Affordability - 5
Romance - 9
Food - 6.2
Adventure - 6
- His Top Tips
2. For golfers, the Deerhurst Highlands is much nicer and tougher than the Deerhurst Resort golf course.
3. If living in Toronto for longer than a month, Muskoka is really your best (and closest) option for outdoor fun.
Only 2-3 hours north of Toronto (depending on traffic) is a spot perfect for water sports, grabbing some sun, escaping the hectic lifestyle of the big smoke, and all around chilling out. Huntsville is the town most central considering the location of the majority of cottages in the region, but these second homes extend throughout the entire Muskoka region. Located at the base of the Canadian Shield, the terrain is rocky and the lakes are plentiful.
Many people can be found sailing, fishing, or cruising on the wakeboard in the summer time, and the winter is perfect for snow-shoeing and generally enjoying the snowy nights in the comfort of a cozy home nestled by a crackling fireplace. There really isn’t a whole lot of activity in the region in terms of nightlife, and in recent years many of the lakes haven’t completely frozen over in the winter time which means that skating and ice hockey aren’t always possible. Therefore, I prefer to visit in the summer when taking a dip in the lake and heading out for a kayak is always a possibility, as well as playing the Deerhurst Highlands golf course (which is much harder and prettier than the gimicky Deerhurst Resort course). Algonquin Park is nearby if you fancy a hike, complete with some spectacular views.
If you’re visiting Toronto and are in desperate need of some nature, you can get your fill in Muskoka. Even if you don’t have a cottage to stay at (like many Torontonians do) there are a number of cheap accommodation options in addition to more upscale hotels like Deerhurst Resort (the G8 summit was hosted here a few years back). If you only have a couple of days in Toronto and are planning a road trip or some sort of tour of Canada, I’d suggest sticking to what the city has to offer such as nightlife, incredible food, and decent theater. Western Canada is where your mind will be completely blown by natural beauty.