Ontario is chock full of destinations to discover. A visit to Midland, The Heart of Georgian Bay, Ontario reveals a trove of opportunities for family fun.
Midland is so topographically diverse. Its 30,000 islands and Georgian Bay coastline offer endless boating, hiking and cycling, and contrast with the Wye Marsh where we silently paddle through narrows in appreciation of lily pads and cattails, and spy turtles, frogs and birds in their natural habitat.
This protected wetland is such a peaceful retreat as well as an education centre. Inland we admire birds of prey and together, my son and I, pet an owl.
Got a sweet tooth? This year’s Midland Butter Tart Festival sold over two hundred thousand butter tarts in one day. At Boulangers Midland City Bakers, we sit back in sticky sweet decadence gorging on butter tart cookies, butter tart pull-apart bread, butter tart squares with candied bacon, and cinnamon buns brushed with butter tart filling.
There is no shortage of entertainment as Drayton Entertainment presents lively productions at the King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene. On our visit, we watch Jack and the Beanstalk. This panto performance has the audience of children totally enrapt. Musical and comedic, the energy of the ensemble encourages audience interaction, and for my son’s first theatrical experience, this is a knockout.
Have you ever stayed in a floating hotel? After checking-in at Diverse Rentals and Vacations “Floatel” we climb onto our pedal boat and make our way to a cute little cottage style suite. Outside on the dock, we relax under the gazebo cook up a barbecue and sip hot chocolate while watching the sunset on the water. The wind has picked up the waves under our suite, and I wonder if I’ll get seasick, but happily, I am gently rocked to sleep.
All in a day’s vacation… And yet there is so much more to do here: from visiting Rounds Ranch with its petting zoo, wagon rides, zip lines and peddle carts, to the Castle Village and Enchanted Kingdom Park with its castle playground, walking trails and archery, to the myriad nature trails and the Midland Tours boat cruise through the islands. Midland offers plenty to enjoy for all.
(Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce assisted with the organization of this trip to Midland.) For more info on Midland go to experience.simcoe.ca
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.