Collingwood is synonymous with winter. Blue Mountain and the myriad private ski resorts bring people from all over Ontario to swoosh down the escarpment slopes. What about the other seven months of the year? Believe it or not, summer truly brings out the best of the region.
The town of Collingwood and surrounding area boasts the gorgeous limestone shale and sand shore of Georgian Bay, the famous Bruce Trail, world-class downhill-, mountain- and road-bike trails, gorgeous golf courses, idyllic sailing, a vibrant local food scene, arts and culture aplenty and more.
So why wait for winter? Plan your next weekend away with these favourite locally-sourced tips for the ultimate Collingwood summer experience.
Foodie Delight – The local food scene is alive, well and positively thriving in town. Check out the Collingwood Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning from 8:30 to 1 PM for a sampling of home-grown goodness. On any other day do not miss morning coffee and baked treats at Espresso Post, brunch at the stylish Tremont Café, a trip to Currie’s Farm Market and dinner on the terrace at Azzura.
The Living is Easy – The tree-lined driveway and boardwalk entrance to Scandinave Spa instantly transports you miles away from daily life. Lounge in the pools, catch up on summer reading in the shade-covered hammocks and Adirondack chairs, enjoy a healthy spa lunch in the bistro and don’t forget to book a massage for one of the most relaxing afternoons of your summer.
Cycle Spectacular – Trade your ski racks for bike racks when you come to Collingwood this summer. Whether you prefer road riding, forested single track or daring downhill, there are 100s of km of roads and trails to be explored right from town. For the best in bike tune-ups and friendly trail and riding advice from a staff chockfull of dedicated two-wheelers, head to Kamikaze Bikes.
Long Live the King – The Collingwood Elvis Festival draws more than 30 000 people to the downtown streets every year. It’s the largest festival of its kinds with more than 100 tribute artists from around the globe arriving to croon and shimmy for adoring fans. Arena shows to street shows and everything in between let your inner Elvis shine. This year’s event runs from July 23 to July 26. Visit their website for tickets and more details.
Sun and Sand – Just ten minutes north of Collingwood on Hwy 26 across from the Craigleith Depot lies Northwinds Beach, a strip of sun-drenched sandy beach that’s a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Arrive early to get the best parking and pack appropriately to spend the entire day, because guaranteed you won’t want to leave until sunset. Eagle Adventures has a stand on the beach offering kayak, canoe and SUP rentals. Or book a zodiac to zoom you out to view the wreck of the Mary Ward through the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay.
Brews, Wines and Ciders – No trip to Collingwood is complete without investigating the area’s major beverage renaissance. Three brand new breweries are open in town – Northwinds Brewhouse, The Collingwood Brewery and Side Launch Brewing Co. – each with award-winning brews under their belts. And just a short country drive away will lead you to Georgian Hills Vineyards, Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery, Thornbury Cider and Beaver Valley Cidery. In-house tastings and the option to bring home a bottle or two means satisfying sipping all summer long.
Best Sunset – When summer evenings roll around and it’s too darn hot to do anything, do what the locals do and head to Sunset Point Park. Order a cone from The Chipper (try their world-famous fries, too!) then saunter over to the beach to dip your toes in the cool water. Wander and watch as the sun dips behind the escarpment washing the town, the Bay and the Nottawasaga Lighthouse in a sweet, summery rosy glow.
Images courtesy of Dave West Photography.
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