A Week in Cottage Country: 5 Days of Lanark County Small Town Adventure

It’s cottage season and even though planning a trip to your cottage is exciting, it can also be a little stressful – what will the kids do while we’re there? Will they get bored? What can we do during the day?

This summer, take the stress out of cottage time and explore Lanark County when you have all day to wander. The kids won’t be bored (and neither will you!). We promise.


Get your caffeine hit at North Folk Cafe, a cozy family owned cafe on the corner of Gore and Foster Street in historic downtown Perth that offers locally roasted espresso and freshly baked organic and gluten free pastries. With your steaming cup of joe in hand, meander through the town, stopping to visit some local shops such as Flint & Honey, Laketown Beer Co., or Perth Chocolate Works for a local souvenir or treat to bring back to the cottage.

When you’re feeling peckish, head to Fiddleheads Bar and Grill, located in one of Perth’s oldest heritage stone buildings, for lunch. You can enjoy your lunch on their giant patio that offers unparalleled views of the enchanting Stewart Park and the bronze statue of the famous Ian Miller and Big Ben.

End the day off with some dessert from Stella Luna Gelato, located down an alleyway off of Gore Street, where you will feel transported to Europe after a taste of their traditional gelato and sorbet.


The charming town of Carleton Place will definitely keep you busy! Start your day off right with brunch from Freska Cafe, trying one of their mouthwatering breakfast bowls or their special “The Local” which is French Toast topped with candied pecans and (of course) maple cream.

Work your breakfast off with a stroll down Bridge street to check out all of Carleton Place’s unique stores and restaurants (note Bridge Street is currently under construction but sidewalks – and shops – are still open!). Be sure to visit Little Loves Co. a trendy boutique bringing you all things Canadian, as well as The Queens Crafters and Antique Market.

Once you are all shopped out, treat yourself to a beer flight of award winning bavarian-inspired craft beer at Braumeister Brewing Co. End your day with more international flavours from Lakeside Shawarma & Souvlaki to enjoy at home or as a picnic in beautiful Riverside Park. Pro tip: their platters are enough to fill you up and then some!


Do you love to explore by bike? Exploring the small towns and villages of Mississippi Mills is that much easier by bike! Start your day in Almonte and rent a bike from the Almonte Bicycle Works, where all proceeds go to Haiti to continue redevelopment following the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Next, cycle to Equator Coffee for some caffeine or pastry, before visiting Dairy Distillery to learn how this local distillery has transformed unused milk sugar into an incredibly smooth and clean spirit known as Vodkow. Pro tip: Hummingbird Chocolate Makers is in this area, too, don’t miss a stop there!

By bike you can hop on the OVRT (Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail) that spans from Almonte to Pakenham, where you can give your legs a rest while enjoying some baked goods from 1840s General Store before heading across the street for a sweet treat from Penny’s Fudge Factory or Keepers Coffee Bar.


Are you a history buff? If so, a trip to the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario should absolutely be on your bucket list (and the kids will love it!). Visit the museum and take a step back in time to experience what it would have felt like to travel by rail.

After your time in the 1860s, meander down to historic downtown Smiths Falls to stop in on a few of their locally owned shops like Willow & Co., Dawn’s Closet and Bone Appetit Pet Company. If you are feeling spontaneous you can visit Harvest Social for homestyle fare to eat on their beautiful patio (or take it to go for a picnic at Lower Reach Park).


You can’t leave the maple syrup capital of Ontario without visiting a local sugarbush! Little people will enjoy sampling some pure liquid gold at one of Lanark Highlands’ local sugarbushes.

In McDonald’s Corners, Wheelers Maple Museum and Pancake House is open virtually every day of the year! Try their famous pancakes and learn more about maple history in Canada.

While you are in the area, stop in the small village of Lanark and stock up on some delectable chocolates for the trip home at Village Treats Chocolates, or treat yourself to some mouthwatering fries from Fitz’s Fresh Cut Fries.