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Muskoka Lake Autumn

There is an odd charm to laidback towns that exist in a perpetual state of Joie de vivre. Muskoka is one of those places that run my imagination wild at the thought of channeling my laziness on a do-nothing weekend. Picturing myself kicking back cold beers in wooden chairs and gazing at the stillness of one of Muskoka’s tiny lakes, I got in a car with a group of friends and drove through fall, into the heart of rustic beauty. While none of that actually happened over the day-trip we had planned, by the end of the day it became a fact known and accepted by all, that unknown adventures beat planned itineraries on any given autumn day. Here are some pitstop recommendations for you in little towns around Muskoka- excluding the regular to-do the internet would lead you to.

1. Port Severn Coffee Shop

The dearest little store-cafe, filled with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee, baked pastries and cookies fresh out of the oven. This small cafe has select tables indoors along with a patio at the front of the store. There are select knick-knacks on shelves covering an entire wall in the cafe, with purchasable items that belong in an arty-crafty cottage. The cabin vibes at this cafe are strong and so is the coffee. Their roasted almond brew is undoubtedly some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted and the lightly toasted carrot-cinnamon muffin was its perfect companion. If you’re driving past, this place is the ideal pitstop!

2. Bracebridge town- and Kelly’s Kitchen Pub

Kelly's Pub in Bracebridge, Muskoka

Discover the town that can comfortably be explored on foot. Admittedly, BraceBridge Falls is nothing exceptional for a visitor who can find far superior waterfalls around Ontario. But the town is a doorway into the good ol’ days when gift shops and antique stores held much fascination. Most ice cream parlours, boutique stores and pubs/restaurants are situation on the main street. This street is the main town centre, adorning young apple trees in all their pluck-worthy temptation.

Kelly’s Kitchen Pub is located in an old building from 1857. It’s hugely popular and frequented by locals who swing by to catch the weekly Karaoke nights or simply to crack a cold one at the end of the day. They serve a mean Chicken Pot Pie, the ideal comfort food on an Autumn evening, or when its drizzling outside. This pub is all wood and a little charm, automatically transporting you into small-town bar life that we’ve often experienced only through movies.

3. Discover Autumn Trails- along the way

While driving along Muskoka’s Halloween-ready houses, you might discover tiny trails running through the town, specially those near Muskoka Lake. These are the best places for fall photography, covered in yellow and orange leaves, with autumn shaded trees closing in to create canopies over narrow roads. As you drive past Muskoka Lake, you are likely to find tiny cuts in the road that are meant for mini-hikes. These are little gems worth exploring! From personal experience, I would say that those clearly marked are generally crowded but the ones you lay eyes on as you drive past are the best ones!

Nikita Butalia is a solo 20-something traveler who documents her experiences around India and the rest of the world in witty narratives and travel tales that are best read curling up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate on a winter evening.

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