28 June 2018

Summer in Ontario: Muskoka


I'm on the Go Train heading north as I write this, and I can't help but think that Go Train stations are the prime example of "paving paradise and putting up a parking lot". I pass so much beautiful green space every day and at each stop I see endless amounts of pavement that could have been stacked parking lots to save some greenery. Maybe it's because I am heading up to Muskoka this weekend that I am feeling very passionate about the loss of green space?

I spent many many summers in Muskoka as a teen, and then during college I worked at Muskoka Woods, and Rosseau quickly became my "second home". Now as an adult I still long for weekends when I can get away and spend some time on Lake Rosseau. But in the past few years Muskoka has exploded into a place I could definitely call HOME, let alone a second home. It has everything now; From great restaurants, amazing yoga studios, cute bake shops, and specialty stores with products I could once only find in the city. It used to be a mission getting Hollister orders to deliver there, now I can shop the greatest brands in some of the cutest boutiques.

Since we're heading up there this long weekend, I thought I'd share some of my favourite places in Muskoka to check out! Follow me on Instagram this weekend to see everywhere I go :)

Power Yoga Canada
Located steps away from the JW Marriott in Minett, this state-of-the-art yoga studio has indoor and outdoor classes overlooking the lake. A studio I've seen grow immensely over the past few years, their outstanding ability to lead quality yoga classes has helped them grow a huge following. I often talk to people who tell me they can't wait for summer to get back to their regular classes at PYC Muskoka. Can't wait to join the girls there this weekend for some more yoga on the dock!

Health Hut
Located in Port Carling along 118 is the most amazing store with the best selection of clean makeup, skincare and lifestyle essentials. Holistic Nutritionist, Tara, opened the store several years ago and has since expanded to owning a second location in Toronto. Both stores I frequent often for their amazing selection of hard-to-find brands!

Teenie Weenie Bikini Co.
I've been shopping here since the first year it opened (2005), and every year it grows bigger and bigger. It started as a little wooden shack and through the years has grown to be one of the cutest not-so-little shops in Rosseau. Owner, Ashley, spends the winter curating new designs for her own line of bathing suits, and scouting out the best accessories to sell in her store. Every summer I go home with at least 1 new item from her shop, and this summer I am eyeing a Bali bag!

McPherson Ave.
Want to find some of the hottest looks straight from the runway? You have to stop by and see Elle at McPherson Ave. She has hand picked some of the most amazing pieces just for her pop-up shop in Muskoka. And if the Summer's over and you haven't gone to see her? That's ok, you can shop online at her website (link above!)
(Note: The SWS Marina Pop-up is open now and is home to many great brands for Summer 2018 including: Lululemon, WaxOn Wax Bar, Abbey's Bakehouse, McPherson Ave., and more!)
Abbey's Bakehouse
With 2 locations in Muskoka, the first being situated inside an old church, Abbey's is one of the cutest ways to spend your morning. With delicious baked goods and some amazing iced drinks (yes - iced! because it gets HOT in the summer!) meet up with friends and catch up at Abbey's. Their peanut butter cookies are to die for. Their second location is in Minett at the SWS Pop-Up Village!

Belle's Boutique
Located in the heart of downtown Bracebridge, this boutique store stocks great brands with pleasant price tags. I actually haven't even found a store as amazing as this in Toronto, so when I head up north I usually go home with stacks of new clothes. Belle has an eye for trendy, quality pieces and her store never disappoints!

Muskoka Natural Food Market
What started as a small natural food store has become a massive market in Bracebridge. It's always been the place I went for non-toxic shampoo, toothpaste and supplements. I still find myself back there every summer looking for new products they're carrying, or trying new plates at their Deli Lama vegan restaurant. This weekend I plan on stopping by Buddha's Bakery for some gluten-free treats!

Love another spot in Muskoka? Believe me, me too! There are so many great spots I haven't featured here, so let's chat about them in the comments below :)

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