If you were to drive for about an hour to the north of Toronto, Canada– at a leisurely pace through beautiful scenery– you would end up in one of the best-kept vacationing secrets in Canada: the lovely city of Barrie, in “cottage country” in the heart of the Georgian Lakelands tourist area.
Located on Lake Simcoe’s Kempenfelt Bay (between Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay) ‘The City on the Bay’ is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, with a wide range of entertainment for residents and visitors. So whether you are enjoying a day on the sandy beaches of the Bay or skiing the slopes or trails of the excellent ski resorts or shopping and dining at any of the city’s multitude of offerings, you are bound to find your vacationing heart’s desire here all year round.
The Barrie area is blessed not only with spectacular scenery, it has many recreational facilities, lots of historical lore and other attractions. Indeed, it is a favourite haunt for tourists of any season– and half of the population of the United States is within a day’s drive! The city features excellent watersports facilities– including waterskiing, boating and fishing, golf courses, trails for hiking, skiing, snowmobiling and much, much more.
If you are not the type who likes to spend your entire vacation lying around doing absolutely nothing, within the greater Barrie area you can discover isolated beaches, hiking and cycling trails, championship golf, great waterways and plenty of fishing, shopping, antiques, and scenic drives.
From Orillia, Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching to Collingwood and the Georgian Triangle. From Barrie to Alliston, Cookstown, Tottenham, Bradford and the Holland Marsh. From Midland, Penetanguishene, Georgian Bay and the Trent Severn Waterway. Every city, town, and village has something for you to discover. Historic sites, quaint villages, friendly small towns, and bustling cities are yours to enjoy. Bring your camera, bring your wallet, bring your sense of adventure– and bring your tastebuds!
Just a few minutes north of Barrie, in the spectacular Horseshoe Valley, is the famed Horseshoe Resort, known throughout Canada for its excellent golfing and skiing and for the quality of the resort in general. Within this beautiful resort location, you will find the RCI Gold Crown Carriage Hills Resort, a Shell Vacations Club affiliated resort.
Carriage Hills Resort may well be the perfect four-season resort. The Recreation Centre houses a spectacular indoor/outdoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, and a fitness, and games/billiard room. From aqua aerobics to painting flowerpots, guided nature walks and dog sled rides to wine tasting – there is something for the whole family there. In addition, owners at Carriage Hills also have preferred access to activities at Horseshoe Resort, including the skiing facilities (discounts on lift passes), 2 championship golf courses (discounted green fees), tennis, horseback riding, fitness facility, gourmet fine dining and casual fare at a variety of eateries located throughout the resort.
In the winter, you will of course want to try all the wintery things– including curling up in front of a fire with a good book and a hot drink.
And if you want to pamper yourself, you can treat yourself to a relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable spa experience at the luxurious Spa at Horseshoe Resort at any time of the year. (The Spa at Horseshoe Resort offers various half day and full day escapes.)
The units at this resort include studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units. For additional privacy, the two bedroom unit includes a “lock out” feature that separates it into two self-contained units: a one-bedroom unit with living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom, and a studio suite with bathroom and kitchenette. The buildings have 2 or 3 stories with no elevator. The studio and one bedroom units have shared access to the washer and dryer.
You may want to take advantage of this option to visit Carriage Hills in more than one season. It’s definitely worth it!
Some Web sites to explore for more information:
- http://tourismbarrie.com/ –Barrie Visitor and Convention Bureau
- http://www.horseshoeresort.com/ –Horseshoe Resort
- http://www.barrie.ca/ –The City of Barrie’s website
- http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ –The Barrie Examiner newspaper
- http://toronto.com/ — Explore Toronto
--by InsideTheGate.com staff