Muskoka, Canada – Cottage Country and then some

If you’ve got the money, I’ve got the place. Muskoka, Canada – cottage country and then some. It’s a few hours north of Toronto. It’s beyond beautiful with more trees and lakes than you can imagine. A fantastic place for a vacation or weekend in the summer. Muskoka in the Fall, when the leaves change colour, is gorgeous. If you like snow and ice (ice fishing, snowshoeing, skating, snowmobiling) then you would like it here in the winter too. It’s well worth it to travel to Muskoka.

Muskoka Background

The District of Muskoka is bigger than the state of Rhode Island and contains more than 1,600 lakes. It’s also the home to 7 Provincial Parks and the world famous Algonquin Park for campers. 20 golf courses and top resorts like Taboo, Deerhurst, Grandview, Clevelands House, and JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort.

It’s been the place to go for the well heeled for many years. Tourists flock here from Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world to see Muskoka’s natural beauty. Many Torontonians, some Americans and others have cottages, chalets and/or country homes here. Bryan Adams, Goldie Hawn, Martin Short, pro hockey players and more own some of the more fabulous summer homes. My sister (not famous) has owned a regular cottage for years. My brother-in-law owns a float plane and will fly off their lake to buy butter tarts and chelsea buns.

Here’s a chance to take a quick ride on a ski boat in Muskoka:

The Aura of Muskoka

There’s a few places that have an aura about them in Muskoka. Bigwin Island in Lake of Bays. Now a private island with club and full 18 hole top rated golf course. (As a world golfer, I can tell you that the 18th hole is one of the prettiest in all the world. The longest hole on the course, it sweeps down to the right from an elevated tee towards the lake and clubhouse). Years ago, Bigwin played host to big bands like Tommy Dorsey, Count Basey and others at the Pavilion.

The “Kee to Bala” Bar, located on Lake Muskoka, dates back to 1930 but still has musical acts performing. The Ramones, Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Burton Cummings and many more have played here. Mix in some great bakeries, diners and burger joints through the area and traditions stay strong. It’s the longed for Muskoka cottage lifestyle that keeps them coming back.

If you’re convinced that this is the place for you, check out cottages for rent in Muskoka. Or take the plunge, and get a Muskoka Cottage for Sale.

Seriously, it’s well worth it to travel to Muskoka!

Tips for Staying Fit While You Travel

This Post Was Originally Published on the TuGo Travel Blog on July 9, 2019 by Mark Crone

Travelling is very much about breaking your normal routine, but it’s also important to keep up with your fitness and workouts. Whether you’re staying in hotels or higher-altitude spots like towers, leave the elevators behind and climb the stairs instead. Find restaurants within walking distance from your hotel, because a nice walk back to the hotel after a meal always feels great—especially through a park or nearby shoreline. Here are more ideas for staying fit while travelling:

1.Turn airline terminals into walking tracks

In all likelihood, you’ll do plenty of walking at the airport, from checking in, through security, then towards your gate. But rather than just sitting in front of your gate waiting to board the plane, why not explore the airport? You’ll discover shops, restaurants, artwork and more by going on a discovery walk. There’s plenty of time for sitting on the plane, and a walk around the terminal is good exercise (even more so if you’re wearing a Fit Bit!).

2. See the sights on foot

From the magnificent parks of London to the streets of Paris, there’s often no better way to take in the views, scents, and surprises of the local culture than on foot.

While you can find some great guidebooks, maps and apps to help, why not have a local take you on a tour and show you the neighbourhood favorites? On my last trip to Paris, I took a walking tour with Context Travel. Context is a network of specialists and scholars who act as private guides and lead small groups on walking tours through some of the world’s greatest cities. Tours include archaeology, art history, cuisine, history, urban planning, environmental science, and classics. The tour of Marais continued for almost 3 hours and included various stops in a market, a bakery, butcher shop, foie gras shop, cheese shop, wine and Armagnac shop and a chocolatier.

We certainly hit 10,000 steps, even though it didn’t feel like it. Organized walking tours are immersive and well worthwhile to make you feel like a local (and less like a tourist). If you can, take your tour within the first few days of your trip. You’ll get a better feel for the city, culture, local area and the places that you’ll want to return to later.

3. Plan at least one activity everyday

Is the morning full of standing in shops and art museums? After lunch, change it up with some destination-specific activities. If you’re in unfamiliar territory, your concierge will point you in the right direction and to some safe pedestrian routes. Experience what the region is known for. Wanderingthe markets of London, rock climbing in Austria or surfing in Hawaii is a lot more fun than running on a treadmill in your hotel.

You can also book unique fitness outings with Airbnb Experiences. Like walking tours, these are activities led by locals who are passionate about sports, wellness, and getting outdoors—Rappel through East Zion Canyons in Utah, or go on a bike adventure in Toronto. You can get a real taste of the destination by combining a sightseeing tour with a workout!

4. Utilize your hotel amenities

The obvious way to stay fit while travelling is to book hotels or resorts with fitness centers and/or guest passes to nearby gyms. There’s nothing like a workout first thing in the morning, within minutes of waking up. Even doing a short workout is a whole lot better than doing nothing at all. You’ll have worked fitness into each day before your vacation day has even started.

The days of dark, small and ill-equipped hotel gyms are gone. Westin and Fairmont Hotels let you rent or borrow workout gear to hit their gyms or a nearby running route plotted by RunWestin concierges. Indoor cyclists at select Westin locations can even live-stream Peloton classes in a WestinWORKOUT studio. Hilton has Five Feet to Fitness, where select room categories offer a selection of equipment and accessories to do in-room workouts. Of course, you can always book a full-on fitness vacation. Look for yoga retreats with Yogascapes, immersive outdoor getaways with GAdventures, or biking escapades with Interpid Travel.

“Go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.”


Safe travels,
Mark

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

I am excited to be nominated for a great, new Blogger Award – the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award. My thanks to Luke at www.thecaskconnoisseur.com for the nomination.

Luke is an insightful and inspirational blogger who always brings enthusiasm, knowledge, and positivity to his posts. (I hope to share a beer with him one day in England).

The rules of this award

Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.

  • Answer your nominator’s questions
  • Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them new questions
  • Notify your nominees by visiting and commenting on their blog
  • List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo

Provide the Link to the Award creator

Now here are the answers to Luke’s questions.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself being a full time blogger within a few years. Definitely 10 years from now. I’ll be travelling more in the coming years and writing about it in my blog.

What got you into blogging?

I was asked to write a travel article for a golf magazine about 12 years ago. I went onto write a few articles and was paid for it. The editor left and the incoming editor canned everybody (including me). By this point, I had the “writing bug” so I started my own blog – Mark’s Travel Journal

Where is the best place in the world, you’ve visited?

The best place in the world is a tough one to answer. Dubai, Egypt and Rio de Janeiro are all at the top. I live in Canada so I don’t visit per se but Canada is amazing. I’m a big fan of Austria and have visited there many times. My father grew up there. I love the food, people, drink and views. Austria may be the best place for me and I highly recommend a visit if you haven’t been.

Your favourite alcoholic drink?

My favourite alcoholic drink is definitely beer. And that’s one of the reasons why I like Luke’s blog – www.thecaskconnoisseur.com. As a regular reader, I think more about what I’m drinking and have an extra appreciation for the craft.When I buy beer to drink at home, I normally buy 3 or 4 different beers. And when I go to a pub, I look for what is local and what’s on tap. I like the adventure of trying different beers.

If you could meet someone famous or a celebrity, who would it be?

I had the good fortune to meet Sir Richard Branson a few years ago. (Here’s my post – Hello Sir Richard). That was really exciting. He’s a very nice man and a true gentleman. I really don’t have anyone that stands out as wanting to meet although Jennifer Lopez might be a solid choice…

My Nominees:

I’ve been blogging for 10 years as of fall 2020. I really can’t believe it. Rather than nominate other veteran bloggers, I’d like to nominate newer bloggers. Please check them out and show some blog love and support. Here they are:

1. The Lifestyle Confessions – @Lifestyleconf7 – As the title would suggest, there is a little bit of everything here – and with great humour. Love, healthy living, everyday life, and more.

2. Lucy Jacovelli – @lucyjacovelli – Lucy is in her first year with her blog. She covers life, beauty and travel. Her work is fresh and inspired. She’s a lass from Edinburgh and her blog deserves a read. Check it out!

3. Pugsy Wanderlusts – @Hayley_Pugs – Hayley is an inspired travel nomad (ah, to be young again…). Her blog is a journal about travel, lifestyle and other inspirations. Her blog is uber cool and features YouTube videos well worth a watch.

4. Positivity Pledge – @positive_pledge – Brittany is a just a few months into blogging but is off to a great start. Her blog is all about positivity (something we could all use a little more of) and self-improvement. It features wellness, creativity, productivity, relationships and living. Great stories and information. Have a look!

Here’s my questions, in no particular order:

  1. What is your top lesson learned from living in a pandemic?
  2. What country would you love to live in?
  3. Who is your “hippest” relative and why?
  4. Where is your next trip to?
  5. Who is your favourite musical act?

I hope my nominees will join the fun but no pressure to join in. Above all – please support your fellow blogger, and these blogs, with views, likes, shares, and comments.

Cheers, and happy travels!

Mark