Photo: jwmuskoka on Instagram
The True North is home to some of the best ski slopes, crispiest bacon, and lushest lakes in the world. As the summer humidity arrives and temperatures rise, many Canadians flock to cottages in Ontario to seek refuge from the city heat. Ontario’s cottage country is often referred to as the Malibu of the North. Not only is it home to many cool blue bodies of water but the north also acts as a summer home for many celebrities. So, if you’re in need of a city escape check out our list of prime Ontario lakes where ‘cottaging’ is done right.
Muskoka is quintessential cottage country and is one of the most popular summer destinations in the province. Muskoka has it all. Beautiful waters, tons of mossy greenery, and a buzzing town life full of restaurants, bars, and spas. Popularity also means noise and lots of it. This cottage destination is great for partying, partaking in water sports, and celebrity spotting, but is not always the best place to escape crowds and noise.
Eagle Lake, located in Haliburton, is in many ways the opposite of Muskoka. Eagle Lake has a sense of stillness as no motor boats are allowed in the water. This soothing silent lake is a great place to kick back after a long week of work and enjoy the beautiful sunny skies, milky waters, and surrounding nature. Many choose to partake in water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Sir Sam’s lodge is also a short walk if you’re craving a bite to eat or looking to play some board games by a lit fireplace in the evening.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
Sandbanks Provincial Park is home to two of the biggest freshwater bay sandbars. This Prince Edward County destination has three beaches which are sure to meet your needs. Outlet Beach is family friendly and great for swimmers. Dune Beach is a popular site for windsurfers and boaters. Lastly, Sandbank Beach offers an secluded paradise. The woodsy trails also offer visitors a peak at some unique ecology.
If you’ve ever been on a canoe trip in Ontario, then you’ve probably heard tale of the mysteriously stunning lake with Gatorade Blue waters. Killarney offers a true escape from the city as it is a much greater distance away. However, the journey is well worth it as the show stopping water color makes for amazing pictures and a calming weekend getaway. There are a handful of cottages and small BBs to stay at on the lake.
No, I am not talking about the salad dressing. In fact the creamy dressing was named after this destination. Appropriately named, over 1,800 islands clutter the Canadian-U.S border along the St. Lawrence River. Visitors often sightsee at the beautiful mansions littered throughout many of the islands. Other activities in the area include golf, dinner cruises, water sports, spas, and cycling.
Lake Rosseau is another popular destination and is only 200 km from the city of Toronto. The lake is sandwiched between Muskoka in the south and Sequin to the north. The charming village is home to Windermere House, which has a deep history, and is only a short drive to Port Carling. Like Muskoka, Lake Rosseau is commonly frequented by celebrities who enjoy its charisma and stunning foliage.
Rainy Day Activities In Vancouver
Vancouver, one of Canada’s prettiest cities, is also known to have some of the dreariest weather. Avoid the seasonal affective disorder by keeping your spirits and energy levels high and check out our list of indoor activities. From cooking classes to yoga to go-karting, we have an activity for every age group and personality. Don’t wait for the rain to stop to have fun, throw on a pair of wellies and venture out to one of these awesome places.
Embrace your inner racer at SPEEDERS Indoor ProKarts, located at 13471 Crestwood Place. Spend the day zipping around the track on an electric go-kart with your friends and playing some of the other games that the facility has to offer. On a busier day, you can sign up beforehand online for only $15 a person or just drop in for a last minute race.
2. Learn to Cook
At the Dirty Apron, at 540 Beatty St. you and your friends can book one of the many cooking classes offered on every day of the week. Demo and Dine classes start at 2.5 hours and cost $95 a person. The price might seem steep, but you’ll receive a gourmet meal and chef-grade tips and tricks all while spending a relaxing rainy day learning something new.
3. Get Some Exercise
At The Hive, located at 520 Industrial Ave, you can learn to climb on beginner walls or challenge yourself with some of their more advanced courses. The great thing about this activity is that you can do it alone or with a few friends. You can drop in for just $20.95 a person or look into buying a multi-visit pass. Shoes are also available for rent.
If rock climbing isn’t your thing, consider heading to one of the Extreme Air Park locations. This indoor trampoline gym offers 3-D dodgeball and zero-gravity basketball. If you’re not interested in sports you’re free to just jump around. For $15 you can get 1 hour of jump time or 2 hours for just $4 more. A $ 21-day pass is also available.
4. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is home to walruses, beluga whales and 70,000 other aquatic animals. This activity is a favorite among families with small kids as it is both fun and educational. Adult tickets sell for $38, student and youth for $30, and children ages 4-12 sell for $21. Children 3-years-old and under are free. Fast pass tickets to jump long lines are also available.
5. Visit an Art Gallery or Museum
Visit the Museum of Vancouver, located at 1100 Chestnut Street, and visit one of its latest art exhibitions. Currently, Neon Vancouver/Ugly Vancouver features some of the big city lights that lit up the city between 1950 and 1970, a time when Vancouver had more neon signs than Las Vegas. Adult admissions cost $19, student and senior admissions cost $16, and kids age 5-18 cost $9. Children 4-years-old and under are free.
For those fascinated by art, pop by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Located at 750 Hornby Street, the gallery offers tons of interesting exhibits to view that are continuously changing. Admission fees range from $6.50-$24 depending on age.
The Best Cities For Bachelorettes In Canada
If you’re in your mid to late 20s, many of your girlfriends are most likely starting tying the knot. With weddings come bachelorette parties. These big pre-wedding blow-outs can quickly become repetitive and unoriginal. How many Vegas booze fests or Nashville bar hops before it’s too many?
We’ve come up with some underrated activities perfect for the Canadian bride. Whether she’s looking to get pampered, be adventurous, or try out new foods, there’s bound to be an activity on this list that fits her vibe. Take a look at our list of some of the best cities in Canada to host a Bachelorette party and what to do there.
Bourbon Room: This speakeasy-esque bar offer fun bourbon tastings and cocktail mixing classes. Located at 341b 10th Avenue SW., Bourbon Room charges $75 a head for classes and tastings and offers a variety of drinks starting at $10 dollars. This is a great place to have some fun with your best girls while enjoying some adult drinks and tasty treats.
Fairmont Banff Springs: Treat yourself to a stay at the Fairmont located in the Banff National Park. You’ll feel like a pampered princess after a massage at the Willow Stream spa. The bride and her bridesmaids can also enjoy drinks from Banff’s craft Distillery Park as they take advantage of the spa’s amenities.
MacEwan University Cooking Class: Enjoy a filling fiesta at MacEwan University, located at 11050 104 Avenue NW. You and your friends can choose from a list of classes including Italian Farmhouse, French Bistro, Thai Street Food and more. While cooking up a storm, sample some wines and snack on the delish meal your prepping. At $139 a person, you can experience a four-hour gourmet cooking class.
Pole Junkies Pole Dancing: Why not get some exercise in while having a laugh with some friends as you attempt to dance around a pole. Don’t be fooled it’s not as easy as it looks. But hey, you don’t need to be a professional to take a class. At Pole Junkies private classes are only $150 on Fridays. You can choose from pole dancing, burlesque, lap dances, aerial yoga, and more for your very own personalized class that will leave you and your friends with some fun new moves and hilarious memories.
La Champagnerie: At La Champagnerie, the only champagne bar in Montreal, treat yourself to the Bachelorette package! Here the charcuterie boards are $50, tasting menus start at $60 for five courses, and the Grand Cru seafood platter including oysters, black and white truffles and other crustaceans is priced at $100. Pop some bubbly and enjoy the DJ’s tunes for a girls’ night out on the town. Some special services available to make the night increasingly memorable are personalized bottles, custom Polaroid cameras, and initiations to sabring.
Bota Bota: If you’re looking for a more low-key weekend getaway with a few close gals this is the place for you. Bota Bota is the Instagram famous spa located on a boat in Old Montreal. With multiple hot baths and a stunning view of the city, you and your friends with are sure to grab some stunning pictures while melting into the steaming water. Although the spa is known for the on-deck water circuit, other amazing services available include facials, massages, mani-pedis, and more. There is also an amazing restaurant on board which features a seasonal menu.
East Coast Surf School: Take advantage of the stunning Halifax coast and enroll in a surf class. The East Coast Surf School offers private classes for five or more people starting at $65 a head. The class includes the board and wetsuit. So, all you and your girlfriend need to bring is a sense of adventure and probably a towel.
Hatfield Farms: If you’re looking to get in touch with nature while spending some bonding time with your childhood besties then look into spending the night at the Hatfield Farms. Roast marshmallows over a wood fire, enjoy a horseback ride through a woodsy trail, and gab all night with your girls in a cozy cabin. The Trail Blazing Over Night Adventure package ranges from $74-$99 a person and horseback riding starts at $56 per person.
The Most Luxurious Spas To Spoil Yourself At In Vancouver
Photo: shangrila_van on Instagram
Treat yourself to a spa day or weekend getaway at one of the many lavish spas located within and around Vancouver, B.C. We all need some rest and relaxation now and then. Why not indulge in massages, beauty treatments, sauna sweat sessions and more as you decompress from your hard work and stress. Our list of spas will help you unwind in peaceful settings and promise to send you home looking and feeling rejuvenated.
Smile Thai Wellness Spa
The Smile Thai Wellness Spa, which is located at 235 Robson St, offers authentic Thai massages that are sure to loosen up your muscles and have you feeling calm and relaxed. This spa uses alternative healing therapies in order to improve your well being and send you home a happier and healthier person both physically and mentally.
Chi, is a pricier spa located inside the Shangri-La hotel that lets you indulge in a variety of relaxing amenities such as hot stone massages, body wraps, facials, and more. Located on 1128 West Georgia Street, this lush sanctuary will provide you with the ultimate pampering experience.
Skoah is a niche spa with treatments focused on facial rejuvenation. The spa offer treatments that target clogged pores, wrinkles, sun spots, and more. This skin specialized spa aims to give you glowing skin in a zen environment. Keep in mind that these skin renewal procedures often come at high costs.
Scandinave is located in Whistler, about an hour drive from Vancouver, and offers stunning views as it is immersed in nature. The hot pools, saunas, and massages in the magical setting make for a great weekend escape to forget the stress of the city. The no-talk zone spa forces one to detach from their phone and all the worries that come with it as the sounds of nature filter in.
Float House spa offers an extremely unique experience to customers as its sensory deprivation tanks allow you to effortlessly float in water soaked in Epsom salts. The feeling of being weightless helps you to shed the figurative stress and weight that you carry around as your muscles begin to unwind and your mind wonders. There are four locations of this popular spa located in Gastown, Surrey, Langley, and Kitsilana.
Willow Stream Spa
The Willow Stream Spa is located at 1038 Canada Place on the fifth floor at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and features a giant patio offering some magnificent panoramic views of the harbor. The cozy atmosphere created by the many fireplaces encourages a welcoming and relaxed environment. The spa is well known for its couple’s room which has gigantic Japanese Zen tubs and skin scrubs made from seaweed and thermal salts. The spa also features a luxurious rooftop pool and hot tub to soak up some rays or have an evening dip.
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