1. Sunshine Coast, British Columbia
Just north of Vancouver lies the Sunshine Coast, a 180 km stretch of charming waterside communities, ancient forests, inlets and mountains. Despite being part of mainland British Columbia, the Sunshine Coast feels like a remote cluster of islands. In fact, many visitors reach this beloved getaway via a 40-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to the town of Gibsons which served as the setting for the legendary Canadian TV show, The Beachcombers. Whether you stay in Gibsons, Beaver Island (shown here), Pender Harbour, Halfmoon Bay or Powell River, an array of hospitable guest houses, inns, cottages and B&Bs await your arrival. Celebrate summer with swimming, kayaking and mountain biking. And be sure to take advantage of the unique shops, art studios and scrumptious restaurants that add to the coast’s welcoming atmosphere.
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2. Muskoka, Ontario
Listed by National Geographic Traveller magazine as one of the world’s “must-see places” in 2012, Muskoka is the heart of Ontario’s cottage country. Home to over 30 public beaches and more than 1,600 lakes, Muskoka is an irresistible summer playground. Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Port Carling and Bala have been popular with vacationers for over 140 years—and with good reason. The area’s rugged beauty of endless forests, pristine lakes and rocky landscapes make Muskoka the ideal getaway for sport and relaxation. Unleash your inner athlete with cycling, wakeboarding, swimming, waterskiing and tree-top zip lining, or become acquainted with timeless Muskoka pastimes such as fishing, boating and golf. Prefer a less hectic pace? Cruise the lakes on a historic steamship, get pampered at a luxurious spa or relax dockside in a famous Muskoka chair. A host of exquisite resorts, well-appointed hotels, historic inns, and privately rented cottages await your reservation.
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3. Bay of Fundy/Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
For an east coast cottage country break, try the Bay of Fundy/Annapolis Valley region. This gorgeous area of northern Nova Scotia is home to the world’s highest recorded tides. Experience the incredible tides, take a whale watching boat excursion into the Bay, or go fossil hunting on the ocean floor during low tide in Blomidon Provincial Park. And be sure to sample fresh local cuisine—lobster, scallops and mussels – and the award-winning Annapolis Valley wines.
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