Dawson City, located in Canada’s Yukon territory, is a historic and vibrant town with a rich gold rush history. It was once the center of the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 19th century and still retains much of its old-world charm. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Dawson City:
1. Klondike National Historic Sites
Immerse yourself in the gold rush history by visiting the Klondike National Historic Sites. This collection of sites includes the S.S. Keno, a historic paddle wheeler, the Dawson Historical Complex, and Dredge No. 4, a massive gold mining dredge. These sites provide a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of the gold rush era. As you explore the Klondike National Historic Sites, you’ll be transported back in time, connecting with the spirit of the gold rush pioneers who ventured into the wilderness in search of fortune. Delve into the stories, relish the picturesque landscapes, and feel the excitement that once gripped the Klondike region. The Klondike National Historic Sites in Dawson beckon you to discover the treasures of the past and create your unforgettable journey.
2. Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall
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Experience the lively atmosphere of a Gold Rush-era saloon at Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall. This unique entertainment venue offers a variety of shows, including can-can dancers, vaudeville acts, and lively gambling tables. Try your luck at the roulette wheel or enjoy a drink while entertained by the talented performers. Diamond Tooth Gerties is more than just a gambling hall, it’s a window into the past, offering a unique blend of history, entertainment, and nostalgia. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a memorable night out, this enchanting venue will leave you with unforgettable experiences and a taste of Klondike’s golden era.
3. Dawson City Museum
Delve deeper into the town’s history at the Dawson City Museum. The museum showcases many artifacts and exhibits related to the Klondike Gold Rush. Learn about the lives of prospectors, Indigenous cultures, and the impact of the gold rush on the region. Step into the museum and embark on a journey through time. Explore exhibits that showcase the lives of the daring prospectors who braved the treacherous journey to seek their fortunes in the gold fields. Gain insight into the challenges they faced, the tools they used, and the strategies they employed to strike it rich. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the Klondike’s fascinating past, the Dawson City Museum offers a wealth of knowledge and a captivating exploration of the gold rush era. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and uncover the untold stories that make this museum a must-visit destination in Dawson City.
4. Midnight Dome
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For breathtaking panoramic views of Dawson City and the surrounding wilderness, head to the top of Midnight Dome. It’s a short drive or hike from the town and offers a stunning vantage point to witness the midnight sun during the summer months or the northern lights during the winter. As you bask in the natural splendor and embrace the serenity that envelops you, you’ll gain a profound appreciation for the vastness of the Yukon’s landscapes. Capture the beauty through photographs, or soak in the tranquility as you reflect on the wonders of nature.
5. Dawson City Music Festival
If you visit in July, catch the Dawson City Music Festival, an annual event celebrating music and community. This renowned festival attracts talented musicians from all over Canada and beyond. Enjoy diverse musical performances in unique venues, from outdoor stages to historic buildings. During the festival, the streets of Dawson City come alive with the sounds of talented musicians from across Canada and beyond. From folk to indie, blues to bluegrass, and everything in between, the lineup features various genres that cater to all musical tastes. Discover new artists, witness breathtaking performances, and let the music transport you to new realms.
6. Tombstone Territorial Park
Take a scenic drive along the Dempster Highway to reach the stunning Tombstone Territorial Park. This wilderness area is known for its dramatic landscapes, rugged mountains, and unique wildlife. Enjoy hiking trails that showcase the beauty of the subarctic environment, and don’t forget to capture the breathtaking views with your camera. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature enthusiast, or a photography aficionado, a visit to Tombstone Territorial Park promises an unparalleled experience. It’s an opportunity to connect with the wild, to witness the wonders of an untouched landscape, and to leave with a profound appreciation for the delicate balance of nature.
7. Dawson City Firefighters Museum
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Located in the original fire hall building, the Dawson City Firefighters Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of firefighting in the area. Explore the exhibits showcasing antique fire trucks, equipment, and photographs highlighting the brave firefighters who protected the town during its early days. The Dawson City Firefighters Museum is a testament to the courage, resilience, and dedication of those who risked their lives to protect the town and its inhabitants. It’s a place where the stories of the past come alive, offering a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by firefighters and a glimpse into the unique history of Dawson City.
8. Robert Service Cabin
Visit the cabin of Robert Service, a renowned poet known for his poems about the Klondike Gold Rush. This small log cabin, preserved as a historic site, provides a glimpse into Service’s life and work. You can find artifacts, photographs, and information about the poet’s time in the Yukon. Visiting the Robert Service Cabin is necessary for literature enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Klondike Gold Rush. It’s a chance to walk in the footsteps of a legendary poet, to glimpse the world through his eyes, and appreciate the enduring power of words in capturing the essence of a time and place.
9. Jack London Interpretive Center
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Step into the world of celebrated author Jack London at the Jack London Interpretive Center. London was an adventurer who spent time in Dawson City during the gold rush. The center showcases exhibits and displays related to London’s life and writings, offering insight into the harsh realities of the Klondike and the inspiration behind his famous novels. As you leave the Jack London Interpretive Center, you’ll carry a deeper appreciation for the Klondike Gold Rush and its indelible mark on Jack London’s writing. You’ll also gain a renewed understanding of the spirit of adventure, resilience, and the timeless allure of the wild that continue to captivate readers worldwide.
10. Palace Grand Theatre
Immerse yourself in the golden era of entertainment at the Palace Grand Theatre. This beautifully restored vaudeville-era theater hosts live performances, concerts, and cultural events annually. Take in a show and admire the stunning architecture and decor that transport you back to the early 1900s. Attending a show at the Palace Grand Theatre is not just about the entertainment, it’s an opportunity to be a part of history and witness the enduring legacy of performing arts. The theater serves as a gathering place for the community, fostering a sense of togetherness and celebrating the arts in all their forms.
11. St. Paul’s Anglican Church
St. Paul’s Anglican Church is a picturesque landmark in Dawson City. Built-in 1902, the church features stunning stained glass windows and a traditional wooden interior. Take a moment to appreciate the architecture and serene surroundings, or attend a Sunday service to experience the spiritual side of the community. Beyond its religious significance, St. Paul’s Anglican Church is a testament to the enduring cultural heritage of the area. It symbolizes unity and community spirit, providing solace, support, and a place for residents and visitors to reflect. The church’s welcoming doors are open to all, inviting individuals to find solace, seek inspiration, and appreciate the timeless beauty that surrounds them.
12. Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA)
A visit to the Yukon School of Visual Arts is a must for art enthusiasts. Located in a former federal building, SOVA offers a range of art courses and workshops. The school also hosts exhibitions featuring works by local and visiting artists, providing a platform for creative expression and fostering a vibrant arts community. SOVA is crucial in fostering a sense of community among artists and art enthusiasts. The school serves as a hub for networking, collaboration, and exchanging ideas, bringing together individuals passionate about the visual arts. The creative energy that permeates through the halls of SOVA inspires a sense of camaraderie and encourages the exploration of new artistic frontiers.
13. Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC)
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The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture is a hub for arts and culture in Dawson City. It hosts various workshops, exhibitions, and performances throughout the year. Visitors can participate in art classes, attend concerts, explore art exhibitions, or even enjoy film screenings at the KIAC. It’s a great place to engage with the local arts scene and get inspired. KIAC contributes to the overall cultural landscape of Dawson City by facilitating collaborations, supporting artists-in-residence programs, and organizing community events. It serves as a gathering place where artists, art enthusiasts, and the general public can share their love for the arts and engage in meaningful conversations.
14. Dawson City Golf Course
Located amidst the scenic beauty of the Klondike Valley, the Dawson City Golf Course is a popular spot for golf enthusiasts. This 9-hole course offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and provides an enjoyable golfing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, you can tee off and appreciate the area’s natural beauty. The Dawson City Golf Course is a testament to the harmonious blending of outdoor recreation and stunning natural landscapes. As you tee off and make your way through the course, you’ll enjoy the game and have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty surrounding you. So, whether you’re a golf enthusiast seeking a challenging round or simply a nature lover wanting to bask in the scenic splendor of the Klondike Valley, the Dawson City Golf Course offers an idyllic setting for an unforgettable golfing experience.
Places and Things To Do