If you’re planning a weekend ski trip to Blue Mountain and looking for fun things to do in Collingwood Ontario, there are plenty of activities to choose from, whether you want to go hiking or enjoy some live music. If you love outdoor adventures, you’ll also appreciate the nearby trails and lakes.
Collingwood is a beautiful city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant arts scene. The city is also home to some of the best restaurants, shops, beautiful parks, museums, art galleries, festivals and other cultural events.
So whether you are already at Blue Mountain Resort looking for some Collingwood activities or looking for things to do in Collingwood this weekend. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you plan the perfect trip to Collingwood. From where to stay, what to eat, and even things to do during your visit.
This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.
History Of Collingwood Ontario
- The Iroquoian-speaking Petun Nation first inhabited the land in the area before the Iroquois Nation forced them out in 1650.
- European settlers and freed Black slaves arrived in the area in the 1840s, bringing their religion and culture.
- Collingwood was incorporated as a town in 1858, nine years before Confederation, and was named after Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood,
- Collingwood was once called Hens and Chickens Harbour because of one large and four small islands in the bay. Today that is the name of one of the town’s trails.
- Today, Collingwood is home to over 50,000 residents and offers visitors a variety of attractions and events throughout the year.
Getting To Collingwood
Collingwood is located within Simcoe County, surrounded by the mountains (which are technically not mountains) to the West, Georgian Bay to the North, and rolling hills of Grey County and Simcoe County to its South.
IIt takes approximately two hours to get to Collingwood from downtown Toronto. Get on the Gardiner Expressway west towards the 427. Take ON 427 North and ON 410 North to Mayfield Rd/Peel Regional Rd 14 in Brampton, then take exit 18 from ON 410 North. Take Airport Rd and County Rd 42 to King St North/ON-26 West in Stayner, then Follow ON-26 W to Hurontario St in Collingwood.
From Toronto Union Station bus terminal to Barrie takes about one hour and forty-five minutes. From downtown Barrie Terminal, take the bus to Essau at Allandale GO station. From Allandale Waterfront Station, take a Bus to Collingwood, Ontario – Hume Street and St. Marie Street from Barrie.
Take the GO Train from Union Station to Allandale Water Front GO Station in Barrie Then from Barrie, Take the GO Train from Union Station to Allandale Water Front GO Station in Barrie. Then from Barrie, Allandale Waterfront Station takes a bus to Collingwood, ON – Georgian College. It takes about 4 hours, including transfer time. There are approximately four trains per day between Toronto and Barrie, and the bus from Barrie to Collingwood runs roughly every hour.
There are daily flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport, Toronto Island Airport, the Hamilton airport, and the Waterloo Region airport to Collingwood Regional Airport. The Collingwood Regional Airport is only 10 minutes from the city centre.
What To Do In Collingwood
The Blue Mountain Resort is one of the most popular draws for the area, alongside the Bruce Peninsula and Georgian Bay, but over the years, Collingwood tourism has grown as well as the migration from larger There are daily flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport, Toronto Island Airport, the Hamilton airport, and the Waterloo Region airport to Collingwood Regional Airport. The Collingwood Regional Airport is only 10 minutes from the city centre.
With over 100 years’ worth of history, you can be sure to find all the typical quaintness, charm, and character you’d expect from a small-town main street. Collingwood’s main street is Hurontario Street, which is lined with boutiques, galleries, coffee shops, pubs, bars, and more than a few unique stores.
There are several museums and galleries in Collingwood, including a few great ones located right in town. One of them is called the butter gallery. It shows contemporary Canadian artists and craftspeople. The Butter Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 11 am until 5 pm.
Collingwood Art Crawl
The Collingwood Art Crawl is an annual, free, self-guided art & music tour in the heart of downtown Collingwood.
Located in The Tremond House, built in 1889, one of the last surviving 19th century hotels has a significant historical connection to Collingwood‘s booming railway and shipbuilding era. The building was restored in 2009 after standing empty for several years.
Today this impressive art studio space allows anyone to get up close and personal with the artists as they create their works. The halls themselves act as a gallery where you have the opportunity to see the finished products.
Art By Houghton
This gallery displays the artwork of Jon Houghton. His work can be identified by its bold colours and graphic styles and are mainly landscapes of Georgian Bay, the Niagara Escarpment, or Toronto.
Collingwood museum is located in an incredible reconstruction (of the original train station) from 1873. There are a variety of exhibits, interactive displays and kid-friendly activities at the museum, including ones that cover the area’s shipbuilding heritage, art from local artists with ties to the Group of Seven, and more.
A short walk from the museum is the Collingwood Train Trail which goes through the Township of Clearview.
Heritage Walking Tour
In addition to the Museum, one of the best ways to explore Collingwood is by taking a walking tour. There are several self-guided walking tours of Collingwood’s history.
Collingwood Farmers Market
The best way to get to know an area, village, city or town is by going to its farmers’ market. Collingwood Farmers’ Market is located at Second Street and Pine Street intersection and runs every Saturday from Victoria Day (May) until Thanksgiving (Oct). It’s a great source of local produce and other locally made goods.
The Best Restaurants In Collingwood
If you are looking for the best places to eat in Collingwood, there are many options. There are several choices, from casual dining to delicious international cuisines or pub grub to food trucks.
If you thinking of organic breakfast, Collingwood’s Press Market is an excellent choice if you are thinking of an organic breakfast. They believe that life should be filled with good food and good people. They bring the best of both of these worlds with high-quality organic ingredients with vegan and vegetarian options and dairy and gluten-free desserts.
If you want the best brunch or breakfast in Collinwood, swing by Duncan’s Cafe and grab a homemade turkey burger, mushroom ravioli, jerk chicken and mango salad or try one of their soup flights. With their soup flights, you can choose 3 out of their 5 homemade soups.
Black Bellows Brewing
Black Bellows brewpub was initially a blacksmith and carriage-making shop owned by the Dey family built in the late 1800s. By the 1940s, the shop had retooled as an auto body shop, and by the time Black Bellows took over the building in 2018, it had been in the Dey family for over 140 years, making it the longest-running business in Collingwood history.
Grab a seat, order a flight and some food and enjoy an afternoon or evening with good company in a historic location.
1858 Caesar Bar
One of the best bars in Collingwood is the 1858 Caesar Bar, the first Caesar Bar in North America. With over 520,000,000 Caesars consumed annually, they felt it was time to open the first bar dedicated to Caesars.
They offer a wide variety of Caesar’s to choose from, or you can build your custom Caesar to your liking.
Tremont Cafe is a local, fresh, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with an 8-Course tasting menu. A place where people who share a love of authentic food, complex coffee, and a good drink will feel appreciated and comfortable.
The Smoke BBQ House
At The Smoke, you’ll find traditional award-winning BBQ, such as smoked ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork made from scratch, from Chef Cam’s recipes. They also have our smoked trout, smoked balls of meat, smoked burgers, Montreal smoked meat, smoked portobello mushroom burger, wild boar bacon, smoked banana ice cream, and more!
Side Launch Brewing Company
If you’re looking for a winery or brewery Collingwood, check out Side Launch Brewing Company.
The brewery’s name is pulled directly from Collingwood’s deep-rooted shipbuilding history. For over a hundred years, Collingwood was responsible for building lake freighters. Due to the geographical constraints of the bay, these massive ships couldn’t be launched into the water the conventional way: bow or stern first. Instead, they were launched sideways or “side launched.”
Their taproom is a fun place to hang out, where people often play cornhole, play cards, drink some beers, and enjoy each other’s company.
Georgian Hills Vineyards & Winery
The founding partners’ John Ardiel, Robert Ketchin and Murray Puddicome began testing different vineyards, viticulture methods and wine grape varieties in the emerging cool-climate region in Georgian Bay.
By 2012, they were producing over 30 tons (or 33,000 gallons) of wine from European vinifera varieties, including Riesling, Pinots, Gewürztraminers, Chardonnays, Gamays, and Pinot Noirs.
If you’re looking for something special, try one of their award-winning winemakers’ selections like the Wild & Inspired Pinot Noir Cuvée or Wild & Inspired Pinot Noir Single Vineyards, which won gold and bronze respectively at Wine Align. Its wild and inspired Chardonnay won a gold medal at the International Wine Awards.
Named after Caesar Dominic (Nicky) Guinto, a baker who has been making doughnuts and ice cream for events, festivals and at his own and various restaurants for years. They use the freshest ingredients in their doughnuts, made by hand daily from scratch.
Good luck choosing between the Vegan Apple Frito, London Fog Caramel Cake, Dulce De Leches, Creme Brulee, or Chocolate Blackout – a decadent chocolate cake doughnut covered in Nicky’s legendary Belgian chocolate glaze!
Summit Social House Coffee
Summit Social House Coffee offers a wide variety of coffee drinks and snacks. It’s also a bike-friendly café. Whether you need a new tire replaced, a seasonal tune-up, a custom part order and installation, shock rebuilds or a full winter maintenance service while drinking your daily cup of coffee.
Kiki’s Funnel Cakes Fun Fair Food Truck
If you’re looking for one of Ontario’s most delicious funnel cakes, head to Kiki’s Funnel Cakes FUNfair Food Truck. You can find them in the Canadian Tire parking lot.
The Nottawasaga Lighthouse was built in 1856-1858. It is located on Nottawasaga island and is one of the few surviving symbols of Collingwood’s maritime history. The Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society maintains that visitors can kayak or canoe the 1-hour trip each way to the lighthouse from Collingwood and back.
Blue Mountain Village Collingwood
Blue Mountain Village is located in the Blue Mountains, just two hours northwest of downtown Toronto and 15 minutes west of Collingwood. There are many shops, fantastic restaurants, great dining, fabulous spas, and lots of fun activities to do all year round. Blue Mountain is also the most prominent mountain resort in Canada, covering over 2000 acres of terrain spread out over three mountains: Mount Blue (1,500 feet), Blue Mountain (2,000 feet) and Black Bear (3,200 feet). This makes it the perfect place to spend your summer or winter vacation!
Best Things to do in Blue Mountains Ontario
There are so many things to do in Blue Mountain Village; it’s easy to spend an entire day there. You can enjoy the scenery while participating in some fun activities such as hiking, riding the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, Tree Top Trekking, Off-Road Segway’s or visiting the spa.
Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain
Scandinave Spa has combined age-old thermal tradition with cutting-edge facilities, contemporary design and natural integrations based on the traditional Nordic styles. They also offer massage, facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing, etc., but the high light is Hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy is an age-old Finnish tradition that helps relax both the body and the mind. It improves blood circulation and activates the lymphatic system to promote detoxification. It also releases endorphins, or well-being hormones, into the bloodstream.
Scenic Caves Eco Adventure + Blue Mountain Suspension Bridge
The Scenic Caves Eco Adventure tour starts with a stunning walk over Southern Ontario’s longest suspension bridge. The 420-foot long bridge is suspended 82 feet high above Georgian Bay and offers the best views.
Explore The Caves In Collingwood
Eco Adventure Tour is a fantastic experience that takes you to see the most beautiful part of Canada. You start by riding a tractor wagon through the 200-year-old forest. Next, you’ll climb up a 300-foot zip line high above the forest. Then, you’ll go inside caves and caverns, and finally, you’ll soar along a zipline over the Niagara Escarpment.
Nature & More Collingwood Attractions
With its proximity to the south of Georgian Bay, Collingwood is a great place to get out and enjoy nature.
The Waterfront trail is part of the great lake waterfront trail. The section that runs through Collingwood is about 17 kilometres long and made up of different terrains. It’s a great place to explore parts of Collinwood and its parks, Sunset Point Beach, Millennium Park, and Harbourview Park.
Collingwood Arboretum & Harbourview Park
The Collingwood Arboretum is a great place to go hiking. There are many different types of trees there, including some native species. You can also walk around the park and learn about the area’s history.
There are many beautiful gardens within the arboretum. The Friendship Garden is a place where you can learn about the area’s history. The Awen’ Gathering Place is a sacred space for the Anishinaabeg people.
The Labyrinth is a fun and carefree maze made out of 27,000 bricks in Harbourview Park. It’s based on the famous Chartres Cathedral labyrinth in Paris and is meant to be fun for kids or a meditating experience for adults.
Sunset Point Park + Inukshuk
Sunset Point Park is located right along the waterfront. The park is located on Nottawasaga Bay and is a popular spot for windsurfers. Here you’ll find The Chipper, fresh-cut fries to enjoy with your sunset.
It has been called one of its most famous symbols is the Inukshuk. Inukshuk is incredible stone structures first used by the Inuit people and others from the Arctic regions of northern North America.
Collingwood Train Trail
The Collingwood Train Trail starts at the Collingwood Museum and goes through the Township of Clearview.
The Loree Forest Loop
The trail is located near the Georgian Hills Vineyard. It is 5.3 kilometres long and offers sweeping views of Georgian Bay and the shoreline.
The Georgian Trail is a biking path that starts in downtown Collingwood and ends in the town of Meaford. It’s about 34 kilometres long and runs alongside the amazing Georgian Bay. You can also walk this trail if you want.
Awenda Provincial Park
Collingwood is also about an hour from Awenda Provincial Park, where you can find some great hikes like the Wendat Hiking Trail.
Craigleith Provincial Park
Craigleith Provincial Park is located near Collingwood, on Georgian Bay. It is a beautiful place to camp and hike with many trails you can take to enjoy the scenery. You can also rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards and go out on the water.
Things to do near Collingwood
There are many amazing things to see around Collingwood. You should check out these attractions if you plan to stay there for a while.
Growing up in Ontario means going to Wasaga Beach with your friends as a young adult. One of the best beaches in Ontario is Wasaga Beach, just 20 minutes east of Collingwood. Wasaga Beach is one of the longest freshwater beaches in the world, measuring 14 kilometres along the southern shore of Georgian Bay.
Creemore is a beautiful little town located about 25 minutes south of Collingwood. It has a charming downtown area, cute shops, a microbrewery, and many delicious restaurants. Visitors should also check out the nearby walking trails and historic buildings.
About 20 minutes’ drive west of Collingwood is the quaint village of Thornbury.
Take a leisurely walk across the historic railway bridge spanning the Beaver River and explore the scenic riverside park. Continue your journey to the Thornbury Fishway and observe the fish migration to their spawning grounds. Afterward, satisfy your appetite with a tasty snack from the Thornbury Bakery Café, Cheese Gallery, or one of the cozy coffee shops.
Apple Pie Trail
The Apple Pie Trail takes you around the South Georgian Bay area and includes stops at local restaurants, distilleries, orchards, etc.
Final Thoughts On Things To Do In Collingwood Ontario
There are many things to do in Collingwood. You can hike, bike, or take a boat ride. Plus there are plenty of things to do around town with loads of great restaurants and bars to enjoy.
When you are looking for things to do in Blue Mountain, pop into Collingwood.