A creative spirit craves uninterrupted time to dream, wander, and replenish. It longs to absorb the creative vibes from others and bask in beautiful art and artistry.

If your creative well has run dry or you are looking for an inspirational retreat to relax and rejuvenate, this curated three-day itinerary can be your lifeline.

3-Day Creative Retreat

*If you’re from western Ontario your itinerary will start in the western region of Ontario’s Highlands. If you’re from the east, we suggest you take in this experience in reverse.

This will be your first day away from the hustle and bustle of regular life so take some time to get acclimated. Turn on the tunes and turn off the cell phone. Feel yourself decompress with every mile as you travel through some of the most beautiful countryside in Ontario.

Start Here: Haliburton

Start in the village of Haliburton, home to a wellspring of creativity, including the renowned Haliburton School of Art + Design, a draw for many artists. This will help you to get centered and quiet your mind.

Haliburton County
From Toronto: 215km • 2 hr 55 min From Ottawa: 285km • 3 hr 15 min

In addition to its' stunning scenery, Haliburton is home to a thriving arts community.  With plenty of galleries dotting the countryside, a must-visit is the renowned Haliburton Sculpture Forest, a unique outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and international artists.

Time Spent Here: Plan for at least a few hours here to fully explore the galleries and sculpture forest. If you book a glass-blowing workshop plan for an additional four hours.

Next Stop: Bancroft

Roughly an hour’s drive from Haliburton, Bancroft is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat en route to your overnight destination in Tweed. If you love small towns, Bancroft is cute as a button and fun to wander before you settle down for lunch.

  • The Muse Gallery & Café - The name says it all for this fun local creative spot. Stop here for some delicious vegan and vegetarian fare and a wander through the local gallery.
  • Bancroft Art Gallery - Browse a permanent collection including Oscar Schlienger’s work.
  • A Place for the Arts - Tour the Annex Gallery and their rotating exhibits.
Hastings County
From Toronto: 245km • 2 hr 50 min From Ottawa: 220km • 2 hr 35 min

Bancroft, the Mineral Capital of Canada, is a rockhounders' dream. Must stop locations for all rock-lovers includes the Bancroft Mineral Museum and the Princess Sodalite Mine. Or take a trip down The Miner's Loop and walk in the shoes of miners long ago.

 Time Spent Here: Plan for one-and-a-half to two hours here to eat and browse local art.

Last Stop: Tweed

Make the roughly one-hour drive to Tweed, Ontario, where you will stay at the inspirational Collabocamp, a retreat just for artists and creative folks (or those just looking for a little bit of a break).

  • Collabocamp
  • Book this stay for the next two nights and get settled in. Explore the property and say hi to the other creative souls who can be found here.
  • Choose between four different accommodation options, depending on whether you are traveling solo or with a group. All are private and set up exclusively to support the creative journey.
Hastings County
From Toronto: 220km • 2 hr 30 min From Ottawa: 190km • 2 hr 20 min

Tweed is home to North America's Smallest Jailhouse, with just 3 cells to hold the local criminals.  While it eventually closed to lack of crime in the area, today it is home to the local Visitor Information Centre.  You can still visit though and play criminal for the day, taking pictures behind the bars.

This middle day of your creative adventure is your chance to really connect with yourself, to unwind and disconnect and feel yourself be buoyed by the artistic spirit of the place. Lounge in bed all day and do nothing or find like-minded company. You are in control of your experience here.

Start and End Here: Collabocamp

At Collabocamp you will immediately feel yourself with kindred spirits. These are the folks who similarly yearn for the space and time to reconnect with their muse.

Maybe you’re sad to be leaving Collabocamp, in which case perhaps you can add on an extra day! If you must go, remember that you will carry the benefits of your retreat with you. Your day today will be about wandering and returning to the “real” world, one step at a time.

Start Here: Stirling

After such an inspirational retreat you’ll be ready to fill your body as well as your creative well. Just a hop skip and a jump from Tweed, Stirling will be the perfect place to end your adventure and reflect on how far you’ve come in only three days.

  • Kings Mill Cider - Tour this craft cidery and sample a flight on their outdoor patio. Order one of their wood-fired pizzas to refuel after your artistic adventure. Plan to be there between Aug. 13 and 15, 2021 and take in live music during their Buskerfest event.
Hastings County
From Toronto: 185km • 2 hr 10 min From Ottawa: 225km • 2 hr 45 min

The agricultural history is rich in Stirling.  To pay homage to this history, visit Farmtown Park, the home of the Hastings County Museum of Agricultural Heritage.  This museum celebrates the culture of rural Ontario and the importance of agriculture and the farmers who provide us with safe, local food.