File Mississauga on the underrated list. Gone are the days when this metropolis was overlooked for bigger cities like, ahem, Toronto. Sauga city is a gem and a destination all on its own. For starters, it's bursting with culture — a mosaic of many different cultures that bring their own experiences, languages and food to the table.

From plaza restaurants located in strip malls — a.k.a. the best golden nuggets a foodie could find — to an iconic ice cream parlour that's been around since the 50s, Mississauga is a food city at heart. And summer is the best time to experience all of it.

Don't know where to start? We've got an awesome list of some of the best things to do in Mississauga. From food festivals at Celebration Square to patio hopping in Port Credit, a day spent in Mississauga will leave you feeling full in more ways than one. Plus, there are tons of nearby activities to work up your appetite, and, thanks to GO Transit, Mississauga is a breeze to get to for out-of-towners.

Psst, want in on a secret? It pays to stay in Mississauga. When you book a minimum night stay at a participating hotel, you'll receive a $100 pre-paid VISA gift card along with a $20 voucher to Square One Shopping Centre — what are you waiting for?

The top things to do and eat in Mississauga this summer

1. Discover delish eats at The Food District

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This experiential urban food hall inside Square One Shopping Centre combines the energy of merchant-style markets with ready-to-order options where you can snack on everything from Big Fat Cookies to Nonna-approved Dal Moros Fresh Pasta To Go.

If you need to brush up on your culinary skills, The District Kitchen in the heart of the market offers culinary demos and cooking lessons. Look out for the latest pop-ups this summer like SAMBAL Toronto (for Indonesian cuisine and flavour-packed sambals) and secret off-menu items from permanent Food District vendors

2. Get moving with Port Credit Adventure Rentals

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Port Credit is brimming with lakeside views and an abundance of amazing restaurants and fun eateries like Carlo's Bakery. The best way to see all that this exciting neighbourhood has to offer? Port Credit Adventure Rentals. Whether you go water or road, there is plenty of equipment to choose from: kayaks for cruising down the Credit River, paddle boards for an afternoon workout, jet skis for a thrilling ride on Lake Ontario. They also have tandem bikes and electric scooters to take you to and from local-fave restaurants like Snug Harbour and Colossus Greek Taverna.

3. Be your own Cake Boss at Carlo's Bakery

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Ahem, speaking of Carlo's. You can find a sweet treat worthy of a cake boss at Carlo's Bakery. Starring in the hit reality TV show Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro and his bake shop Carlo’s Bakery are famous for their over-the-top cakes and desserts. And now you can get a taste at their first Canadian outpost in Port Credit. Think slices of chocolate fudge rainbow cake, red velvet with cream cheese frosting and the ultimate carrot cake with freshly shredded carrots — this counts as a serving of veg, right?

4. Check out an event at Celebration Square

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There's always something going on at Celebration Square — the open-air public space in the heart of downtown Mississauga. From bumping food festivals to cozy movie nights to catching the big game with friends or posting up next to a food truck, you'll have to try very hard to be bored (and hungry) here. Don't miss the cluckin' good chicken from Le Chateau Chicken, or a classic Canadian sugar fix from BeaverTail — all food trucks are parked at The Porch every day from 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Keep on eye on the summer events schedule, so you don't miss out on future fun like the Bollywood Monster Mashup, Canada’s largest South Asian festival on August 5th and 6th.

5. Tap into your creative side at The Studio Paint Bar

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Painting while sipping wine could either go really well or very, very bad. We'll take our chances — plus, a wine spill could be interpreted as art. The Studio Paint Bar, just off Port Credit's Lakeshore strip, serves up wine, cocktails and canvas — go freestyle or book a theme night, and, who knows, you might just create a masterpiece. Learn different techniques from talented artists during one of their many paint nights, and create your own starry night on their heated patio.

6. Get the ultimate swirl at Dairy Cream

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Since 1958 this gem has been making summer days a little bit sweeter. There's usually a line (even at 10:30 p.m.), but it's always worth the wait. Nothing compares to their soft-serve chocolate vanilla twist on a balmy August eve. They have ice cream in pretty much any form here: shakes, sandwiches, sundaes and by the scoop in a bunch of flavours like salted caramel cashew crunch and cherry cheesecake. The pièce de résistance: funnel cakes. Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

7. Play a round of golf

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Mississauga is home to lots of green spaces, but you'll have the most fun at two specific ones: BraeBen Golf Course and Lakeview Golf Course. If you want a challenge, hit the links at BraeBen, an 18-hole champion course with epic views of the city and sprawling greens. For a picturesque place just minutes from downtown Toronto, Lakeview's sloping greens and historic legacy is for you.

8. Find farm fresh goodies at a Farmers' Market

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Bringing the farm to your table is super easy to do in Mississauga with its various local farmers' markets: Lakeview Farmers’ Market in the historic Small Arms Inspection Building, MCS Lions Farmers' Market in Celebration Square, Port Credit Farmers' Market and Erin Mills Farmers' Market. Stock up on seasonal produce from some of Ontario's best artisans and growers, and meet the makers behind your next meal.

9. Find your new fave fit and more at Square One Shopping Centre

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You know what we've really missed? Shopping at a mall. The convenience, the perfumed shops, the deals — oh, and the people watching, of course. Mississauga's Square One is one of the best malls, but it's so much more than that. You could spend the entire day there and not even scratch the surface, especially when there's more than 90 places to get a bite to eat — and over 44,000 sq. ft. of fun and games inside The Rec Room.