Sometimes, a “staycation” is just what you need to recover from a particularly long or stressful week. If you’re looking to get out of Waterloo Region, there are plenty of fantastic and exciting day trips you can take! However, if you want a fun and relaxing day close to home, this itinerary is the perfect choice. Surprise your significant other with a full day “date,” grab some friends and enjoy a relaxing Saturday, or take a day to yourself. This one day itinerary puts the spotlight on the best of UpTown Waterloo, and helps you indulge in a relaxing “getaway” minutes from home!
There’s no rush to start your day! Get a slow and relaxing start by sleeping in. Lounge in bed, read a few chapters of your new book, take a bubble bath… staycations are all about doing what feels best for you! Once you’re ready, you can head out the door for your morning coffee.
- DVLB: Death Valley’s Little Brother. This coffee house specializes in coffee and whiskey, a seemingly strange combination. However, the owners are passionate about both high quality coffee and whiskey, and consider the switch from coffee house by day to whiskey service by night to be fairly logical. Drop by for a carefully prepared espresso and a small pastry. (Don’t fill up! You’ll want to leave plenty of room for brunch)
- Red House: This fantastic restaurant opens its doors around 10:30am on Saturdays. Red house is for the epicurean. With options such as smoked trout eggs benedict and creme brulee french toast, each dish at this restaurant is prepared with care. Red house also has a cute, well decorated patio so you can enjoy your meal in sunshine. (Closed Sundays. Alternate options: Ethel’s, Cora’s, Angie’s).
12:30- Get Moving
After a full and satisfying brunch, it’s time to get your blood flowing again! Take advantage of the prettiest part of the day by heading outside.
- Waterloo Park: This beautiful park is the obvious choice if you want to take a nice walk with pretty scenery. Enjoy the walking paths, open fields for a quick game of frisbee or sunbathing, and the small selection of animals on display. Watch out for geese!
- Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery: On your way out of the park, pop into the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery. Admission is free, and the exhibitions are always worth a look. You can also purchase some jewelry or a memento from their gift shop, which is full of blown glass and pretty clay sculptures.
Indulge by heading to one of Waterloos spas for a relaxing massage or other treatment!
- The Waters: The Waters is an “urban spa retreat” that offers multiple spa treatments including full body care and facials. Try their relaxation massage to relieve all the tension from your busy work week! They offer men’s, women’s, and couples massages, so anyone can enjoy this service ($50 for 30 minutes). For an extra treat, add a signature soak in specialized bath tonic for only $30.
4:00- Shop & Nibble
Once you’ve successfully relieved all tension, it’s time to hit some of the fun shops in UpTown Waterloo! Plus, brunch is probably starting to feel like a distant memory… grab some nibbles to keep you satisfied until dinner.
- Nougat: If you’re really starting to feel hungry, this should be your first stop. Nougat’s specialty pastries and desserts are practically irresistible. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, try out their fresh bread including rye, dinner rolls, ciabatta, and cheese sticks.
- Ten Thousand Villages: This shop specializes in fair trade items, and is always worth a look. Bracelets, bangles, scarves, figurines, and more adorn this eclectic shop, and there’s usually some knick knack to draw the eye.
- Paint by Munzy: This sweet little gallery is home to Jonathan Munz, who is inspired by nature and the group of 7. View some of his original artwork, and check out the gallery store to go home with a beautiful memento.
- Dana Shortt Gourmet: This small gourmet shop is tucked off to the side of UpTown at 55 Erb Street East. They specialize in fresh and frozen gourmet meals, oils, chocolates, gift baskets, and more. They support local businesses such as Abe Erb and Smile Tiger.
It’s time for the best meal of the day. Choose one of these fantastic restaurants for a great dining experience!
- White Rabbit: This small restaurant/bar features handcrafted food and drinks, and great specials. Drop in on a Monday for ramen & Sapporo, or enjoy a charcuterie board, lobster roll, and other delicious meals off the regular menu.
- Bhima’s Warung: This delicious southeast Asian fusion restaurant is technically outside the bounds of what you might consider UpTown Waterloo, but the extra block or two is so, so worth it. We’ll let one of their menu items do the talking for them. “ayam india: tandoori spices roasted, sticky rice stuffed, grain fed cornish hen, served with goats cheese-artichoke casserole, chutney, pickle, and fresh butter naan.”
Once you’ve filled up on a warm and delicious meal, it’s time to finish off your day. A few options include:
- The Jazz Room: Located at the Huether hotel, this is a great experience for any jazz lover. Take in some live music in a cozy atmosphere, grab a craft beer from the lion brewery, and enjoy the end of your evening! It is a good idea to buy tickets ahead of time.
- Princess Cinemas: If you’re less inclined towards live music, consider taking in a movie at one of the princess cinemas instead. Check online to see what movies they have playing!
We hope you enjoy your fully planned day in UpTown Waterloo! Check back for more upcoming full day itineraries.