Fall is in the air, and The Weekend Route is dedicated to providing you with the best fall-themed one-of-a-kind eats, off-the-beaten-track experiences and natural wonders.
Clarington is picturesque in the sense that it resembles a town out of a classic Halloween movie, therefore the curated route “Apples, Corn Mazes, and Sweet Treats” is the cure to your fall eager “shivers of antici…pation” (Rocky Horror Picture Show).
For many, the fall season starts September 21 but when you are an avid fall movie fanatic and tend to try and match your life to a Hallmark Fall Classic, fall starts on September 1st and prep begins the last week of August. Griffin and I, both suckers for fall, packed ourselves into the car, tried to catch a fall breeze by rolling the windows down, and set off!
Archibald’s Orchards & Winery: 6275 Liberty St N, Bowmanville
After a short drive, the straight highway became winding roads and canopies of trees and I could tell we were almost there. We pulled to our right to enter the parking lot of the orchard and were greeted by a beautiful storefront decorated with charming plants and warm orange highlights on the building securing the ever-growing feeling of fall.
Upon stepping into the store our nostrils were greeted with a combination of warm cinnamon, apples, and a hint of a fire burning as if someone roasted apples over a fire.
Griffin and I wandered through the orchard trying to make sense of the incredible amount of fresh apples before us. Griffin and I stopped to gaze (and try!) at the Jonagold apples, perfectly robust and bursting with flavour.
There are many things available at Archibald’s, of course, there are the U-pick apples, but they also have wine tasting tours, gift baskets for sale, and award-winning wines for purchase. It is safe to say that Archibald’s Orchards & Winery was the perfect spot to kick off our “Apples, Corn Mazes, and Sweet Treats” route.
Bragg Farms: 3048 Concession Rd 3. Bowmanville
Eager to continue our farm visits the next stop was Bragg Farms, only a 7-minute drive from Archibald’s. I was drawn in by their “pick your own potatoes”. When we first walked into the farm we were greeted by the entire Bragg family, who were all cheery and pleasant.
There was a beautiful sunflower patch that you could stroll through; their own version of a corn maze, and, of course, they have pick-your-own potatoes. We were lucky enough to say good morning to the hens and roosters on our way out, which came running up to the fence as we approached.
The scenic sunflower experience as well as pick-your-own potatoes if not enough to convince you of its worthiness, their free-range chickens and free-range Omega 3 eggs should be more than enough. The estate was massive and the drive through the farm itself was an amazing experience as there were beautiful views of the sprawling farm. This is an incredible stop on the “Apples, Corn Mazes, and Sweet Treats” route.
Watson’s Farms: 2287 Durham Regional Hwy 2, Bowmanville
After our time at Bragg’s Farms, Griff and I decided our next stop was Watson’s Farms. I had been looking forward to this stop all day as I was excited to relive core memories from my childhood. I vividly remember visiting this farm with my cousins and leaving with a heap of berries and apples as well as the memory of feeding goats out of my hand.
After purchasing an unimaginable amount of apples from the market for the reasonable price of $20 we made our way through the fields. Before stopping by the fields, the loud “Baaaah” of a goat caught my attention and I dragged Griffin over to the happy animals. We placed 25cents in the corn machine and held our hands spilling off corn through the fence and letting the goats eat directly from our palm.
There was a wide assortment of produce for picking; raspberries, apples, pears, squash, pumpkins, beans, strawberries and much more. It was wholesome watching the many families walk through the farm fields picking their own beans and produce. There was also a playground or kid fun zone where kids could play while watching the goats nearby. This farm has many suitable options for families and is definitely a destination worth visiting.
Once getting in the car Griffin and I did an apple taste test, Check out our “Apples, Corn Mazes, and Sweet Treats” vlog to get a full apple review!
Algoma Farms: 201 Durham Regional Rd 42, Newcastle
We walked into the market portion of the establishment and were blown away by the local produce supplied by the farm and the thousands of apples to choose from. We purchased yet another bundle of apples and set off to try them. Griffin and I thoroughly enjoyed our apples and would recommend this location if you are looking for a one-stop-shop for all local foods and great apples from the orchards. This farm is a large supplier to many grocery stores and for good reason, the apples are to die for.
Sift Bakery: 109 King Ave W, Newcastle
In downtown Newcastle there lies a sweet bakery full of fresh baked goods. They have a new menu each week and add some surprise treats on the weekend. Griffin and I were eager to stop by this bakery but inevitably because we are teenagers and have no concept of time showed up 30 minutes before close and most of their baked goods were put away or sold out for the day.
We made up for our lack of communication and resourcefulness by talking with the managers and workers about what some of their favourite menu items were. They were quick to answer with their fan favourite fudge brownies and their famous cinnamon rolls. They pulled out some of their cinnamon buns to show us and holy cow they were massive.
Sift bakery is a bakery we will be sure to visit before close next time as the decadent treats were too good to pass up.
Roam Coffee: 109 King Ave W, Newcastle
“Morticia: ‘Wednesday’s at that very special age when a girl has only one thing on her mind.’
Courtesy of the Sophie Cunningham rewrite of this Adam’s Family line, there was an executive decision made to change Wednesday Adam’s initial response (homicide) to…
Like many teenagers nowadays Griffin and I have what may seem unhealthy to others but perfectly reasonable to us; a caffeine addiction. We decided our next stop had to be a coffee shop and what better place than Roam Coffee?
We walked into what seemed to be the back of a warehouse and were blown away by a form of market – tons of locally handmade crafts and trinkets aligned the walls. While we thought we were in the wrong place we couldn’t help but gaze longingly at the different keepsakes. We walked all the way through the warehouse until we reached what we thought was the back of the store. There was Roam Coffee attached to the warehouse with a street view of downtown. We don’t know any other coffee shops with locally made gifts in the back, it was truly a pleasant surprise.
Once in the actual coffee shop, we looked at the menu with so many choices it was almost impossible to decide. We settled for a couple of cold brews and the best chocolate chip cookies known to man. The cookies were massive, decadent, soft yet crispy at the same time, and flavourful. We sat in complete silence while we ate these, we were at a loss for words. The cold brew washed our massive cookies down and cooled us off in the 30-degree weather we were facing. The coffee was of great quality, it was dark and rich, not at all watered down like the staple chain coffee stores on the corner of each street. Try their Vanilla Rosemary Latte or Espresso Tonic if you are looking for an exciting beverage!
Their fall flavours come out the first week of September and they have a special rollout plan put in place. This is a perfect spot to satisfy a fall sweet tooth.
Deadly Grounds: 1413 Durham Regional Hwy 2 #6, Courtice
After a long day of coffee tasting and apple picking, we had reached our final destination, Deadly Grounds. I was exhausted and knew that I needed another caffeinated drink. Hidden in the back of a strip mall was Deadly Grounds. Upon first glance, Griffin and I noticed a life-size recreation of Gizmo from Gremlins; this told me all I needed to know, I was going to fall in love with this place.
We walked in the door and took a look around, there were massive killer clown statues and references to famous Halloween movies around the store. One of their drinks was called “Dammit Janet” and was a pumpkin flavoured drink. As an avid Rocky Horror fan, I knew I had found my people. We asked for the barista’s recommendation and she recommended the caffeinated blue lemonade. It was killer, Griffin almost shouted as this lemonade seemed to bring me back to life after our exciting but long day.
Hopped up on caffeine we could have gone to more stops but it was getting late and what better way to end our day than the ultimate Halloween Coffee Shop.
For lots more off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and hidden gems only locals know about check out the Apples, Corn Mazes, and Sweet Treats Featured Route.
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