With the warmer weather returning to the north country, it's a great time to head for "cottage country" in the Muskokas. In the spring and summer, one of the favorite spots for Ontario residents is Port Carling in the heart of the Muskokas.
Port Carling is located on Indian River between Lake Rousseau and Lake Muskoka. Lakes Joseph, home of the exclusive St. Joseph Club is in the area. Many Port Carling stores and businesses close in the winter. As the temperature soars, Port Carling becomes a laid back location for day trips from Toronto, local incentive travel, or afternoon excursions from one of the nearby resorts or cottages.
There is August Moon, Indian River Trading Co., Muskoka Classics Cottage Emporium, Simpler Times, a vintage and consignment store, and, for something extra special, you won't want to miss Tis the Season, a year round Christmas store. Art Galleries include Red Canoe Gallery and, in nearby Bala, Indy Gallery and Iroquois Artisans.
When you're ready for a treat try Stephen Butcher Shop for gourmet meat and seafood, The Lemon Tree Bakery, and, in nearby Muskoka Lakes, Just Crepes or Annie's Cafe. For lunch or dinner choose from Turtle Jack's Muskoka Grill, Rebecca's Casual Fine Dining. For gourmet fare, head over to Rousseau Grill Oliver and Bonacini at Windermere House.
In Port Carling, you'll definitely want to get on the lake. Choose from lunch, sunset cruises, or dinner cruises. There is also an overnight voyage. You'll travel through the Port Carling Locks to access Lake Rousseau, passing Lake Muskoka's Millionaires Row. There are even Pirate Cruises in July and August.
Festivals in Port Carling include Muskoka Lakes Music Festival. To learn about the area, visit Muskoka Lakes Museum. Other attractions include the Port Carling Farmer's Market that takes place at Hanna Park on Thursdays between the end of June and the end of August.
During cooler months, there are still a number of events in Port Carling including a Thanksgiving Feast, Christmas Dinner and Dance and a Winter Carnival.
Port Carling is accessible from the following Muskoka resorts:
Other beautiful Ontario towns: