When planning a trip, what is the first thing you book? Most likely the place to rest your head after a long day of exploring. Of course, you can always stay in a hotel or traditional bed and breakfast, but why not try out a yurt or stay on a farm or maybe even a haunted historic building to make your trip a little more interesting? After all, travel is about experiencing new things, isn’t it? Check out some of these unique places to lay your head, all in the Heart of Georgian Bay.But where do you find these places? That’s an easy answer. Airbnb, of course! For those who aren’t familiar, Airbnb was created in 2008 with the mission to “create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable.” It allows homeowners to open their home to complete strangers and allows tourists to experience a more authentic experience in a city by living how its residents do. It also allows for the more creative residents of this world to offer really unique accommodation options. So, go ahead, I dare you to browse the seemingly never-ending options around the world, and consider some of the interesting places right here in the Heart of Georgian Bay.Here are some of our picks for unique places to stay in the Heart of Georgian Bay…
If you are willing to sacrifice indoor plumbing, this yurt is the perfect choice for a getaway for two. Believe it or not, this cozy felt “tent” is usable year-round and is located on a picturesque horse farm in Tiny. Wood for the woodstove and drinking water are provided for your stay, as well as board games and books to occupy your time. So put down your devices – no tv or wifi here – and explore the acreage and endless trails and take in the breathtaking views of Georgian Bay.
The Beck House is a landmark home in Penetanguishene, originally built in 1885 for lumber baron Charles Beck and his family. Over 50 years ago, the building was turned into apartments, but the owners are now offering the second floor apartment for those who want a more “spiritual” accommodations option. Keep your eyes out for Mary Beck and other spirits that may be lurking in the shadows, watch a horror movie or two on Netflix (yes, it’s included) and then visit the Penetanguishene Centennial Museum, in the offices/general store of the Beck Lumbering Company, to learn more about the man who had this magnificent home built.
In keeping with the lumber industry theme, this private suite is located in the McGibbon Lumbering Company Office, built in 1878. Charles McGibbon was not only the owner of this successful business, but also the Mayor of Penetanguishene, Warden of Simcoe County and “Indian Agent” for Christian Island. After his death in 1919, the company was handed down to his sons until their deaths in 1960. Bonus points for being located right on the OFSC trail, and offering ice fishing and boating charters upon request.
Built in 1833 this Methodist Church doubled as a hospital when the town was hit with the Spanish Flu. Much later on, it was turned into less-than-taken-care-of apartments, but new owners are putting a ton of love into this heritage building. Keep in mind that this 2-story unit comes with a few creeks in the floor, but remember that the building is over 200 years old! Love the idea of the historic building but not quite right? 11th Haven Apartment 3 is also in The Church.
Looking for a bit of a more lively place to stay? This newly renovated private apartment is located above a popular pub and is brand new to Airbnb. It features a chef’s kitchen, 2 bedrooms and is a short walk from Rotary Champlain Wendat Park and the Penetanguishene waterfront. The building has a long history, and your hosts encourage you to ask the barman for a sneak-peak at the vault from its days as a bank. Bonus points for including a $20 voucher for the pub downstairs with every stay.Click HERE for more information
The Loft on King is a 1700 sq.ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment located above a shop on King Street in Midland. The owners have lovingly restored its original features, like the amazing yellow metal kitchen cabinetry from the 1950s, the beautiful built-in wood armoirs, and a skylight in the shower. This property has over 165 reviews, making it one of the area’s most popular Airbnb’s and is in high demand so book quickly, especially for summertime, when downtown Midland comes alive with festivals almost every weekend.
*Header image is also The Loft on King.
This private apartment is clean, cozy and also located above a shop right on the main downtown Midland strip, but what makes it unique is that the walls are covered in music memorabilia. Complete a music-themed visit with a walk down the street to Johnstone’s Music World to pick up a new instrument, catch a concert at the Midland Cultural Centre, or take in Ukefest or Buskerfest.
You can’t stay any closer to Georgian Bay without getting your feet wet. This place is exactly what it sounds like… a floating hotel! The Floatel has 5 rooms listed on Airbnb with a variety of amenities, but they all include access to a heated pool, BBQ, playground and a floating cabana. Bonus points! You can also rent stand-up paddle boards, seadoos or even a boat right on the property, to really enjoy Georgian Bay.
New to Airbnb, this adorable 2-bedroom coach house is nestled in Midland’s most historic neighbourhood, at one of the town’s oldest and most prominent home’s, Pratt Estate. A coach house or carriage house would have been an outbuilding on an estate, where the family’s horse-drawn carriage and related tack would have been housed. The person who took care of the horses would typically live above this “pre-car” era garage. Nowadays, it is a picturesque little home within walking distance of the downtown core, perfect for your stay in the Heart of Georgian Bay.
If you are looking for something a little grander, it doesn’t get much grander than this. The most expensive property listed in the Heart of Georgian Bay is the Georgian Bay Beach House. It would appear that no expense has been spared while designing this 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath beachfront home. Amenities include a hot tub, double wine cooler, two dishwashers and media room. Bonus Points: the property management team that rents this property offers a concierge service for anything from housekeeping to private chef to champagne upon arrival.
Before making your decision on where to stay during your visit, be sure to check out the options for yourself. There are a ton of options between hotels, bed and breakfasts and Airbnb properties and we couldn’t feature everyone in this blog post. So you be the judge and find something that suits your budget and your style. After all, not everyone can deal with no indoor plumbing!