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Introducing Georgian Bay

A vast realm of blues and greens, Georgian Bay is a land of infinite dreaming. Summer breezes blow gently along sandy shores. Maples ignite in the fall and thick pines quiver at winter's frosty kiss. These ethereal landscapes inspired Canada's best-known painters and today the bay remains home to scores of thriving artistic communities.

We begin our journey on its eastern shore in Parry Sound, at the northern fringe of Muskoka, then trace the shoreline south to Midland, with its spectacular murals and to pretty Penetanguishine. In the bay's southern arc sits Wasaga Beach, the longest freshwater beach in the world: a summer sizzler. Neighboring Collingwood and Blue Mountain are home to the province's most popular downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Heading north on its western shore from Owen Sound, the magnificent Bruce Peninsula is famed for its jagged limestone outcrops, shimmering cliffs and craggy beaches. At the Bruce's tip, tiny Tobermory offers some of Ontario's most spectacular scenery and a relaxed alternative vibe, but be prepared to share it. A pleasant sail on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry brings you to the beauty of sparsely populated Manitoulin Island, believed by many First Nations to be the home of the Great Spirit. Linger here for a few days if you can.