Come Wander
Women Cheers on Patio

At the first sign of summer, winter-weary Canadians flock to the nearest patio to get our fill of the summer sun. With the countless sparkling lakes and rolling rivers of Ontario’s Highlands, it’s hard to beat a waterfront patio where you can enjoy good company, a pint of the local brew, and a hearty meal with the calming ambient sounds of the water below. Get your sunscreen on, dust off the sunglasses, and assemble a team to savour some of the best waterfront patios of the region.

Riverside Restaurants

The ambience at a riverside restaurant or bar is a distinct one. Add to the experience the sounds of the river flowing nearby and you’ve got yourself a soothing soundtrack to an unforgettable meal. Pair up spicy Thai cuisine with small town vibes on the garden patio out front of Suwan’s Thai Cuisine in Minden, which includes views of the Gull River. The Rio Tap and Grill, where the wings come highly recommended, has a patio that hangs high over the Bonnechere River in Eganville. In Lanark County you can take your pick from many riverside restaurants on multiple rivers, but be sure to check out Fort Hemlock’s view of the Rideau River in Smiths Falls and the Waterfront Gastro Pub’s fantastic patio along the Mississippi River in Carleton Place.

Social Hubs

The carefree vibes of summer make this a season for socializing. Get a group of friends together and park yourselves on a patio to soak up the sun, enjoy an ice-cold drink, and some shared snacks. Boshkung Social is the second location of Haliburton’s own Boshkung Brewing Co. with a lively patio overlooking the Gull River in Minden. On the other side of Ontario’s Highlands, Almonte Lobby Bar is a relaxed lounge attached to a boutique hotel that overlooks the Mississippi River, so you can enjoy the priceless view while you sip local brews or elevated cocktails made with local-made spirits. Cottage country watering hole CC’s on the Rideau is another optimal waterfront spot where you can listen to live music and watch the boats meander by on the Rideau Canal.

Cozy Inns and Rustic Lodges

So many resorts and inns in Ontario’s Highlands make dinner and drinks easy with their onsite restaurants. Stay overnight so the whole crew can kick back and imbibe. Bonnie View Inn boasts Daisy’s Dockside Patio – named after their resident potbelly pig – a chill spot with live music and mid-week pizza nights. Another Haliburton fixture is the adults-only resort Sir Sam’s Inn, serving up gourmet meals, fine wines, and unbeatable views of Eagle Lake.  Travel north to the Ottawa Valley for your choice of premium patios: watch the sunset over the lake at Sands on Golden Lake, stop in for a meal on the Madawaska River at locals’ favourite the Ash Grove Inn, or get a taste of the real Canadian wilderness (and meat fresh out of the smoker) at Spectacle Lake Lodge’s Lakeside Smokehouse.


Just Breathe

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

Spring is Calling

Hanging around the city when the scents of spring are tantalizingly tickling your nose is tough. This is when you yearn to get away from the slush, pack the car and head out for an almost-spring getaway to the countryside, where baby animals, maple syrup, G-rated fun, and fresh air are calling. Get out of […]

Spring Break

The sun is warm, the air smells like spring, and the birds are singing their special warm weather songs. It’s official; spring has sprung. After a long Canadian winter, spring getaways are a time-honoured tradition for families here in the great white north, and haven’t we earned a little fun in the sun? This is […]

Pause for Pi Day

Celebrate Pi Day with the best pie at these bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands.

Mad About Maple

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

Breaking Bread

Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian – dine with confidence at these 10 Ontario’s Highlands restaurants. Your belly will thank you.

Best Pancake Breakfasts

Escape the city for a hearty meal with pure maple syrup at these top places for pancake breakfasts in Ontario’s Highlands.

Sweet Maple Escapes

Discover sweet places to stay for maple adventures in Ontario this spring.

Jigging Through Ice

You slip and slide your way across the ice, your arms laden with fishing gear, excitement building at the thought of the unscripted day ahead. Tucked amidst your gear is a warm blanket, a thermos of something rich and delicious, and a carefully packed cooler with goodies to keep you cozy all day. Ice fishing […]

Winter Just Got Awesome

Learn to climb or brush up on your skills with an epic ice climbing adventure at SOIceFest 2020 in Maynooth, ON.

Make a Toast (in Hastings County)

Tour craft drink producers for a chance to meet the makers, and get the inside story on what inspires them to make and sell their product. Oh, and sample delicious brews, too!

Ultimate Après-Ski Experiences

Meet up with friends after a day well spent on the slopes or on the trails. Discover these top places in Ontario’s Highlands to celebrate the Apres Ski!

Cheers to the Holidays

Get into the holiday spirit this month with these mixologists and craft drink producers in Ontario’s Highlands.

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

Embrace the Dog Days of Winter

If you can’t beat winter, join it with an epic dog sledding excursion through some of the most beautiful forests in Ontario.

Winter Jams

Warm up your winter with good music and good food, together, at the Sharbot Inn & Crossing Pub, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Discover Historic Accommodations in Ontario

Spend the night in historic accommodations to take yourself to way-back-when, and get into the spirit of the community you’re visiting. These inns have stories to tell of the people who lived and breathed inside their walls.

Cider Season

Find these cideries on your next road trip through Ontario’s Highlands to discover a refreshing way to toast the apple harvest with a cold cider.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Before the Lake Wakes

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

A Delicious Day Trip

Sip & Savour your way through the best food and drink spots in Lanark County.

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Exhale and Unwind

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

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Concerts with a Community

In September each year, the spirit of community comes alive all across Ontario’s Highlands when the Festival of Small Halls rolls in.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

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

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.

The Ultimate City Escape

Explore these three ways to escape the city, slow down, and absorb rural life in Ontario’s Highlands.

My Hometown: Haliburton

After years of travel, read the story of why Emily returned to Haliburton to officially call it her home.

Journal of a Foodie

Take a journey through Ontario’s Highlands on a road trip that will satisfy your inner foodie.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

A Different Kind of Detour

Take the road less traveled through Ontario’s Highlands to these unique festivals that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Good Food, Great Company

The Good Food Tour, a delectable walking tour in Almonte the showcases a story and the local flavours.