Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Hidden Gem that is Hamilton - Stephanie Perez

The Hidden Gem that is Hamilton

Hamilton skyline at night

I am from the “Steel City”. Yes, that’s right I’m a steel city girl. You know that delightful image of the smoke stacks you get when you go over the skyway bridge to Buffalo for some cross border shopping? Well I was raised there and I have a secret to share with you, it’s the most incredible city.

Hamilton is the oldest city in Ontario. It’s a city so steeped in history I swear you can feel it. Hamilton also has a wonderful mix of culture, nature and nightlife.

Hamilton is known as “The Waterfall Capital of The World” with over 100 waterfalls. The waterfalls and their surroundings are incredibly beautiful and you will find yourself hypnotized by their majesty and sound.  There are several easy to climb trails among the waterfalls where you can ride your bike or take in a picnic.
 It’s even more impressive in the wintertime when the waterfalls freeze into ice sculptures. The natural escarpment on which the waterfalls are located provide for scenic jogging and running. These are accessed by any one of the 5 staircases along the escarpment edge. You will often see fitness enthusiasts breaking a sweat on the stairs. The Bayfront Park stretches along Hamilton’s harbour. It has a very “Central Park” feel with lush tall trees lots of lawn space and adulations. The park has an abundance of swans geese and ducks to enjoy. Fishing and sailing are popular activities here as the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club sits right on the park. In the warmer months you will see families taking evenings strolls along the water. Here are provisions for bike lanes as well.

 Hamilton’s Durand neighborhood is a living museum with the largest concentration of in-tact 20th century mansions in Canada.  These buildings are a marvel to take in with a coffee had from Locke St. , a bustling village very close to this tony neighborhood with gourmands, restaurants and shops.

If you’d like to take in some art, please visit on the second Friday of any month where Hamilton’s James St. N has “Artcrawl”. All the galleries have an open house.  “SuperCrawl” is Artcrawl on steroids with live bands in the street and food trucks galore- you MUST check this out.

And finally, when you get in the mood to dance, head down to Hess Village for posh nightclubs, down to earth pubs, live music and food!
 The small street gets overrun by party goers. It’s also a great place to drive through in your Ferrari or Lamborghini in the summer as you will have the attention of all the patio dwellers.

So, the next time you and your friends are looking for something different to do and want a break from the congestion of the big city (and the even bigger price tags), take the west bound ramp and find yourself in Hamilton.

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