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Belleville Travel Guide, Ontario

Also known as the "Friendly City", Belleville is a pleasant city of surprising contrasts and ranks among the most atmospheric and attractive places to stay in Ontario. Its name really suits the city as is beautiful (Bella in Italian means beautiful).

Part of the city's appeal is its variety offering tourists both big city amenities and great outdoor activities like sport fishing, sailing, camping, golfing or bird watching.

Its location at the mouth of the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte in southeastern Ontario, between Trenton and Napanee, helped it a lot in its development becaming an important railway junction and now it is the seat of Hastings County.

The first people to have lived in the area were native people and called the place Asukhknosk. Later in 1784, the United Empire Loyalists settled here and renamed the place Meyer's Creek, just to be renamed Belleville in 1816 due to the respect shown to Lady Arabella Gore.

Whether the attractions are worth your time depends on how much you've got and your level of interest. If you enjoy history, Belleville is the ideal place to visit as its historic roots run deep. You can see history come alive as you enjoy the area's special monuments and tributes to the men and women who have left such a rich heritage. One of the most important historic sights is Glanmore National Historic Site hosting elaborate buildings with wonderful architecture. Named a National Historic Site in 1971, the place impresses the visitor with interesting displays of furniture and art. Besides the guided tours you can also take part in some special events that take place regularly.

But Glanmore National Historic Site is not the only place where you can get in touch with history and architecture, downtown is also full of impressive buildings, there is also the majestic City Hall, the RCAF Museum and the 1864 Jail.

If you want to take home a bit of this place there are plenty of great antique shops, boutiques and gift shops that can fill up a day of shopping. Because the locals put a great price on history and art there are wonderful antique and art shows throughout the Belleville area that celebrate this attachment.

There are plenty of other things to shop around and the best place for it is the downtown area.

There are year round, seasonal or special events, the choices are endless! One of them is the fantastic Waterfront Festival taking place in July when you can taste excellent food and have great fun taking part in the many activities and performances, watch the parade, arts and craft displays, and listen to good music.

Belleville residents really know how to have fun and when it comes to style they choose homegrown theatres. Among the most renowned is the Empire Theatre featuring world class artists and where most major plays, musical performances with live music, shows and events take place. There is also the Belleville Theatre Guild featuring a large number of light comedies and musicals, the Stirling Festival Theatre, and the Regent Theatre.

Your trip will be even more memorable if you will choose to engage yourself in one of the outdoor activities at the nearby Sandbanks Provincal Park, a beautiful park with long sandy beaches and excellent campground facilities; play golf on one of the 19 courses to be found in and around the city; go fishing or rollerblading on Belleville's waterfront and take advantage of the sailboats and pleasure craft facilities while motorcycle and drag racing fans can choose Shannonville Motorsport Park. The Quinte region is perfect for hiking or biking while the shores of the Bay of Quinte offer boaters an opportunity to sail and fish the local waters.

Being the largest City in the region, Belleville has numerous options for accommodations and restaurants so you won’t have a hard time finding something to your taste.

Belleville is one of the most diverse destinations in Ontario with a charming history, nice buildings, plenty of relaxation and recreation opportunities, a picturesque landscape to deliver a vacation destination like no other. Singles and couples will love the adventure and the romantic escapes offered by the city and surrounding area and families will love the variety of activities.

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