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Nov 23, 2018

9 min. read

Winter wonderland escapes can be lots of fun, especially when driving to a unique destination. Ontario is packed full of resorts and activities to enjoy with family and friends this season. Many of these resorts have spa options should you feel so inclined to indulge in some serious pampering indoors while the snow falls outside. Or pack your winter gear and get ready to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, or simply make frosty snow angels with the kids.

Sherwood Inn – Port Carling.

This year-round retreat in Port Carling is set along the Muskoka Lakes and the perfect winter escape. Sherwood Inn is located at the edge of Lake Joseph with rooms reflecting customary Muskoka character, including comfy fireplaces and sparkling Jacuzzi tubs. There are many activities on site and around the property such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking where you can explore wintery scenic trails. Or stay indoors for a workout in the fitness centre, play ping pong in the games room, or book a spa treatment at Beginnings Spa through their relax and revive package. The Muskoka region is known for fine dining and wine and the Sherwood Inn has both. They even have their very own wine cellar, so should you choose to drink you won’t even need to call an Uber, just walk back to your suite.

A group of people walking through a snowy forest.

Hockley Valley Resort – Mono.

If you love winter sports consider driving to Hockley Valley Resort in Mono and ski and snowboard to your hearts content. Located 45 minutes north of Toronto, Hockley Valley is a boutique and luxury resort committed to reducing their carbon footprint by implementing green initiatives such as a compost program and using environmentally friendly and recycled paper products. The regal suites are spread out over two floors with wrought iron spiral staircases linking the levels and there are picture perfect views of the valley from your private balcony. In snow season, Hockley is known for exceptional skiing and snowboarding and if you don’t have your own equipment you can rent what you need when purchasing your lift tickets. Families with young kids can check out their “magic carpet” conveyer belt that helps new skiers up the hill as part of their learn to ski program.

A family smiling while skiing in the snow.

Christie’s Mill Inn & Spa – Port Severn.

Port Severn is about an hour and a half drive from Toronto via the 400 North past Barrie. Located in South Central Ontario in Simcoe County, this town is known as the gateway to Georgian Bay and the historical Trent Severn Waterway. Whether you are escaping the city with a close friend for a getaway or vacationing with your significant other, the Blissful Retreat package at Christie’s Mill will have you relaxed in no time. Christie’s Mill has an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna, and there are numerous winter activities to keep you busy during your stay. Overnight guests get free snowshoe rentals for exploring the frosty outdoors the old-fashioned way. Or drive over to Mount St. Louis Moonstone for downhill skiing and snowboarding. It’s one of the biggest family owned ski resorts in Ontario and conveniently situated in Ontario’s snow belt region.

A man and woman sitting in chairs in a spa.

Mew Lake Yurts – Algonquin Park.

If you think camping is strictly for the summer months you are mistaken. In fact, there is nothing quite like camping in the middle of winter especially in Algonquin Park. Mew Lake is a gorgeous campground and the yurts are available year-round. They have electrical heat, one electrical outlet, lighting, and a good old-fashioned fire pit so you can truly experience an authentic outdoor cooked meal. Bring your own dishes, cookware, cook stove, lantern, camping gear, bedding, and extra blankets. If travelling with kids, they will love the two sets of bunk beds to cozy up in. Definitely bring your sense of adventure and get ready to play in the snow. There are several cross-country ski trails in Algonquin Park; three that are packed and groomed and ready to be explored. The Old Railway Trail is ideal if you are staying at Mew Lake Campground as it provides easy access.

A family sits around a fire in the snow with a dog.

Scandinave Spa – Blue Mountain.

A winter road trip to Blue Mountain is about two and a half hours drive from Toronto towards Georgian Bay. The Scandinave Spa is a unique weekend getaway and perfect if you want to relax in nature while reaping the benefits of the energizing Scandinavian baths and hydrotherapy treatments. The baths are known to stimulate blood circulation, release endorphins, and cleanse your body while awakening all your senses. During snowy months, you can catch a glimpse of the downhill skiers zooming down Blue Mountain as you soak in a Scandinavian bath surrounded by 25 acres of stunning birch, maple and pine trees with a view of the Niagara Escarpment.  Perhaps it will inspire you to check out the slopes later and truly discover winter in this mountain village.

A family in a hot tub in front of a cabin.
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