What better way to make the most of a popular Canadian season than to escape to a rustic lodge and take advantage of activities that celebrate snow, followed by some epic après-activities and coziness? These six winter retreats will have you wishing for abundant snowfalls this winter.
1Storm Mountain Lodge
Situated between Lake Louise and Banff, Storm Mountain Lodge will have you well situated for outdoor activities in both areas, such as skiing and hiking (it’s also near Yoho National Park). Dating back to 1922, the historic lodge is where the mountain life you covet will come true, with all of the amenities to make it luxurious – think antique soaker tubs, rock fireplaces and hand-crafted log beds. To fuel up, the Lodge offers an all-Canadian menu and wine list.
With skiing and hiking steps from its doors, this chalet in Calabogie, ON is a quintessential Scandinavian-style chalet, (aka: the stuff your childhood fairytale dreams were made of). With high ceilings and expansive windows that serve up some superb views of the ski hill, it’s like having a Gray Malin ski photo right before your eyes. For apres-ski, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or savour a glass of vino by the outside fire pit.
3Shadow Lake Lodge
Drink up the beauty of the mountains as you depart Sunshine Mountain Lodge for a spectacular 27-kilometre backcountry hike to Shadow Lake Lodge in Banff National Park, AB. Trekking via Simpson Pass, Healy Pass, Egypt Lake, Whistling Pass and Haiduk Lake, you’ll arrive at Shadow Lake spent and hungry. Awaiting you is a restored 1929 CPR log cabin, complete with a wood-burning fireplace, and your private cabin is furnished with a plush duvet to snuggle under. That growling stomach of yours will get treated to gourmet mountain fare such as fresh baked breads and heartwarming comfort food served family-style – all the more conducive to sharing hiking stories with fellow guests.
With an abundance of hiking trails in the area (Juan de Fuca Marina Trail and the West Coast Trail, to name just two in the vicinity), you’ll find plenty of ground you can explore on Southern Vancouver Island. After you’ve put your legs through the paces, you’ll return to your cabin at Point-No-Point Resort in Sooke, B.C. and situate yourself for some R&R. With a private hot tub at your cabin, soothe tired muscles with a soak and then get cozy in front of your wood-burning fire. In the morning, get into a zen zone by taking in the ocean view from your deck. To rid yourself of any remnant stress, book an in-cabin spa treatment to elevate your bliss during your stay.
With charming doll-house-like cabins, Ocean Village in Tofino, B.C. delivers top notch sea and sunset views. Inside the beachfront accommodations, you’ll find creature comforts such as a bathtub set up with organic bath products and a propane fireplace to keep things warm and cozy. Chances are high you will want to turn up the heat once you’ve braced yourself for some surfing at the beautiful beaches along the western coast of Vancouver Island in Tofino.
Tip: You can rent not only a surfboard, but also a warm, thick wetsuit, hood, gloves and boots from a local surf shop, such as Live to Surf.
Don’t let a lack of vacay funds get in the way of escaping for some hiking or cross-country skiing. For less than the cost of dinner out, you can get away to this Airbnb in Gananoque, ON. With no wi-fi, running water or flushing toilet (there’s a sawdust toilet tucked away in the forest outside), this hand-built, wood-heated, one-room cabin in the woods will definitely earn you your roughing-it badge. There’s plenty of free winter wonderland fun in the hood such as a 12-kilometre trail system in nearby Kingston where you can glide along the cross-country trails.
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