buildings weren’t open on the day we went, but the volunteer there made us welcome and told us to feel free to wander around. We pressed our faces up to the glass to see what was inside each building.

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Guess what this next picture is.

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The Neff-Morgan cabin, circa 1841. There is also a picture through it’s window on my Instagram page.

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I’ve gotta say, I have a ton of admiration for those folks who lived through Canadian winters in these cabins. I would have been stir-crazy.

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The big event at Marshville Heritage Village is their Festival, which is held every year on Labour Day weekend. But if you don’t want to wait until next year, they are having Christmas in the Village on Sunday November 29th.

By this point, I was getting a tad peckish. So we decided to head into Port Colborne for the rest of the afternoon. A stop for lunch at The Smokin’ Buddha was required first however.

One of the things I love about The Smokin’ Buddha is the mix of cuisine from around the world that they offer. Japanese, Thai, Indian, Indonesian and Mexican specialties can all be found on their menu. You can mix it up for each course, or pretty much stick with one type of cuisine for your meal. We like to mix it up.

So for starters, we had their Mange Trois platter. Choose any of their three appetizers and make it into a custom platter for yourself. It was a bit hard to choose, but we went with some classics – Chicken Satays, Veggie Samosas, and Spring Rolls. If I could only pick one snack food to eat for the rest of my life, it would have to be Samosas. Probably the Samosas from The Smokin’ Buddha too.

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For the main course, Ken went with Chicken Panang – spicy chicken in a coconut curry sauce with fresh basil, keffir lime and bamboo shoots, served with rice.

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I went for Mexican – the Chimmi Changa. Chicken, cheese, onion and green salsa verde in a flour tortilla topped with refried beans and cheese. This also came with a very generous salad.

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Check out this mouthwatering cheesiness.

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Feeling quite full from the generous serving of appetizers, I opted to devour every bite of my Chimmi Changa, and bring the salad home for dinner later. That is, if I would have room for dinner after our glorious feast.

To work some of it off we decided to walk around the town, and poke our noses in some of the very inviting shops.

I love this old restaurant sign. I’m going to have to go in here one day.

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The antique shop below was a dream, and we spent quite a bit of time in there….so many lovely things. We were eyeing a fireplace screen, but alas it won’t fit in front of our fireplace.

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This old Imperial Bank of Canada building just blew me away. The pictures really don’t do it justice.

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Then I spotted The British Baking Company. Whenever I see a real British bakery, I must go in. Empire Biscuits, Bakewell Tarts, perfect large sausage rolls, Cornish Pasties….the stuff of yumminess. But to my disappointment, it was not open.

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The sun was starting to descend at this point, so we decided to head back. On the way out of Port Colborne, we saw this beauty below. I don’t know its story, but I would love to know it.

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From there we took a long, leisurely drive back all along the Niagara Parkway. It was too dark and late to stop for pictures, but it was such a beautiful drive. Lots of stunning homes to see, both historic and contemporary, and amazing scenery.

Lovely days out in Niagara are really easy. Have you had any great days out this Fall?

  • Debbie Paris

    Love to hear about how much you enjoyed our area. The Blaksmith Shop in Marshville was my Grandfather’s. Spent a lot of time in there as a kid.

    • Wow! That is so amazing. How wonderful to have part of your family’s history right there – and that we can all enjoy it now too! I really did enjoy my day, and would love to hear if you have some other tips, must-see, must do’s, etc.

  • Beverly Smith

    Wow! What a fab article. My family and I have just opened a Guest House on the road bordering Port Colborne and Wainfleet. We have a guest suite which will sleep 4 and also offer workshops and seminars as well as small corporate retreat events in the main house. We love what Niagara’s South Coast has to offer and really appreciate the content you have shared here. Please come visit us at Niagara’s South Coast Guest House next time you are in the area. We have a FB page and are listed with bbCanada! B
    ev Smith…owner.

    • Thanks Beverly! So glad you liked the post. I will definitely come by. Happy to connect with another B&B owner too.