There are dozens of great destinations within a short drive of Toronto, and one of the best, whether you go in summer, spring, fall or winter, is Collingwood and the Blue Mountains. During a recent trip in the Ford Flex Limited, my family and I had a chance to escape and really take the beautiful area in while testing out the vehicle.
Ford Flex Limited features
The stand-out feature for me was the new SYNC 3 system, which includes voice and touch-screen controls to do everything from make a call through a connected phone, help you navigate to where you’re going, or just play great music for the drive.
Need to get quick directions? With SYNC 3 just say “destination…” and name the street address. Or tell SYNC to zoom in on the map or zoom out. It’s a great system for making sure that you’re focused on the road, and there are lots of simple voice commands to take control of all the features.
Then there’s the interior. While most SUVs offer a fair bit of space, the Flex has Powerfold third-row seats to seat two more people, or press a button and stow them for extra storage room. The back-seat is also spacious and very comfortable.
For the driver and the passenger front-seat, there’s also an added bonus for summer or winter: heated or cooled seats. In the summer, the seats actually keep your legs and back from over-heating, and in the winter you can sit down and warm up immediately, on top of having a heated steering wheel so you don’t need gloves while driving in the winter.
The Flex Limited also has active park assist to parallel park like a pro, and one of the most useful features on a long trip: adaptive cruise control, which will keep you safer on the highway.
And one of my favorite features on the Flex Limited has to be the beautiful multipanel vista roof. There’s nothing like having the sun to keep you company on the drive, or opening the roof’s vent for a little fresh air. Day or night, the Vista Roof is a wonderful feature to brighten up the space, especially on a long drive, and it gives you a whole new view on the world when you’re driving through fall leaves, or fresh, green forests in the summer.
Without further ado, here are five places to check out when you’re visiting Collingwood and the Blue Mountains, no matter what season you take the drive.
Collingwood and the Blue Mountains
Georgian Bay Hotel
10 Vacation Inn Dr, Collingwood, ON, L9Y 5G4
The Georgian Bay Hotel was our first pick for staying in Collingwood. The hotel is just on the edge of town with a beautiful property, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, great restaurant and bar, and comfortable rooms for a reasonable price. There’s also a gorgeous putting green that may bring out the golfer in just about anyone.
Scenic Caves Nature Adventures
260 Scenic Caves Rd, Blue Mountains, ON, L9Y 3Z5
The Scenic Caves have activities for the family no matter what season you drop in for a visit. In the fall and summer, the view from the top of the escarpment, where you can also try the zip line, is frankly stunning, and the caves and trails are rugged and beautiful for a short or long hike. My daughter also loved the playground, feeding the fish, the mini-train ride, and panning for “gems”. Or in the winter you can visit the Nordic Centre for skiing or snowshoeing, and then warm up in the chalet before going back out for more.
Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain
152 Grey Road 21, Blue Mountains, ON, L9Y 0K8
If you want to relax for a few hours, or the whole day, you need to visit the Scandinave Spa. The outdoor Scandinavian baths are fantastic, but I think they’re especially an experience in the winter, when lounging in a hot tub, or quickly moving between cold and hot tubs, makes the experience that much more incredible. The cold tubs are extra cool, and then getting into a steam room or the hot tubs feels extra refreshing.
Blue Mountain Village
Head to Blue Mountain Village any time of year and there’s shopping, events, restaurants, and spas. There’s also skiing in the winter, of course, and a number of hotels and inns right on the property, and in the summer they also have a beach nearby with lots of activities for kids and adults.
Millennium Overlook Park
Heritage Drive, Collingwood, ON, L9Y 1C5
In the summer, spring, or fall, Collingwood’s Millennium Overlook Park is a beautiful spot to take in the sunset, take a stroll, and really enjoy the view of Georgian Bay. Pack a lunch and head there for the afternoon, or just drive up and watch the incredible sunset any time of year.