Muskoka is pretty much the Canadian version of the Hamptons. From adorable bungalows over looking the sunset to absurdly large mansions with boathouses the size of city hall.  Muskoka has been gaining more and more recognition as a prime destination for weekend warriors.

For some people the idea of spending the summer away from patio central (ie. the 6ix), seems crazy. But for anyone whose ever been lucky enough to spend their whole summer up north, it's the only option for a kick ass summer. Sure, you don't have access to a surplus of cute cafes and bumping bars, but that makes the spots up here that much more exciting. From bars that become hubs for all the millennial in the Muskokas and beyond (hello Kee!), to the satisfaction of ending off the day watching the non-smog covered sunset, summers in Muskoka are unreal.

People who live off the dock and lake routine day by day tend to have a certain signs that give them away. Here are the tell tale signs you spent your summers in Muskoka.

1. You've spent some of the best nights of your summer at The Kee 

Bala is the new entertainment district. 

2. The best sandwiches are in Port Sanfield and you will fight for them

Okay chill, not fight, but at least run for them.

3. You know someone who works at the Turtle Jacks in Port Carling

"Don't worry we don't have to wait an hour guys, my brother's girlfriend used to work here."

4. You spent some classy (well, mostly trashy) nights at Resort Mondays

But you wouldn't want to be ANYWHERE else on Monday nights. Monday is the new Friday am I right?

5. You've waited in a hour plus line for Grand Electric

Two hours on a rainy day in, but anything for those tacos.

6. You constantly look like you have a bronzed beach spray tan all summer

Except it's YOUR REAL SKIN OH YA. 

7. But some days your colouring looks more like Mr. Crabs straight off of Spongebob SquarePants

Ugh, can someone pass the Aloe Vera?

8. You easily live off a diet of BBQ grub and chips at every event you go to

I ain't complaining. 

9. Silver Stream bakery is the ONLY place to get blueberry doughnuts

You didn't even know what kind of level Blueberry Doughnuts could get on until you tasted these.

10. You have stacks of old school movies and board games waiting for rainy days

Cinderella Story followed by Freaky Friday? Check and check.

11. You couldn't go a week without getting a sliver.

Your childhood fear was seeing the tweezers come out.

12. Boats were your Uber, and you proudly cruised up to any dock soiree in your 9.9 speed tin boat.

They see me rolling, they hating....

13. You were enrolled in either golf, art or sailing camp in your younger years

Gotta keep the young ones busy. For me apparently that meant crying in a small sailboat while people avoided me yelling STARBOARD and PORT. (I still get them confused).

14. It's common knowledge that campfires sound romantic until the blackflies come out

Ah, fun, friends, smores, and a beautiful fire! What could be bette- OH F*CK these things are everywhere!

15. You automatically feel 10x cooler driving a Sea-Doo

And that's "feeling cool" is not simultaneous with "looking cool". The tears and "air dry" hairstyle don't exactly scream I'm the next James Bond.

16. You live for SWS Ski Show Nights

Whether you're amazed or jealous, there's no denying you wish you were decked out in one of those fly spandex suits and on top of the pyramid.

17. All alcohol pick ups are done by boat

Nothing says badass like picking up your 6 pack of grapefruit Palm Bays at the LCBO in Port Carling via your sports boat.

18. The only Ice Cream is found in Bala's Ice Dreams Soda Shop or Port Carling Moosekokas

There's something about cottage country and ice cream that just FEELS right.

19. There's nothing that bonds families more than a hilarious watersport wipeout

But seriously, you never get tired of the amazing time you have going out with the family for a water ski (or in my case, a couple falls).

20. Sunset cruises aren't just boat rides, they're experiences.


21. Not only have you accepted your flip-flop tan, but you're proud of it

It shows you spent an absurd amount of time on the dock, ergo, you've had an unreal summer.

22. Whenever you go into a Pride marina you're secretly tempted to buy the most absurd tube you see.

Molecule tube? One that hold 5 people all lying down? Banana tube?! SIGN ME UP.

 23. You've secretly pretended to be low on gas to flirt with the Marina staff

Wait is he checking me out or is he squinting in the sunlight?

24. You've dreamed of having your wedding at Windemere House

Who WOULDN'T want that scenery for wedding photos!

25. The only real decisions you have to make is what bathing suit to wear on the dock that day

Bandeau or triangle? Why is life so hard!

26. You know nothing beats a dock party with your friends

Beer, sunset and your squad? Is that even a question?

27. Bracebridge trips feel like traveling to a big city

Canadian Tire and Dollarama were never more glamourous. 

28. The prices at The Juicery remind you you're still a Torontonian at heart

Because really, what true cottager would spend 8 dollars for juice? (But SO delicious it's worth it).

29. The playground at Hanna Park Beach was your version of Canada's Wonderland when you were little

The size of the slides still make your 5 year old heart race with excitement.

29. By the end of the summer you've read more books than you had the whole year

Give me a lounge chair and a sunny day and I'll be through a trilogy. 

30. You wave to anyone and everyone when you're on the boat

Then you go back to the city and try to wave at the driver next to you...not exactly the same reaction.

31. No pants, no problem

When you get back to the city even sweat pants seem restraining. 

32. Cleveland's House is like visiting the set of Dirty Dancing and you can't get enough of it's charm

From activities, to resort staff, to lake side eats, all you need is Baby saying she won't be put in a corner.

33. You know if true love had a smell it'd be the fresh baked cinnamon buns from Don's Bakery


34. You made at least one visit to Santa's Village when you were little

And let's face it, you we're amazed. The charm of Christmas in the summer is truly genius.

35. When Duke's turned into a chic mecca for pop-up shops, you're inner city side was estatic

Greenhouse JuiceCrows Nest Barber Pop Up, Kit and Ace, L'eau, Frankies Surf Club; it's a dream come true.

36. You couldn't imagine spending your summer surrounded by any buildings with more than 5 stories

No matter what people say you're missing out on, they clearly haven't ended off the day with a beer in hand watching the sunset. Cheers to another amazing Muskoka summer!

Want to get away but don't have a cottage? Check out these to get your dose of cottage country!

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