Four of the best staycations to have this autumn

While summer may have quietly slipped away, most nights in September and October are still favourable enough to sit outside.

Recognizing that summer in Canada is indeed too short, many hotels and resorts stay open through autumn, with a number of unique packages and experiences suited to the new season.

Whether you’re looking for a place to stay over the Thanksgiving long weekend, or simply want one last road trip retreat before the leaves drop for good, here are four fantastic properties to discover in Ontario and New York state.

Rawley Resort | Port Severn, ON

Just one-and-a-half hours from Toronto, Rawley Resort is a slice of paradise hiding out in Georgian Bay. Formerly an old hunting lodge used during the height of pine logging in the region, this year marks the resort’s 100th birthday.

To celebrate the occasion, Rawley Resort  redesigned their luxurious Lighthouse45 Restaurant — including a complete makeover of its menu, featuring delicious farm-to-table eats with foraged ingredients. To guide the creation of the new menu, Rawley has recruited Chef Chris Locke, formerly of Toronto’s first farm-to-table restaurant, Marben. Enjoy live music in the dining room every Thursday to Sunday, or opt to dine al fresco and watch the sun go down. 

Guests can choose to stay in spacious suites with king bed options, walkout terraces (these are pet-friendly) or two-level waterside lofts, complete with a private upper balcony.

Looking for a bit of added elegance? Request to have a bottle of chilled champagne and decadent chocolate covered strawberries brought to your room for $60. Rawley Resort is also home to an outstanding spa that offers a number of treatments, but their signature service is the facials. Opt for a gemstone facial ($135) or try out a non-surgical facelift with one of the RMD structural remodeling facial treatments, done using electrotherapy technologies.

Rawley Resort is open for booking early May through early October.

Wander the Resort | Bloomfield, ON

Set on the shores of Lake Ontario, Wander the Resort is a sophisticated Canadian cottage experience quite like no other. Located in Prince Edward County, about two hours from Toronto, Wander is home to just 10 dreamy cabins, all decked out in a Nordic aesthetic. From pool and lakeside cabins to a massive A-frame treehouse, their interiors range in size from 500 to 1,400 square feet and feature homey accents, like sheepskin rugs and cool wooden decor.

Thoughtful amenities, like handcrafted bath and shower products, an indoor and an outdoor gas fireplace, organic cotton linens and heated floors make this spot feel like your home away from home for the weekend.

The lakeside restaurant on site, Gather, offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu using locally sourced ingredients, and is open for weekend brunch, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Home to some of the province’s most stunning fall foliage, Prince Edward County is packed with outdoor opportunities, including sustainable farm visits, vineyard tastings, microbreweries and fall fairs. Guests who book at Wander from Sept. 17 to Oct. 19 can receive a $100 food and beverage credit to be used at Gather.

Chautauqua Harbor Hotel | Celoron, NY

Chautauqua Harbor Hotel is a luxury, four-season waterfront resort on the shores of Lake Chautauqua  in the state of New York. Independently owned and operated, the property features generously-sized guestrooms and suites, many of which boast panoramic lake views and balconies, which make for the perfect autumn evening with the addition of a glass of wine.

At the lively Carousel Bar, guests can enjoy wood-fired pizzas and craft beers, while at the Lake House Tap & Grill, American fare and al fresco dining can be enjoyed on the patio. 

Plenty of other amenities, like several indoor and outdoor pools, fire pits and an abundance of nature for outdoor activities make Chautauqua Harbor a fantastic place to visit year-round. Part of Lake Erie wine country, Chautauqua County is the largest grape-cultivating county outside of California, and is home to a number of vineyards and wineries that offer unique tastings and award-winning wines.

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel | Clayton, NY

Stationed on the St. Lawrence River, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is the only AAA Four Diamond Hotel in the 1000 Islands region. It offers 105 handsomely appointed guest rooms and suites, many with panoramic river views and balconies.

There’s also an indoor heated pool and hot tub and a state-of-the-art fitness centre for guests. As the nights get cooler, The Riverside Patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine or a pint around one of the outdoor fire pits. Fine dining is also offered at the Seaway Grille and the 1000 Islands Bar. 

Just in time for autumn, the annual Apple Days event returns from Sept. 5 to Oct. 15. Celebrating apple-picking season in Upstate New York, visitors can enjoy a plethora of seasonal amenities, such as apples and fresh cider at check-in, and special menu items featuring delicious apple-inspired dishes and signature cocktails. Guests will receive a list of nearby orchards they can visit for apple picking.

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