Skip the planes and trains and stick with the automobile this summer to take advantage of your Ontario Staycation Tax Credit. The Ontario government introduced the temporary tax credit with the hopes of providing a much-needed boost to the tourism and hospitality industry that was deeply impacted by the pandemic.

Ontario residents can claim 20% of eligible accommodation expenses up to $1,000 as an individual or $2,000 as a family, for vacations taken in 2022. That’s up to $200 back in your pocket as an individual or $400 for a family!

With this cash savings, it’s time to take a look at all the region has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a fun family adventure, there are plenty of options within driving distance.

Muskoka Beer Spa, Torrance
Located just an hour north of Barrie, the Muskoka Beer Spa is the perfect getaway if you’re looking for a casual spa experience with a twist. Nestled in a woodland wonderland, The Muskoka Beer Spa is located just off of Highway 169 between Gravenhurst and Bala.

When it comes to amenities – the Beer Spa really thought of everything. Their glamping cabins are cute and cozy – and fully stocked with old school VHS tapes and classic candy. Fridges in the units have been converted to accommodate a keg – which you can have delivered right to your door step. Their extensive property hosts trails, endless snippets of nature, a full brewery and distillery, restaurant, and spa features, including: hot tubs, pool, saunas, cabanas, loungers, hammocks…. Gather around a fire by the brewery while listening to live music under twinkle lights. Or, if you decide to bring your family (which, you’re totally welcome to) – there’s an incredible playground for kids of all ages (along with a beach a short walk away). While the Beer Spa is ideal for beer loving adults – our editor frequents it regularly for day trips with her family and loves the atmosphere – there’s fun for all ages.

Glen Oro Farm, Hawkstone
Leave the noise from the world behind and tune in to the natural world. Nestled on a bench of land backing onto “Oro Mountain” to the west and a protected wetland to the south, with sweeping views around this beautiful valley – you’ll find Glen Oro Farm.

This Eco-Retreat provides the perfect opportunity to connect with friends and family in a quiet atmosphere surrounded by nature. Each accommodation offers a luxury glamping experience with king-sized bed, private campfire, and wood stove.

Experience the beauty of their trails by booking a boutique equestrian experience. Ride through rolling hills, see small (and even bigger) forest creatures, and learn the foundations of riding a horse. Afterward, enjoy a charcuterie board or catered meal by private Chef, Paul of Laforet Catering. He can only accommodate one group per-night, so make sure you book in advance!

Fern Resort, Rama
Sit back, relax and reconnect with your family and friends at Ontario’s only All-Inclusive Resort, located only 30-minutes from Barrie. As guests, you’ll have access to all of the resort`s facilities, planned activities, world-class entertainment, and fabulous dining. From kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to swimming and yoga, you’ll find your days full of fun things to do. All equipment is provided at no extra cost. If your interest is an escape, you can find a hammock for quiet and relaxation. There are scheduled activities for both adults and kids, so your children can have supervised fun and make new friends with their own age group. Youngest guests, aged 0-6 years, can enjoy the fully supervised sign-in and sign-out PlayVillage where programmed activities, crafts, toys and friendly staff will keep your child engaged and having fun.
Happy staycation-ing!

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