I’ve been asked a lot about things to do in Blue Mountain without kids — whether it’s for a girlfriend getaway, stag or just a fun trip with your partner that’s not solely about romance. And my first piece of advice is this: while Blue Mountain offers an awesome kid-free getaway, don’t limit yourself just to the resort! It’s a great home base to explore the greater Grey County area. With that, here are the best 6 things to do in Grey County to have an awesome girls’ (or guys’ or couples’) weekend:
The 6 best things to do in Grey County without kids
1. Stay somewhere awesome, together.
Assuming you’re with a bigger group of four to six people (or more), you’d be hard-pressed to find better accommodations at Blue Mountain than Rivergrass Resort Homes. This little enclave — both within easy walking and on-demand shuttle distance from the village — is made up of a series of two- and three-bedroom vacation homes.
This way, you can cook some of your own meals when you want and have a common living space to just hang out (and drink wine, obvs). And should your group expand, you can add on more units in the same Rivergrass community to remain as a group.
Pro Tip: Opt for the block of these fully equipped stacked townhome-style properties that sits adjacent to the shared hot tub and pool!
Even if you don’t call yourself a cyclist. Even if you’ve never been on a mountain bike in your life. There are group and private intro classes available to newbies that come with everything you need — right down to the armour-style protective gear you should wear as you wind your rental bike through the narrow paths among the trees coming down the mountainside.
Yes, you should be comfortable riding a bike on flat ground. No, you should not still be learning to bike ride and take a gondola up to Ontario’s highest peak. But, yes, it’s a LOT of fast-paced fun!
3. Embrace your inner child.
Because being kid-free in Grey County allows you the mental bandwidth to act like a kid yourself.
From scoring a Play-All-Day Wristband for just $69 at Blue Mountain — giving you unlimited access to 13 awesome attractions, like the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, ziplines, mini putt, ropes course and even a 90-minute Segway tour — to running through the vineyards in Grey County, this may just become your new favourite grownup playground.
If it’s raining or you just need to get those artistic juices flowing, Crock-A-Doodle is a much more zen experience when you’re not there managing your child’s meltdown because she can’t get her unicorn’s eyeball paint just.so. (No? Just me?)
4. Eat some great food.
When you don’t feel like cooking in your Rivergrass Resort Home, there are plenty of options whether you want to stay close to your home-away-from-home or venture out farther into Grey County.
In the Blue Mountain Village, I recommend early risers hit The Pottery for a healthy avocado-based smoothie, then brunch it up at the O&B Café Grill, lunch at Firehall Pizza or Northwinds, and apps and drinks at Kaytoo. Save your fancy group dinner for Tholos (trust me — you’ll want to ditch the diet for the saganaki. And the hummus. And the lamb shank. And the baclava).
In Grey County, breakfast or lunch at Thornbury Bakery Café is a must. Plus, you’ll be able to stock up on baked goodies galore while you’re here. Hint: the cinnamon roll is a swirl of perfection.
For the most special treat of all, hire your own personal chef for a private tasting menu. Grey County’s very own Chef Zach Keeshig (firstname.lastname@example.org) is available to WOW even your snobbiest foodie friends. Chef Keeshig is Ojibway and will prepare one of the most unique tasting menus you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
He’s known for creating dishes with plants and edible flowers foraged in Grey County. Think of it as stem to table dining. (But don’t worry, carnivores — there can be meat on the menu, too, if you so desire.)
Chef Keeshig can come to your Grey County B&B, private home or resort home and share his exquisite food with your group for a much more reasonable cost than you might think (for example, our four-course meal was around $100 per person).
This was our ah-mazing menu:
- Georgian Bay smoked fish flat bread with a Tarragon emulsion, shaved cat tail root, and a radish and foraged farm herb salad
- Duck-fat roasted beef tonge (sooooo good!) with a single braised beef cheek ravioli made with foraged ramp duck egg pasta, a wild mustard garlic purée and foraged garnish of watercress, and mustard garlic flowers
- Apple sorbet-flavoured with foraged wild ginger, cedar, organic blueberry compote and wild violets
- And, the most divine dessert ever, consisting of Dejong acres dark maple syrup caramel drizzled over a wild peppermint-infused chocolate ganache with house-made paté surée, a seasonal fruit gel alongside foraged forget-me-not flowers and spearmint
5. Do a beer or cider tour.
I’m a big fan of the Apple Pie Trail in Grey County that happened to be adapted for Ciderfest during our visit. And if you don’t have a designated driver in your group, fear not: it’s The Beer Bus to the rescue! The Beer Bus can take your group on either a pre-set or fully customized tour and can accommodate more people than I have friends (we’re talking bus loads).
Ciderfest was only $30 for six different “passport” cidery stops (plus the cost of The Beer Bus), and each stop included a cider flight with food pairing. Incredible value! If you visit outside of Grey County’s Ciderfest, you can still enjoy flights and food pairings at each location — you just pay as you go.
Personal highlights on our tour included:
- The Lavender & Earl Grey pear cider at Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery
- The Cheese Gallery’s mouth-watering cheese board paired with incredible cider from Spy Cider House & Distillery
- Pear dessert wine at Georgian Hills Vineyards
- Organic ginger cider at Beaver Valley Orchard and Cidery
Don’t forget to take goodies home from each stop! Tell yourself it’s to help support the local economy, even though you know it’s to indulge in later back at Rivergrass with your girls (or guys).
6. Treat yo’self and spa the day (or night) away.
While you should definitely carve out time to devote an hour for a yoga sesh on the “gan-ban” (volcanic) rock at iwa, you’ll want closer to three or four hours if you plan to hit Scandinave. You’ll need a reservation to try out the gan-ban (did I mention you burn 600+ calories an hour just lying on that slab of miraculous heat? Not to mention its added detox, pain relief and incredible stress reduction benefits…), and the tricks to getting in Scandinave are (1) visit mid-week and arrive 15 to 30 minutes before it opens if you just want to use the baths or (2) book a massage to guarantee your entry any day of the week, but especially on weekends.
There’s also something new to try at Scandinave and that’s forest bathing. This is the first spa in North America to have an official forest bathing designation, and it can be a nice way to start to get into the zone between the parking lot and the baths (even if you do it in 15 minutes instead of the 45 suggested).
There are lots of other fun things to do around Grey County, but this list is foolproof to create the most fun girls’ weekend in Blue Mountain and beyond you can imagine. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Blue Mountain and Visit Grey provided several elements of this trip for consideration. All opinions and suggestions remain my own.