Blue Mountain: The Perfect Summer Retreat
Woodlot Low Ropes Course
This Summer we enjoyed a fun-filled getaway to Ontario's largest mountain village resort, Blue Mountain. Only ninety minutes from Toronto, and just west of Collingwood, Blue Mountain has become a year-round destination for families.
Picturesque View at Blue Mountain
We made our very first visit to Blue Mountain this past Winter, and enjoyed skiing, skating, and swimming beneath falling snow. As soon as Summer hit, we decided to return to the resort to experience some sun-filled, warm weather activities. Take a look.
We stayed in a spacious suite at The Westin Trillium House in the Blue Mountain Village. The room was equipped with a full-kitchen, two bedrooms and bathrooms, a living and dining area, as well as a walk out patio with a grassy lawn adjacent to Mill Pond.
We planned ahead and decided to visit one of the grocery stores in Collingwood on the way to Blue Mountain (only about 10 minutes from the resort). We picked up basic food items such as milk, fruit, cereal, and sandwiches, and enjoyed breakfast and lunch at our suite in The Westin. This helped us maintain our budget.
Magnone's Italian Kitchen
Firehall Pizza Co.
We planned for dinner at Magnone's Italian Kitchen, a sit-down restaurant with a delicious penne alfredo, and Firehall Pizza Co., a family-friendly eatery in the centre of the Village. Both restaurants happily prepared special meals to accommodate my son's food allergies.
While known for mostly winter activities, Blue Mountain actually has an impressive collection of warm weather activities for the entire family.
We decided to ride the Open-Air Gondolas to the top of the escarpment and explore the walking trails at sunset. It was exciting (and a little frightening), as we climbed higher and higher, but the reward was well worth the challenge. The view was beautiful.
The Cascade Putting Course, located at the base of a Winter ski trail, is an 18-hole, landscaped course with fairways, bunkers and water features that highlight the Niagara escarpment. For us, the picturesque surroundings made up for our sub-par putting skills and we enjoyed an afternoon of friendly competition.
Part mountain roller coaster and part manually operated go-kart, Ridge Runner takes riders on an exciting trip up the mountain, and then back down, while twisting and gliding along rails. My son hopped on Ridge Runner with his dad and loved racing along the track (I decided to stay back, just like last time). Children between the ages of 3 and 11 must ride with an adult, so be sure to plan ahead and visit when you are feeling courageous.
Plunge! Aquatic Centre
Indoor-outdoor, open year-round fun centre, Plunge! Aquatic Centre includes a swimming pool, water playground, rope swing, hot tubs, and two water slides. We visited in the morning and worked on our swimming strokes, then enjoyed the water slides, and sunshine on the dock chairs.
Crook A Doodle Pottery Studio
After a morning swim, we spent some down-time at Crook A Doodle, a pottery studio in the Village. Guests can choose a piece of ready-to-paint pottery and create playful works of art. We decided to paint piggy banks - a steam train and monster truck. The pieces were fired that evening and ready for pick up at 4pm the next day (shipping options are available if you are unable to pick up your work).
Beautiful Scenic Caves
King of the Forest!
Only a five minute shuttle ride from the Blue Mountain Village, the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, offers a day of hiking, cave exploration, suspension bridge walking, gemstone mining, zip lines, and more. We arrived early enough make the most of the visit and began with a self-guided tour of the nature trails and caverns. The nature trail was serene and beautiful, and the caverns were exciting and challenging. My five year old son was one of the youngest children to participate and was apprehensive about exploring some of the caves, but overall he loved the experience. In fact, it was the highlight of his Blue Mountain visit this Summer.
After our adventurous activity, we mined for gemstones, then hopped on Rocky The Train, and played in the children's playground. We spent about two hours at the Scenic Caves.
Staying in the Blue Mountain Village is ideal. Once you arrive at your hotel, you can park your car and walk to all of the Village activities, eateries, and shops.
Plan for a visit during the week. We arrived at Blue Mountain on a Wednesday and departed on a Friday, so we managed to avoid the weekend crowds, and really enjoyed and relaxed at the resort.
Do some research and determine which activities you would like to do and when. Be sure to check operating hours (they may differ from day to day) and ticket prices (overnight resort guests are offered discounts).
Dress weather and activity appropriate. In mid-August, mornings were cool and afternoons were very warm. Also, if you plan to visit the Scenic Caves, fully closed running or hiking shoes are required. If you happen to forget something, there are some clothing shops in the Village, but the prices vary.
For more information visit: www.bluemountain.ca.