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The magic of Muskoka: 3rd stop of my cross-Canada travel tour

The “gallumph” sound of water bouncing off ancient rock covered in pretty patterns of moss and lichen. The way the sun gleams on the surface of a shimmering lake. A solitary pine tree, bent with the wind and eking out a living on a rocky islet. Not to mention great food, golf, sunset boat excursions, shopping, swimming, lake tours on the Segwun or Wenonah steamships, friends, quiet hikes, diving loons and old wooden boats varnished to a glossy sheen.

Come summer, there’s no place on earth I’d rather be than Muskoka. I’m lucky enough to have three good friends with cottages on Lake Muskoka, so I’m most familiar with that area. But my kids went to Camp Ekon on Lake Joseph and I’ve also spent time at Rocky Crest, The Sherwood Inn and the posh and lovely JW Marriott The Rosseau. I’ve seen Blue Rodeo play at the Kee to Bala venue, with the lake waters lapping at the side of the hall, and wandered the fantastic farmers’ markets in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, where I recently saw a fun production of a great Noel Coward play and also caught a fabulous band called Pretzel Logic at the funky Peter’s Players concert venue.

It’s a beautiful spot that’s also one of the best family vacation areas in the country. Probably in the world.

Here’s a photo gallery with some of my favourite places and things to do in Muskoka….

A ride on the <a href=

Steamship Wenonah II or the historic Segwun is my favourite way to see Muskoka.” width=”3888″ height=”2592″ class=”size-full wp-image-2457″ /> A ride on the Steamship Wenonah II or the historic Segwun is my favourite way to see Muskoka.

The locks at Port Carling are both functional and beautiful. Boaters use the locks as a connection point between Lake Muskoka and Lake Rosseau.

The locks at Port Carling are both functional and beautiful. Boaters use the locks as a connection point between Lake Muskoka and Lake Rosseau.

Sunsets are glorious in Muskoka. This unusual cloud formation shot was taken at the lovely <a href=

Sherwood Inn on Lake Joseph.” width=”4000″ height=”3000″ class=”size-full wp-image-2461″ /> Sunsets are glorious in Muskoka. This unusual cloud formation shot was taken at the lovely Sherwood Inn on Lake Joseph.

A round of golf is a great way to spend time in Muskoka. <a href=

Taboo is a great layout, as is Rocky Crest. The Rock has some wonderful holes, too.” width=”2739″ height=”1853″ class=”size-full wp-image-2460″ /> A round of golf is a great way to spend time in Muskoka. Taboo is a great layout, as is Rocky Crest. The Rock has some wonderful holes, too.

Mirror Lake is a quiet, tranquil spot on Stanley House Road, north of Minett. Not a cottage in sight!

Mirror Lake is a quiet, tranquil spot on Stanley House Road, north of Minett. Not a cottage in sight!

<a href=

Grand Electric is a great spot for tacos and inventive drinks in Port Carling. It's an offshoot of the popular Grand Electric restaurant in Toronto.” width=”4000″ height=”3000″ class=”size-full wp-image-2463″ /> Grand Electric is a great spot for tacos and inventive drinks in Port Carling. It’s an offshoot of the popular Grand Electric restaurant in Toronto.

Sawdust City is a great new craft brewery in Gravenhurst, with marvellous ales and IPA's.

Sawdust City is a great new craft brewery in Gravenhurst, with marvellous ales and IPA’s.

You'll find lovely home decor shops in Port Carling and other Muskoka towns.

You’ll find lovely home decor shops in Port Carling and other Muskoka towns.

A game of beach volleyball is a great way to enjoy a summer's day at <a href=

Taboo Resort in Gravenhurst.” width=”3888″ height=”2592″ class=”size-full wp-image-2465″ /> A game of beach volleyball is a great way to enjoy a summer’s day at Taboo Resort in Gravenhurst.

Peter's Players is a wonderful, funky spot to catch a concert in Gravenhurst.

Peter’s Players is a wonderful, funky spot to catch a concert in Gravenhurst.

Try the Saturday morning farmers market in Bracebridge for fantastic Ontario produce. Be sure to stop in at Cosmo's stand for fabulous meat and cheese treats.  The market shifts to Gravenhurst on Wednesdays.

Try the Saturday morning farmers market in Bracebridge for fantastic Ontario produce. Be sure to stop in at Cosmo’s stand for fabulous meat and cheese treats. The market shifts to Gravenhurst on Wednesdays.

Check the fun <a href=

Muskoka Lakes Museum in Port Carling to learn more about the area and the local boat industry.” width=”4000″ height=”3000″ class=”size-full wp-image-2469″ /> Check the fun museum in Port Carling to learn more about the area and the local boat industry.

Old-time cottages and old-style steamships make for a lovely photo on Lake Muskoka.

Old-time cottages and old-style steamships make for a lovely photo on Lake Muskoka.

Celebrate a perfect day in Muskoka with a sunset boat ride. There's no finer way to spend an evening in this magical part of Ontario.

Celebrate a perfect day in Muskoka with a sunset boat ride. There’s no finer way to spend an evening in this magical part of Ontario.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Mwoolie 24 June 2015, 12:31 am

    Clearly Jim has never been to Deep Cove or Whistler and he’s never seen Lake George!

    …and the Bracebridge farmers market… Well, it’s a market, but there’s very little farm. Try Hewitts if you want produce.

    • jimbyers 24 June 2015, 2:24 am

      Been to Whistler for sure. It’s beautiful. But I like Muskoka more. Lake George in New York nice but, again, it’s not Muskoka. Never been to Deep Cove or Hewitts, but thanks for the info/recommendations!

  • Edwin Cherrington 26 June 2015, 11:29 am

    My past old family from Toronto – Denison- found heaven when arriving In Muskoka approx. the 1885 era and their descendants have and will always be in Place in Muskoka// To vacation there since 1946 for me changed my life towards mostly a life of happiness because of the experiences and joy of summers in Muskoka/ have not been to Muskoka in sometime BUT The Relatives of the Denison Family still enjoy its MAGIC each and every day there or at home waiting for the Lake ice in Muskoka to melt and planning for new and breathtaking adventures to soon be at HAND -thank you GOD for Muskoka/

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