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port carling

Weekend Roundup, May 15 to 18

The Victoria Day long weekend marks Canada’s unofficial start of summer, and where better to celebrate than in the Muskoka region?

Friday, May 15
Take home a piece of Canadian country charm at the Muskoka Lifestyle Show in picturesque Port Carling.

Support local art at the Silver Bridge Gallery as it presents Metal Petals, featuring one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted garden art.

Enjoy French Cuisine and lakeside scenery in the charming Twigs dining room at the Inn at Christie’s Mill.

Saturday, May 16
Enjoy a tuneful day with the family at the annual spring concert presented by the Muskoka Children’s Choir and Inspiring Sounds Music Studio.

Relive the vivacious performances of Elton John circa 1970 at a tribute concert, the Goodbye Yellow Brick Roadshow, by Ronnie and the Jets.

Celebrate the season at Deerhurst Resort’s Eclipse restaurant with local gourmet flavours including Milford Bay smoked trout, spring lamb and fiddleheads.

Sunday, May 17
Revel in the spectacular vistas as you swing for the fairways at pristine Taboo Resort. Its challenging golf course is the home course of 2003 masters champion Mike Weir.

Sip cocktails and breath in the crisp cottage-country air aboard a Lady Muskoka Cruise.

Take a stroll through downtown Hunstville and marvel at the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery, featuring replicated murals created by Canadian artists.

Monday, May 18
Venture back to the turn of the century at Muskoka Heritage Place, where costumed interpreters teach everything from pioneer baking to candle dipping.

Treat yourself like Queen Victoria and pursue handcrafted natural soap bars from Huntsville boutique Soapstones. Fragrances like Algonquin Morning and Muskoka Blueberry stimulate the senses.

10 Must-Play Golf Courses in Muskoka

10 MUST-PLAY GOLF COURSES

Hit the links at one of Canada’s hottest destinations. 

Prototype Course In 1990, Muskoka’s golf boom began with the launch of Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course, a superb Tom McBroom–Robert Cupp co-design at Huntsville’s Deerhurst Resort.

Par Three to Remember From the wildly elevated eighth tee at Lake Joseph Club near Port Carling, golfers hit to a valley green dwarfed by a giant striated wall of pink granite.

Celebrity Endorsed The official home course of 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, Gravenhurst’s Taboo Golf Course offers a roller-coaster ride through wetlands, rock shelves and a forest of birch, pine and balsam.

Blindingly Beautiful The Mark O’Meara Course at Huntsville’s Grandview Golf Club frequently forces golfers to blast blind shots over menacing rock faces. Daunting at first, the gorgeous forest layout grows friendlier with each playing.

Memories of Scotland Muskoka Highlands Golf Course, an appealing Scottish links-style layout in Bracebridge, meanders over 150 rolling acres on a routing that forces golfers to whack tee shots into the wind.

Fantasy Island Elevated tees—notably at the sixth and 18th holes—present glorious vistas of the surrounding Lake of Bays at Bigwin Island Golf Club, a design by Doug Carrick that numbers among Canada’s most picturesque courses.

Bogey Hole Perhaps Muskoka’s most feared hole is the 16th at Bracebridge’s recently restored South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club. The par four features a long approach over a ball-hungry gully to an undulating green.

Most Anticipated Re-Launch Closed last season for the refinement of several holes, The Rock Golf Club, an award-winning Nick Faldo design in Minett, is a tight and twisting layout that demands precision.

Golden Oldie An older, classically designed course not to be missed is Huntsville Downs Golf and Country Club. A local favourite since 1925, the tract was carved through dense forest and Canadian Shield granite.

Best Bargain North Granite Ridge, midway between Huntsville and Bracebridge, offers many of the thrills, challenges and rugged scenery of Muskoka’s best-known courses at about half the cost.

Tip! In Muskoka, green fees have climbed as steeply as the popularity of its golf courses. Many clubs offer twilight fees that allow you to play at a discount late in the day.

Brian Kendall is the author of Northern Links: Canada From Tee to Tee.

—Brian Kendall