There is no doubt Ontario’s Lake Country shines in the winter. The region is blessed with lots of snow and the temperatures to keep it throughout the winter. Ski hills, endless trails and frozen lakes allow those looking to break a sweat under wide open blue skies in cooler temperatures, or just enjoy the sunshine with a line in the water, have a lot of choice in the area.
The Orillia area is once again hosting the Ontario Winter Games, Feb. 27 – March 1, 2020, where thousands of athletes will participate in 27 sports, proving further that it truly is the place for hardcore winter adventure.
But Orillia has a softer, warmer side in winter, too, where indoor pursuits are just as popular as the outdoors. It’s known as a place where celebrated performers entertain thousands at quality venues such as Orillia’s legendary Opera House, the largest and grandest theatre of its kind north of Toronto and Casino Rama Resort’s world-class, 5,000-seat entertainment centre.
There are plenty of accommodations in the area, too. From cozy bed and breakfasts to national hotel chains, visitors to Orillia can rest easy knowing well-appointed rooms await them – some even have free shuttles to the casino where the action is really hot.
For a boutique-style hotel experience, look no further than downtown Orillia. The renovated and restored Champlain Hotel is an historic gem in the heart of the city that pays homage to the area’s history. The main lobby and guestrooms have an intimate feel (20 of the 53 rooms have fireplaces) and the hotel is exceptionally close to walking paths along the frozen waterfront, ice fishing, as well as unique shops, the art district and of course, delectable cuisine.
Whatever the season, dining in downtown Orillia is always an epicurean pleasure, but especially in the winter when restaurateurs ramp up the cozy factor. From Asian cuisine to pub food, Italian and Mediterranean fare, not to mention the famous Mariposa Market and other cafes offering an abundance of homemade comfort food, all appetites are sure to be fulfilled.
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