Round trip = approximately 25 kilometers (15 mile)
Estimated time: 25 minutes
This day trip is more like an escape to your backyard. Barrie is close enough that you’re not packed in the car all day and versatile enough, as part of Simcoe County, to offer something of interest for everyone in the family—and in every season of the year. We suspect you’ll be in or through Barrie more than once. And why not??
Let’s start at Kempenfelt Bay, which means fishermen, windsurfers, and water lovers pay attention. At Centennial Beach, Centennial Beach Lakeshore Dr. between Bayfield St. and Tiffin St., you’ll find a good launch point for family fun and relaxation. There’s a large children’s’ playground, biking & walking paths, picnic tables, restrooms, plus a concession stand, flower gardens and parking. The sandy beach is perfect for swimming and the people watching is fantastic. Windsurfers will want to seek out Minet's Point Beach, located west of Cox Mill Rd., north of Tollendal Mill Rd. where they’ll find restrooms, parking and excellent conditions most of the time. Check the Simcoe County Beach Report for current weather/water conditions and gear up accordingly.
Want more thrills? Then visit the newly opened Horseshoe Adventure Park located only minutes away from the resort. Thrill-seekers and families can now take part in a unique range of attractions, from ziplining, zorbing, sliding and climbing, some of which are being introduced in Ontario or Canada for the first time! Take on the Zip Flyer, one of southern Ontario's longest zipline, and fly 2,050 feet in the air going speeds of 45 km/h high above the Horseshoe grounds. Or try Zorbing, Canada’s first fully operational Zorb park, and harness yourself inside a large plastic ball and start rolling! All this fun and excitement is now available when you visit Barrie and the Horseshoe Valley.
Shoreline fishing along Barrie's waterfront is permitted except in a few restricted areas: near public beaches, along the Rotary Duck Pond and near the Southshore Community Center. In the winter try your luck at ice fishing. Summer fun seekers might want to take water excursions on Barrie’s Little Lake by renting pontoons, motorboats, rowboats or canoes at Lawrence Park Campground or Cedar Park Campground. (Barrie's north end at Hwy 400 and Duckworth Street) In all seasons, anglers over 18 years old need a fishing license.
Families with skiers will want to check out Snow Valley in Barrie for skiing, snow boarding and snowshoeing fun. Don’t know how to ski or snowboard? No problem. There are beginner lessons for all ages that include equipment rental and some “slope time.” Even toddlers get introduced to skiing at Kidz Village where two Ski’n Play sessions are offered daily, first-come, first-served. Here you can also check out Ontario’s best tubing facility. Take a single “spin” or glide for hours on perfect powdered slopes. Snow Valley offers popular 2-hour tickets and Family Lift Packs.
Summer visitors with kids, you’ll love this option. Snow Valley offers impressive classic “summer day camp” activities —designed to give kids 5-13 years old adventurous day experiences that are typically reserved for overnight camps. Activities could include swimming, canoeing, recreational kayaking, wall climbing, ropes course, bouldering wall, archery, games, hiking, environmental appreciation, songs, arts and crafts. It varies. Get the kids psyched—book the Classic Day Program online, in advance.
The Snow Valley experience includes a full range of services: rental shops, shopping boutique, full service cafeteria with wood burning fireplaces, Duffy's Lounge and more.
For friends and families who may want to horse around in a different way—and experience something out of the ordinary, trot on over to live harness racing at famous Georgian Downs, one of only 15 Standard bred racetracks in the Province of Ontario. Open all year the track showcases the magnificent and highly prized Ontario standardbred stallions that, for history buffs, trace their ancestry to an imported English Thoroughbred named Messenger, brought to the Americas in 1788. Famous “sons and daughters” of Messenger include Dexter, the horse depicted on all the area’s antique weather vanes, and Lady Suffolk, memorialized in the adage “the old gray mare ain’t what she used to be.” (From HWY 400, exit Innisfil Beach Road and turn west. Turn right at the 5th Side Road and travel approx. 1/2 kilometer to the Downs. Live racing, Tues. & Sat. evenings with post time at 7:35 pm. For Club House or Sunday Brunch reservations (705) 726-9401 ext. 288. Toll free: 1-866-915-9400.)
Simcoe County Attractions
Barrie, Ontario is conveniently located at the hub of Simcoe County, allowing you to enrich your stay with a number of daytrip options. With the resort and/or Barrie as your starting point, there are many adventures to embark upon, right at your fingertips. Visit Wasaga Beach, the longest freshwater beach in the world. Take a trip back in time at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons in Midland or take an island cruise Discovery Harbour (Link to Georgian Bay daytrip?) in Penetanguishene. Tackle the challenge of Blue Mountain or Scenic Caves in Collingwood, and return to the resort in plenty of time for dinner.