Cool and trendy may not be the words that first come to mind when you think of Hamilton, but maybe it’s time to reconsider. This city has flown under the radar for years, and now it’s finally starting to get noticed for its quaint neighbourhoods, hot food scene, and beautiful outdoor spaces. Learn where to find Hamilton’s best-hidden gems from our local experts so you can explore what this growing city offers.
Hess Village was once the go-to spot to meet friends, sip a pint and relax on a patio come summer. But that all changed in the early 2000s as clubs started to replace the pub scene, turning the area into more of a party zone. Thankfully, a couple of businesses rallied together to launch some pubs to reinvigorate those sunny, laid-back patio vibes that Augusta Street was renowned for. Now during the summer months, pub-goers flock to this street to enjoy live music, patio hangouts and more relaxed fun on the weekends.
Locke Street South
Looking for the perfect way to spend an afternoon? Just head down to Locke Street, and you’ll find a unique blend of boutique shops, antique stores, upscale salons, home décor spots, trendy restaurants, cute cafes, and even a farmer’s market. This is one of the more popular areas of the city and is often viewed as a community. It’s a great spot to find friendly locals shopping and hanging around every day of the week.
Located at 359 Barton Street East, Motel Restaurant is housed in a converted motel and has a retro vibe to transport you back in time. The menu features classic diner fare with a modern twist. They serve all-day breakfast options and classics like burgers and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss!
James Street North
James Street North has transformed into the new “it” spot. Coffee shops, hipster bars, and farm-to-fork style restaurants can all be found here, making it a lively place to take a stroll. And if you love music and art, the area also is home to the Supercrawl Music Festival every fall in September and the James North Art Crawl every second Friday of the month. You’ll find the city’s best artists, live music, and exciting events year-round.
The Beer Gardens
That’s right — Hamilton has its own Beer Garden located at 207 Burlington St. E.! A few years back, Collective Art Brewing and Nickel Brook teamed up to open a beer garden in the city. This 3,000-square-foot outdoor space is open from Thursdays to Sundays throughout the summer and features communal picnic tables, local food trucks, live music, and a number of signature beers on tap.
Hamilton also has a pretty cool beach area, which many people don’t know about. Confederation Park features sandy beach access, walking trails, vast green space for picnics and sports, waterfront restaurants, go-karts, batting cages, mini golf, and more. The park is also home to Wild Waterworks – a massive waterpark with a wave pool, lazy river and slides, and Lakeland Centre, which offers a swimming pool, splash pad, volleyball courts, basketball courts and a banquet hall for events.
Hamilton is known as the “Waterfall Capital of the World,” and for good reason. With over 100 waterfalls within the city limits, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to explore. Here are some of Hamilton’s best-hidden waterfall gems:
- Albion Falls: Located in the heart of the city, Albion Falls is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Hamilton. With a height of 62 feet, this waterfall cascades over a gorge and into a large pool below. The park surrounding the falls is also a popular spot for hiking and picnicking.
- Tew Falls: With a height of 135 feet, Tew Falls is one of the tallest in Hamilton. It flows over a rocky cliff and also has a park surrounding it.
- Devil’s Punchbowl: This unique waterfall gets its name from the circular basin that forms at the base. This gorge boasts colourful rock layers, which makes for picturesque shots. There are also two areas to explore: The “Upper Falls” and “Lower Falls.”
Moving to Hamilton?
Hamilton is cooler than you think! There’s so much to see and do in this city. Just make sure to keep this list on hand to explore Hamilton’s best-hidden gems this summer. If you’re looking to move here or are interested in relocating, check out our apartment rentals in Hamilton at CLV Group and InterRent REIT.