Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Perfect Cottage Vacation

Summer. 30,000 Islands. The Craganmor Point Resort on McLaren Island, between Parry Island and The Massasauga Provincial Park and its islands. For the genuine cottage experience, this is it, cozy and quaint. The resort side of it is you will have all you need for your stay, like at the biguns, but at a moderate price, with traditional creaking floorboards and a wonderful private sandy beach. Don't worry, you won't have to chop wood to feed your Elmira Stove, like cottagers used to do. At $650 and up for a small bungalow per week, it's a really good deal for a family vacation. Locals without cottages would like it here. But with money tight in small towns, locals think twice about a summertime splurge. Save for a boat instead or take a last minute package deal down south when the water turns to ice and the place is buried in snow. But cottage colonies like the Craganmor are always full and there are hundreds of them on the lakes and coastal islands of Georgian Bay. You'll never hear about most of them though, no websites, no advertising, no guidebooks to them. Drive or sail or ask around, get lucky with a vacancy or book for next year. It's the next best thing to owning one. If you're thinking of buying a cottage get your feet wet renting a cottage here and there first. Cottage fever can cost you plenty. People at a fantasy resort who'd spend $5 or $10 million for that one across the lake, will get a better idea of what to expect where they are, after their $150 tab for lunch.

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