Loathe skiing? Don’t be such a hater.
Just kidding. But for reals: you can still have a blast in Collingwood, Ontario this winter. If the slopes make you want to hurl, here are a bunch of non-ski activities at Blue Mountain that will knock your socks off:
For a killer view, ride the gondola to the top of the Niagara Escarpment. It runs right up the ski hills, and you can get vistas of the ski village, the valley, and even the lake.
For an adrenaline rush, check out the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster. It’s sort of like bob-sledding…or a rollercoaster. You control your own speed as the cart zips down 1,085 metres down the mountain.
A Nordic spa nestled in the trees? Hell yes!
Scandinave Spa has a reputation for being heavenly, but it’s also unique for its a therapeutic “hot-cold-rest” sequence.
For the hot, choose from Finnish saunas, steam rooms, and multi-temperature Scandinavian baths.
For the cold, you better grit your teeth…and plunge for the 30 seconds into a freezing waterfall or pool. It sounds like a lunatic move, but it’s worth it for the ultimate body rush. After the initial shock, chill out on a hammock or in front of a crackling fire.
Scandinave Spa is busy on the weekends, so get there early. If you book a massage appointment, you’re guaranteed entrance to the spa, otherwise you’ll be taking your chances.
Instead of freezing your ass off on the slopes, you can stuff your face. The chef of Pottery Restaurant built its menu around local products, both for fresher taste and to support food providers in the area. Definitely try the braised Ontario lamb shank.
There’s also Oliver & Bonacini’s Café Grill for comfort food and Ontario wines. Warm up with O&B’s Mac and Cheese, made with cheese curds, chicken and peas under a crumbly crust. The 2011 Iconoclast Syrah was a perfect pepwpery match to the rich pasta. Warning: you will want to curl up and watch a movie/fall into a food coma after indulging here.
Grown Up Trick or Treating…Sort Of:
Outside of Collingwood, there are hidden treats scattered along the roadside: farmers markets. Bring your loot bag to collect acidic and sweet Ontario apples, baked goods, and flaky homemade butter tarts. You might even find potted flowers to brighten your doorstep. Whatever you fancy, it’s stuff you can bag and take home from the Blue Mountain area
See, we told you! Collingwood and Blue Mountain area offers more than just the slopes (which are pretty awesome too).
The writer was a guest of 2014 Toronto Snow Show. The company did not review or approve this article.