*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.
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.
*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.
What to Do:
- Haliburton Sculpture Forest – An outdoor art gallery located in a scenic wooded setting.
- Artech Glass Blowing Studios – Book a half or full day glass-blowing workshop with artists Terry and Jennifer and produce beautiful glass art.
- Art Galleries – Visit Ethel Curry Gallery or Rail’s End Gallery to tour their Canadian and local art. Browse stunning photography from the National Geographic photographer, Dana McMullen, at the Evergreen Gallery of Fine Art Photography.
- Path of the Paintbrush – Book an outdoor painting workshop to honour the Group of Seven through Yours Outdoors.
- Live Music at Dominion Hotel – Combine a bite to eat with a chance to be inspired by live music on the patio or new ‘Boathouse.’
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.
What to Do:
- 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.
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 two-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).
What to Do:
- 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.
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.
What to Do:
- Create to your heart’s content using the property’s on-site art studio, complete with art supplies, camera, and video and audio equipment.
- Take a creative workshop like the Blank Boy Canvas, a multi-national art initiative that stimulates thinking.
- Have a private yoga or meditation practice outdoors or in the yoga shala. Choose from hatha, vinyasa, yin or yoga nidra.
- If music is your jam, book the compact music studio with big sound.
- Book a sound journey, a meditative journey into sound and vibrational frequency healing.
- Create or chill at your own pace, and feed off the vibes of the place.
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.
What to Do:
- 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.
Looking for more inspiration for connecting to music and creativity in Ontario’s Highlands? Click here to learn more about where to find inspiration and creative spaces.