Come Wander
Relieve Stress at Heather Lodge

Close your eyes. Imagine soaking away your worries in a hot tub, letting the bubbling water soothe you, and feeling lighter with each deep breath.

With all the chaos and to-do lists you juggle on the regular, travelling gives you the perfect opportunity to make time for you.

Take a moment to sit still and dream, to immerse yourself in activities designed to renew, and to rediscover what you look like when the pressures of the everyday are far away. Below is our list of seven places where you don’t have to do anything but rejuvenate every molecule of your being.

1) Circa 1894 B&B

Location: Watsons Corners, Ontario

Refreshing Moments
The soothing steam in the outdoor collection of hot tubs and saunas is perfect for that feeling of restoration. Throw in a sweeping handful of stars, and the responsibilities you’ve left behind will start to disappear from your mind like the steam evaporating into darkness. And when you practice thermo-therapy – immersion into heat, then cold, then plenty of relaxation – all that cortisol carried over the past few months will drip from your pores and be washed away.

Bonus
The Girlfriend’s Package offers the chance to spend two nights at the B&B together: Relaxing in the hot tubs and sauna, enjoying Swedish or Deep Tissue massages or a Reiki Treatment, and of course, plenty of deep belly laughs.

2) Sir Sam’s Inn & WaterSpa

Location: Haliburton, Ontario

Refreshing Moments
The stirring sight of forests mirrored in the smooth surface of Eagle Lake are enough to heal any tired spirit, and the on-site WaterSpa has the power to send the cares of the world far away. The water massages are designed for specific areas of the body, so you can simply close your eyes and enjoy the feeling of your knots and tension being worked away by the streaming water.

Bonus
A quick car ride will bring you to Abbey Gardens, with gardens and trails to further renew your soul, and fresh, homemade soups and sandwiches – made with local produce – to nourish your body.

3) Sands on Golden Lake

Location: Golden Lake between Eganville and Barry’s Bay, Ontario

Refreshing Moments
You’ll feel your mind and body rejuvenate the minute you enter this Inn perched on a beach. The lake need never leave your view during your restorative spa treatments, while you bask in the sun on the deck, enjoy delicious food in their dining room, or when you gaze out the window of your room.

Bonus
If you feel like taking a lazy, calming drive around the region, we’d recommend pointing your car in the direction of the little town of Killaloe: home of the Beaver Tail. There’s nothing quite as comforting as biting into a gooey soft pastry.

4) Black River Retreat

Location: Tweed, Ontario

Refreshing Moments
This is the ultimate retreat from the busyness of the world. As the only occupants of the retreat, you’ll be free to laugh as loud as you want, and you won’t have to lift a finger. Feel a world away from it all as the opulent woodlands enfold you and the hush of evening descends upon you, the only other person around your private retreat is your host bringing you his renowned dinners and breakfasts.

Bonus
Add some extra pampering to your stay by talking to the host about booking a massage or a yoga class on site, or take a short drive to tour Potter Settlement Artisan Winery and pick up a bottle of local wine to accompany your dinner.

5) Tay River Reflections

Location: Perth, Ontario

Refreshing Moments
Book ahead of time to spend an unhurried day enfolded in warm, plush robes and soaking in the soothing waters of Tay River AQUA with friends (by reservation only). It won’t take long for utter relaxation to take over.

Bonus
As a medical spa, you can coordinate more traditional relaxation treatments or indulge in even more serene and specialized pampering. Take the time to choose a treatment that suits you, from a simple massage to specialized techniques like reflexology.

6) Heather Lodge

Location: Minden, Ontario

Refreshing Moments
With activities and trails close at hand, you can sink into each day without a planned schedule for one. Meander the sandy beach or paddle soothingly along the shore, perhaps meeting more permanent residents like the loon and the blue heron. Renewed by your host’s delicious meals, your responsibilities will feel far away.

Insider Tip
Ask about spa services when you book and plan ahead with Wind in the Willows Day Spa to enjoy some extra pampering without having to leave the property.

7) Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing

Location: Chalice Lake near Bancroft, Ontario

Refreshing Moments
Everything you do here has an aspect of healing attached to it. This small, woodsy resort is a holistic retreat, set-up to maximize your healing and renewal through restful therapies, the healing power of nature, and delicious healthy meals.

Bonus
Grail Springs keeps horses, which you can help feed if you want, who are part of the therapies on offer. From Equine Meditation Circles to guided horseback rides (link Equine Meditation Circles to guided horseback rides, the calming presence of these graceful animals puts a unique twist to your days of refreshment.

Stories

Virtual Classes and Workshops You Can Do Right Now

Have you heard the expression “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”? COVID-19 may have already resulted in a lot of lemonade, but now is not the time to give up. If you’re hunkered down at home, we have just the thing to inspire your mind and expand your horizons (and no, it doesn’t mean […]

Spring Refresh

It’s something we dream of all winter – that magical moment when the sweet spring sun touches our skin for the first time, and the whole world feels bigger and brighter. This is when we peel back the layers we’ve piled on for the winter months and for the first time get a full glimpse […]

9 Sweet Spring Treks

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out. These days the warm weather has us feeling like running through the streets calling out “Spring is here! Spring is here!” just in case anyone has missed the first sweet signs of spring. It’s been a long winter and we’re more than ready to […]

Mad About Maple

Maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes. Celebrate Canada’s iconic sweetener in all its forms in Ontario’s Highlands.

5 Ideas for a Romantic Valentine’s Day (at home)

*Stay home, stay safe. This article contains experiences you can have at home or that conform with current stay-at-home orders. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but unfortunately this year brings with it new challenges.  You can’t go out to dinner, you can’t go see a movie, and many of the typical Valentine’s Day […]

Go Cross-Country

Glide over fresh snow on these cross-country ski trails near you.

Thinking of Camping in 2021? Read This.

The ground may be covered by snow right now, but we’re dreaming of the warm weather and the camping season to come in the wild places in Ontario’s Highlands. Camping reservations have recently opened at provincial campgrounds across Ontario and if last year was any indicator spots will book up fast. You can book a […]

Finding Your Wolf Spirit at the Haliburton Wolf Centre

Have you ever had a pivotal moment in your life? One event that stands out to you and makes your path in life clear? My moment came to me in the form of a wolf as black as the night, with golden eyes that seemed to peer into my soul. Not many people can say […]

Winter Stargazing: A Christmas Star, Meteor Shower and Northern Lights

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  While many of us are tucked up in cozy comfort in the night hours, the intrepid astronomers among us head outdoors to drink in the starry night skies. Stargazing in winter may be a wee bit nippier but it definitely brings the best rewards, […]

Coming Home

Discover the story of Sarain Fox and her journey home to the Ontario’s Highlands, relieving memories of ice fishing and snowmobiling along the way.

12 Gifts of Christmas (Online)

The holiday season is coming, and it’s the season for giving. You might be the type to start planning early, or the kind who is motivated by pressure, not even beginning your shopping until the 11th hour. Whichever you are, we’re here to help get the ideas flowing with a list of online gifts that […]

Light Up the Holidays

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  When the holiday decorations go up in December the whole world begins to shimmer with magic. Every car ride or stroll is filled with wonder as we drink in the night filled with sparkling holiday lights of all colours. For the next […]

Find Your Hygge Here

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  You nestle into a soft cocoon of blankets while curled up on the couch, the fire casting its flickering glow onto the faces of friends or family as you share comradery and conversation. You clasp a warm mug in your hands, the […]

Embrace the Norwegian Concept of “Friluftsliv”

Friluftsliv (free-lufts-liv): Free air life *Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  If you’re worried about being stuck indoors this winter, the Scandinavians may have the solution with this hard to pronounce and consonant-filled word: friluftsliv. Loosely translated, friluftsliv means “free air life,” a concept that was coined by […]

Finding Good Medicine on Thunderbird Mountain

Having a guide can turn an everyday hike into the most amazing adventure. Although I’d hiked on my own in the past, making the hike with Tim Yearington of Bird Mountain Journeys wove together a story that allowed a deeper connection and different outlook on nature and history. It gave me a greater outlook on […]

Tiny Cabins, Yurts, and other Glamping Getaways

So you’ve seen the Instagram posts of friends or family seated around a rustic campfire, enthusing on the beauty of nature and a rugged camping experience, but you’re thinking “That’s totally not for me?” Hey, don’t sweat it, you are not alone. Camping isn’t for everyone, and who says it should be? If everyone were […]

The Artist’s Way

Who says art can only be found in big galleries or urban showrooms? To find fantastic local and Canadian art you need to head to the places that inspire artists to create, and Ontario’s Highlands is among the most beautiful places in Ontario (in our humble opinion). Beyond the inspiration found in the rugged hills […]

Cozy Up to Fall Camping

So you’re not ready for camping season to end? Here’s a tip: It doesn’t! Just because the summer is over doesn’t mean we need to head indoors, when it comes to camping experiences, fall is where it’s at. Fall camping is an entirely different (and some would say better) experience from summer camping –no bugs, […]

The Best Fall Canoeing

Discover these top lakes and rivers in Ontario’s Highlands to discover the beauty of fall colours from a canoe.

Find Your Zen

It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? If ever there was a year to test your capacity for resilience, it would be 2020. After such a momentous year, what we all could use right now is a little “me time” – a little pampering, and a little bit of peace and quiet to […]

With Love, to Frontenac County

Now more than ever we are drawn to our community, and the places that help us to unwind and get outdoors. To get away from the crowds and reconnect with our roots. Frontenac County tempts us to sit back, unwind and check into vacation mode, to rediscover a world of countless lakes and a region […]

With Love, to Haliburton Highlands

We are so lucky to come from a place that has it all: phenomenal views, rugged landscapes, abundance of trails, and infinite opportunities for recreation, all enticing you to leave your comfort zone and step into the wild. Here, endless forests meet cool, clear lakes and rivers to create incredible vistas that reach out to […]

With Love, to Lanark County

Lanark County is a land of sweet contrasts, where dense forests of sugar maple border lush, green fields and you’re as likely to come across a cyclist as a farmer on one of the region’s winding roads. Urban and rural unite here to create a region that’s as colourful and varied as the patchwork quilt […]

With Love, to the Ottawa Valley

From the rushing waters of the Petawawa, Madawaska and Ottawa rivers to the unspoiled woodlands of Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley is a sultry enchantress, enticing us with adventure. Renowned as a world-class whitewater destination and for the challenges found in its rugged hills and lush dales, the Valley pushes us to do more, live […]

With Love, to Lennox & Addington

Known for its pristine wilderness, incredible views and rugged natural spaces, the majestic beauty of Lennox & Addington speaks to the wanderer inside us all. From the craggy peak of Mazinaw Rock at Bon Echo Provincial Park to the starry skies overhead, there is wonder waiting to be discovered here, a vivid reminder of how our […]

With Love, to Hastings County

The deep lakes and meandering rivers here are ripe with life, both on land and in the water. This land is known as a region rich with minerals, and we haven’t forgotten how our communities were settled by the gold rush, where miners flocked, eager to delve into the earth to unearth its riches. Thick […]

Your Guide to COVID-19 Safe Travel in Ontario’s Highlands

This year the key to exploring is to keep it local; this is the time to explore our own backyards, and the regions close to home that have so much to offer us in the way of exhilarating outdoor experiences, fantastic food and drink, and blissful relaxation. If you’re exploring a new corner of Ontario’s […]

Go Backcountry

You waken slowly in the early morning, the high-pitched warble of birdsong drifting lightly through the trees overhead. The sky is faintly brightening with the coming of dawn, and the natural world is gradually blossoming to life. Around you there is no trace of human activity, no murmurs of voices, clanging of dishes, or whir […]

Live the Yacht Life

Live the lifestyle of the rich and famous – for a week, anyway – with a Le Boat cruising staycation.

Just Show Up

Hit the water and take advantage of these easy kayaking and canoeing opportunities in Ontario’s Highlands.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Pampering at Home

Pamper yourself with a little self love with this recipe for an at-home spa day from Wind in the Willows Spa in Haliburton, Ontario.

Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

Just Breathe

Discover the beauty of mindfulness and allowing yourself to Just Breathe.

Perfect Picnic Spots Near Ottawa

Discover these perfect picnic spots throughout the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County on your next road trip just outside of Ottawa.

Get Hooked

Expert fishing guide Sebastian Kowalczuk shares his secret fishing spots where you’re guaranteed a good catch.

The Hottest Views

Soak up incredible views and beneficial side effects across Ontario’s Highlands.

Bask in Romance

Add a little romance at one of these nine intimate Ontario retreats.

Daily Dose of Nature

Discover these places in Ontario’s Highlands that allow you to get out into nature, benefiting your mental and physical health.

Mindful Moments in Nature

Live in the moment and tune into yourself at one of these 6 nature spots in Hastings County and Haliburton County.

Golf, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Discover these 5 golf courses in Ontario’s Highlands, perfect spots for your next golf escape.

Namaste Outside

Breathe the fresh air at outdoor yoga workshops and events near Ottawa, Ontario.

3 Cheers for Mom

Discover ways to give a mom a Mother’s Day to remember, with gift ideas that go above and beyond.

SUP with that View

Grab your SUP board and take in the beautiful views at these 5 places in Ontario’s Highlands.

An Escape into Nature

Find your connection with nature and each other during a cabin getaway at Deacon Escarpment in Renfrew County.

A Silent Ski Cross Country

Take a break to recharge your spirit and relax your mind while cross country skiing in the snow-covered woods of Silent Lake Provincial Park.

The Serenity Seeker

I’m a Serenity Seeker. I wander at my own pace, searching for a way to unwind and reconnect with myself and with the people who matter most.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Bit by Serenity

An expert traveller’s advice on how seek serenity and embrace a slower pace in Ontario’s Highlands.

Glamping in the Wild

Experience Glamping and reconnect with your loved one at Elements Outdoor Hotel, located in Renfrew County.