Trout Point Lodge (Kemptville, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Locals call this corner of Nova Scotia the "empty quarter." Situated at the confluence of the Tusket and Napier Rivers, it's surrounded by the 400-square-mile Tobeatic Wilderness Area – one of the largest protected areas in Eastern Canada – and the night sky here is so dark that an astronomer is on staff at Trout Point to guide guests through the stars. But the real charms of this cozy, 100-acre forest retreat are earthbound: the white spruce log and chiseled granite main lodge, surrounded by water on three sides, where a Celtic guitarist and fiddler jam beside a roaring stone fireplace; renowned Cajun and Acadian cooking classes (learn some smoking and curing techniques); and naturalist-led kayak and hiking trips through old-growth boreal forest (ask about Billy's Hill, a six-hour paddle-hike-combo) [from $200 a night; troutpoint.com].