The Muskoka region is a popular destination for Ontarians during the summer months. Whether you are camping, cottaging or just out for a road trip, the Muskoka region has a lot to offer. For this Ontario travel post we visited Gravenhurst, Ontario to discover what it has to offer visitors.
We accessed the press fleet at Mazda to try their beautiful new Mazda CX-5 Kuro which was the perfect vehicle for our road trip. If you are renting, be sure to check out the availability of this vehicle. SUVs have come a long way with fuel consumption and we were able to keep it at 8.3 L/100km over 800km we drove for this post including both highway and local road driving. The data displayed on the dash helps you maintain low fuel consumption at all times by showing fuel consumption /100km at all times.
What to Do
Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre
If you are looking for a bit of history, the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery centre houses North America’s largest collection of in-water classic antique wooden boats. Muskoka is all about the water. That is why you can learn about the ecosystems and species from the area. There is also an exhibit about the relationship between water and indigenous communities. The Centre also has temporary exhibits each season which can be seen on their website.
If you are looking to play a few holes, there are a few places to play golf in Gravenhurst. Muskoka Bay Resort and Taboo Muskoka are both places to stay as well as having beautiful golf courses for you to enjoy. Stay and Play at two of the nicest course Ontario has to offer. They also have restaurants if you want to grab a bite to eat after your game.
Be sure to visit the 130 year old historic steamship R.M.S. Segwun and the modern replica steamship Wenonah II. The Segwun is actually North America’s oldest operating steamship, built in 1887. Be sure to take one of their cruises that range from 1 to 4 hours with trips that float past palatial summer homes, some dating back 5 generations. Private events and dining options are available as well.
The Torrence Barrens Conservation Area and Dark Sky Reserve
Photographers and conservationists will love this area that boasts some of the darkest skies around for astro photography. The Torrance Barrens is the world’s first permanently designated Dark Sky Reserve. Protected and undeveloped lands surround the area, acting as a buffer from urban lighting which maintains nighttime darkness. The Torrance Barrens is also home to a wide range of animals including 94 species of birds, 19 mammals, 28 butterflies, 8 dragonflies and 18 reptiles and amphibians.
Hardy Lake Provincial Park Trail
If you are into hiking, check out these incredible hiking trails around Hardy Lake. There is a 3km, a 7km and an 8km trail that surrounds the lake and weaves through the woods and the shoreline.
Where to Eat
There is no more iconic place to eat in Muskoka than Webers. Located 20 minutes south along Highway 11, this burger place has been around since 1963. The place became so popular that a bridge was built over the highway to allow southbound passengers to cross to the northbound diner. The burger place runs like a factory. 15 staff inside the kitchen work in unison to feed the constant lineups of people that come to enjoy their burgers and milkshakes, while seated in their grassy fields that surround the building and the old train cars used for the bathrooms and indoor dining.
Sawdust City Brewery
Located in the centre of Gravenhurst, the Sawdust City Brewery is a great spot to stop for lunch and grab some food, drinks, and some beers to take home. The parking lot is also home to the largest “Muskoka Chair” I have ever seen.
The Oar is a rustic looking restaurant that is great for dinners with the family or special events. They also run a catering company called North Catering for your special events. They also offer the ability to order groceries from their local, farm-fresh produce that they love and use in their own kitchen. They also have themed boxes including comfort food combos, build your own Cauliflower Pizza and their Burger Box.
Dock of the Bay
If you are looking for pasta, seafood and meat dishes, the Dock on the Bay offers both lunch and dinner menus and boasts one of the nicest waterfront patios around. Dishes mix local and fresh ingredients and dining favourites blended with Asian and European flavours.
If you are looking for something sweet, The Bakery is the spot to check out. Located in the centre of Gravenhurst, this patisserie sells donuts, pies, and delicious breads. Grab a Chelsea Loaf, strudels, tarts, pretzels, eclairs, meat pies and more at this popular spot. Be sure to visit early before they sell out!
Where to Stay
The INN at Peter’s Players
Peter’s Players is a local music venue that also has a cute INN that feels like your grandma’s house. The decor is a mix of cottage and mid to late 20th century with common rooms like a living room and kitchen. This is one of the more affordable places to stay in the usually pricey area.
JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa
If you are looking for luxury, try the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa which we covered in a previous post here.
Whether you rent one or hit up your friend with a cottage, relax on the waterfront with one of the many cottages and homes that line the many waterfronts in the region.