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6 Fun Things to Do in Orillia and Lake Country on a Friends’ Getaway Weekend

There are some truly memorable things to do in Orillia and Lake Country when you visit this picturesque region. From exciting breweries and restaurants to adventurous outdoor attractions, this region is a short drive from the Greater Toronto Area, and brimming with possibilities.

Black River Creek Wilderness Park. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

There are so many fun things to do in Orillia and Lake Country. This area is home to some beautiful natural surroundings, charming towns, restaurants and breweries, and of course it’s home to its fair share of lakes.

This is just one of so many beautiful regions to explore in Ontario for a weekend getaway. With such a wonderful choice for amazing outdoor experiences in the province and incredible food and drink destinations to visit, Orillia and Lake Country is another excellent option to have on the map.

Orillia and Lake Country is made up of five regions in Ontario: the city and region of Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Ramara, Rama and Severn. All of these regions are connected to each other, and this part of Ontario is an easy drive from the Greater Toronto Area.

If you’re planning a family trip or a fun weekend away with some friends, Orillia and Lake Country definitely has an incredible set of things to do on your getaway.

Let’s get into all of the ways you can make the most out of your time in this beautiful region!

Where to Stay in Orillia and Lake Country

Casino Rama Resort. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

There are a few excellent options for places to stay when you visit this area with a family or group of friends.

If you’re looking for a fun opportunity to stay at hotels in Orillia with a pool, then Casino Rama is an excellent option. Of course they’re most well known for their casino and the many concerts that they host here, but they also have a pool which is perfect for travelling with a family or large group, and a really nice spa in their wellness centre. It’s truly an entertainment destination.

On top of that, all of the rooms at Casino Rama are luxury sweets with ample space for lounging and hanging out with a family or group of friends, and many have adjoining room configurations. I was impressed with how sizeable the suites were on my recent stay here.

Other great places to stay in Orillia and Lake Country are Horseshoe Resort and Fern Resort.

Head to Quayle’s Brewery

Quayle’s Brewery. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

Quayle’s Brewery isn’t only a delicious brewery–it’s a destination in its own right, filled with open spaces perfect for large group gatherings or family outings, lawn games, delicious food and top-notch beer.

Nestled in the hills of Oro-Medonte, when you arrive at Quayle’s, you instantly feel calmed by its grounds. The main barn building is a beacon in the natural surroundings of the region, and it’s such an inviting place to spend a couple of hours.

Their inventive and exhaustive list of craft beers at Quayle’s is a treat. You can expect unique brews in the form of everything from pilsners and IPA’s to sours and stouts. They’re quite the self-sustaining brewery, too, since their beers are brewed using their own spring water, along with the hops you can see growing in the hop fields from the barn. You can learn more about their beer making process by booking a Hops Harvest Tour.

Their on-site food truck also serves up some fantastic delights for any foodie, and they’re most famous for their Smash Burgers and Fish Tacos. Whether you plan on indulging in a beer tasting, enjoying good beer and a delicious meal with a friend, listening to live music or getting together with a larger group on the ample grounds of Quayle’s, there’s no shortage of opportunities to enjoy yourself at this staple of a brewery in Ontario.

Enjoy a Delicious Waterfront Meal at Fare Restaurant

The patio overlooking Lake Couchiching at Fare Restaurant. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

There are delicious restaurants all over the region, but a local favourite close to downtown Orillia, Ontario is Fare Restaurant.

It’s located on the shores of Lake Couchiching, between the Mariposa Folk Festival grounds at Tudhope Park, and Couchiching Beach Park and the Lightfoot Trail (famous folk musician Gordon Lightfoot grew up in Orillia).

The restaurant itself is actually on the grounds of the Stephen Leacock Museum and historical site. This can’t be overstated, because the location of this Orillia museum has some of the most serene water views on its scenic beach, and makes for a truly intimate setting for a nice lunch or dinner out.

On my recent visit to Fare, I went with a group of friends, and it was such a nice restaurant to head to for a celebratory dinner. Their cocktail list is filled with delightful options, like Espresso Martinis and Margaritas. Their food menu also has a delicious selection of plates like steak, gnocchi and several tasty vegan options that hold their own.

If the weather is warm, I’d highly recommend either arriving in time for or grabbing a seat on the patio for sunset. Sunset over Lake Couchiching is absolutely stunning from this beautiful restaurant.

Go for a Nature Walk Through Black River Wilderness Park

Walking trails over scenic pedestrian bridges in Black River Wilderness Park. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

This private park is Indigenous-owned by the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. It offers excellent options for day visitors, and it also has some premier campsites and unique roofed accommodations for overnight visitors.

It’s located on the scenic Black River, which opens itself up to a series of islands within it where you can camp when you visit the park. It also has several walking trails running along the river at various points. The trails are well-marked, and you can grab a map at the entrance to the park before you begin walking.

Definitely plan to spend a few hours, or even plan to camp here overnight. It’s a conveniently located park with absolutely beautiful viewpoints along the river, and taking your time to enjoy it is the best decision you can make. Bear in mind that there is a fee for day-visitors, and you can find all of the information on their website.

Explore the Magical Village of Coldwater

The main street in the Village of Coldwater. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

Visiting the Village of Coldwater is another worthwhile stop on your tour of exciting things to do in Orillia & Lake Country.

This village is steeped in history, with both Indigenous communities and settlers having resided here for hundreds of years. Just steps away from the main road is the picturesque Coldwater River and the historic Coldwater Mill. The town is full of quaint shops and excellent places to stop for a bite throughout. Coldwater Ice Cream is a standout stop, with a beautifully preserved historic building and a 1950’s ice cream parlour style flare.

There’s certainly some magic sprinkled throughout this special town. In addition to shops with a focus on the clairvoyant, the dark and the mysterious, the town hosts an annual Witches Walk in October, and a Magical World of Witchcraft and Wizardry festival in August.

As you walk along the picturesque main street of Coldwater, you’ll be taken by all of the interesting shops and curiosities to visit. There’s even a Platform 9 3/4 trolley popping out of Puzzles & Pastimes Hobby Shop next to a Fairy Garden, which makes for excellent photos while you’re here in town.

Go Treetop Trekking

Hanging out on the ropes course at Treetop Trekking Barrie. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

Treetop Trekking has locations all over the province, but this location in Barrie is in a scenic tree canopy that you’ll have to see to believe.

Tucked behind the adventure-central Horseshoe Resort, Treetop Trekking Barrie has courses and adventures for the whole family.

After taking some time to go through a safety demonstration and a preliminary ropes trial run, you’ll be on your way to getting through a series of challenging ropes courses that are a fun and memorable experience for all who participate.

Once you’ve graduated past the rope courses, you’ll have the opportunity to check out their thrilling zipline course at the end of the park.

Regardless of the time of year, you’ll want to wear long pants for navigating the wires of the courses. If you’re visiting in the spring or early summer seasons, definitely make sure you pack bug spray to make the tree canopy all the more enjoyable.

A fall visit to this ropes course is also stunning, since this stretch of forest is almost exclusively made up of deciduous trees that will change colour right before your eyes.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day

The wellness area at Casino Rama Resort. Photo Credit: Bri Mitchell

There are some wonderful spas to visit in Orillia & Lake Country. If you find yourself staying at Casino Rama Resort, then their Balance in Life Spa and pool area is an excellent place to unwind after a long day.

There are many different types of treatments you can choose from when you visit the spa, from manicures and pedicures to facials and massages. The staff are friendly at the spa, and it’s a warm and welcoming environment.

Another excellent spa to visit in the area is Vetta Nordic Spa. It offers a traditional Finnish-inspired spa experience near Barrie.

Enjoying Orillia & Lake Country

As someone who has covered a lot of ground visiting so many corners of Ontario, I hadn’t really spent much time in Orillia & Lake Country before taking this trip. I have to say that it opened my eyes up to all of the ways that this region can and should be treasured.

With such incredible access to Indigenous-owned businesses and experiences, unique breweries and restaurants and beautiful natural lakes, rivers, and hiking trails, it’s a special destination to experience for all who visit.

Please note that this article contains some affiliate links. Simply put, this means that we may get a small commission from some of our recommendations at absolutely zero additional cost to you.

I want to thank Orillia and Lake Country Tourism for hosting me as media. All opinions expressed are my own.