Cruise the Great Lakes
Rich history, diverse cultures and spectacular vistas.
These are the Great Lakes ports of call.
Windsor Essex Pelee Island
Rumour has it that Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac first landed on the south side of the Detroit River in 1701, but later moved to the north shore to found his settlement of Detroit. Windsor has the unique attribute of being the most southerly city in Canada; one that actually looks north to the U.S. cruise ships entering the Port of Windsor dock at Dieppe Gardens, one of a number of gardens in a ribbon of public green space that runs for 8 km (5 miles) along the Detroit River. Dieppe Gardens, so named for local residents who gave their lives in the Second World War, lies at the foot of Ouellette Avenue, with a 167 sq m (1800 sq ft) Great Canadian Flag flying proudly above. All of this just steps from downtown Windsor, where visitors have access to unique shops, entertainment and restaurants. The view is impressive with the gardens on one side and the Detroit Skyline on the other.
To the west of Dieppe Gardens is the stunning facility that houses the Chimczuk Museum and Art Gallery of Windsor. Here, visitors will learn to appreciate Windsor’s rich cultural heritage, a fabulous collection of Canadian contemporary art, as well as travelling international exhibitions. The Windsor Sculpture Park continues the artistic theme along the waterfront. The park is a museum without walls, showcasing more than 31 large-scale, internationally recognized works of contemporary sculpture by world-renowned artists. It is a place of convergence and divergence, of difference and similarity.
Heading east is Caesars Windsor Casino Resort. Offering exceptional gaming, two luxurious hotel towers, tantalizing restaurants and lounges, and the 5,000-seat Colosseum award-winning venue, which hosts some of the hottest names in entertainment.
Being the birthplace of Canadian whiskey, our distillery district, Walkerville, produces some of the finest spirits in the world – including Canadian Club and J.P. Wiser’s whiskies. Tours are available which provide a greater understanding of the district’s heritage and the process that goes into producing this spirit.
Our region, the southernmost in Canada, is bursting with a unique balminess during late spring, summer, and early fall. That unexpected climate offers a home to a surprising variety of flora and fauna native only to this area. Diverse shore excursion opportunities include renowned natural areas such as Ojibway Prairie Complex, Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Hillman Marsh and Canada’s smallest, yet most ecologically diverse National Park, Point Pelee. Depending on the time of year, spectacular migrations of songbirds, butterflies or raptors pass through the region. As well, visitors can rent bicycles and canoes or hike the many trails.
Our southern latitude makes for EPIC Wine Country and we are home to one of Ontario’s three viticulture regions. The region, Lake Erie North Shore, features close to 20 wineries that offer tours and tastings of their award-winning wines. Positioned on the same latitude as the Tuscany region in Italy and Northern California’s Napa Valley provides vintners with the perfect growing season and with yielding some of the world’s finest wines. We invite you to sample that perfection.
Our three hundred year history with our U.S. neighbours is inextricably tied to our own. The region figures prominently in the battles of the War of 1812 and thousands of refugees found safety here during the era of the Underground Railroad.
In the years prior to the end of the American Civil War, Canada was seen as the promised land that offered freedom to all who made it to its shores. Historic sites and museums welcome visitors to educate and inform them of this fascinating time in Canadian and American history. Travel back to a time when Canada’s history was determined by military action at Fort Malden National Historic Site and the Park House Museum or learn more about the Underground Railroad movement at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. If guests prefer more solitary diversions, the region offers exceptional shopping with a multitude of choice at Devonshire Mall or Windsor Crossing Premium Outlets, alongside boutiques with one-of-a-kind finds and handmade gifts.
Many public and semi-private golf courses are open to all skill levels. Boat charter operators would welcome the opportunity to show you why Lake St. Clair is called the Muskie Capital of the World.
Over 75 annual festivals and events occur in the Windsor Essex region. Summerfest, Art in the Park, Bluesfest, Carrousel of the Nations, Windsor International Film Festival, Festival of Birds, and EPIC Vintage Tasting celebrate our culture, including music, art, film, nature, food and drink. With our neighbours to the north, the culturally vibrant Detroit, the Windsor region offers visitors a two nation vacation. We welcome you to experience the destination for yourself.
42.30 N, 83.07 W
Marine Channel 16
Port of Windsor
3190 Sandwich Street
Windsor, Ontario N9C 1A6
519 258 5741
President & CEO
Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
333 Riverside Drive West, Suite 103
Windsor, Ontario N9A 7C5
1 800 265 3633
Manager of Product Development