39 Best Places And Things To Do in Sault Sainte Marie, Canada

Sault Sainte Marie, often referred to as “the Soo,” is a charming city located in Ontario, Canada. Nestled between the stunning Great Lakes and bordered by the United States, this city boasts a rich history and a plethora of outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Sault Sainte Marie:

1. Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site

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A must-visit attraction, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site showcases a functioning lock system that was instrumental in the development of the Great Lakes region. Visitors can learn about the history of the canal through exhibits and guided tours, and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a vessel passing through the lock.

2. Agawa Canyon Tour Train

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Embark on a scenic journey aboard the Agawa Canyon Tour Train. The train takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including the Canadian Shield, pristine forests, and finally to the stunning Agawa Canyon. The canyon’s panoramic views, waterfalls, and hiking trails make it a nature lover’s paradise.

3. Bellevue Park

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This beautiful park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. With playgrounds, walking trails, a splash pad, and a beach area, Bellevue Park offers a serene escape in the heart of the city.

4. Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre

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Discover the fascinating history of bush flying and forest fire management in Northern Ontario at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. The museum houses a collection of vintage aircraft and interactive exhibits, providing an educational experience for visitors of all ages.

5. Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site

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Step back in time at the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site, where you can explore two of the city’s oldest buildings. This heritage site offers a glimpse into the life of early settlers and hosts various events and activities throughout the year.

6. Hiawatha Highlands

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For outdoor enthusiasts, Hiawatha Highlands is a recreational haven. In the winter, enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking on well-maintained trails. During the warmer months, the area transforms into a mountain biking and hiking paradise.

7. Whitefish Island

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Located in the St. Marys River, Whitefish Island is a serene oasis within the city. It’s a great spot for birdwatching, picnicking, and learning about the island’s Indigenous history and culture.

8. Art Gallery of Algoma

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If you’re interested in the arts, visit the Art Gallery of Algoma. The gallery features a diverse collection of regional and Canadian artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and contemporary pieces.

9. Essar Centre

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Catch a live hockey game or a concert at the Essar Centre (now known as the GFL Memorial Gardens). It’s a fantastic venue for entertainment and sports events.

10. Soo Locks Boat Tour

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Take a guided boat tour to see the Soo Locks in action. Witness massive ships navigating through the locks, and learn about the engineering marvel that allows vessels to traverse the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.

11. Boardwalk and Waterfront

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A stroll along the boardwalk and waterfront area is a must when visiting Sault Sainte Marie. Enjoy the picturesque views of the St. Marys River, where you can watch ships passing by, take in the fresh air, and capture stunning sunset photos.

12. Lake Superior State University’s Arts Center Gallery

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If you appreciate art and culture, visit the Arts Center Gallery at Lake Superior State University. The gallery features rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, showcasing the talent of local and international artists.

13. Outdoor Adventure at Rotary Park

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Rotary Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including disc golf, beach volleyball, and hiking trails. The park also has picnic areas and scenic lookouts, providing a great setting for a day of fun and relaxation with family and friends.

14. Canadian Carver

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Explore the art of woodcarving at the Canadian Carver. Admire intricate wood sculptures and learn about the craft through interactive displays and workshops. This unique attraction showcases the talent and craftsmanship of local artisans.

15. OLG Casino Sault Ste. Marie

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If you’re feeling lucky, head to the OLG Casino for some gaming entertainment. The casino offers various slot machines, table games, and dining options for visitors looking to try their hand at gambling.

16. Sault Ste. Marie Museum

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Dive into the city’s past at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, which exhibits artifacts and memorabilia from different eras. The museum sheds light on the region’s history, from its Indigenous heritage to its development as a prominent industrial center.

17. Lock Tours and Boat Cruises

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Apart from the Soo Locks Boat Tour, there are other boat cruise options available to explore the area’s waterways. Choose from narrated sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises, or even private charters for a unique perspective on Sault Ste. Marie’s natural beauty.

18. Stokely Creek Lodge

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For those seeking a wilderness retreat, consider a visit to Stokely Creek Lodge. Located just outside the city, this lodge offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking trails amidst beautiful landscapes. It’s an idyllic spot to disconnect and immerse yourself in nature.

19. Sault Ste. Marie

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Savor the local flavors by dining at the city’s restaurants and cafes. Sample regional delicacies, including freshwater fish dishes, maple syrup-infused treats, and diverse cuisine representing the multicultural community.

20. Explore St. Marys River

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Sault Ste. Marie is blessed with the picturesque St. Marys River, which offers various opportunities for exploration. Consider taking a scenic boat tour, kayaking, or paddleboarding to get up close to the river’s natural beauty. Fishing enthusiasts will also find ample opportunities to cast their lines and try to catch some of the region’s renowned freshwater fish.

21. Visit Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site

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History enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to the Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site, located just a short drive from Sault Ste. Marie. This site was once a significant British military outpost and fur trading post. Explore the reconstructed fort and learn about its role in the War of 1812 and its importance in the fur trade.

22. Pancake Bay Provincial Park

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Venture a little further north along the picturesque Lake Superior shoreline to Pancake Bay Provincial Park. This park is a haven for nature lovers, offering sandy beaches, hiking trails, and stunning vistas. It’s an excellent spot for a day trip or camping adventure in a pristine natural setting.

23. Agawa Rock Pictographs

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For a unique cultural experience, consider a trip to the Agawa Rock Pictographs. These ancient Indigenous rock paintings can be accessed by a boat tour or a moderate hike. The pictographs hold great cultural significance and are a testament to the history and spirituality of the Anishinaabe people.

24. International Bridge

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Walk or drive across the International Bridge that connects Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with its American counterpart, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The bridge offers fantastic views of the twin cities, the St. Marys River, and the surrounding landscapes.

25. Canadian Motor Hotel Mural

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Discover the city’s vibrant arts scene with a visit to the Canadian Motor Hotel Mural. This eye-catching artwork, painted on the side of a building, showcases the area’s history and culture through impressive and colorful imagery.

26. Art and Craft Shows

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Keep an eye out for local art and craft shows and festivals held throughout the year. These events offer an opportunity to support local artisans, purchase unique souvenirs, and immerse yourself in the creative community of Sault Ste. Marie.

27. Hub Trail

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Lace up your walking shoes or hop on a bike to explore the Hub Trail, a network of interconnected paths that traverse through parks, waterfronts, and historical sites around the city. This trail system offers a fantastic way to experience the city’s natural beauty and heritage.

28. Downtown Shopping and Dining

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Spend some time strolling through the charming downtown area, where you’ll find a variety of shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Enjoy a leisurely meal at one of the local eateries and shop for unique gifts and souvenirs.

29. Attend Local Events

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Check the city’s event calendar to see if any festivals, concerts, or cultural events are happening during your visit. Sault Ste. Marie hosts a range of events year-round, providing opportunities to engage with the community and experience its lively spirit.

30. Essar Centre Farmers’ Market

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If your visit coincides with a Wednesday or Saturday morning, head over to the Essar Centre Farmers’ Market. Here, you can find a delightful assortment of fresh produce, locally made goods, artisan crafts, and more. It’s a great place to support local vendors and take home some tasty treats and unique souvenirs.

31. Sault Ste. Marie Public Library

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If you’re seeking a quiet and cozy spot, the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library is an excellent choice. Spend some time perusing the vast collection of books, reading a magazine, or using their free Wi-Fi to catch up on emails or research local history.

32. Crimson Ridge Golf Course

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Golf enthusiasts will be pleased to discover the scenic Crimson Ridge Golf Course. This 18-hole championship course offers a challenging game and picturesque views of the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, this course promises an enjoyable day on the greens.

33. Winter Fun at Bellevue Park

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During the winter months, Bellevue Park transforms into a winter wonderland, offering ice skating and ice fishing opportunities. Join locals and visitors alike as they glide across the frozen pond or try their luck at catching fish through the ice.

34. Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge Walk

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Once a year, during the International Bridge Walk event, the international border between Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, is open to pedestrians. This unique experience allows you to walk across the bridge, taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding waters and landscapes.

35. Sault Ste. Marie Model Railroad Club

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For train enthusiasts, a visit to the Sault Ste. Marie Model Railroad Club is a must. Witness the intricate model train layouts and immerse yourself in the captivating world of miniature railways.

36. Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery

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Discover stunning outdoor art installations throughout the city that pay homage to the famous Group of Seven Canadian landscape painters. The artworks are scattered along the Hub Trail, providing an artistic and cultural dimension to your outdoor exploration.

37. Hiawatha Highlands Night Skiing

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Experience the magic of night skiing at Hiawatha Highlands. With the trails beautifully lit, night skiing offers a unique and peaceful way to explore the wintry landscapes and enjoy the tranquility of the forest.

38. Taste of Algoma Festival

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:If you’re visiting in August, make sure to check out the Taste of Algoma Festival. This culinary event brings together local restaurants, food vendors, and live entertainment, offering a delectable feast for your taste buds.

39. Horseback Riding

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Explore the beauty of Sault Ste. Marie’s countryside on horseback. There are various riding stables in the area that offer guided trail rides for riders of all levels, providing a memorable and peaceful experience in nature.