ONTARIO, CANADA: Ski Villages have long been hailed as the winter-weekend get-away for the adrenaline junkies to the snow bunnies. However, the perfectly charming Blue Mountain Village has created a destination full of year-round activities to feed your soul.
Blue Mountain Village is named the local’s playground of the region. Tucked perfectly between the base of the Niagara Escarpment’s Blue Mountains and the pristine waters of Georgian Bay. Conveniently located only two hours east of Burlington, Ontario.
Canada brings many wonderfully pleasant thoughts to mind. Wilderness of untouched hiking trails and fresh crisp Canadian air. A country of seasons and purity. Vancouver has made quite a name for itself on the west coast of Canada. With stunning landscape and unlimited food and travel options. Luckily, Canada is a vast country with many hidden treasures.
Cast a gaze towards Ontario and Blue Mountain Village
Seasons are in full bloom here. Look for adventure and relaxation not too far from home. An escape from the big city of Toronto. Where skyscrapers and real estate are sky high.
The majestic white covered “Blue Mountains” are lined with Alpine inspired chalets. Their image molded in turn of the century architecture. It will take your breath away. The crunching sound of snow on ski boots meshes with the faint sound of live music. This creates an electricity that is the modern ski village of today.
Founded by Jozo Weider in 1941. A lover of winter and a mission to share that joy. He slowly and precisely built Blue Mountain into a dream of winter activities and a ski paradise. He was to the Blue Mountains what Stein Erikson was to Park City, Utah. In 2017 the village of Blue celebrated 75 years as Ontario’s winter mountain destination. Now a year-round ski village for all ages. With adventures and activities to please everyone. Including those who do not ski.
Get lost in the experience of this local’s driven and true Canadian village at heart.
Blue Mountain Resort and Village- Checking in
The Grand Georgian handles all of the village hotels or chalets for check in. They are located front and center of the village closest to the main parking lot.
Seasons, one of the chalets part of the Village, is prime real estate. Quietly located towards the front of the village, but still connected to the busy and inviting environment below. Grab a village facing room and enjoy the peaceful view. Looking on the mountain captures the feeling of being in the Swiss Alps.
With different options of kitchenettes available, feel free to pack drinks and snacks for the ski and snow group. Its an option but not necessary. The village offers 20 dining options, from casual eateries to fine dining.
When Not Skiing
Many activities are available in ticket form to fill the day for the non-skiers. Ease into the snow and speed section of the world. Make your way to the Hike and Tube, located behind the Westin Hotel.
Tubing is an exhilarating way to experience ice, snow and speed. Depending on your “launcher”, also known as the guy at the top asking how you want to go down. Choose front, backwards or a spin. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster
Stepping up the adrenaline game, head over to the Ridge Runner Coaster. A “control your pace” way to explore the terrain of the mountain on this 1km course. Cruise along the terrain solo or with a companion. As long as the weight requirements stay under 330 lbs.
Riding solo is the way to go!!! The convenient breaking option gives you control of the speed and the mountain control of the ride. Bonus: this activity runs all year, weather permitting.
Grab a snack with a Canadian classic, poutine. French fries generously layered with delicious gravy and ample cheese curds. It’s enough to satisfy the cheese enthusiast in everyone.
Cobblestone streets and warming up in the hot tub
With happy bellies, take a stroll along the cobblestone main street. It holds the longest stretch of shopping in the area. Locally owned shops intertwine with brand name stores. Everything at your fingertips from art and home décor. From retail therapy, to the latest in beauty trends.
An absolute magical moment that happens at a ski resort is sitting in the outdoor hot tub, under the snow. Seasons has a lovely sized version that overlooks the village. Enjoy the relaxation and the feel calm while watching all the hard-working skiers on the mountain. And feel no guilt.
Dinner Time at Copper Blues
With many options to choose from in the village, Copper Blues is a must go to. Open for 17 years and the first official restaurant in the village. It sits center stage with a stunning view of the mountain.
For the non-skiers, this dimly lit circular themed restaurant is the perfect first stop for a night out on the mountain. Large “closed” garage doors give a rustic ambiance. That also allows you full view of the bustle outside.
The ski slopes are lit up at night which casts a magical spell over the village. A wonderful energy prevails. Fellow date goers mix with skiers just off the , creating a best of both worlds feel. Welcoming, and casual, with a fine dining approach.
The vast array of wine decanters adds a personality to the table for the wine enthusiasts. An eclectic mix of locals and return guests sets the tone that this is the place to be for your Saturday night.
A grand fine dining experience
Artwork surrounds the room with national geographic worthy photographs of Canada the Beautiful. Which makes it quite easy to get lost in a daze. Wondering where each photo is from, and the story it is meant to share.
The menu has something for everyone ranging from roasted rack of lamb, slow roasted Prime rib, to Italian styled pasta dishes. However, the seafood platter to share is the stand out champion on this menu. An elaborate platter fit for royalty is placed center stage on the table.
A mouthwatering variety of shrimp, scallops, King Crab Legs and 2 lobster tails is perfection. The seafood art piece is placed on top of veggies and rice, and gifted with “tools” to handle your shells.
Bonus: they crack them for you! The work is in enjoying the meal. Take advantage of being near a new wine region, Niagara on the lake. A bottle of Seasons Pinot Grigio is a lovely pairing with the seafood feast.
Night out on the Mountain- Jozo’s
Depending the mood after dinner, the options are there to decide the tone to close out the evening. Since a full day of skiing was not on the agenda, energy levels are a tad higher for an evening of live music!
Take a shuttle, or enjoy a crisp walk, over to where it all began- Jozo’s. Named after the owner and creator of Blue Mountain. Jozo’s Après Ski was the first to be built on the mountain. Paving the way for the village to come!
The ultimate locals driven and “after ski” place to be.
It has a family vibe with the employees, some families there from the beginning. Carolyn is an amazing bundle of passionate information about the history of the mountain and Jozo’s. Watching the Weider family grow along with her own has to really land on what a heartfelt and caring village Mr. Weider created.
Tales of ’87 when the make shift plywood floor, covering a pool from times ago, was remodeled. It became the “ski boot dance floor” calling all dancers. The walls are lined with photos of where it all started. It weaves a fascinating journey of a dream that was Blue Mountain.
Get there early to claim a seat on Saturdays during the winter. It will fill up. The Cronics are playing!! This local 80’s cover band is too much fun to miss. It is the ultimate mountain night cap.
Day two of not skiing
Take a drive to the top of the mountain and lace up- Ice skating with a view! The Village also offers a Trekking and Tasting tour. Through the protected forests of Kolapore Uplands, take in the guided snowshoe tour.
The reward. A welcome glass of bubbly and three locals’ wines from the neighboring Georgian Hills Vineyards. Paired with cheese varieties, it is a lovely way to end the “trekking adventure.”
Working up the Appetite for Northwinds
Northwind’s Brewery is the spot to be on a Sunday afternoon, or any afternoon/evening. Friendly faces say hello at the door and welcome to a new kind of locals driven experience. The decor is funky fun ski themed creatively tied with anything beer. With a micro-brewery on site and 14 beers on tap, they also feature few local guest beer options.
As a brewery, they appreciate what they have and are not on a mission to constantly create new beers. However “accidents happen”. Something exciting can come along. Next on the agenda is an Irish Stout. All beers are brewed with local ingredients, in small batches, onsite, to deliver quality and freshness.
Farm to table dining
Northwinds offers open concept dining with farm to table cuisine. They serve a combination of crave worthy comfort food with something new and unique all year round. Family style tables give a “nothing but love and openness vibe” in this Collinwood local’s restaurant. Their “love” of the area had them branch out to the Village in 2016.
With fun being the theme in the kitchen, keep an eye out for the weekly specials. Created with flare by Head Chef Travis Barron and his Sous Chef Brett Rogers. Menu changes happen twice a year, which guarantees something new will always be waiting for the next visit!
In the great world of comfort food, Fried Chicken is all that is needed. Ontario chicken that is beer battered and served with a choice of sauce. Try going classic with salt and pepper chicken and a sauce party on the side. The Lamb Burger is a close second on the roster!
With a stunning view that overlooks the now frozen lake of blue mountain, just imagine the view in the spring!
Sunday night tends to be a bit calmer as the village is winding down for the weekend. But do not throw in the towel just yet! MJ’s Irish Pub which holds prime real estate across from Copper Blue’s Restaurant, is there to aid in the Sunday night jam session of tying up the weekend.
MJ’s has live music all year with a consistent focus on the weekends. Keep an eye out for the musically talented chameleon of Jason Redman. Local to Collinwood, he is frequently playing around the village solo or with his band.
A calm and soothing voice with versatility from the popular current hits, to taking requests of Chris Cornell and beyond. It’s an acoustic performance that does not disappoint. MJ’s classic village pub vibe and wrap around bar gives ample angles to take in the show and get lost in the moment.
Adventure Year Round
“To not ski in a ski village” applies for the winter off season as well. Blue Mountain during the spring and summer offers a very green and warm option for adventure. Hiking, biking and cave dwelling!
Take advantage of the Gondola and ride her up to the top for a scenic view of Blue. A wide selection of off resort activities are there to enjoy. Get lost in the ever beautiful wilds of Canada.
Take your escape to Blue Mountain Village and enjoy not skiing all year round