by Alex Kinsella| UPDATED FEBRUARY 2023
The past 3 years showed many of us that it’s OK to slow down. However, with schedules quickly returning to a pre-pandemic pace, perhaps it’s time for a reminder?
A road trip for the two of you could be just the thing to help escape the day-to-day busy-ness! Take a look at these suggestions for ways to stay, eat, explore and spend time together in Waterloo Region.
Whether you’re staying for one night or an entire weekend, Downtown Kitchener is the place to be for live music, comedy, and fabulous restaurants.
Stay – Located in the heart of Downtown Kitchener, The Walper Hotel offers a boutique experience with spacious, modern rooms. The hotel originally opened in 1893 and has been the centre of gravity for events and visitors to Kitchener ever since. The Walper joined the JdV by Hyatt family in 2021 and offers guests rewards and benefits through the World of Hyatt loyalty program. In addition to its recently renovated 8,000 square foot fitness centre, the Walper also offers pet-friendly rooms with house-made treats and a pet bed and bowl. (DYK: the Walper also features a special Romantic Getaway Package that is perfect for couples looking to reconnect!)
Drink – Kitchener might not have an ocean view, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience tropical beach vibes. Take a quick walk down Hall’s Lane behind the Walper to Queen Street, and you’ll find the Grand Surf Lounge. You can’t go wrong with one of their delicious (and strong) creations, from their mouth-watering Mai Tais to their soon-to-be-famous Blue Hawaiian. If rum isn’t your thing, take a quick walk across the street to their sister restaurant, the Grand Trunk Saloon. Warm yourself on their hidden patio with a Coffee and Cigarettes, a whiskey cocktail with hints of — you guessed it — coffee and cigarettes. It’s a drink that makes you a lifelong fan after one sip.
See – Downtown Kitchener has something to see every season. Catch a live comedy show at The Crazy Canuck or spend an intimate afternoon at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery at 101 Queen St. North to explore new exhibitions and pieces from their extensive permanent collection of Canadian and international artists. For an outdoor stroll, download your copy of the DTK Art Walk guide and explore the city as you take in the work of world-class artists in unique spaces.
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Cambridge’s three downtown cores of Preston, Galt, and Hespeler offer dining, theatre, and great nightlife. But for that true “I’m getting away from it all” date night experience, there’s no better place than Langdon Hall.
Stay – There’s always a moment of awe when you drive up to Langdon Hall — and not just because the historic venue was featured on the cover of Drake’s 2016 VIEWS album. Langdon Hall is one of 14 properties in Canada recognized by Relais & Châteaux for a standard of excellence and is known for its incredible Five-Diamond dining experiences, exquisite accommodations, and storybook architecture. Experience the best of Langdon Hall with their curated overnight packages and specials.
Pamper – When you’re staying at Langdon Hall, there’s more than beautiful views and amazing food — there’s The Spa at Langdon Hall. The Spa has everything you need to wash away 18 months of working at your kitchen table, featuring massages, baths, wraps, and more.
Explore – Langdon Hall offers complimentary bicycles to explore their 12km of forest trails. You’re also steps away from the rare Charitable Reserve. The one-of-a-kind reserve covers over 1,000 protected acres of pristine Canadian nature and offers multiple trails to explore.
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Uptown Waterloo is the perfect place for a weekend getaway with its recently updated streetscapes, new bike paths, and exciting restaurants.
Stay – Make your date night base of operation the Delta Waterloo. Located just a short walk from Waterloo Park and Waterloo Town Square, the Delta is a recent addition to the uptown scene with a 24/7 fitness centre and is home to Proof Kitchen & Lounge on the ground floor.
Pamper – Get yourselves ready for a day of exploring Waterloo with a couple’s romantic retreat at The Waters Spa in Waterloo Town Square. Their couples package includes a 60-minute esthetic relaxation massage followed by a couple’s soak in an oversized soaker tub with chocolates and strawberries to share.
Dine – Head out of the Delta for a quick walk down Caroline Street to one of Waterloo’s best-kept secrets — Red House. Owner and Chef Dan McCowan delivers fresh, original cuisine in a beautifully restored century home with unmatched hospitality. Our recommendation: grilled calamari and a Red House Curry Bowl. The curry sauce is so popular that you can find jars of it in local markets such as nearby Vincenzo’s.
There’s so much more to explore
These are just a few ideas to get your date planning started. Check out the rest of our site for more ideas on where to stay, dine, and play across Waterloo Region!
Alex Kinsella is a freelance writer and marketer based in Waterloo Region. He’s the guy behind TL;WR – Waterloo Region’s weekly events newsletter. He’s worked with some of Canada’s most well-known tech companies in roles including customer success, development, product management, PR, social media and marketing.
Alex has contributed to publications including BetaKit, Grand Magazine, Community Edition and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.