I am so not a camper. I’m more of a hotel-hopper, or a resort connoisseur. I’m pretty sure the last handful of times I went camping I ended the trip with the words “I am never doing THAT again”. I do really enjoy fun outdoor activities; sitting outside drinking and laughing with friends, boating, biking and getting away from the city, so I can definitely see the appeal of camping. This past weekend I stayed at Long Point Eco-Adventures, chosen based on the fact that they advertised a “glamping” experience. What is glamping? Well, it’s how I camp now! Not only are the accommodations impressive, but the whole site itself and activities offered were packaged perfectly for a selective outdoorsy person such as myself.
Long Point Eco-Adventures is located in St. Williams, which is a short distance from Port Dover, Ontario. The adventure site includes 15 Wilderness Suites which include either a King or Queen bed (or two queen beds in a double suite), a private bathroom with a sink, toilet, and an outdoor shower, hot and cold running water, hardwood floors, a sliding glass locking door, a private deck, electrical outlets, and a fridge. That’s right – a fridge! I was pretty amazed with our suite when we saw it. It had tons of room for all of the stuff I brought (why do I seem to pack the same amount of luggage for one night as one week?), and the room even came with fluffy white towels and robes. The electrical outlets were great for charging our phones, and there was even an alarm clock. It was truly like staying in a hotel room. It was such a relief to have a real bathroom! And a very nice one too! The room was also outfitted with a large fan, a heater and an electric blanket for chilly nights.
Long Point did an excellent job with keeping the tents very clean as well. I thought with it being the outdoors and all there would be bugs inside the tent, but there wasn’t one mosquito inside and the floors and bathroom were so clean. It was probably cleaner than some hotels I have stayed at.
Our private deck had two Muskoka chairs and a citronella candle, and our view was of a small forested area which dropped off into a very steep ravine. Through the trees you could see the lake in the distance.
Long Point Eco-Adventures offers lots of activities on site as well. There is an intense zip-lining course which we were told takes around 2.5 hours with 8 zip lines, 2 suspension bridges, 13 platforms, and it ends with a 40 foot rappel. We were only there one night, but we vowed that when we return we would try that for sure!
There were also mountain biking tours, kayak tours, kayak sport fishing excursions, and zodiac boat tours. If you aren’t into anything that extreme there are also nature trails you can walk on your own. It’s really hard to be bored at this place!
The excursion that we tried was the Stargazing Tour at the Observatory. The Long Point Observatory is pretty impressive. It’s actually a dome where you can stargaze from different platforms, and their scope sits at the top of the dome (the dome even rotates). To be honest, I didn’t really expect much from this portion of our trip. I thought it would be something easy to do to kill some time. It turned out to be my favourite part of the trip! The tour started at 10pm, and one of the guides took us through a quick presentation to teach us some basics about the sky. It’s been a long time since I’ve studied the solar system, so I actually really enjoyed this part (did you know Pluto is no longer a planet? I totally missed it getting mean-girled out of the solar system planet club, but apparently that happened), and it helped a lot with the rest of the tour. We split into two groups and each group had a very knowledgeable guide. I know they were knowledgeable because I had some very serious 20/20-style rounds of questioning for them, and they answered all of my questions with ease.
Through the scope we saw Saturn, a galaxy, a dead star, and things that were thousands of light years away. It’s hard to explain how impressive it all was – it’s really something I suggest you experience yourself! We learned all about the constellations (my only recommendation to this tour was some accompanying music – I felt like The Tragically Hip’s Bobcaygeon would have been very fitting at this point), and the stories of how they came to be named. This tour was about an hour and a half, and I loved it!
At Long Point you don’t even have to light your own fire. There is a communal fire pit that everyone can enjoy, and it’s lit at the request of the campers each night. We decided to sit on our deck with some drinks and music to end our night. The property is private, so you can freely drink without ducking from the forest rangers.
Are you ready for the best part? There is a winery across the street! How amazing is that? There was an easy path to follow across the street to Buring Kiln Winery where you could enjoy wine tasting, or eat on the patio at their gourmet food truck. We made two trips over to the winery, and the patio was amazing! We made a reservation previously (I would recommend this for dinner – the patio was full) and had a nice dinner while enjoying live music. Dinner was pretty impressive considering it came from a food truck! They used real cutlery and plates, and they offered things like fish tacos (I had this – it was delish), pulled pork filled crepes wrapped in prosciutto, and they even had desserts like a flourless brownie. They had glueten-free options as well. The wine was very good as well, and a bottle of Reisling only cost us $19.95 which had me very happy!
Breakfast was included in the cost of our stay, and it was served in a main tent on site. It included scrambled eggs, bacon, yogurt, oatmeal, toast, coffee and juice. The bacon and eggs were made by some of the staff, and the rest was on a serve yourself basis.
Overall we had an awesome time, and we are excited to go back! We only stayed one night, and we all agreed to take everything in two nights would be best. The only problem is that I will never do a regular camping trip again. Glamping is totally the way to go. There was staff on site at all times in case you needed something (they even offered to bring your luggage straight to your tent), the office housed a gift shop and sold refreshments and popcicles, and there was even free Wi-Fi.
Long Point Eco-Adventures is located at 1730 Front Road, St. Williams, ON N0E 1P0. Check them out on their website at http://www.lpfun.ca