The culture club: Top 6 spots for an end-of-summer Muskoka getaway

The beach at Touchstone on Lake Muskoka
The beach at Touchstone on Lake Muskoka

It’s the dog days of summer and we’re feeling anticipation for the fall season (and all the great wardrobe changes) as well as bittersweet that we are saying goodbye to the warm weather for a while. Before the cool breeze sets in, we took a trip to one of our favourite summer haunts: Muskoka. It was just the kick we needed to get of our city slumber and onto Ontario’s beautiful lakes. Here are our top six spots in and around Lake Muskoka this summer:

Touchstone on Lake Muskoka ( Set right on Lake Muskoka, this idyllic resort has its own restaurant, spa, tennis courts, fitness centre and infinity pool—one night is definitely not enough. The Tree Top Villas cottages sit atop a tree-lined bluff are also available to rent (or, if you love them, buy.) Truly, Muskoka at its most luxe.

Taste Restaurant Arriving by plane, thanks to Cameron Air (, was a luxe treat. What better place to keep indulging than on the scenic cascading patio of Taste, part of Touchstone. Not only did I love the farm-to-table philosophy, it was equally charming that executive chef Guy Bedard did a round of hellos with diners. Sipping my spicy caesar watching the sun go down was the perfect bit of relaxation.

Yellow House Antiques (147 Madora St., Port Carling, 705-765-3315) In Port Carling you’ll find a handful of charming antique shops to wander in and out of. Our pick is Yellow House Antiques, housed in one of the area’s oldest structures. A lazy afternoon can be spent sorting through vintage jewellery, fine china and old fishing lures to find memorabilia to call your own.

Sweet Aroma Cupcakes and Boutique Bakery (10 Manitoba St., Bracebridge, 705-645-0085) With all that strolling, you’ll surely work up a healthy appetite. Before you feel the 3 o’clock crash, stop into this cute bakery for their classic maple walnut cupcake and an iced coffee. Delicious!

The Water’s Edge Wine Bar and Grill (1072 Elgin House Rd., Port Carling, 705-765-2040) If celeb-spotting is your thing, then head to this A-list hang out at the Lake Joseph Club Resort. Word is that Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson are regulars. Feast on seasonal gourmet cuisine while watching sailboats glide by.

Muskoka Lakes Navigation Company ( If you’ve made it all the way to Muskoka and you’ve yet to explore the area by boat take cruise on an enchanting 19th century steamship, the R.M.S. Segwun. It’s gleaming gumwood paneling and deep steam whistle makes you actually think you are back in 1887, taking the maiden voyage. Relax on one of the boat’s three levels while you cruise Lake Muskoka’s Millionaire’s Row and take in the water, trees and endless blue skies. The company’s two other steamships make for an equally charming ride.–Martina Stritesky for The Society Global

Ashleigh Dempster and Amanda Blakley are the co-founders of The Society Global, a social club with chapters in Toronto, New York, L.A. and Miami.  For more info on The Society Global, visit their website,, or follow them on Twitter at

More Celebrity