"The Bard is Alive and Well" Top 5 Page for this destination Stratford by Bunsch

Stratford Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 100 photos

A Festival of Theater!

2011 marked the 60th anniversary of the largest classical repertory company in North America, the Stratford Festival of Canada. For at least the last forty of its years, my family has been well represented during the season. Stratford was close enough for Detroiters to make a weekend of it; it is well within driving range for those in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio as well as Canadians from Ontario and Quebec. And if you're into plays, making the trek is a kind of pilgrimage. (Buffs like to take in Niagara-on the Lake, while they're at it, for the Shaw Festival.) The original Festival Theater has now been joined by several other stages, making it possible in four days to see six or seven plays. It is expensive, if not by New York standards, but the quality is there. We've gone back annually simply because it is an excellent experience, and it is a thrill to see the younger generation getting hooked!

A lovely city on the Avon

Stratford has several things in common with its English namesake, including the snooty swans that make their home on the little islets in the Avon. But chiefly, it is a city which caters to the theatrical crowd, with an eclectic group of restaurants (all accustomed to getting patrons out for the curtain), trendy shops (my favorite toy store in the world is located here), and recreational activities. You can easily make a day of it, strolling around the central core of the city; you can rent a canoe and paddle around on the Avon. But it is also entertaining to explore a little farther afield. In nearby St. Mary's, for example, there is a quarry which has long been converted into a swimming hole -- formally, that is, with the addition of a diving tower, lifeguards, etc. -- which is always on our "must visit" list.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great theater, great shopping, great eating
  • Cons:Pricy, parking limitations
  • Last visit to Stratford: Aug 2014
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (13)

Comments (2)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2008 at 3:49 AM

    The Swan certainly sounds a good choice of accommodation. From your intro page, Stratford also looks very pleasant. A matter of interest is how many 'Stratfords' around the world are listed in VT!

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2007 at 11:04 AM

    Looks like a lovely place to visit :-)


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