For anyone who has ever taken a nice stroll across the Rainbow Bridge into Canada, it’s easy to see just how close our neighbors to the north are. While we’ve all probably had our fair share of days spent at Clifton Hill, if you’re willing to venture a little further north into Ontario, you’ll discover the quaint Blue Mountain Village and town of Collingwood along the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron.
Here you’ll find everything from attractions and trails to local dining and shopping options. If you’re looking for a quick trip within a few hours of Buffalo, Blue Mountain Village and the neighboring town of Collingwood make for the perfect weekend excursion.
Where to Stay
Blue Mountain Village has a unique stay for every type of vacation goer. Stay at the 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 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 the Westin Trillium House for a full-service four-diamond resort hotel 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 scope out where to eat in the region. For breakfast, head to The Pottery Restaurant at the Blue Mountain Inn for local flavors and harvests of the Georgian Bay Region or head to Collingwood for a more artsy-cafe experience at Duncan’s Cafe and Espresso Post. For lunch and dinner options, check out the award winning smokehouse Rusty’s at Blue for your barbecue fix or try out the Food Network feature, The Iron Skillet, which is serving up schnitzels, seafood, pasta, ribs, steaks, Mexican, Thai and more. Other local favorites include the Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen, Paula’s Pantry & Gifts, and Nicky’s Doughnuts & Ice Cream.
Visit Downtown Collingwood
Downtown Collingwood is full of history and buzzing with things to do year round. In Collingwood’s Historic District which runs along Hurontario Street, you’ll find local bars and restaurants, boutique shops, spas, live music, and more. Visit Cottage Friends or The Hive for Georgian Bay apparel and decor, then head to The Candy Factory, the popular tourist attraction for decadent chocolates. As an artistic community you’ll also find murals scattered throughout the area as well as an outdoor gallery of hand-painted Adirondack chairs that celebrate the diversity in the community.
Explore Hiking & Biking Trails
Looking to get a little exercise in on your getaway? The town of Collingwood is full of nature trails waiting for you to explore. With options for cyclists, walkers, joggers, cross country skiers and snowshoers, these trails are a year-round attraction and connect you to every major point of interest in the town.
Pick Your Adventure
Blue Mountain Adventure Park is all about having fun and customizing your adventure to your interests. Their Explore All Day Pass is for guests that want unlimited, single-day access to Blue Mountain’s hiking trails, cross-country bike network, and Open-Air Gondola. With the Play All Day Pass you have access to a range of activities including the Open-Air Gondola, The Rock Climbing Wall, Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, and more. They also offer ad-on packages which 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 take in all this region has to offer!
Get Out on the Water
Collingwood Harbour is the place to go for fishing and paddling as well as Lighthouse Tours and Sunset Cruises, but if you’re looking for a beach day, just about a half hour drive from Collingwood is Wasaga Beach. Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world situated in the perfect spot for sunset viewings over the water.
Venture Through Scenic Cave Park
At Collingwood’s Scenic Cave Park you can walk across the longest suspension bridge in Southern Ontario to explore caves and caverns of the region. Open year-round, you can participate in different activities depending on the time of year you plan your visit. In the warmer months you can enjoy gemstone mining and mini golf while the colder months are great for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Winter on the Slopes
In the colder months, Blue Mountain Village transforms into a winter wonderland with 43 ski and snowboard trails, 11 lifts, 5 snowshoe trails, and skating and tubing opportunities. Plus if you don’t have your own gear, not to worry as they provide rentals and lessons for those looking to learn!