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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Embrace the Norwegian Concept of “Friluftsliv”

Friluftsliv (free-lufts-liv): Free air life 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 writer Henrik Ibsen in 1859. Even if we can’t pronounce it easily, this […]

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

We are happy to see that fall is in full swing here in Ontario’s Highlands, and even happier now that we have seen the lifting of many restrictions here in Ontario. After months of staying home we are eager to get out and stretch out legs and imaginations in a region made for discovery. This […]

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.

Treat Mom at Home

A mother’s hands do a lot for us throughout our lives, from washing dishes to drying tears, and deserve a little break. Treat mom with this DIY home spa experience or purchase a take-home kit with everything you need in it.

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.

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.

Mad About Maple

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

Go Cross-Country

Glide over fresh snow on four cross-country ski trails near Ottawa.

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.