Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Getaways: Blueberry Lake Resort

Drop a pin in Google Maps 6 hours north east of Toronto and get ready to leave the concrete jungle behind. Blueberry Lake Resort in Quebec is a natural four-season playground and NOW is a great time to go, thanks to the dispersal of summer crowds.

Close to all the attractions and fun amenities at Mont Tremblant (about a 45 minutes drive), yet far enough where you can find true serenity and an excuse to turn off your smartphone - just blame it on poor reception.

Family Mario Kart at Mont Tremblant Village

In the fall you can hike the 15 km woodland trails and then unwind and soothe sore muscles at their lakeside spa complete with sauna, steam room and a relaxation pool. Or just soak it up in your own private hot tub.

When the snow falls, this place turns into a winter winterland. Strap on cross-country skis or snowshoes and explore the private trails straight from your back door. You can also practice your figure eights at their floodlit rink or Blueberry Lake itself. Adrenaline junkies will love the 5,000 km of snowmobile trails.

Seasonal equipment rental of canoes, kayaks, tennis racquets, mountain bikes, snowshoes, cross-country skis and skates are all free. But if you are not the outdoorsy type, doing absolutely nothing is also allowed.

The luxury log chalets are enveloped in lush wilderness. They all have panoramic windows, cathedral ceilings, wraparound verandas and range in size from 1,400 to 3,200 sqft (sleeps 6-8). Now that's plenty of rustic space for a girls' getaway!

My favourite part though was ending each day cozying up with my husband in the spacious living room and watching the logs burn in the stone fireplace.

Rates start at $330 per night so round up your friends and start using up those vacation days. Work can survive without you. Really.

Thanks to Honda Canada for loaning us a shiny "blueberry" colour 2012 CR-V AWD EX-L for this roadtrip. This all-wheel drive model features a leather interior and an in-dash navigation system which was KEY to getting us to the resort and back home quickly and safely. Let's just say the navigator kept the backseat drivers pretty quiet. The trunk was spacious enough to easily fit all our luggage and groceries. If you do need extra space, the back seats splits and fold down as well. I was most impressed with the suspension and handling - this baby hugs the terrain and can take the curves right out of the road while purring softly like a kitten (aka silent engine). Now that's powerful stuff! Pricetag: base model $26,000 MSRP.

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