Road Trip! Some Great Spots to Stop at Around Lake Couchiching. @OntLakeCountry #OntLakeCountry
23 Mar 2018
I love road trips, especially with family and friends. It is always fun going places, discovering new things, or just going back to your favourite places. In mid-February, we had the chance to do all three.
A Drive Around Lake Couchiching
On our recent visit to Ontario’s Lake Country on Family Day weekend, we decided to go for drive after having lunch. Starting Washago, we drove south on Rama Road to Highway 12. We took Highway 12 to Memorial Avenue. Turning right onto Memorial Avenue, we continued until Memorial Avenue merged into Dunedin Street. We continued until we cam to Colbourne Street West. We turned right onto Colbourne Street West, and left on West Street South. After driving block, we turned right onto Mississaga Street East. After stopping at a few more of our favourite places, we continued on Mississaga Street East to Front Street, where we turned left. Front Street takes natural right curve onto Neywash Street, and then another left curve onto Laclie Street. We drove along Laclie Street until it met up with the northbound lanes of Highway 11. We continued north on Highway 11 until we reached the exit for South Sparrow Lake Road. We exited, and headed back to Bayview Wildwood Resort, where we were staying for the weekend.
Note: We did not stop at every spot.
Some Awesome Places to Stop on the Drive Around Lake Couchiching
Here are some of our favourite places to stop in the area, and some we are looking forward to visiting soon:
1. R Cottage
In what has become a must stop for every future visit to Ontario’s Lake Country, R Cottage is a homespun, rustic eatery centrally located close to the north shore of Lake Couchiching, in the heart of downtown Washago.
Designed to make you feel like you are dining at a cottage, your food is served family style to your table by friendly staff that make you feel like family. There is a dining area, a sun room, a family room, a kitchen, and washrooms designed like outhouses.
Make sure you have a baked dessert. They are locally made by Richard and Teresa Mount, owners of by-the-rock. R Cottage is also well known for it’s signature S’Mores Milkshake. Leave space!
Trust me when I saw this… R Cottage is a place you’ve got to stop and have a meal at. Make reservations though – it packs up fast! You can read my full review here.
3385 Muskoka Street
Washago, Ontario L0K 2B0
2. Camp Couchiching
Camp Couchiching holds a special place in our heart. No, I never went there as a kid, and we didn’t send our children there. It holds a place in our heart for another reason.
I was a build co-director for 2012’s build at Camp Mini-Yo-We in Port Sydney, and again for 2015’s build at Pleasant Bay Camp in Prince Edward County.
Volunteer Builders are returning to Camp Couchiching in late Spring of 2018 to build a new welcome centre, a new cabin, and to do some camp improvements.
To learn more about Volunteer Builders, and how you can get involved, visit their website.
3. Casino Rama Resort
One of my top 5 Ontario vacation destinations. We have been many times, and each time, we have fun, eat well, and get in a lot of relation.
The suites are beautiful and roomy, with everything you need to make your stay a great one – including a very comfortable bed, and a sitting area with a flatscreen TV. A fridge can be ordered up to your room upon request.
Fun: There is so much to do in the area. We will often use Casino Rama as our home base, to do a lot of fun activities in the area. If you want to try your luck in the Casino, there are a plethora of table games and slot machines, and even more great restaurants.
Eat well: Casino Rama has some great restaurants. St. Germain’s is my favourite steak house. I have dined there many times, and have never been disappointed with the food or the service – both of which are awesome.
All of the other restaurants at Casino Rama are excellent. I have dined at all of them, and wouldn’t hesitate to return again.
Relation: Balance In Life Spa has everything you need for a well-pampered day, and more. Spa services include: manicure, pedicure, facial, massage therapy, hot stone massage, body polish, body wrap, paraffin heat treatment, waxing, eye & lip revitalizer, quick fix nails, lash & brow tinting, or a seasonally themed organic signature treatment.
As well, all spa guests are welcome to enjoy the gym, hot tub, steam room, sauna, rooftop terrace, and the heated indoor horizon saltwater pool. Don’t get me started on how amazing the pool is… because I could talk all day on how much I love being in it!
Casino Rama Resort
5899 Rama Road
Rama, Ontario L3V 6H6
4. Fern Resort
Comfortable accommodations, wonderful meals, a ton of fun seasonal activities, and an amazing staff = a recipe for return visits to Fern Resort.
Speaking of recipes… I have 3 words for you: rolls and honey. “The Home of Rolls & Honey” was a slogan coined by the original owners Jim & Mimi Pettapiece in 1918. Jim’s recipe for these delicious rolls he made back in 1918 is still being used today. You will find these rolls on your table at dinner time, accompanied by Fern Resort’s famous honey. As well, you can order some to take home the day before you leave, and they will be ready for you at the front desk by 11am on the day of departure.
4432 Fern Resort Road
Ramara, Ontario L3V 0Z1
5. Kawartha Dairy
There are many ice cream flavours available year round. Our family’s favourite flavours are: Moose Tracks, Death by Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Salty Caramel Truffle, and my all-time favourite – Black Raspberry Thunder.
You can have any of the ice cream flavours as milkshakes. The vanilla shake is my favourite (yes, vanilla).
Pro tip: If you are visiting Kawartha Dairy leading up to Christmas time, ask them to add a little of their own branded egg nog to a vanilla shake. Delish!
If you don’t feel like going in, they have a drive-thru.
647 Atherley Road
Orillia, Ontario L3V 1P1
6. The Grape and Olive Wine & Martini Bistro
The Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre houses the next stop on our driving tour around Lake Couchiching. The Grape and Olive Wine & Martini Bistro has something on the menu for everyone.
They have a well rounded food menu and bar selection, and offer interactive dining and cooking classes.
The food at The Grape and Olive Wine & Martini Bistro is wonderful! Don’t forget to have dessert!
The Grape and Olive Wine & Martini Bistro
400 Memorial Avenue
Orillia, Ontario L3V 6J3
7. Theo’s Eatery
Voted Orillia’s favourite place to eat by readers of Orillia Today, Theo’s Eatery is a family owned and operated restaurant that offers the best in housemade Canadian, Greek and Italian food.
We have dined here a few times, and the food is fantastic! Wendy and I first dined here with her parents in 2003, as guests of the late David Fanstone, Artistic Director of The Sunshine Festival at the Orillia Opera House. It was one of his favourite restaurants.
You can dine in their fully licenced dining room, take your food home, or have your food delivered. Open 7 days a week.
214 Memorial Avenue
Orillia, Ontario L3V 5X6
A Detour through Downtown Orillia
The next few stops are on Mississaga Street East in Downtown Orillia – one of our favourite streets in town.
Fanboy is a super fun store, filled with boardgames, action figures, themed apparel, pop vinyl, statues, maquettes, and so many other fun finds. Rachel and Lauren love stopping in whenever we are in town. They love the huge selection of Funko pop vinyl. Staff is very knowledgeable, and the prices are competitive.
61 Mississaga St East
Orillia, Ontario L3V 1V4
9. Dr. Comics
Dr. Comics is a cool comic and pop-culture shop, with over 500 key issues and 1st appearances of your favourite super heroes. They sell new and vintage comics, trade paperbacks, graphic novels, statues, Magic cards, apparel, games, supplies, toys, and a whole lot more.
If you have any comics, magazines, video games, or toys from the 1930’s to 1990, take them into Dr. Comics. They will buy them from you on the spot.
79 Mississaga St East
Orillia, Ontario L3V 1V4
10. Mariposa Market
Whenever we go to Orillia, we stop at Mariposa Market. Their baked goods are amazing! Fresh baked cinnamon buns, cranberry walnut bread, chunky homemade apple fritters, Skor cake, and gooey Apple Pecan Chelseas. There is something available in the bakery that everyone would enjoy.
There is also a Cafe that serves salads, sandwiches, morning pastries, bakery specialties, desserts, wheat-free options, and specialty coffees and teas.
The Seasons Shop’s stock changes with the seasons. They have some very unique clothing for all ages, brie bakers, garlic roasters, and other cooking supplies. A really great corner of Mariposa Market.
The Scents Shop is a Victorian themed shop that has a variety of environmentally friendly soaps and scrubs from the Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries, Canadian made clothes and accessories, unique jewelry, and Guess purses.
Make sure you head down to the lower level and sample the fudge at Apple Annie’s. We can never leave without buying a few pieces. So many flavours, and all are amazing!
109 Mississaga St East
Orillia, Ontario L3V 1V6
11. Brewery Bay Food Co.
Located next door to Mariposa Market, Brewery Bay Food Co. offers pub fare at reasonable prices. Good food, and get service… makes for an excellent experience.
Did I mention how awesome the milkshakes are? They are sinfully delicious!
Try The Great Canadian Hamburger with a side of The Bay’s hand cut fries. It will satisfy your hunger, and have you wanting to return again.
Brewery Bay Food Co.
117 Mississaga St East
Orillia, Ontario L3V 1V6
12. Rustica Pizza Vino
Tucked away in Downtown Orillia, Rustica Pizza Vino offers Neapolitan-style pizza in an open concept restaurant.
Wood-fired at 900 degrees in their custom made wood fuelled stove, Rustica creates Italian inspired thin crust and flavourful blends that is sure to please every palette.
If you enjoy thin crust wood over pizza, Rustica Pizza Vino is a must visit. One of my faves!
Rustica Pizza and Vino
132 Mississaga St East
Orillia, Ontario L3V 1V7
We now continue our drive around Lake Couchiching, heading north towards Washago (where we started).
13. Stone Gate Inn
Stone Gate Inn is a luxurious all-suite boutique hotel close to Downtown Orillia. It’s a 5 minute drive to the Orillia Opera House, so theatre goers will have a beautiful home base while enjoying a show in town.
Amenities include: complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, complimentary wireless high-speed internet, Fireside Lounge with a light pub-style menu, fitness centre, heated indoor pool, and hot tub.
If you are looking for a luxurious getaway in Ontario’s Lake Country, this is the spot!
Stone Gate Inn
437 Laclie Street
Orillia, Ontario L3V 4P7
Since 1963, Webers has been serving up charcoal barbecued burgers at their location on the northbound side of Highway 11, between Orillia and Washago. They make their burgers fresh daily, and they are awesome!
People travelling southbound on Highway 11 wanted to stop for their favourite burgers, so they would park their cars on the side of the highway, and walk across several live lanes of traffic. In 1981, The Ministry of Transport erected a chain link fence along the side of the road to prevent people from doing this.
In 1983, Webers acquired a portion of the pedestrian bridge from the CN Tower in Toronto, and erected it over Highway 11, becoming the first and only privately owned bridge built over a public highway in the Province of Ontario.
Webers burgers were so highly sought after, that the Loblaws Company launched frozen Weber burgers in over 400 of their stores in 2005. You can now buy Webers burgers at Loblaws, Zehrs, Fortinos, No Frills, Your Independent Grocer, Valumart, Freshmart, and Real Canadian Supertstores.
In 1987, Webers purchased and retrofitted 3 CN railway cars into a modern meat processing facility to house its own meat processing operations. It is here that they produce their freshly made hamburger patties every day for their customers.
Webers is open from mid-March to the end of August each year.
8825 Hwy 11 North
Orillia, Ontario L3V 6S2
Take a Drive around Lake Couchiching!
We hope you have enjoyed our favourite spots on our fun drive around Lake Couchiching. There are so many other wonderful spots around the lake that we have not touched on. I would highly recommend this drive when visiting Ontario’s Lake Country.