Jet Set: Collingwood

While cottage weekends have come and gone, it’s still nice to get out of the city from time to time, if only for the night. While most of us probably associate Collingwood with skiing, hot chocolate and the Blue Mountain Village, trust us, there is whole lot more to do in Cwood all year round. One of our favourite times of year to head up north is during the fall, as the scenery and changing leaves on the drive up are always breathtaking. So if you’re looking for a quick getaway, we suggest jumping in the car and heading to one of Ontario’s most beautiful regions.

Scenic fall road.

Where to stay:
While there is no shortage of hotels and condos in the Blue Mountain Village (our personal favourite is the Westin Trillium, overlooking the whole village) why not try something different and check out one of the quaint bed and breakfasts in town? With Victorian decor and “modern British” cuisine, the Bacchus House, located three blocks from downtown Collingwood, is sure to make you feel like you’re on a mini vacation. For a more historic feel, there is is the Joseph Lawrence House which was built in the 1800s and is now a Heritage Home. Other B&B options include the Thurso House, Willow Trace Bed and Breakfast and Pretty River Valley Country Inn

The view from the Westin Trillium.

The beautiful, historic Thurso House.

What to do:
Whether it’s adventure, relaxation or both you’re after, there is always plenty to do in and around Collingwood. Start your day off at the Scenic Caves, do a guided tour, check out the suspension bridge, tree top walk or zip line: the views are breathtaking. For more activities  check out the Tees Please driving range or Adventure Park at Blue Mountain where you can try anything from mountaintop Segway tours to the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster. 

Next, you don’t have to go to Niagara to taste local Ontario wines. Georgian Hill Vineyards offers tastings Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., we can think of few things better than sipping wine in the countryside. We suggest you end your day at the Scandinave Spa where you can unwind and enjoy the hot and cold baths, steam rooms (the eucalyptus room is amazing) and relaxation areas. Massages are also available if you want to turn it into a full spa experience.

View from the suspension bridge at the Scenic Caves.

Scandinave Spa.

Where to eat:
While the Blue Mountain Village offers pretty much anything you can think of, it’s often very crowded and VERY touristy. We suggest sticking to downtown Collingwood, or even venturing to Thornbury, the next town over, where you can find some of the most quaint and delicious restaurants around. Start with lunch or brunch in town at Cafe Chartreuse, Duncan’s Cafe, or our personal favourite, The Tremont Cafe. While the Tremont has some of the tastiest brunch food we’ve had, they also serve a pretty great (albeit a little pricy) dinner. Other great options, and places we’ve gone back to time after time include Tesoro, The Huron Club and Azzurra. And if you’re willing to make the drive to Thornbury (and we suggest you do) be sure to try Simplicity Bistro, one of many delicious restaurants in one of our favourite little towns. Note, Simplicty Bistro also offers a pretty divine brunch. 

The beautiful Tremont Cafe.

Azzurra Trattoria by night.
We hope we’ve changed your perception of Collingwood as nothing but a winter tourist trap. With more and more people choosing to live there year round, the restaurant and outdoor activity scenes have really flourished in the last few years, and are only going to get better.