• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

kayaking

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Penny-Cameron

Penny Cameron is the Regional Secretary for Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic Region and was the first female concierge in our region to receive the golden keys. After 30 years with The Prince George, she is now part of the concierge team at Parkland at the Gardens, a luxury retirement residence in Halifax.

Q: What’s your pick for Halifax’s can’t-miss August event?
A: In August, the waterfront is alive with action. From August 1 to 6, the Halifax Busker Festival offers 300 shows at various stages on the waterfront with performers from all over the world. If you are here during the first week in August, you’ll also catch the Halifax Natal Day Festival, celebrating the city’s birthday. There’s great beach weather in August too; check out the Clam Harbour Sandcastle Competition taking place on our Eastern Shore.

Q: What’s a great way for outdoor adventurers to spend the day in the Halifax area?
A: The Halifax Harbour is a stone’s throw from the downtown and a great way to see Halifax from the water is by sea kayak. Kayak Halifax—at Sands at Salter on the waterfront—offers two-hour and full-day tours with professional guides enabling you to explore the second largest natural harbour in the world. Or join Kattuk Expeditions in Fisherman’s Cove for the Sunset Kayak Tour to McNab’s Island.

Q: How can a family make a rainy day fun in Halifax?
A: I always recommend the Discovery Centre to families visiting Halifax, a unique experience offering four floors of interactive exhibits including an immersive dome theatre. It’s open from 10am to 5pm daily in a new beautiful facility on the waterfront.

Q: Where should diners go to experience unique Nova Scotian wines?
A: Visitors are often surprised to learn of Nova Scotia’s thriving wine industry and if you have time, a visit to the wineries in the Gaspereau Valley is well worth the trip. Tour companies such as Grape Escapes Wine Tours offer excellent day trips to the award-winning wineries. Many restaurants support local wineries and offer the best of Nova Scotia wines. Obladee Wine Bar has an extensive wine list along with small plates and charcuterie boards. They also offer private tastings for small groups. Make sure you try our Tidal Bay wines, unique to Nova Scotia and learn more about Nova Scotia wines at Bishop’s Cellar.

Q: Where can travellers find a unique memento of their visit?
A: Head to the Hydrostone Market on Young Street and take home a unique gift from Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique. Lady Luck Boutique nearby is also a great spot to purchase locally made jewellery and art. Downtown, Amos Pewter offers beautiful locally-made pewter crafts, frames, and gift ideas.

MAP: Our Guide to 16 of Muskoka’s Best Nature Trails and Hiking Destinations

By CHRIS RYALL


View Muskoka Trails: Pathways to Fresh Air and Fun in a larger map

Nature takes centre stage in Muskoka with daily performances by 250 species of birds, 50 types of mammals and 25 species of amphibians. Turn off the iPod and open your ears to Muskoka’s natural sounds by hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking through the region National Geographic Traveler selected selected as one of the top 20 “Best Trips of the World” for 2012. No gas required and no stress allowed.

Here, we’ve mapped some of our favourite trails for you to explore (zoom in close to see all the smaller trails).

Door to Dock

Do it all from the water this boating season—dine, shop, sightsee and more. Landlubbers need not apply. By Meaghan Lamb

The Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

PARRY SOUND
The summer population quadruples in this town on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay. Culture-seeking boaters can cruise into the world’s deepest natural freshwater port and hop ashore to the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, while the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame celebrates the region’s favourite hockey legend.

HUNTSVILLE
See outdoor murals inspired by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven in the town that plays host to the 2010 G8 Summit. Scout out The Finds, Wooden Penny and Nutty Chocolatier. Style the whole family at Big Bear Outfitters (64 Main St. E., 705-788-1351), The Village Shop or Muskoka Jewellery Design.

BOATING FOR BEGINNERS
Take a few paddling lessons and you’ll be skimming the lakes in no time.
>> White Squall is the place for kayak touring. Take both beginner- and advanced-level classes starting at $60 for two and a half hours, or request a private session.
>> Algonquin Outfitters boasts daily canoe and kayak programs at its Huntsville location situated on the water’s edge.

Try a White Squall paddling adventure

BRACEBRIDGE
Water has been an integral part of the area’s history with the North Falls acting as a source of hydraulic power. Tie up at Bracebridge Bay Park in the heart of downtown and get fashionable at Tiggs Clothiers, have Christmas in July at The Gingerbread House and be spoiled for choice selecting cupcakes at Sweet Aroma. For leisurely pursuits, visit Applause! Toy Store, Readers World and the Norwood Theatre (106 Manitoba St., 705-645-2333).

ROSSEAU
Sing your heart out while coming into the Rosseau wharf as holidaymakers did when arriving on the steamships a century ago. Peruse The Craft Room Rosseau or the Farmers’ Market (at Short Street) on Fridays.

FULL SERVICE
>> Port Sandfield Marina offers watercraft rentals, fuel, repairs, servicing and detailing on-site, as well as storage. Shop the Boathouse for clothing, footwear and boating accessories or grab a coffee or ice cream.
>> Pride Marine Group has four marinas under their umbrella here—Pride of Muskoka, Pride of Muskoka West, Pride of Lake of Bays and Pride of Rosseau—each of which provide service seven days a week, gas, as well as new and used boat sales.
>> Skeleton Lake Marina sells new and used boats as well as servicing and repairing many styles of boats. No boat? Rent one and have it delivered to your lake.

Steamships glide through Port Carling

PORT CARLING
Cruise through the locks from lakes Muskoka to Rosseau where you’ll find pleasant respite at the “Hub of the Lakes.” Dock at Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill (123 Medora St., 705-765-1753) for a lunch of burgers, salads, beer-battered fish and chips and more. Grab the necessities from Tommy Bahama before rejoining the water world.

MUSKOKA WHARF
The $170 million rebirth of this wharf in Gravenhurst meanders the length of the waterfront. Find docks, marinas, dining, boutiques, lodging, heritage facilities and the homeport of the Muskoka steamships. Berth your own vessel and promenade along the boardwalk.