I recently had the chance to head north for a classic Canadian retreat. Northern Ontario, also known as Cottage Country for its abundance of summer homes, serves up lakeside relaxation and an escape from the daily grind.
Just a few hours north of Toronto sits Georgian Bay in all its glory -- vivid turquoise waters so clear you'd swear you were in the Caribbean, if not for the granite-studded shoreline and cold waters.
On this trip, I ventured to Tobermory's Fathom Five National Marine Conservation Area and national park -- just one of three such designated areas in Canada. The prime attraction in this area is a day trip to Flowerpot Island. It's named for the unique rocky formations on the shoreline, as well as caves, hiking trails and swimming spots to explore. Be sure to pack a lunch, as there are no restaurants on the island.
There are two local ferry companies that will take you there -- take a scenic cruise to view old shipwrecks and take a loop around Flowerpot Island, or make the choice to disembark and spend the afternoon. Glass-bottom boat rides are also available.
A born-and-raised city girl, I'm embarrassed to admit that I have never camped a day in my life -- but I tried it at Bruce Peninsula National Park and had a great time. For those of you who prefer a soft landing, check out this Local Getaway for CA$119 per night at a resort on Georgian Bay.