There’s never a shortage of things to do in Muskoka. As the crown jewel of cottage country, the Muskoka region features some of the best lakes, trails, and attractions around, not to mention all the local events and festivals that make that northbound drive a recurring theme for so many. Sometimes the most difficult part of the trip is sifting through the options and deciding just what to do. Fortunately, we’ve created our Beyond portal to share with you a couple suggestions about where to eat, where to sleep, and where to play.
One of the best ways to get familiar with the area and experience first-hand the natural beauty of Muskoka is to take a tour on the Lady Muskoka Cruise ship. A veritable floating paradise, the 104 foot long, 300 passenger capacity cruise ship is the largest in the area and features full bar and food services, as well as a play area for kids. Take in the sights and the friendly atmosphere as you’re greeted by the locals while the boat tours some of the most picturesque spots along the Muskoka River and Lake Muskoka. They have cruises leaving at noon almost every day this summer, and also offer group rates, as well as private charters, so you can tailor your cruise to what suits you best. There truly is no better way to explore Muskoka.
After you’ve worked up an appetite out on the water you’ve got to come back ashore and check out the Griffin Gastropub. Hidden just off Manitoba street, down the quaint and picturesque Chancery lane, the Griffin is easily one of the area’s best kept secrets. Well, it was, but when you do things as well as they do, people start to take notice. In fact, they’ve recently been included as one of Canada’s top 100 bars by an Enroute Magazine poll. And if you’ve ever been, you know why. Their menu features an assortment of classic pub favourites, but with a gourmet spin, like the Bison Burger – available with aged cheddar and seared apple – which is a burger lover’s dream. The mere thought of it has me drooling all over the keyboard. They also have hands-down the best beer menu in town, featuring a delightful assortment of local craft beers as well as their own brew. Finally, there’s live music all the time, with a house band that is just as worth seeing as any of the 150+ musical acts they book in house and at festivals throughout the year. All this conveniently wrapped into a cozy little pub with a friendly, conversational atmosphere.
Once you’ve been fed and watered look no further than Muskoka Zip Lines & Aerial Park, the brand new aerial park beside Santa’s Village, for a truly unique Muskoka experience. Tree trekking is becoming a very popular activity for people of all ages, and Ontario has some of the best forests and landscapes around. If you’ve never tried trekking you’re missing out. It’s a great team atmosphere, a little bit of a challenge, and a whole lot out of the ordinary. If there was ever going to be an X-games version of walking, this would be it. There are 4 unique levels, each one taking you higher above the forest floor than the last, and every kind of obstacle you can imagine along the way. It’ll take two or three hours for you to conquer all the wobbly bridges, money lines, balance beams, and Tarzan ropes, but you’ll leave with an undeniable feeling of having accomplished something, and sitting back down on land to rest will be well deserved.
Best of all, thanks to the Beyond program, there are great savings to be had at all three of these locations. Guests of Santa’s Village can show their proof of payment from the gatehouse and receive free admission for any children accompanying a paying adult aboard the Lady Muskoka. On top of that, any food purchase at the Griffin will come with a special coupon to save $20 off a regular priced climb at Muskoka Zip Lines & Aerial Park. Book your climb before August 2nd and we’ll also throw in tickets to Session Muskoka Craft Beer Festival, presented by the Griffin Gastropub at Annie Williams Park on August 2nd.
Get out and explore Muskoka. Check out http://santasvillage.ca/beyond-local/ to find more great local places to eat, shop, or stay.
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