The perfect weekend getaway from Ottawa or Toronto is the Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour (not to be mixed up with the Butter Tart Trail). The Butter Tart Tour is a self drive tour with a map of all the butter tart shops available in the area. Butter tarts are sold at local bakeries, cafes and restaurants. With over 50 locations selling the best butter tarts in Ontario, you’re sure to find one you love and enjoy all that the Kawarthas Northumberland has to offer. While you may not be able to have more than a few butter tarts in one weekend, they are great to pack up and take home to enjoy during the week. What’s great is that you can make this a cheap vacation from Toronto or Ottawa by doing this trip in one day or by camping overnight in the area, or make this a luxurious trip to travel in Ontario and stay at a resort. There is more to the area than just the tour so let me take you on a little trip!
How to Get to the Butter Tart Tour
This self drive road tour would take about 2 hours to drive from the farthest two butter tart locations. The Butter Tart Tour is a perfect day trip from Toronto (about a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto) and a day trip from Ottawa (3 hour drive) or perfect for a getaway from Toronto or Ottawa to explore more of what the Kawarthas have to offer.
The Tart Awards
Best Presentation: The Swiss Bear Restaurant and Bakery is found in Apsley, Ontario just off Highway 28. The butter tart is beautifully presented and, if it is your first visit to the Swiss Bear for the Butter Tart Tour, the butter tart is on the house (with a purchase of food).
Most Instagrammable Bakery: The Little Pie Shack in Fenelon Falls is by far the quirkiest location, found in a pink building with a pie painted on the site.
Sweetest Flavour: Dolce in Fenelon Falls sells Skor butter tarts which are absolutely scrumptious.
Most Canadian: Bobcaygeon Bakery and their Maple tart is to DIE for. They also had a cute bakery and other local products like jams, honey and maple syrup!
Best Patio: Nutty Bean Cafe in Lindsay has the best patio, and is across the street from the best ice cream place in the neighbourhood: Stuff’d.
Where to Stay in the Kawarthas
For the luxurious traveller, stay at the Eganridge Resort and enjoy lunch or dinner at their restaurant. You can play a round of golf or enjoy their spa, both found on the resort.
For the romantic couple, stay at the Westwind Inn, a quaint bed and breakfast in Buckhorn. It is adjacent to the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park and they have a host of things to do including rent canoes, kayaks, row boat, pedal boat, bikes, nature trails, cross country ski trails, in addition to fishing, skating on the lake under the stars, snowshoes, outdoor bon fires, swimming pool.
If you like camping, you can rent a campsite at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, Bell Haven Park, or Riverwood Park Campgrounds.
What to Do in the Kawarthas
This Ontario day trip (or weekend getaway) to visit a few of the butter tart bakeries would be best enjoyed in the summer to visit a few of the quirky villages and explore some of the history in the area.
Fenelon Falls: stop in the “Jewel of the Kawarthas”, rent some bikes and tour along the water, see the falls (you might get lucky and see a blue heron) and enjoy the locks.
Bobcaygeon: wander to the Settler’s Village to explore what was once a family farm and is now a collection of over 20 historic homes and buildings. Experience pioneer life in the Kawarthas and discover artifacts from 1830 – 1935. Kawartha Settlers’ Village was established in 1990 with the goal to preserve the history and culture of the Bobcaygeon area.
Ken Reid Conservation Area: bring bugs spray and talk a walk through this conservation area. You will get to cross some boardwalks, have a picnic in the picnic area, walk accessible trails and even find a lookout!
Lindsay: make a stop at Stuff’d for delicious locally made ice cream and walk along the Trent Severn waterway.