A Summer to Savour in Muskoka

Ontario’s popular Muskoka tourist district isn’t all about the fantastic golf. There are dinnertime lake cruises, popular stage shows, awe-inspiring natural wonders and, not least, the most delicious cinnamon buns you’ll ever eat.

 

The R.M.S. Seguin docks at the Gravenhurst Wharf. (Image: Discover Muskoka)

The R.M.S. Seguin docks at the Gravenhurst Wharf. (Image: Discover Muskoka)

 

Summertime and the living is easy in Muskoka. The lake-filled, dramatically rocky tourist district two hours north of Toronto is one of Canada’s premier golf destinations and an ideal place for the whole family to kick back on vacation.

Muskoka attractions include lake cruises on a historic Royal Mail steamship, a wildly popular bakery where weekend crowds have clamoured for cinnamon buns and scones since 1947, the popular stage show that gave Shania Twain her start in show biz, and a rollicking waterfront venue that hosts Saturday night rock concerts with headliners like the Tragically Hip.

Read on for these and more fun things to do in Muskoka away from the links. And for an overview of golf throughout the district, see our feature story, Challenge Muskoka’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairways.

R.M.S. Seguin (Image: Discover Muskoka)Lake Muskoka Cruises
Built in 1887, the R.M.S. Segwun is North America’s oldest operating steamship. Enjoy lunch or dinner while cruising past spectacular scenery that includes the string of Lake Muskoka summer manses known as Millionaires Row. Some of these palaces have been owned by the same families for five generations.

 

Don's Bakery sticky Chelsea Bun (Image: Don's Bakery)Don’s Bakery
Set near the Bala Falls in the picturesque town of Bala, Don’s Bakery has been serving scrumptious scratch-baked chelsea buns, cinnamon buns, scones, tarts, pies and cookies to eager line-ups since 1947.

 

Bethune House (Image: Discover Muskoka)Bethune House
A National Historic Site, Bethune Memorial House in the town of Gravenhurst is where Dr. Norman Bethune was born in 1890. Videos and displays document the life and times of the tireless surgeon who became a national hero in China by joining Mao’s communist forces in their fight against the Japanese invaders.

 

Deerhurst Resort The Decades Show (Image: Deerhurst Resort)Live at Deerhurst Stage Show
Shania Twain got her start in one of the early editions of Deerhurst Resort’s perennially popular music and dance stage productions. They’re still at it, now with a fast-paced show produced by Dave Campbell of Canadian Idol fame that includes everything from 1950s pop hits to current chart-toppers. Deerhurst, by the way, is home to Deerhurst Highlands, one of Muskoka’s top courses.

 

Canoeing in Algonquin Park (Image: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)Algonquin Provincial Park
A vast natural wonderland of maple hills, rocky ridges and thousands of pristine lakes just outside of Muskoka, Algonquin Provincial Park is less than a half-hour drive from downtown Huntsville, Muskoka’s largest — and perhaps most scenic — town.

 

The Kee to Bala (Image: thekee.com)Rock Out at The Kee
Originally called Dunn’s Pavilion, where Muskoka danced to the hits of Louis Armstrong, Duke Wellington and other barnstorming big-band superstars, The Kee is now a rollicking Bala waterfront rock concert hall that features appearances by the Tragically Hip, Sam Roberts, Matthew Good and other top Canadian bands.

For more information about Muskoka, check out the Discover Muskoka website.

 

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