Did you gasp when Johnny lifted Baby over his head? Did you secretly wish you could spend the whole summer at a wilderness resort, just like Baby?

It may have been more than 30 years since Dirty Dancing made us wish we, too, could spend the summer at a lakeside resort, but we haven’t forgotten the magic of the moments we witnessed. Thinking back, we can almost smell the campfire at Baby’s family resort in the Catskills, hear the call of a loon on the lake or the faint sound of music drifting from the dining hall…and maybe catch sight of someone who needs help carrying a watermelon, just like Baby.

This summer, feel the Dirty Dancing vibe at one of these cottage resorts.

Hollow Valley Resort

Originally opened in the 1930s (not far off of Dirty Dancing setting), Hollow Valley Resort has recently reopened after a decade of closure. With a seven-room lodge, lounge bar and live music on weekends, this resort has serious Dirty Dancing vibes. Located just east of the small community of Dorset, your stay here will feature some of the most beautiful terrain in Haliburton Highlands.  

Pro tip:

If you aren’t able to book time at the resort, you can still drop in for live music on Friday and Saturday nights, all summer. 

Bonnie View Inn

This historic inn dates back to the 1920s and is somewhere you can really imagine Johnny and Baby spending time. Featuring 26 rooms, Bonnie View Inn is situated on the shores of Lake Kashagawigamog in Haliburton Highlands, with more than 300 feet of pristine beach to lounge on during the long, hot summer days. More than just a place to stay, Bonnie View Inn also has an on-site restaurant with a stellar waterfront patio, and offers a range of activities to keep you busy, all summer long.

Pro tip:

The kids will love the giant trampoline and 16-foot waterslide into Lake Kashagawigamog, while adults will love hiking on trails that wind through Haliburton Highlands’ lush forests.

Buttermilk Falls Resort

Nestled on the shores of beautiful Boshkung Lake, Buttermilk Falls Resort has all the “cottage resort” vibes you could want. The communal fire pits call out for s’more time, and if you love a little competition the volleyball court, shuffleboard or horseshoes can help you while away the long summer afternoons. On select evenings, watch a movie at the “sit in” instead of the drive-in at one of their movies under the stars.

Pro tip:

Borrow a canoe or kayak from the resort and explore Boshkung Lake from the water. You’ll also want to plan a visit to Buttermilk Falls to see the falls up close.

Ogopogo Resort

The lake was front and centre in Dirty Dancing and it will be the same when you stay at Ogopogo Resort. Here, you can choose between Mountain Lake and Horseshoe Lake for time spent on various watersports or lounging on a sandy beach. This resort is made for spending time with friends and family, building sandcastles, and telling ghost stories while gathered around a campfire at night.

Pro tip:

For more low-tech waterfront experiences, try one of Haliburton’s lazy river floats down the Gull River.

Somewhere Inn Calabogie

This minimalist inn was once a retro motel that’s been transformed into a Zen-like accommodation that prioritizes cottage and outdoors experiences. While not technically located on a lake, Calabogie Lake is not far, and Somewhere Inn gives off serious Dirty Dancing vibes while you swing lazily in one of their hammocks, gather around the communal bonfire for a glass of wine, and sit back in a lawnchair for a movie night under the stars.

Pro tip:

Rent a stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak or book one of Mad River Paddle Co.’s lessons to learn how to use any of these.

The Pines Cottage Resort

Remember all the activities that took place at the resort in Dirty Dancing? At The Pines Cottage Resort, they offer a full summer of programming, like their weekly outdoor movie night (who knows, you might even see Johnny and Baby on the screen) and an ice cream social event. Stay in one of their fully equipped cottages at night and by day relax on the sandy beach complete with floating swim raft and water trampoline. 

Pro tip:

When was the last time you played a rousing game of horseshoes? The Pines offers horseshoes and badminton, on site.

Pines on Boshkung

Choose from seven lakefront cottages overlooking beautiful Boshkung Lake at Pines on Boshkung, and you’ll be in prime cottage mode. Roast marshmallows on the outdoor campfire and savour the beauty of the treed setting from your deck overlooking the lake. If the days seem too long, shorten them with a paddle on the lake using one of the resort’s kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddleboards.

Pro tip:

It’s unlikely you’ll get bored during your stay here, but just in case, try stand-up paddleboarding or kayak the Minden Wild Water preserve, nearby.

Silver Springs Cottages

Near Harcourt, Silver Springs offers a DIY experience at one of their nine cottages, each with their own kitchen so you can prep your own meals, a big plus when vacationing with children. Located on Elephant Lake, Silver Springs Cottage resort is a great option to make family memories in a destination you can come back to again and again.

Pro tip:

While you’re in the area, plan a horseback riding outing with South Algonquin Trails, to amp up the retro feel.

 Calabogie Lodge Resort

Calabogie Lake is the setting for this Ottawa Valley resort, which features an on-site restaurant, On the Rocks, water equipment, and a waterfront patio where the sunsets are spectacular – you can almost picture Baby and Johnny strolling hand in hand along the private beach. Choose from more than 40 villas that each offer a phenomenal view of the lake. 

Pro tip:

You won’t get bored here – not only is there an on-site pool, dry sauna, but you can also visit their games room or strike up a rousing game of pickle ball.


H2H Cottage Co.

While not technically a resort, H2H Cottage Co. has two rustic-yet-luxurious cottages to choose from. Rentals are located on Kennisis Lake and Bitter Lake, and will give you the resort-feel but with the privacy you might be craving. You’ll also have access to the canoes, kayaks, and SUPs to enjoy the lake to its max.

Pro tip:

Your cottage wont’ be far from renowned nature retreat, Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve, which is worth a visit. Try their tree-top trekking canopy tour experience or just wander the many trails that snake through the rugged forested terrain.