Ah, summer: Not only is it prime time for jetsetting to far-off lands, it is equally conducive to lazy afternoons on the dock with your feet dipped in the water and you taste buds wrapped around the cold beverage of your choice. There is a lot of freedom in a cottage getaway – whether going away to your own (if you’re that lucky), to a friend’s or to a rental – cottaging means cooking your own food, finding all the entertainment you need in days spent at the beach and going “off the grid” (or trying to).
Canada is home to some amazing cottage country – often only an hour or two from urban centres. Our top picks check all the boxes for relaxation and escape.
Sunshine Coast, BC
On the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia, the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia is a collection of small coastal towns full of character and beauty. Looking for paradise? Take a ferry from Vancouver to Gibsons. If you’re lucky enough to know a local, you will have an option of where to stay, but there are also plenty of cottage-style homes available for summer rentals.
There’s a reason National Geographic Traveler named Muskoka #1 in their Ten Best Trips for Summer, in 2011! It’s gorgeous, quaint and a playground for those trying to escape the bustle of Toronto. Located about 2 hours north of Toronto, Muskoka is known as eastern Ontario’s cottage country. While homes in the Muskoka will cost you a pretty penny to buy, it is possible to rent a cottage, or stay at luxurious resort without emptying your wallet.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
The red sand isn’t the only thing that sets Prince Edward Island apart from the rest of Canada. PEIhas a distinct and refreshingly quiet culture that I still dream about years after my last visit. You really can escape to PEI. Take a ferry or the bridge over to the island and leave your worries behind.
Rent a cottage or stay at a resort, like the well-known Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort.
Where is your favourite place to enjoy cottage life?