In this article we explore some additional interests while you vacation at your cottage rentals, ideal for first time renters. Many people have the notion that renting a cottage in Ontario is about being in a faraway-place where there is nothing to do but sit aside and listen to the birds chirp. These first timers are often daunted by the notion that there is no wifi, cable or electronic pastimes and so they will be bored. These are city folk that have not ventured past a certain degree of radius from the comforts of the city. Well NO MORE! We are going to pull you out of your virtual slouch and prove to you that beyond the internet and television, there is a whole world out there to enjoy and see! Think beyond the crowded, all-inclusive, noisy Caribbean resort. Think cottage rentals Ontario!
- Have you got access to a pedal boat or a canoe at the cottage you’re renting? If it’s not motorised, chances are you will have access to it (some instances sign a waiver for liability) and you will love the opportunity to explore the water ways in short stretches. Try it for an hour at a time. Beyond swimming and dipping in the water, pedal boats and canoes can give you a nice reference of your shoreline, and a chance to do some fishing (remember, license over 18 is required.)
- Have you thought about researching the area to see what local events and area attractions are under way? The long weekends are always a good beginning if you are renting during that time. Also are some cultural events like “Art in the Park”, “Dragon Boat Races”, “Kite Flying Tournaments”, POW WOW’s etc. Best beginning is to research the closest township website of the cottage you are renting, or considering to rent, and looking at their events’ calendar. That will provide you and your family some economical choices, as most appeal to the vacationing family and senior.
- Do you have a boater’s license? Consider a small fishing or motor boat from a licensed service vendor in the area. I have referred my rental guests many times to my boat mechanic’s business. He has everything you would need, AND is certified to rent these items out. What an amazing experience it ends up becoming when you throw in the chance to rent a boat and see the waterways.
- How about a trail ride with an ATV? Again, a great way to see the sights and sounds of the area, without spending a fortune or giving up too much of your time. Most boat rental vendors offer ATV’s as well. Again, you would need to be properly licensed and have insurance. The experience is affordable and fun!
- How about a local cruise on a ferry boat? The Island Queen in Parry Sound, local to our cottage rentals, has been a time-honoured classic experience for my own family, and I recommend it every year to my rental guests. The 3 or 4 hour cruises take you through Georgian Bay with a tour guide speaker, and the ferry has bathrooms, food and beverage, to make the ride pleasant and not too pricy.
- What about the local Art Galleries and Museums? If there is one thing about northern Ontario, it’s exceptionally historic. And most townships offer up the chance to learn about local history through their museums and art galleries. Often the admission is a donation or such a low amount, local area cottage renters return year after year to see it again and again.
- Did someone say outdoor concerts? Yup, they do exist. Often during festivals, like “Festival of the Sound”, in Parry Sound, Ontario, you will get the chance to enjoy a FREE, yup, FREE musical experience. And the festival will also have local flea and artisan merchants out there selling their wares to the public.
- Don’t forget about the Farmers’ Markets. They are always a great place to shop for just about anything, from produce to flowers and artisan pieces. Lovely way to enjoy the locals harvest without dropping too big a dime.
Turn OFF the TELEVISION and get the off the laptop and computer. Pack your bags and find a spot that can improve your quality of life from simply having fresh air and a new experience. You are not “roughing” it by stepping out of your comfort zones. And if your teenagers groan at the thought of no Xbox for a week, tell them that you will pack it up and take it with you. I can guarantee you won’t need to turn it on once during the week. They will be having too much fun…to care!