A Winter Weekend Getaway in Ontario’s Grey County.
If you’re reading this and not from our beloved Canada, there is one thing you need to know about us Canucks. We love to be outside.
Now, I know that’s quite a statement; you can’t say that about everyone who lives here. BUT I feel I can speak on behalf of a wide mix of Canadians when I say we have a ton of beautiful land and like to make use of it. No matter the season!
A few weeks ago Lindsey and myself headed north up to Grey County, located about 2 hours north of Toronto. We specifically visited Flesherton, Collingwood and the community of Blue Mountain. This part of Ontario is the perfect location and driving distance for a trip when one only has a weekend to be out of town. Grey County is located in Central Ontario, conveniently situated south of the ever so gorgeous Georgian Bay and provides travelers with a variety of outdoor activities and views you won’t catch anywhere else in Ontario.
Not only is it desirable because of its close proximity to water, but it comes with a landscape full of rolling hills and lush greenery. (Don’t forget to bring your camera!) The summer boasts excellent beaches, come fall you’ll be in awe of the colours that pop off the trees, the spring is oh so fresh and has many trails to hike and the winter (as we discuss in this blog), is the perfect playground for any adventure! Still haven’t sold you? Keep reading. :)
By the time February rolls around, most people crave a bit of inspiration and motivation. It’s the time of year when people have a desire to switch up their daily routine. The winter duldrums come with shorter and darker days, clothes start to fit a little more snug and dressing like the Michelin man has gotten old at this point.
SO! Here are 5 reasons why we believe you should get outside and make the most of Canada’s winter months.
1. Challenge yourself to learning a new hobby.
If you’re someone who craves trying something new on the daily, someone who thrives on the challenge and thrill of doing something you haven’t done before, then this blog is for you! We had 2 full days in and around Collingwood and we were able to do lots of exploring. Hiking, snowboarding, skiing, tubing, walks through Blue Mountain’s Ski Village, gorgeous drives and even skating on the top of the mountain amongst a winter wonderland. There was so much to do in this area and that doesn’t even include the lounge time in our cottage’s hot tub :)
2. Escape the daily grind of the city.
If you’re craving some time away from the city, the Blue Mountain area of Grey County is just the right distance from Toronto for a quick escape. Short on time? No problem, head up after work on Friday and you’ll have about two full days to make the most of your trip. Bring a book and sit by the fire with a hot coco. Don’t like to read? Chill in the hot tub with a glass of vino and enjoy some good chats with friends. Feeling more adventurous? Head over to Blue Mountain and check out the slopes or hiking trails. Or, if you want to do some shopping and enjoy lunch out with friends and possibly hit up a brewery like Side Launch along the way, go check out downtown Collingwood. So much to do that’ll take your mind off of your work or home life and into the serenity of small town life!
3. Connect with friends you don’t often see.
Life is busy, we don’t need to remind you of that. It comes as no surprise the older you get, the more challenging it gets to see your friends on the daily, as you no longer live two doors down from each other and actually have to put proper clothes on to be social. As people move to different parts of the city or even province, you’ve got to put in a bit more effort in finding quality time together.
This specific group of friends likes to come together a few times a year to escape and unwind from our usual routine. Most often we go camping, but one meet up a year is not enough! So a winter trip came about for the first time and it was as easy as one cottage booking and organizing a few meals. We found a spot that slept 10, was about a 40 minute drive to the ski hills and had lots of land surrounding so we really felt as though we were on a country escape.
Planning for a big group is not as challenging as you may think! Simply pull up Airbnb, make sure the space can host your desired number of guests and make sure it fulfills all your requirements! We were keen to find a place with a hot tub in the middle of no where. Easy enough, right?
4. Feel like a child again.
Remember all those activities your parents used to make you do as a kid? No matter the season you were running around after school, trying to achieve all star status in each one. Well skating was one of those activities for us. I had skated for a few years, always dreaming of one day becoming a figure skater. (Yea, that didn’t pan out.) And Lindsey spent many Friday nights skating around her small town rink for entertainment with friends.
Small town kids for life!
We weren’t sure how well skating would come back to us, but we made it work! As soon as we hit the ice, off we went! We had SO much fun exploring the tree lined rink in the woods at the top of the mountain and racing around in circles. This is such a great spot to take your family, come on a date or just hold hands with your bestie and share some laughs!
Blue Mountain and the surrounding area is perfectly located just south of the idyllic Georgian Bay. Not only do you get the reflection of the bay casting a bright blue hue onto the landscape, but the roads are long and winding, your journey will be vast and full of beautiful surprises!
You can appreciate the close proximity of the water at many little roadside stops in and around Collingwood, you can take a walk along the beach if you’re up for the adventure, you can delightfully observe the ski hills as they glisten at night and you really don’t have to drive far to experience a really solid hike, find a waterfall and appreciate the winding roads that make up this county. The countryside drives are incredible! Grey County is a feast for the senses.
Trust us on this one. Grey County and the township of Flesherton, Collingwood and the Blue Mountains is the perfect spot for your winter getaway. Not feeling the snow? That’s cool, there’s plenty to do all year round. Interested in learning more? Check out their official website here!
Peace, love and happy travels!