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13 December 2021

3 Ontario Getaways To Cure Your Winter Blues

Shake off the ordinary and enter the realm of extraordinary with these three unique winter getaways. It’s not just about snuggling by a fire — these itineraries are designed to break up the monotony of winter and inject some fun into your weekend. You’ll return with great memories, incredible pictures and cool stories to tell.

Do you dare try something different?

Ontario residents can take advantage of the 2022 Ontario Staycation Tax Credit to receive a 20% refund on the cost of accommodations. Ask us for details!

An Artist Retreat in Haliburton

Head just 2.5 hours north of Toronto and you’ll find yourself in another world: sparkling white fields, icy lakes, snow-covered forests and an inviting community ready to bring out your inner artist. This is the Haliburton Highlands. Beneath the natural beauty of the Highlands beats an artistic heart, a community dedicated to creating beauty and art in many different forms. If you’ve never attended an artistic retreat before, this is an extraordinary opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

What to expect:

The itinerary is completely customizable to your artisitic desires, but we recommend trying as many new mediums as possible. Try your hand at glass blowing or flameworking in the morning, followed by a painting workshop in the afternoon. Or perhaps you’d like to head out on a photo safari to learn how to capture the magic of the winter landscape? There is an opportunity to spend the day in a moccasin-making workshop or you can take a guided tour of the local studios, galleries and attractions. Evenings are spent by cozy campfire, marvelling at the brilliance of the night sky (a great source of inspiration for artists) and listening to live music performed fireside by a local musician. A weekend of creativity that is sure to inspire.

1000 Islands Helicopter Tour

A Flying Adventure in Kingston

Head to the Limestone City for a two-night getaway that merges city fun with some scenic excitement. Kingston is the perfect city for a winter weekend away as it is easily walkable, full of historic charm and has a plethora of tempting restaurants to enjoy. We love exploring the picturesque waterfront with a hot cocoa in hand. If you enjoy taking photos, this South Eastern Ontario city will not disappoint. But the real treat of this weekend getaway takes place just 30 kilometres away from the city in the town of Gananoque, where you will board a helicopter for a flight over the beautiful Thousand Islands archipalego. You’ll soak up the breathtaking aerial views of shipwrecks and gorgeous islands as well as the iconic sights of Boldt Castle, Singer Castle and Millionaire’s Row. For lunch, the helicopter will land in a field right in the middle of the region’s newest cider mill where you will be treated to cider and a light meal. Then you take off again for Gananoque. A truly delightful way to spend a winter weekend.

With multiple trains per day connecting Kingston to Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, getting to the city this winter is easier than ever. Ask us about our special VIA and Enterprise car rental rates.

What to expect:

You’ll stay in a studio suite at the Residence Inn by Marriott, which is located on the water’s edge and offers scenic views of Battery Park and the Lake Ontario waterfront. This hotel is at the centre of it all — within easy walking distance of Kingston’s historic district with its plentiful shops and restaurants. Your stay comes with a gift card to spend at select restaurants, where you can grab lunch or dinner. When you’re not soaring over the Thousand Islands on your helicopter ride, we recommend spending some time exploring the pretty city and its lovely waterfront, as well as partaking in an evening skate at Springer Market Square. Gananoque — the town from which your helicopter tour begins — is also a great place to explore in the winter.

Indigenous Experience in Chatham-Kent

Want to experience something truly unique? Head to Southwestern Ontario for an overnight Indigenous experience at TJ Stables where you will get to meet and mingle with the Ojibway Spirit Horses. These horses are said to be the descendants of the original spirit horses that once ran wild through the boreal forests of Ontario and were pushed to the brink of extinction by colonization. This is an authentic Indigenous experience created by the First Nations People as a way to share their stories and knowledge. Visitors can expect to interact with the horses, listen to an oral history that has been passed down by generations of First Nations People and feel the power of Indigenous drumming and songs.

What to expect:

This is a one-night getaway that begins with a three-hour immersive experience at TJ Stables. Your home for the night is the unique Retro Suites Hotel in Chatham, just a few minutes away from the farm. Here you will be treated to a Queen Premier Suite. Each room at this artsy hotel features a sumptuous bed, bathroom and a kitchenette, as well as original artwork and a bold design. You’ll love hanging around this ultra-cool space. The next morning, head back out into nature — this time to Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland. Winter is a beautiful time to visit the park and stroll along the snow-covered trails.