Cottage country is awash with tastes at every time of the year. The spring brings the taste of maple syrup followed by asparagus and strawberries; summer is for corn and peaches, juicy tomatoes and raspberries, while fall welcomes you to savour pumpkin pies and cranberries. When you come to visit cottage country be sure to eat local produce and you’ll be supporting not only the local communities but your health as well.
Microbreweries and Wineries
Taste is not confined to food of course! Beer and wines are made in many areas of cottage country, and you’ll find the wineries, and craft breweries tucked away across the province.
Muskoka Brewery is located in downtown Bracebridge and offers regular brewery tours (book your spot in advance).
When you are in the Kawartha region, take a run out to Kawartha Country Wines, a few kilometres north of Buckhorn on the road to Bobcaygeon. All wines are made from local fruits and berries and you can sample all their products.
The Northumberland area is home to Church Key Brewery and the Church Key Pub and Grindhouse in Campbellford. The brewery is open 10am until dark while the pub is open early till late!
Still in the Kawartha’s, Belmont Lake is proud to have its own nano-brewery. The Belmont Lake Brewery is hidden away down a cottage road, or reached by boat if you are staying on the lake.
Who doesn’t love a farmer’s market with a colourful array of local produce, or coming around the corner of a coutry road to find a roadside stand selling fresh blueberry pies? You’ll feel great when you prepare the food you bought – knowing where it came from and that it was freshly harvested for all those health benefits.
Make it a point of buying local, supporting the growers and farmers in the area where you are staying.
Check for the market near you at Farmer’s Markets Ontario
Butter tarts are a classic Canadian sweet treat. The yummy pastry tarts filled with butteriness, pecans and raisins will hook you from the first taste, and finding the best butter tart can become a competitive event. Some of our cottage country areas help you out with self-guided tours. The Kawartha Northumberland Butter Tarts Tour may take you several days to complete as you try out award-winning tarts across the region.
Midland’s annual butter tart festival is held in June so make a weekend of it.
Ontario Travel asked for readers to send in their favourites so check this list and map for more ideas on where to find the best in the province.
There’s a world of difference between the maple syrup you buy in the supermarket and the jar you’ll get on a farmer’s market stand or when you stop by the house advertising a sugarbush tour. And in the spring, when maple syrup production is flowing, it’s a great time to get out and enjoy the end of winter and experience a real Canadian event.
There are producers across the province and this map from Ontario Maple shows where you can find them.
A spring weekend at a cottage that includes a visit to a local Sugarbush is the perfect start to the new season.