All I want is a humble cabin in the woods and a five-star chef
July 28, 2011 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a nice accessible vacation spot in Quebec or Ontario - forest, lake, canoes. Must be a hotel or at least have locked doors and food nearby on foot. Most important: I have to be able to get there without a car!

I've suddenly been given a much-needed week off in August, and I want to retreat to water and green to spend a few days noodling around in nature like I did as a kid growing up in the countryside.
But! I don't drive. Wherever I go, I have to be able to get there by bus and train and minimal taxi fare, but it still has to be relatively secluded.
Must have:
Lake/river/ocean. Canoe rentals would be ideal.
Quiet and not too many people would be great, but that might be asking for too much.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You don't mention your budget at all, but the first thing that sprung to mind was the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. Not as rustic as you might want, but I cannot think of anywhere secluded where you would not also need a car.

This page suggests that there is an accessible bus service
posted by unlaced at 8:16 AM on July 28, 2011

You can Greyhound to tons of small towns in Ontario but it will take forever. Going from Toronto to Haliburton is a 3 hour drive or 9 hour bus ride. But from your small town, any hotel/cabin rental outfit worth anything will be able to pick you up.

Haliburton is quite nice by the way.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:54 AM on July 28, 2011

There's a few cottage-y small towns by Lake Simcoe that are surprisingly accessible by GO Transit routes 69 and 81 (see network map and schedules, or get directions on Google Maps). E.g. it's about a two hour trip from downtown Toronto to Jackson's Point.
posted by parudox at 9:15 AM on July 28, 2011

Response by poster: The montebello is alas out of budget, or it would have been my first choice. I'm hoping for 5-7 days for $1,000 or less.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:12 AM on July 28, 2011

The Wakefield Mill is fabulous, and Wakefield, Qc. itself is only a few minutes walk away and is small enough for you to able to go everywhere on foot. I repeat, it is fabulous! (Disclaimer: I grew up in the area.) Greyhound will get you there from Ottawa and/or Gatineau-Hull, as well. You will want to contact them about their rates, though. I'm not sure your budget of ~$1000 would be enough. I couldn't see anything on their website about stays over 2 nights. For example, the Bed & Breakfast Package starts at $115/person per night.

Other places to stay while in Wakefield are:

Mon Petit Chum B & B Rates start at $129/night
Motel Alpengruss Rates: $80/night
Pension Wunderbar Hotel Rates start at $69

And it's a shame the Hull to Wakefield steam train is out of commission at the moment, 'cause that was a very nice way to get there indeed!
posted by MelanieL at 1:39 PM on July 28, 2011

Oh, there's also Les Trois Erables B & B, with rates starting at $139 with a rebate offered for stays longer than 2 nights.
posted by MelanieL at 1:46 PM on July 28, 2011

Wakefield also has the best live music venue in the Ottawa Area: the Black Sheep Inn. It's a beautiful little town and very bilingual.

You might also consider some of the resorts in Prince Edwards County. I've stayed at Isaiah Tubbs before an it was quite nice. Here's another example. PEC is really bike accessible: if you don't mind bike rides of an hour or two, everything is easily reachable from Picton.

Niagara-on-the-lake would also be a great option for you (or slightly cheaper in Queenston). Again, very bike friendly. Right now is the high season and the most expensive time of year to go, but price drop off after the August bank holiday. Again, bike is a very viable way to get around.
posted by bonehead at 1:59 PM on July 28, 2011

Sorry, last one, I promise...

If you're willing to go further afield, you can rent fully furnished Log Cabins in St-Christine-d'Auvergne, near Quebec City. They offer 4-wheelers to help you get around on the trails and to the general store. It is entirely possible you'd be able to get there with Greyhound or train or a combination of the two.
posted by MelanieL at 2:01 PM on July 28, 2011

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