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Make the Most of Summer at These 3 New Places to Stay in Ontario

Get away to a new lakeside lodge, a refreshed historic inn and a pretty glamping spot, all within a few hours’ drive of the GTA

Outside one of the bell tents at Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat

If your rest-of-summer wishlist involves family fun on the lake, a chic weekend packed with art and fine dining, or a not-so-rustic glamping getaway, try these three new places to make the most of the sunshine.

For family fun in Muskoka: Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville

Inside the living area of a condo-style unit at Deerhurst Resort 

The original lodge at Deerhurst opened in 1896, but this summer, the resort kicked off a big expansion with the opening of Lakeside Lodge. This brand-new waterfront building has 150 condo-style units with high ceilings; fully equipped kitchens; and one, two or three bedrooms. Kids will make a beeline for the inflatable slides and trampolines moored on the lake, and parents can borrow a kayak for a quiet paddle through the canal that connects Peninsula Lake to neighbouring Fairy Lake.

After summer: The fun continues year-round on hiking and ATV trails threading the resort’s 760 acres of woods.

Plus, if you’re a CAA Member, you can save up to 10 per cent year-round at Deerhurst.

For a chic weekend: Merrill House, Picton

Inside one of the bedrooms at Merrill House 

This boutique property may be billed as Prince Edward County’s newest hotel, but it’s housed in a Gothic Revival mansion dating from 1878. It was known as the Merrill Inn until 2018, when collector and new proprietor Jordan Martin took over. He restyled the 14 rooms with antiques from a stint in England and incorporated playful artwork such as a chair stuck to the ceiling. Book a session in the barrel sauna or whirlpool, or stroll into downtown Picton.

After summer: Come back for an artfully plated tasting menu from chef Michael Sullivan or a wine course with wine director Astrid Young.

For a glamping getaway: Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat, Grafton

Inside one of the safari tents at Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat 

For its second season, this woodsy retreat has added six bell tents to its 10 safari tents. Both tent styles feature real beds, but the bell tents have shared washrooms while the safari tents have private en-suites. On the camping side, there’s a canoe and barbecues; on the glam side, there’s a saltwater pool, and you can book massages.

After summer: The retreat stays open until early October (thanks to electric heaters in the tents) so you can watch the leaves change in the property’s old-growth forest.

Looking for more road trips close to the GTA?

Here’s what makes Niagara-on-the-Lake so romantic. Plus, there’s more to Buffalo than wings and shopping.

Image credit: Courtesy of hotels