A Staycation in Port Credit, Mississauga
Hello hello hello! Looking for a vacation, but don’t want to travel? How about a staycation in Port Credit? Located 30 minutes outside of Toronto’s downtown core, Port Credit is a not-so-hidden gem during the warm, summer seasons. With lots of great restaurants, parks, and gorgeous walkways, it’s worth making a trip out here for a weekend this summer!
I’m sure you’ve all seen my Toronto travel guides. Toronto is great and all, but sometimes you just want to get away from the noise and bustle of the city. There are so many great little gems in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that you might not know about, and I’ll be exploring a few of them this summer! Let’s take a look at how I spent my weekend in Port Credit…
Most of you will know by now that I love to travel and see the world, and I think going abroad is incredible. Nothing beats new cultures, new adventures and new experiences! However, so many people forget that we live in a wonderful place too…If you’re a GTA local or new to the area, it’s definitely worth taking a day or two to explore the charming cities and towns outside of Toronto.
Fun fact – I actually grew up in Port Credit! I went to middle school and high school in the Lorne Park / Clarkson area. I’ve seen the town grow and bloom throughout the years, and it’s really shaping up.
WHERE TO STAY: WATERSIDE INN
In my opinion, there’s only one place to stay when you come visit Port Credit – The Waterside Inn!
Located right in the heart of Port Credit, The Waterside Inn has you right in the middle of all the action. It is set against the harbor with the dreamiest of views, amongst all the great little restaurants and shops. It is also located minutes from Port Credit GO station on the Lakeshore West line, about a half-hour train ride from downtown Toronto’s Union Station.
When I am planning a staycation, I want a nice big room with lots of space. Staycations are all about relaxing and discovering cities and towns around you! The rooms at the Waterside Inn are ……
Very cozy. 🙂 The rooms are all suites, so you get a bedroom, living room, and kitchen area. We stayed in one of the Residential Suites, but they also have deluxe rooms and penthouse suites. Although the decor is a little bit dated, it has the charm of a boutique hotel. I think these rooms would be perfect for extended stays.
The bathroom has lots of marble, very instagrammy…
The kitchen comes with a washer and dryer, utensils, a stove, microwave, fridge, and dishwasher.
We had a huge balcony! Our room overlooked the Port Credit harbor…
It was nice to sit outside in the evening and watch the sun set. I felt so cozy after winding down in the evening after doing my skincare regime. Currently loving the Laneige Bright Renew line. You can read about my current skincare regime here!
I know that this venue is very popular for summer weddings and events so keep that in mind! 😉 Parking is $10/night (located behind the hotel in the Marina lot) and high-speed wifi is included on every floor.
The Waterside Inn is home to Breakwater Restaurant, a highly rated, classy little establishment if you’re looking for a more formal meal or evening drinks. They hold seasonal events, such as the popular Father’s Day brunch! Although we didn’t experience the Breakwater, I think this would be a lovely venue to dine at with family.
To top it all off, the customer service has been incredible. The general manager, Toni Frankfurter, was so lovely and really brought my experience at the Waterside Inn to a whole other level! Customer service really does make a difference, especially from independent boutique hotels – it feels much more special than the cookie cutter experience of big hotel chains. A huge thank you to the Waterside Inn team for looking after us so well.
FOR THE BRISK MORNING WALK… JC SADDINGTON PARK.
There are a series of beautiful little parks on the lakeshore worth venturing out to. JC Saddington Park is located just off Lakeshore Blvd, a short walk from the Port Credit lighthouse.
I used to go on walks with my parents here during summer weekends when I was a kid, so it’s quite a nostalgic place for me.
JC Saddington Park is lined with little trails along the waterfront. It is a very popular choice for families to visit in the summer time, with lots of gatherings and BBQs. It can get quite busy at times, but it never feels crowded. Matt and I like going there after dinner because a circuit around the park definitely helps the food go down!
Keep in mind that during summer weekends, parking can get quite hectic during peak afternoon and evening hours. If you’re staying in Port Credit, there is parking along the main road, but there is Marina parking (behind Waterside Inn) for $10.
HONORABLE MENTION: PORT CREDIT MEMORIAL PARK…
If you don’t mind a bit of a shorter circuit, loop around Port Credit Memorial Park which lines the Port Credit river. You’ll likely see lots of rowers paddling up and down the river under the bridge. We arrived on the evening of the Dragon Boat festival so we saw a few of those speeding about!
FOR LUNCH… SNUG HARBOR
I love supporting independent, local restaurants and we certainly did that this staycation. Let me first say… dinner time peak hours at Port Credit are insane during the summer months. If you want to eat at the Snug (and not wait 2 hours for a table,) your best bet is to arrive at around lunchtime.
Snug Harbor is a cozy little restaurant located across from The Waterside Inn. Set right in the marina, Snug Harbor is a homey seafood restaurant that has one of the best views of the town! Unfortunately we arrived at about 7:45PM for dinner and there was a 1hr 45min wait. The Snug Harbor does not take reservations during the summer months due to demand, so we decided to try again some other time. I’ve eaten at the Snug before and it’s great- totally recommended if you manage to get a spot! Try to sit on the patio if you can, the warm summer breeze off the lake is lovely and you can watch all of the boats come in and out of the marina.
MUST TRY: Coconut shrimp, Rainbow Trout, Seafood Pescatore, and the classic Fish & Chips.
HONORABLE MENTION…THE WORKS.
As a burger lover, I’ve got to mention to The Works! The Works is a gourmet burger place a little ways down the street from Burger’s Priest, and is more suitable if you want some place to sit down and relax. It’s pretty hip looking inside (think: exposed pipe and brick, drinks served in measuring glasses, burgers arrive in metal trays… etc.) I reviewed the Hamilton location here! The Works also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.
I got the Juicy Lucy, which is your regular tomato/lettuce/onion burger, except the patty is filled with cheese! So gooooood. I also got a side of spicy die cut chips – a nice little change from the typical fries.
MUST TRY: The Juicy Lucy burger, the Nacho Libre burger, and the Son of a Beech burger.
FOR DINNER… CROOKED CUE
As I mentioned earlier, dinner time gets quite busy in Port Credit on the weekends! We ventured out to the Pump House Grill (40 min wait) and then Door Fifty Five (30 min wait) before we finally got to the Crooked Cue. It has more of a bar atmosphere but it was recently renovated and looks quite sleek inside. Half of the venue is a restaurant and the other half is billiard tables. Although it looked pretty full inside, we were immediately seated in a spacious booth. Our waitress was lovely 🙂
I ordered the classic Fish n Chips. You might remember me going through a fish n chip phase during postgrad earlier this year where I literally ate it every other meal… LOL. Anyway this was much better (obv). My fish n chips came on a huge bed of fries but the plate was quite small so it was a bit hard to…navigate? Either way, the fish and coleslaw tasted great and I left the restaurant feeling quite full and content.
Matt got a massive Jack Daniels Smoked Burger, and he really enjoyed it!
Overall, I really liked the Cue. We’re probably going to come back sometime in the summer. I’m sure the atmosphere really picks up later in the evening as it seems like a popular place for drinks and pool.
HONORABLE MENTION: COLOSSUS GREEK TAVERN
If you’re into Greek food, I’d say it’s work checking out Colossus. I’ve eaten there quite a few times and I really like their food – you can’t go wrong with a chicken souvlaki! I love Greek food because it isn’t super fried and greasy – just clean, simple food. A chicken skewer, some tzaziki, potatos, and a salad – so good! Colossus tastes like great, home cooked food.
FOR A LITTLE DESSERT… SCOOPS
One of the classic little shops on Lakeshore is Scoops – an independently owned ice cream shop that offers a huge selection of flavors. Chances are you’ll see the line going out the door. Worth the wait in my opinion because nothing beats an ice cream cone on a hot summer day near the lake!
MUST TRY: Espresso Robusto (especially if you’re a coffee lover!), but there are about 50 different flavors to choose from!
FOR THE LATE NIGHT SNACK…
I love burgers. I love Burger’s Priest. Yes, it’s a tad overpriced. And yes, it might be a bit overhyped. But damn, do they make a good burger!! If you’re looking for a good burg and a quick place to stop for a late night snack, head to the Priest. I always get the regular cheeseburger with all the toppings. Skip out on the fries if you know you’re not going to eat them because they are a pricy add-on. The shakes are good too, I love the Jarge-style shake. It’s basically a mix of neapolitan flavors.
MUST TRY: Bacon Cheeseburger, the High Priest burger, and the Blue Steel burger (secret menu.)
FOR THE ~ROMANTIC~ SUNSET WALK: PORT CREDIT WATERFRONT TRAIL.
The summer sunsets in Port Credit are absolutely gorgeous. You have the silhouettes of the famous lighthouse against dreamy fire-lit sky. There’s a circuit I love doing which basically goes through Port Credit Memorial Park (up against the Port Credit river, back up and around, across the street towards Snug Harbor, and along the back walkway! There are always lots of people around and usually a few street musicians – just some really good vibes.
You can also cross the bridge and walk up along the other side towards JC Saddington Park. That will give you another great view across the harborfront which looks totally different at night.
If you have a car and are willing to drive out a bit towards Clarkson…
HONORABLE MENTION: JACK DARLING PARK
Jack Darling is another park I love frequenting. It is a large park with long winding trails that line the lakeshore, eventually reaching Ratray March. The park itself is very popular amongst families, so you’ll see plenty of groups starting BBQs or having gatherings. There are lots of big willow trees and shady spots to sit. Protip: bring bug spray… the gnats can get a little insane.
You can find all of the locations posted on this handy little map! 🙂 (Jack Darling is a little bit out of the way though so you might have to zoom out.)
Parks are marked in green, hotel in orange, and restaurants in purple!
Have you been to Port Credit? Have you visited any of the other lakeside cities in the GTA? Do you take staycations?
*Thank you to the Waterside Inn for providing a room in exchange for an honest review.