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If you’re looking for a simple escape from the city, Viamede Resort is perfect. Just a couple hours outside of Toronto, north of Peterborough, this quaint retreat sits on the edge of Stony Lake, which is home to “classic Ontarian cottage country.”

Viamede Resort is particularly great for those who want a cottage experience without all the fuss of actually going to a cottage. With room service, built-in breakfast and great amenities, it has the luxuries of a resort vacation and the charm of roughing it in the woods. I didn’t really know what to expect from this historic spot, but I was pleasantly surprised at every turn.

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From the spacious deluxe room — complete with a Jacuzzi tub and working fireplace — to fun activities including a water trampoline, canoes and a grassy sports arena — bouncing between relaxed and adventurous was incredibly easy. Hitting up some nearby excursions is also a fun option for those who want to explore the area. Yet my favorite activity by far had to be frisbee golf along the forested trails (which are also perfect for hiking and running).

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Food is also made easy thanks to The Boathouse, a casual pub overlooking the lake. Yet it was Mount Julian and its chef’s tasting menu that people may want to indulge in — especially for those on a romantic retreat. With a weekly menu inspired by available ingredients, foraged and farmed on site or bought at the farmer’s market, the experience was memorable. Our 9-course dinner lasted nearly 4 hours and included such delicacies as Mclean’s Farm Strawberry Cazpacho, Martins Farm Sweet Corn, Maple Smoked Pickerel and 50 Shades of Grey Rabbit. Of course, we enjoyed it with its complementary wine tasting menu.

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Although definitely more of an escape for families than couples, Viamedes Resort offers a memorable experience encapsulating quintessential Canadian cottage country that anyone can enjoy.

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