Muskoka, Toronto’s cottage country, is also known as “The Hamptons” of Canada and was chosen by National Geographic as one of Best of The World must-see places to visit.
Located just two hours north of the city, Muskoka has been a summer vacation and winter holiday destination of choice for over 100 years. It’s an acclaimed region for its natural beauty and myriad of activities to suit all tastes. Luxury resorts dot the shores of pristine lakes, while artisan boutiques and gourmet restaurants attract the most discerning travelers. With such high accolades, we were excited to get the chance to visit the impressive locale during our Buick Encore Experience courtesy of GM Canada.
Where to stay:
The top accommodation in the area, and where we highly recommend booking, is Touchstone Resort on Lake Muskoka. We had the opportunity to stay and fully experience everything this luxury resort has to offer during our trip. A highlight of the expansive property’s beautiful facilities is the outdoor infinity pool. We also love the Cascade Villa as its master bedroom’s large ensuite boasts a romantic jacuzzi tub for two with a picturesque lake view.
What to do:
Tranquility seekers can book relaxing treatments, such as a hot stone massage, at the world-class Touch Spa. And then spend the evening indulging in gourmet dishes prepared with local ingredients at Taste Restaurant.
Adventurers can visit Muskoka Outfitters to arrange plenty of summer and winter outdoor activities. Summer time fun in the sun includes kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding on calm Lake Muskoka, while backcountry skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing and “fat biking” are exciting experiences during the colder months.
How to get there:
You can fly direct to Muskoka Airport (YQA) via helicopter or private jet, travel by train on The Northlander, or hire a lux coach with chauffeur services at Hammond Transport. But the best way to get to Muskoka is to drive on Ontario Highway 400.
We drove the brand new fully loaded 2013 Buick Encore luxury crossover SUV from Toronto to Bracebridge, which is the heart of Muskoka. The scenic winter drive took us through rolling farmland and quaint little towns. OnStar effortlessly guided us to our destination, while all wheel drive and traction/stability control easily aided us through some snowy side roads. We stayed toasty during the winter road trip in the Encore’s heated leather seats along with its heated steering wheel. The rear vision camera system made maneuvering a breeze, while the voice activated IntelliLink connected our iPhone and SiriusXM radio stations in a full-colour touchscreen display. With a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity seamlessly integrated into the system, it became our own personalized infotainment centre. The whole experience was so enjoyable that we can’t wait to do it again!
*Many thanks to GM Canada, Odyssey International, and Touchstone Resort for our unforgettable trip!