Haliburton is a county located in Ontario, Canada often referred to as “cottage country” to most people due to its beautiful scenery and several lakes in the area. There is no question that Haliburton is known as a summer destination but what many people don’t realize is how great it can be in the winter too.
You’ll often find me heading off to anywhere during the winter months that can offer me sunshine, warmth and sand between my toes. Winter can be long and gloomy in Canada and even though I love exploring nearby places for weekend getaways, I often don’t think about it in the winter. However, t’s usually wintery weekends like this, filled with fun activities that remind me just how beautiful the season actually can be. So I was excited when Ontario’s Highland invited me for a weekend away in Haliburton.
If you’re also looking for a little winter vacay in Ontario, Canada, here is a guide to get your weekend getaway planned to Haliburton!
Where to stay
There is a variety of different accommodations in Haliburton and area. You can opt for the resort life at the Pinestone Resort & Conference Centre which boasts a golf course in the summer, great views and a spa. If you’re looking for a more rustic feel, you can rent a cottage, which is also a great option for a larger group. Or my personal favourite that allows you to have the comforts of home, but also a “hotel”, is a local bed and breakfast. I stayed in Stouffer Mill B&B and I was trying to figure out a way that I never had to leave. It was secluded, homey and relaxing. The lady who ran it, Jessie, was an absolute doll and made us incredible three course breakfasts every morning. The property also had lots of hiking/snowshoe trails too!
What to do
There is a ton to do in the area in all seasons and Yours Outdoors is a local tour operator that helps you plan any and every activity you can imagine. You can join one of their activities that are already on their calendar, or you can customize your own. They offer a bunch of stuff that appeals to every type of traveler. Including, outdoor winter activities like hiking, skating, sleigh rides, skiing, ice climbing, ice fishing, and basically every stereotypical Canadian activity you can name. However, if you’re not really into being outside, especially in the winter, they also offer some really cool workshops and indoor activities like a workshop on making moccasins, pottery, glass fusing, and even a food and drink tour.
Abbey Gardens is also a great place to visit. Abbey Gardens is a local initiative where they took an old gravel pit with the intention of creating an amazing space that supports the environment, the community, and local businesses. They offer everything here from kids camps, they have a bakery on site serving fresh pizza, sell a ton of local products and produce, and offer a variety of different activities. In the winter, you can find some different winter experiences, for example, we did a lunch and snowshoe which took us on a snowshoe around the area. They also have a variety of winter workshops ranging from pizza baking, brewery tours/workshops and more.
The area boasts some fun winter festivals and events for people of all ages. When I was in town there was the Hard Water Festival happening as well as the Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships. For a full list of events, you can check out this calendar that’s available.
Where to eat & drink
Haliburton and the surrounding area has a ton of great places to eat, the majority which are cozy restaurants that make you feel right at home. Here are some of the ones that were recommended to me from locals and that I ate at! Plus a few breweries because who doesn’t love beer?
This is where we had dinner on our visit and it was to die for. Great for a special occasion but not too fancy or too expensive. Their menu and specials change regularly and they use a ton of local vendors/ingredients.
McKecks Tap & Grill
Typical pub fare!
The Peppermill Steak & Pasta House
Cute country style restaurant serving great food!
La Luna Del Nordo
Italian restaurant serving pasta, pizza and more.
Boshkung Brewing Co.
Attached to the restaurant, Rhubarb, this brewery serves a variety of seasonal beers and more.
Haliburton Highlands Brewing
An award-winning micro brewery that produces a variety of ales made with local ingredients. Make sure to try their beer float with Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream.
Overall my stay in Haliburton was just the thing I needed. January in particular can feel like a very long and depressing month so a little mini vacation was just what I needed to regroup, rest and feel rejuvenated.
Do you have suggestions on what to do or see in the Haliburton area? Share below in the comments!
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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary weekend trip from Ontario’s Highland to conduct a review about my experience. I only recommend experiences that I enjoyed, and think other travelers would benefit from. All opinions in this piece are my own and 110% honest.