Feb 22, 2009

The best Beaches of Ontario - Elliot Lake

Elliot Lake Beach

The City of Elliot Lake has two beaches along the shores of Elliot Lake. Both Spine Beach and Spruce Beach offer opportunities for families to come and play in the sparkling, clear waters of Elliot Lake. The sandy beaches are perfect to build sand castles, or to work on a Summer tan while reading your favorite book. Both beaches are perfect backdrop for picnics, or barbeque as the sun goes down behind the breathtaking hills that surround Elliot Lake. Both beaches have playground facilities for children, washroom and changeroom facilities.The beaches are fully supervises from end of June to end of August. Free parking available.

The best Beaches of Ontario - Turkey Point Beach

Turkey Point

Turkey Point is the only provincial park with a golf course. It is also a naturalist’s paradise. Its diverse ecosystem includes marshes, bluffs and oak savanna. Hiking trails lead to a fish culture station, a hatchery pond, and panoramic views of Lake Erie.

Turkey Point's 2 miles long sandy beach is warm and shallow and is offering safe swimming for all ages.

Fishing, hiking, water sports and golfing are all readily available today in Turkey Point. The beach hamlet, which is home to a few year round residents, has a variety of restaurants and businesses, as well as parks. Annual events include Pottahawk (Turkey Point is one of the departure points for this large-scale adult part held in the waters adjacent to Pottahawk Island . Family-oriented Turkey Point Summer Fest is held in August.

Camp on the bluffs, swim and sail at the beach, fish for perch or play nine holes of golf.

Check out the cottages nearby on the map below.

Feb 20, 2009

Ontario Tourist Destinations - Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls – Vacation Destination

The encyclopedia describes Niagara Falls as massive waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. Composed of two major sections: the Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side of the border and American Falls on the US side.
Although this description is certainly accurate, Niagara Falls has much, much more to offer than just this natural phenomenon.
It is a world-class vacation destination with something for everyone. The Niagara area offers a thriving night life, a one-of-a-kind sightseeing experience and adventure for all ages. Family activities like the Maid of the Mist and Marineland are long-time traditions, while new Niagara attractions continue to develop.
The best views and the largest bulk of the attractions are located on the Canadian side of the International border. Crossing this border is quite a simple process and should not deter you from enjoying the best the area has to offer.
There is no shortage of organized tourist attractions to visit in the immediate falls area. Some of these are the Maid-of-the-Mist boat ride, the IMAX Theater, the Journey behind the falls and of course the nightly illumination. Starting at dusk the falls are lit in the colors of the rainbow by powerful floodlights.

Touring Niagara for families on a budget is easy. The Niagara Region has a variety of attractions with little or no admission charge and affordable family accommodations.

A short drive along the Niagara Parkway north from the falls will bring you to Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was awarded the "Canada's Prettiest Town" title in the 1996 Communities in Bloom competition. The town, washed by the waters of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario is defined by historic sites, unique shops, fine dining, and incredible flower gardens, all surrounded by lush orchards and vineyards which produce Niagara’s award-winning fruits and wines.

You and your family can also journey back in time at the side-by-side communities of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Queenston. Both towns were major battlefields during the War of 1812.
Just minutes away is located historic Fort George, a reminder of the area’s past history. Fort George is a living museum where you can watch soldiers in period uniforms perform drills. Not far from Fort George, you can enjoy a cruise on the Mighty Niagara River with an exciting whitewater Whirlpool Jet Boat trip. You will also find the Laura Secord Homestead near Queenston, the heroine who walked her way into history.

Another nearby attraction is the Mackenzie Heritage Printery Museum, the first in Upper Canada. It is located in the restored home of William Lyon Mackenzie. Mackenzie published the newspaper, the Colonial Advocate. Visit the press room, print shop and second floor gallery.
Along the beautiful Niagara Parkway you will also pass by the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, North America's largest collections of free-flying butterflies, and the 80 acre botanical gardens. Both are excellent family adventures.

Only a few miles away from Niagara-on-the-Lake you will marvel at a great engineering achievement - the Welland Canal. Watch massive freighters from around the world pass through locks on their way to the Lakes Erie and Ontario. The Welland Canals Centre and St. Catharines Museum are located at Lock 3. See the ships "climb the mountain" from the viewing platform overlooking the canal and visit the Museum.
These few lines have only touched on a very small number of the many educational and awe-inspiring sights that Niagara has to offer. The Niagara Peninsula is truly one wonder after another and should be on your short list of family vacation destinations.
Experience Niagara's beauty, power and natural history for yourself.

Check out Affordable Family Accommodations in Niagara on the map below.

Ontario Tourist Destinations - Honey Bee Island

Honey Bee Island

Honey Bee Island is in the midst of the world famous 1,000 Islands, where British ships became lost in island mazes, French and Indians canoed along the shores and the Americans and English fought the war of 1812. More recent history made this area the New York City retreat of the rich and famous at the turn of the century. Names like Calumet, Otis, Singer Castle or Boldt Castle bring to mind those industrialists who were giants of their time and who built their retreats here on islands that bear their names.

Now the islands are dotted with stone castles or Victorian painted ladies with gingerbread boat houses, rustic cabins or modern chalets of glass and wood. Boaters enjoy these hidden treasures that peak out through the dense pine forests on rocky points or hidden in bays. Anglers find deep waters for muskie or shallow backwaters for bass. Hunters keep special spots in mind to set up their blinds in the fall when the geese begin their migrations.
Well known by both painters and photographers, these 1,000 Islands present an endless opportunity to offer up their unique beauty to those who seek it whether in cloudless blue sky or a dark summers thunder storm.

Honey Bee Island is privately owned and has been lovingly restored. It is a 135 year old hand dazed log cabin rich with history in its sheltered cove between Wellesley Island and Hill Island. Surrounded by Ontario Provincial Park on the Hill island side, it enjoys the quiet and solitude so sought after by islanders. Osprey nest in the trees, beavers swim by making their silent rounds building up their dams, deer drink at the waters edge. This rustic cabin now has slate floors before the original granite fireplace, maple trimmed windows and Western Red Cedar ceilings. The kitchen has modern stainless appliances, maple cupboards with granite counters and yet keeps its rustic stone walled charm. Honey Bee Island is truly a paradise.
Rent a cottage and enjoy staying in 1000 Islands beauty.

Feb 19, 2009

The best Beaches of Ontario - Sauble Beach

Sauble Beach

Located on the shores of Lake Huron, over 11 km long Sauble Beach is one of the best summer getaways in Ontario.
Sauble Beach is said to be the second longest freshwater beach in the world after Wasaga Beach and it never has any shortage of room for visitors.

The beach is very shallow and warm in the summer, making this a popular destination for tourists and families with young children. With the beach facing west across Lake Huron, Sauble Beach is also the site of impressive sunset views that attract photographers.

With lots of activities at the beach such as swimming, fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, tennis, street dances, beach volleyball, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, an annual Winterfest and an annual sandcastle contest you will never get bored.

Free high speed Internet is available at a number of local restaurants and snack bars, so you can stay connected while staying at the beach.

The Sauble Beach community of approximately 2000 people may soar over to 100,000 on a summer long weekend. Cottage owners are uniquely split between the outright property owners and located on the Native lands cottages.

Check out the Sauble Beach cottages for rent on the map below.

Feb 18, 2009

The best beaches of Ontario - Wasaga Beach

Wasaga Beach

Wasaga Beach is probably too famous to talk about. It's the longest (14 kilometers), freshwater beach in the world, full of white sand with warm, shallow and clean waters. This beautiful beach is one of the premier tourist attractions in Ontario. One of the best kept beach secrets are its endless hiking trails, cycling, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Located just 1.5 hours north of Toronto it's a good place to go for a day trip. Wasaga Beach Provincial Park has eight beach areas (from east to west), with the busiest area being #1. Every area has its own washroom and change facilities. The entrance is free, however parking is not. You can also find parking on private properties close the beach. Many property owners make money on the parking.

The first Canadian overseas flight made Wasaga Beach famous when it took off from its sandy runway in 1934. The town of Wasaga Beach is a relatively small community of 17,000 full time and 16,000 seasonal and part time residents.

Enjoy cross country skiing and snowmobiling during the winter time. Visit the Nancy Island Historic Site when in the area. This island is located on Nottawasaga River and was amazingly formed by the silt deposits of the sunken Schooner Nancy, a British supply ship from the War of 1812.

There are a variety of accommodations available in Wasaga Beach such as motels, resorts and cottages. Check out cottages near Wasaga Beach on the map below.

The best beaches of Ontario - North Beach Provincial Park

North Beach Provincial Park

North Beach Provincial Park located near the famous Sandbanks and is a smaller version of it. It differs from the Sandbanks by being nearly empty the whole year. If you are traveling with a big group, it's better to choose this beach because in it you'll find plenty of free space. One side of it faces Lake Ontario, the other the tiny, but equally imposing, North Bay. The 1.2-kilometer ribbon of sand shelters tiny North Bay from Lake Ontario. North Bay has deeper water, however, Lake Ontario's water is more turbulent, so if you are planning to swim, remember that none are recommended for beginners. There is a huge parking lot, washrooms and a picnic area. A perfect place to spend a day at the beach or go fishing and sailing, enjoy beautiful sunsets.
Where is it? near Consecon, RR 3.

The best beaches of Ontario - Awenda Provincial Park

Awenda Provincial Park

This is rather a short beach (a string of several interconnected beaches) of only 1.2 km composed of sand and granite boulders, with clean water and sandbars that let you walk out in the lake forever. It is never crowded. There is a small picnic area and washrooms. What makes this beach unique are the huge granite rocks that jut out from the water. It is especially interesting for scuba divers.

Some people especially recommend the beach #4 even if it is the hardest to get to.

The campsites are really large, well-treed and private and you also can rent canoes. A great place to go even for day trip. Beautiful sunsets.

Where is it? north of Penetanguishene.

The best beaches of Ontario - Pinery Provincial Park

Pinery Provincial Park

This beach is composed of 10 km of white sand at Lake Huron. Its sandbars are great for families with children who can't swim very well. You will find a huge extension of swallow water to play. Lots of sand and party atmosphere in the nearby town of Grand Bend.
The beach is surrounded by an oak savanna, a type of woodland more coveted and more endangered than the Amazon rain forest itself. This woodland alone is worth a visit. Many types of fauna can be sighted: warblers, skinks and flying squirrels, and the park's savanna contains many unique species such as dwarf chinquapin oak, wild lupine, Olympia marblewing (butterfly) and eastern hognose snake. A dog beach located at picnic area 1, just off the Day Use Road.

Where is it? 5 km southwest of Grand Bend on Hwy 21

Feb 17, 2009

The best Beaches of Ontario - Big Sandy Bay

Big Sandy Bay, or Wolf Island Beach

It is on the tip of Wolfe Island, in the southwest part. This beach consists of 4 kilometers of secluded and unspoiled sand. Those who want to reach it must hike 1.3 kilometer from the nearest parking lot, so that it remains quiet. It is loved for its clear waters and clear sand. Additionally it is perfect for families with kids due to its shallow waters. Nature lovers will also appreciate its diverse, well-preserved ecology. Its dunes are interspersed with woods and wetland.

Big Sandy Beach is the best white sand beach in the whole region. Guaranteed mostly deserted in moderate Westerly or Southerly breezes because the bay's sandy bottom isn't safe for anchoring boats in anything but very light chop.

The area has been identified as an environmentally sensitive Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. Provincially and regionally significant birds, provincially rare trees and other rare plant species flourish here.

Where is it? Wolfe Island, 3rd Line Road, southwest of Kingston.

Cottage Finder Widget

Our Google Search based Cottage Finder (exactly as the one located on every page of Rent Cottage Canada's site) can now be integrated with any web page, blog etc.

Only a few lines of JavaScript will add the Cottage Search field and the Button to your page.
The Search button position, the Title and the Widget background color are adjustable and can be customized to your site's layout.

Here is an example of the
Cottage Finder Widget:

Here is the Cottage Finder Widget JavaScript code example:

<script language="JavaScript" src="http://www.rent-cottage-canada.com/js/show_cottage_search.js"></script>
<script language="JavaScript">
var new_bgcolor = "FFFFFF";
var new_initvalue="waterfront cottages";
var title="Canada Cottages for Rent:";
var btn_position = "right"; // right or bottom

new_blogcolor - widget background color
title - widget title (can be blank)
btn_position - Search button position, can be "bottom" or "right"
new_initvalue - Search field initial value

Simply add this JavaScript code to your web page, adjust parameters, if required, and enjoy our Free Canada's Rental Cottage Finder widget anywhere on your site!

Feb 8, 2009

Canada's Travel Destinations - The best Beaches of Ontario - Sandbanks Provincial Park

Almost every Province in Canada has some amazing beaches and spectacular waterfronts. So we have decided to start a series of Canadian Beaches reviews, so our readers can decide where to go on their next weekend, or maybe for the next vacation staying in a cottage nearby.

Sandbanks Provincial Park

One of the many Ontario icons featured in a myriad of ads, it's one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in Ontario. With its towering dunes and quiet beauty, it is the ideal place to spend some time for all those who hate crowded beaches, but don't mind to see some folks around. You will find more native birds here than Jet Skis. From June to August, local flowers (sea rockets and sand cherries mainly) cover its huge dunes and further enhance its already amazing beauty.

Sandbanks has three sandy beaches - Outlet Beach, Sandbanks Beach and Dunes Beach with clean golden sand and sparkling water. It can keep your entire family and friends busy with all sorts of park activities such as sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, boating, swimming and sunbathing.
Camping is allowed.
Where is it? Southwest of Picton, 3004 County Road, 12. Or, see the map below.

Renting in Ontario

Vacation time! This is the time to start searching the web for a place to spend your one precious week off, free from all the stress of an average day of work. As soon as you find the perfect place to visit, you need to find the perfect place to stay. Usually, you end up in an overpriced snooty hotel where you are forced to pay for all the pools and gyms and saunas you don’t need. You spend the day out with your kids, going to all the kiddie theme parks and circuses, and of course stopping at all the shops with anything remotely interesting in them and having to listen to “Mommy, I want ice cream!” or “Ooh, ooh, ooh Dad! I have to have that or I’ll die!” all day long. When you come back to the hotel, completely exhausted from your day of “fun”, you find a nice long bill waiting for you. There is another way to have a good vacation, you know.

Renting a cottage is one of the easiest, cheapest, most personal vacations ever. No one needs to waste money on a hotel they don’t spend any time at, when staying at a cottage is the vacation. No hassle, no stress. This is the easiest vacation destination. No need to go out to eat food you've never heard of when you've got a kitchen at home to cook your favourite meals. No need to get all dressed up only to eat food. In an Ontarian cottage you can eat in the privacy of your own cottage, where no one cares how you look.

Another great thing about cottages is that there's endless nature fun. If you're a big nature buff, you’ll love staying in a cottage. You'll be as close to nature as when you're camping, just with more agreeable accommodations. Ontario has four of the Great Lakes located within driving distance of all the major cities. This is very convenient for all who love fishing, hunting, kayaking, boating, and swimming. Your family will want to go to the beach.

There are some very nice beaches in Canada. Some great examples of Ontario beaches would be Wasaga Beach, Sandbanks, Grand Bend and Sauble Beach. Other great Canadian beaches are Boughton Island Beach, Pammure Island and Basin Head in PEI, Martinique beach and Heather Beach in Nova Scotia, Windmill Bight beach and Northside Beach and Pasadena Beach in Newfoundland, Shediac Beach in New Brunswick, Great whale River beach in Quebec, Grand Beach in Manitoba, and Long Beach in British Columbia.

Beaches are a great way to spend the day with your family. There's something for everyone to do. The kids can swim and make sand castles, while you can lie there enjoying the peace and quiet.

As you now should see, there are many great things to be had from visiting an Ontarian cottage. Being close to nature, paying less for more, and having that moment to yourself you've been longing for are only some of the great attributes to cottages. So remember to go on Rent Cottage Canada to find the cottage of your dreams.

Feb 6, 2009

Cottage Website's Search Engine Optimization

Every websites owner is interested in a targeted traffic.

There are several different methods to drive new visitors to your site.
1) Advertise with PPC (pay per click), CPM (banners, pay per impression), link inclusion etc. You'll definitely have to pay for this.
2) Web catalogs and directories submissions (free and not free)
3) Exchange links with other sites in your business area. Free, but not always useful
4) and there is free Search Engine submission

A typical site receives ~1/3 of their visitors from Search Engines, ~1/3 from links from other sites, and the last 1/3 are the site's existing visitors (or, direct links).

Cottage sites statistics are little different since the visitors are simply interested in a one-time use: to find a rental property and to book it. That's it. And maybe visit it again next year. So, the importance of Search Engines submission and optimization is significant.

This step is critical especially for brand new websites because you'll need to let the search engines know about your site. And the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important thing to do to drive new visitors to the site.

Search Engine Optimization will help your site to stand up in the search engine list, and your goal must be to bring your site to at least to the Top 10 sites displayed by the keywords you target the site for.

We have started a new topic on our Message Board in Property Owners section where the property owners can submit their websites for a free SEO analysis.

Please visit our Canada Cottages Message Board Search Engine Optimization topic for more details.

Feb 4, 2009

#1 Cottage Finder Canada on Google and Yahoo!

We are pleased to announce that Rent Cottage Canada is now site #1 by words Cottage Finder Canada on Google and Yahoo! also #1 site by Rent Cottage in Canada on Yahoo!

Started only a month ago we have managed to get to the top of the Google and Yahoo! lists by some of the most searched keywords in the Canadian Cottage Renting industry.

Stay tuned, there is more to come!
Rent Cottage Canada