Clarington waits to impress you with its local wonders and a mixture of rural charm and urban delights. Located approximately 80 kilometres east of Toronto, Clarington is an expansive municipality made up of more than 20 settlements, villages and 4 large urban centres. What that means to visitors is that there’s always something fun and exciting to do, from shopping to waterfront walks to more than 200 community festivals and events throughout the year.

The thriving downtown shopping districts of Bowmanville, Newcastle and Orono offer fashionistas and antique hunters a variety of boutique shops and stores exclusive to Clarington. Each downtown district welcomes pedestrian foot traffic and possesses its own unique character. The artistic experience can be found at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington (located in the southern end of Bowmanville) or at the cooperative gallery, A Gift of Art, in Newcastle. Both are known for their exhibitions showcasing and promoting local artists and artisans.

For a high-speed activity, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is close by, where you can watch the cars and motorcycles on the road track from the middle of April to the end of October. There are also six major racing weekends that take place from Victoria Day Speedfest to the newly announced 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Labour Day Weekend. Kids under 12 get in free and the popular Saturday Night Stock Car Racing at the CTMP oval track shouldn’t be missed.

On the other end of the activity spectrum, you can relax and enjoy the natural surroundings at a slower pace. With Clarington possessing a 17-kilometre stretch of the Waterfront Trail along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, don’t forget to pack your walking shoes, and even your camping gear. The trail meanders through Darlington Provincial Park, making this stretch of the trail one of the only spots where you can camp overnight. Cyclists can also go for a spin along 10 new cycling routes, many of which connect to the Waterfront Trail. Cycling trails range from easy to challenging and extend distances that allow for anywhere from an hour to a day’s worth of cycling pleasure. Additional family camping can be found at Cedar Park Resort, a family getaway location complete with a waterpark and pool, mini golf, picnic areas and playgrounds.

You could also visit the famous animal celebrities that take up residency at the Bowmanville Zoo. Film and television stars, including famed camels, a jaguar and a white Bengal tiger, call this 42-acre natural parkland home. When not gracing the silver screen, these highly trained animals kick back at this privately owned zoo that takes pride in its animal welfare and conservation programming. If your visit to Bowmanville Zoo still leaves you on the prowl for additional wildlife watching, Jungle Cat World isn’t far. The animal resort features a variety of large cats (including lions and tigers), reptiles, amphibians and birds for you to see.

Let’s not forget the more than 200 festivals and events we mentioned earlier. Whether you want to satiate your sweet tooth in May at the Maple Festival & All that Jazz, or pick up some apples at the Apple Festival and Craft Sale in October, new experiences are waiting for you in Clarington. Peruse the pages of Clarington’s Visitors Guide, available for download from the Tourism Clarington website, for more information on local events and what else Clarington has to offer. The Clarington Tourism Office (located at 181 Liberty Street South, in Bowmanville) is staffed year round and would love to help you plan your visit to our community.