For anyone who has ever taken a great ride over the Rainbow Bridge to Canada, it’s easy to see how close our neighbors to the north are. While we’ve probably all had our fair share of days spent in Clifton Hill, if you’re willing to venture a little further north into Ontario, you’ll find the quaint village of Blue Mountain and the town of Collingwood along the bay. Lake Georgian. Huron.
Here you’ll find everything from attractions and trails to local dining and shopping options. If you’re looking for a quick trip a few hours from Buffalo, Blue Mountain Village and nearby Collingwood make the perfect weekend excursion.
Where to stay
Blue Mountain Village offers a unique stay for every type of vacationer. Stay at Blue Mountain Inn for a classic hotel room experience with modern amenities and outdoor hot tubs/pool overlooking the mountain. For something right in the heart of the village, stay in a village suite at the Grand Georgian, Seasons at Blue, or Weider Lodge where you’ll have access to seasonal outdoor pools, year-round hot tubs, and fitness facilities. Stay right at the base of Blue Mountain at Westin Trillium House for a full-service, four-diamond resort experience with an outdoor hot tub and pool, on-site golf, and fitness center.
Where to eat
Once you’ve booked your stay, it’s time to figure out where to eat in the area. For breakfast, direction The pottery restaurant at the Blue Mountain Inn for local flavors and Georgian Bay area harvests or head to Collingwood for a more artsy coffee experience at Duncan’s Cafe and Espresso station. For lunch and dinner options, head to the award-winning Smokehouse Rusty is at Blue for your barbecue or try the Food Network function, The iron skillet, which serves schnitzels, seafood, pasta, ribs, steaks, Mexican, Thai and more. Other local favorites include the Northwinds Brewery and Kitchen, Paula’s Pantry and Giftsand Nicky’s donuts and ice cream.
Visit downtown Collingwood
Downtown Collingwood is full of history and has plenty of things to do all year round. In historic Collingwood along Hurontario Street, you’ll find local bars and restaurants, shopping, spas, live music and more. Visit Cottage Friends Where The Beehive for Georgian Bay clothing and home decor, go to The candy factory, the popular tourist attraction for decadent chocolates. As an artistic community, you will also find murals dotted around the area as well as a outdoor gallery of hand painted adirondack chairs that celebrate the diversity of the community.
Explore the hiking and biking trails
Want to do some exercise during your getaway? The town of Collingwood is full of nature trails to explore. With options for cyclists, walkers, joggers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers, these trails are a year-round attraction and connect you to all of the city’s major points of interest.
Choose your adventure
Blue Mountain Adventure Park is all about having fun and customizing your adventure to suit your interests. Their Explore All Day pass is for guests who want unlimited, one-day access to Blue Mountain’s hiking trails, cross-country bike network, and outdoor gondola. With the Play All Day Pass you have access to a range of activities including the Outdoor Gondola, Rock Climbing Wall, Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster and more. They also offer additional packages that include the Timber Challenge High Ropes and Mountaintop Segway Tours. If you’re looking to make the most of your trip, the Adventure Park is a great way to experience all that this area has to offer!
Get out on the water
Collingwood Harbor is the place to go for fishing and paddling as well as lighthouse tours and sunset cruises, but if you’re looking for a day at the beach, about half an hour’s drive from Collingwood is Wasaga Beach. Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world, located in the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the water.
Venture into the picturesque cave park
At Collingwood’s Scenic Cave Park, you can cross southern Ontario’s longest suspension bridge to explore the region’s caves and caverns. Open year-round, you can participate in different activities depending on the time of year you plan your visit. During the warmer months you can enjoy gem mining and mini golf while the cooler months are perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Winter on the slopes
During the colder months, Blue Mountain Village transforms into a winter wonderland with 43 ski and snowboard runs, 11 ski lifts, 5 snowshoe trails, and skating and sledding opportunities. Plus, if you don’t have your own gear, don’t worry as they offer rentals and lessons for those looking to learn!