Looking to plan an unforgettable Northern Ontario Road Trip and keen to craft an itinerary from Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie?
Our comprehensive Thunder Bay To Sault Ste. Marie Road Trip Guide features detailed city guides highlighting what to do and where to eat at the start and end of your trip. We also include suggestions for the best hotels, restaurants, nature parks, attractions and beaches to visit while driving the scenic route around Lake Superior.
This was my first time visiting Northern Ontario and can safely say it was one of the most action-packed, postcard-perfect road trips of my life! Whether traveling as a family, couple or group of friends, we know you’ll love the jaw-dropping drive from Thunder Bay To Sault Ste. Marie!
What Is The Distance From Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie?
If you’re planning a fun road trip of Northern Ontario you’re probably wondering what the distance is from Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie as well as how long the trip will take to drive.
The distance between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie is 424 kilometers (263 miles), while the actual driving distance from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie is 704 kilometers (437 miles).
According to Google Maps, if you’re driving the speed limit consistently along the route without any diversions it should take approximately 8 hours to drive from Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie.
Does The Drive From Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie Have A Name?
Famed for being one of the most scenic drives in all of Ontario, the road trip from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie in Algoma Country is dotted with scenic villages, postcard-perfect parks and scenic lakeside views. For many enjoying the wild wilderness here you might think you’ve lost yourself in British Columbia!
The drive between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie in Northern Ontario is part of the Lake Superior Circle Tour, a 2,100 km self guided tour around the worlds largest fresh water lake.
The highway that completes the tour was connected between Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in September, 1960. It became a much faster way to travel from Northern Ontario to the more southern part of the province while also allowing the route of the Lake Superior Circle Tour to be created.
You can travel the Lake Superior Circle Tour by car, RV, motorcycle, or bicycle or even on foot if you’ve got that Forest Gump gumption! You can start at any point you want along the borders of the lake and follow the highways that connect Ontario in Canada and 3 American States: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
On our trip we flew into Thunder Bay from Toronto and then enjoyed a fun summer road trip over 8 days to visit top attractions before finishing in Sault Ste. Marie.
How To Get From Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie
There are plenty of fun ways to travel from Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie:
- CAR: whether you’re hopping in the family SUV for a road trip or are on holiday from out of town renting a car, driving is the best way to explore the attractions from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie. Driving a car allows you the flexibility of hopping off the Trans Canada Highway and taking your time to enjoy scenic hikes, beach breaks and a lazy lunch.
- RV: picture yourself coasting along Highway 17 in an RV and hopping around the beautiful provincial parks on the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie? Fans of that Recreational Vehicle life can enjoy jaw-dropping views and friendly campsites on this popular Northern Ontario Road Trip route.
- MOTORCYCLE: if you’re planning a Northern Ontario Road Trip with friends on a fancy Harley Davidson the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie is not to be missed! It’s ranked as one of the Top 30 Motorcycle Roads in Ontario!
- BUS: if you’re looking to get from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie by bus it’s an affordable option that allows you to enjoy beautiful views while avoiding the hassel of having to keep your eyes on the road. Ontario Northbound offers bus service between both cities with a total driving time of just over 9 hours and approximate one way cost of $120.
- FLIGHT: you can book a scenic flight from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie on Bearskin Airlines.
Best Time To Plan A Northern Ontario Road Trip
Depending on your interests, you can plan a Northern Ontario Road Trip any time of year.
In the Winter enjoy ice fishing and snowmobiling, Spring brings fresh blooms at nature parks, Summer is peak season when beaches and hiking trails beckon families and friends while Fall is a photographers dream as the trees turn colour leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
If it’s your first time driving from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie we suggest researching the best locals festivals so you can plan your visit around a fun annual event:
- Thunder Bay Pride
- Country On The Bay
- Maamawe Summer Festival
- Wawa Music Festival
- Winnie’s Hometown Festival in White River
- Algoma Fall Festival in Sault Ste. Marie
- Bon Soo Winter Carnival in Sault Ste. Marie
- Oktoberfest in Sault Ste. Marie
Tips For A Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie Northern Ontario Road Trip
If it’s your first time going on a Northern Ontario Road Trip here are some suggestions to consider before you start packing:
- Be Flexible: you’re not visiting Berlin or the Vatican City where every aspect of your trip needs to be timed to the minute. Northern Ontario has a chilled out vibe and it’s a great place to relax and see where the wind takes you. We started the journey with a list of the top beaches, parks, restaurants and attractions to see along the way and based on the weather forecast and how tired we were after a hike we amended the journey so it was fun and never rushed. If you’re visiting in the shoulder or off season, contact attractions and restaurants in advance for their opening hours. At trendy restaurants in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie, book reservations in advance.
- Use Google Maps: once my itinerary was complete I plotted all of the hotels, restaurants and attractions in Google Maps to make navigation on the trip safe and easy. Google Maps is brilliant as it adjusts expected arrival times based on traffic, alerts you if an attraction may be closing soon after your arrive and provides easy to access contact numbers, addresses and reviews.
- Cell Service: if you’re using one of Canada’s top carriers like Telus, Rogers or Bell you’ll have intermittent phone connection along the Trans Canada Highway. There are stretches of the drive where you might not have a signal for up to 30 minutes so be sure to download podcasts to your phone so you’re always entertained. When driving ensure your phone is being charged so when you hop out to explore an attraction or go on a hike the battery is fully juiced and ready to shoot photos and video of the regions stunning scenery.
- Traffic: in the winter, especially during blizzards expect delays along the route. During the warmer months of the year construction crews usually work on rejuvenating the highways and bridges so leave time in your schedule for unexpected delays.
- Fill Up With Gas When You Can: be sure to leave Thunder Bay with a full tank of gas as some stretches of Highway 17 have stretches where gas stations are quite a distance apart. Try and fill up at stations on Indigenous land as they typically sell gas for 20 cents per litre less than the competition. If you’re traveling with an Electric Vehicle you can enjoy a sustainable Northern Ontario Road Trip as there are plenty of EV charging stations from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie.
- Bring Entertainment: the drive is long so pack snacks and entertainment, especially if you have kids in the back seat. We planned a fun road trip playlist, downloaded our favourite Podcasts, and listened to books on tape.
- Lookout For Wildlife: no Northern Ontario Road Trip is complete until you’ve spotted some of the regions wonderful wildlife. If you’re a city slicker unfamiliar with driving on rural roads be sure to pay attention to signage that may alert you to moose, deer or bear crossings. Drive cautiously at night to make way for the highway crossing of our furry friends.
What About Driving Sault Ste Marie To Thunder Bay?
This road trip guide can also be helpful for those looking to drive in the opposite direction, from Sault Ste Marie To Thunder Bay.
Simply scroll to the bottom of the story and work your way up in the opposite direction.
An important note, if you are planning to rent a car from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie or Sault Ste Marie To Thunder Bay during the high season you should be aware that rental car companies do not allow one way drives. This is because during the summer months there is such a high demand for rental cars they can’t accomodate one way road trip travel. In the shoulder or low season there’s not a problem.
Initially we were planning on flying into Thunder Bay, driving one way from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie and then flying back to Toronto on Porter Airlines.
Once we discovered we had to return the car in Thunder Bay we planned a loop that allowed us to stop and see popular attractions, sleep over at rural motor inns and enjoy local restaurants on each leg of the journey.
Our Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie Road Trip Guide features a list of worthwhile stops all of which are organized in the order you would encounter then. Feel free to select whatever interests to make the most of your Northern Ontario Road Trip!
Thunder Bay To Sault Ste Marie Road Trip Guide
I’m always keen to explore places I’ve never been so I was excited to plan this epic Northern Ontario Road Trip in the summer of 2023.
In all my years road tripping through Ontario I had never had an opportunity to explore north of Muskoka. When an opportunity to plan a road trip of Northern Ontario sprung up I was excited to enjoy the scenic drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie with a friend at the wheel!
The city of Thunder Bay was initially built on the traditional lands of Fort William First Nation signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850.
Today, Thunder Bay is dubbed “Canada’s Premier Outdoor City,” where visitors can enjoy epic adventures that meet contemporary culture and enjoy fabulous urban amenities in Northwest Ontario’s largest city.
Found on the north shore of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, and embraced by the Nor’Wester Mountain range, Thunder Bay is a vibrant community. It’s the gateway to 500,000 square kilometres of Canadian wilderness with over 150,000 lakes and rivers, the ultimate adventure playground!
And while nature is the big draw, Thunder Bay also offers an array of stellar restaurants, bars, breweries, cafes, bakeries, theatres and galleries to make the foodies and art lovers on the trip happy.
277 Camelot St, 1-807-699-7666
Situated within Thunder Bay’s original, 100-year-old courthouse, the Courthouse Hotel features refined, luxury boutique accommodations just minutes from the waterfront.
Thunder Bay’s most luxurious hotel is the perfect place to celebrate the start of an unforgettable Northern Ontario Road Trip.
Skip into one of the hotel’s spacious suites and you’ll find a comfy king sized bed, shower and soaker tub, comfy living room, coffee and tea nook, USB charging stations, mini fridge, work station, and flat screen TV. If you’re lucky your room will have a view overlooking the Sleeping Giant.
The historic pet-friendly hotel also offers free-wifi, 24 hour fitness centre, and complimentary hot breakfast served from 7-10am.
Where To Eat & Drink In Thunder Bay
Ranked as Northern Ontario’s largest city, Thunder Bay surprises with its dynamic culinary scene.
Thunder Bay’s unique history plays a key role in the character of its cuisine. Culinary influences come from Indigenous culture, French Canadian voyageur and frontier heritage, a unique Finnish connection and modern Canadian entrepreneurial inspiration.
40 Cumberland St S, 1-807-344-4450
In Common is a petite resto-bar in Thunder Bay that features a locally-sourced menu and slurp-worthy craft cocktails.
Owners Tara, Mitch and Jason launched In Common in early 2023 offering the city a new place to appreciate art and eat, “It was our goal to offer a dynamic space for artists to share. We put effort into maintaining the open art space as well as functional and attractive art rails. Currently we are thrilled with Julie Cosgrove’s work, which particularly suits the space. We are very open to hosting events and welcome anyone to approach us. A variety of music, art and gatherings,” said Tara.
On a hot summer day grab a seat on the rainbow Pride flag adorned patio and slurp a cool craft beer while wagging your fingers down the menu. In Common offers plenty of options for those living a gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian diet.
Highlights from the menu include a healthy burrito bowl, bacon jam grilled cheese, and pierogi pizza.
206 Park Ave, 1-807-577-7766
If you’re looking to taste the best of Thunder Bay’s craft breweries enjoy a bite with a cold pint at Lakehead Beer.
Lakehead’s beer portfolio is intentionally eclectic, from a collection of lesser produced styles to classic malt-driven lagers. At the tap room you can sip beer right from the holding vessels or Brite Beer Tanks where it was carbonated and matured in preparation for packaging. Highlights from the taproom during our visit include the signature Pilsner, hoppy IPA, and mood Deep Cuts American Brown.
If you’re feeling peckish during your beer break order tasty grub at the brewery’s kitchen Tomlin Subdivision. It’s a fast-casual eatery serving up Detroit-style pizza, subs, fried chicken and snacks like wings, deep fried pickles and loaded patatas bravas.
Skip over to the beer garden to enjoy an al fresco feast on a picnic table while devouring stringy pizza and glugs of hoppy IPA.
During our visit we were sitting right in front of queer street artist Ricky Kruger who was in the process of painting an eye-popping mural on the side of the brewery, which features a trilogy of baboons, burly bear and awesome elephant.
425 Northern Ave, 1-807-622-1406
Thunder Bay Country Market first launched in 1997 with just 11 local producers partnering to provide an indoor venue to sell their goods.
Visit the market and you’ll find two floors showcasing almost 40 local vendors, selling everything from fresh produce to baked goods, preserves, crafts, gifts and ready to eat meals.
Visiting foodies should be sure to line up to taste authentic Finnish pancakes at the Hoito Pop-up. Hoito Restaurant, Thunder Bay’s most iconic Finnish eatery was tragically destroyed due to a fire so their pop-up at the market is a great opportunity to try the city’s favourite pancakes while also helping fundraise so they can reopen.
The Market is located in the Dove Building at the CLE Grounds on the corner of May Street and Northern Avenue. Visit Saturdays from 8am-1pm and Wednesdays 3:30pm-6:30pm.
610 Arthur St W, 1-807-475-3886
Naxos is a Canadian-Greek family-owned restaurant in Thunder Bay. Skip inside Naxos Grill and you’ll find a casual dining room and seasonal outdoor patio.
The breakfast menu features Canadian classics like pancakes, omelettes, benedicts, and waffles. At dinner Greek flavours take the stage with a Mediterranean menu featuring flaming saganaki, pork souvlaki, and mousaka.
The local favourite serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 10am-9pm.
15c St Paul St, 1-807-767-0733
If you’re a craft cocktail fan no trip to Thunder Bay is complete until you’ve popped in for a swirl and sip at Barkeep. Located in downtown Thunder Bay, Barkeep is a chic cocktail bar serving original and classic tipples.
The no reservations, upscale, cocktail bar is the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink downtown, especially if you’re dining at Tomlin Restaurant around the corner.
During the summer enjoy a thirst quenching drink on the Barkeep patio or hop up at the horseshoe bar late at night to watch the resident mixologist shake and muddle an ice-cold libation.
If you’re feeling peckish there’s a petite snack menu featuring Southwest Sweet Potato & Cheese Dip, Charcuterie and Cheese Boards.
202 1/2 Red River Rd, 1-807-346-4447
Tomlin is ranked as one of the best restaurants in Thunder Bay and a must for those celebrating a special occasion on a Northern Ontario Road Trip!
The Tomlin Restaurant is an important part of the renaissance of Thunder Bay’s Waterfront District. It is located in the Tomlinson Building in the space once occupied for close to 30 years by St. James Stereo.
The award winning fine dining restaurant offers a warm and inviting atmosphere that showcases locally sourced ingredients on a menu that rotates regularly to serve what’s fresh and in season.
Tomlin specializes in house made charcuterie and pasta, dry aged steaks, craft cocktails and VQA wines. Chef’s Tastings are available to parties of 4 or more. Meals are served family-style and are meant for sharing with large plates and small plates.
Highlights from the Tomlin menu during our visit include Gyoza Croquettes, Eggplant Schnitzel, and Broken Lasagna.
379 Oliver Rd, 1-807-344-6761
Kangas Sauna Little House of Pancakes is a popular Finish restaurant and sauna in Thunder Bay.
If you’re looking to tap into the city’s unique Finnish immigrant history a pile of crispy pancakes followed by a sweaty steam in the sauna is the perfect culinary ritual in Thunder Bay.
Kangas Sauna has 7 small, 5 medium and 4 large saunas all of which are private and have their own change room, shower and sauna.
The restaurant dining room is open daily from 8am-3pm and its Finland-inspired menu features breakfast and lunch classics.
We suggest ordering the signature Kangas Finnish Pancakes with strawberries and whip cream. In the morning you’ll also find French Toast, Eggs Benedict, and Omelettes. At lunch enjoy a hearty sandwich (roast beef, reuben, sliced turkey, corned beef, grilled cheese, BLT) or selection of fresh off the grill burgers.
Thunder Bay’s most famous culinary offering is a hilariously misnamed mistake.
The term Persian can refer to a number of things, including people, cats, rugs, and cinnamon buns covered in berry icing. You may be thinking that the last entry bears no relation to present-day Iran or the empire that preceded it. You’d be correct!
This fried and frosted delicacy from Thunder Bay was supposedly named after John J. Pershing, an American general in World War I. This is if you were to pronounce his name “John J. Persian.” Pershing is not Persian, either. He’s from Missouri.
According to local lore, General Pershing visited Bennett’s Bakery sometime after the war. To pay tribute to their famous guest, founder Arthur Bennett invented and named the pastry in Pershing’s honour in the 1940s.
Today, the bakery’s new owner, Danny Nucci, sells Persians both from Bennett’s and a coffee shop called The Persian Man (which now has several locations in town). Nucci inherited Bennett’s from his father, who bought the shop in 1962.
A Persian is essentially an oval shaped cinnamon bun that’s fried and frosted with pink berry icing.
Residents hold the pastry near and dear, and make sure visitors know that eating one is a must-do on any trip to Thunder Bay. The pastry has an extremely loyal local fanbase, and older natives may recall a time when a special variation known as “toasted Persians” graced restaurant menus. Making these toasted treats required halving a bun, browning the slices in a buttered frying pan, icing on the top haves, and flipping them to caramelize the icing.
16 Cumberland St S, 1-807-286-0045
Are you a meat lover looking for an authentic smokehouse experience on the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie?
Red Lion Smokehouse is Thunder Bay’s must-try American-style barbecue restaurant run by Chef John Murray.
The Red Lion menu is a mix of classic British Pub favourites with a smokehouse twist. It’s broken down by wraps, tacos, bar snacks, burgers, smokehouse favourites, salads and chicken.
Highlights from our finger-licking-good feast include a Crispy Pork Salad and epic BBQ Platter complete with grilled cornbread, coleslaw, chips and aioli.
The bar boasts over 100 craft beers with 14 taps and over 100 beers keeping cool in the fridge.
11 St Paul St, 1-807-344-3900
Attention all java junckies! Looking for the best cup of coffee in Thunder Bay? Let me introduce you to St Paul Roastery…
Owners Cam Reid and Stefan Pakylak manage the beloved coffee shop, which features an onsite roastery and charming cafe.
The duo began as home roasters, using popcorn poppers and mail-order supplies. The inspiration for starting a roastery was multi-faceted—increasing requests from friends for their coffee led to them wanting to share the process, while a passion for the science of roasting coffee made the concept of roastery and cafe the perfect fit.
Along with coffee beans, ground coffee, a range of espresso drinks and hand-brewed filter coffees, they offer speciality coffee equipment for home brewing. You’ll also find their coffee at local restaurants.
The cafe is connected to Swell Bakery next door, where locals line up for the city’s best French pastries.
Located a stones throw from St Paul Roastery is Swell Bakery. We’re obviously suggesting you grab a cup of coffee and head over to Swell for a freshly baked pastry. The breakfast of champions for those on the go!
Swell Bakery is a small batch, one woman owned and operated bakery located in downtown Thunder Bay.
The popular bake shop offers an ever changing menu, though must-try signatures include: Butter Croissants, Pain Au Chocolat, Almond Croissants, Bacon & Egg Croissants, Spinach & Feta Croissants, and Cinnamon Buns.
During our visit we spotted Rainbow BiColour Croissants with Vanilla Bean Cream (Happy Pride!), Strawberry Rhubarb Danishes, and Clementine Coffee Cake.
2201 Sleeping Giant Pkwy Unit 100, 807-622-4448
Bight is a popular restaurant located right on Thunder Bay’s scenic harbour overlooking the marina.
During the warm summer months Bight boasts one of the city’s best patios, the perfect perch to people watch while sipping cocktails and chowing down on artisanal sandwiches and pizza.
Skip inside Bight Restaurant and you’ll find an elegant cocktail bar and dining room with plenty of natural lighting and fireplace for those cooler winter days.
The Bight menu features healthy salads, artisanal sandwiches and flatbread.
271 Bay St, 807-285-7775
Looking to enjoy a taste of authentic Italian cuisine when driving from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie?
Nook is a small and lively Italian restaurant in the heart of Thunder Bay serving up classic Italian dishes like pasta, pizza and fresh salads.
Nook opened in 2015 and immediately became a local foodie favourite, famous for serving authentic Neapolitan thin-crust pizzas and pretty bowls of pasta. The kitchen prides itself on sourcing from local Northwestern suppliers like Agostino’s Deli, Maltese Grocery, Belluz Farms and Northwest Gourmet Mushrooms.
During the summer months the restaurant’s size doubles thanks to its gorgeous outdoor patio, which is adorned with pretty potted plants. During the cooler months of the year diners keep cozy indoors thanks to a fiery pizza oven.
1501 Brown St, 807-623-6266
While road tripping in Ontario’s northern reaches enjoy a Mexican beach break on a plate at Nortenos Taqueria.
The popular Mexican restaurant in Thunder Bay has two locations serving up ice cold margaritas, tacos, birria, quesadillas, taquitos, tortas, and tostadas.
You May Also Enjoy These Ontario Cottage Country Travel Stories…
- Northern Edge Algonquin Muskoka Retreat
- Dorset Lookout Tower Offers Best View in Muskoka
- Best Muskoka Spas: Massage, Body Wraps & Facials
- Best Restaurants in Muskoka Ontario
- Best Muskoka Hotels & Resorts
- Muskoka Breweries: Best Craft Beer in Ontario Cottage Country
- 10 Tips on Hosting the Ultimate Cottage Weekend
- Casino Rama Restaurants & Entertainment Getaway in Orillia
- Best Restaurants in Orillia: Brewery, Bakery, Patios & Take Out
- Best Attractions & Things To Do In Orillia
- Barrie Breweries: Craft Beer at Flying Monkeys, Barnstormer and Redline
Thunder Bay Attractions
Thunder Bay is most famous for its natural attractions, boasting a handful of parks you can visit easily on a day trip outside of the city.
Enjoy a weekend getaway and you’ll also find friendly markets, a pretty Waterfront District, sailing harbour tours, and historic fort.
Goods & Co is a vibrant urban market featuring local restaurants, artisans, event space and a contemporary art gallery in the heart of downtown Thunder Bay.
The art deco market space is the perfect place for residents and tourists to shop local and connect with the community.
There are over 25 local vendors offering handmade and locally sourced products. Shop here for gourmet food, indigenous art, books, bikes, handmade soap, interior design inspirations, and gifts of all kinds!
Prince Arthur’s Landing at the Thunder Bay Waterfront is an area filled with year-round fun with jaw-dropping views to boot!
A stones throw from the shores of Lake Superior you will find the city’s newly redeveloped Waterfront District, which is home to dozens of shops, restaurants, and bars.
In the summer months, boats fill the harbour, the smells and sounds of fun festivals fill the air and families can enjoy the splash pad while diners sip sunset cocktails at restaurants and outdoor patios.
Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park is the closest nature reserve to downtown Thunder Bay and a must for wilderness lovers.
The drive is just 30 minutes and well worth it as you can gawk at a 40 metre high waterfall, which is the second highest waterfall in Ontario with year round access for viewing.
Enjoy excellent views of the falls and gorge from the boardwalk that wraps around the top of the falls. Geology nerds note, Kaministiquia River has cut deep into the rocks to reveal 1.6 million year old fossils at the bottom of the falls.
You’ll find walking and nature trails in summer and groomed cross-country ski trails in the winter.
752 Candy Mountain Dr, 1-807-475-5181
Bulluz Farms has been growing fresh produce for the Thunder Bay community since 1946.
The 3rd generation family-run farm has 200 acres of field production and the remaining 100 acres are dedicated to wetland, bush and replanted forest.
We visited during peak strawberry season when families hop on a tractor and enjoy a wee ride through the property. It’s fun to pick the bright red berries, which in Ontario are super sweet and have crunchy seeds that are fun to bite into.
Bulluz Farms offers school tours Spring and Fall, pick-your-own fruits and vegetables and Fresh Picked fruits and vegetables all summer and fall, and a popular Fall Wonderland and Pumpkinfest.
Summer departure 1 Marina Park Dr, 1-807-628-3333
From adventurous sailors and marine thrill seekers to those looking for a calm and relaxing cruise around Lake Superior’s iconic Canadian shoreline, Sail Superior’s experienced captains host an unforgettable adventure.
Located in Thunder Bay Prince Arthur’s Landing Marina, Sail Superior is situated along 3 piers. Boasting a fleet of four vessels, they’re Thunder Bay’s boat tour experts offering a variety of sailing, zodiac and catamaran experiences. From shorter harbour tours and wine & cheese sunset cruising to extended day and multi-day trips.
Try a high speed zodiac ride to the Welcome Islands, or a scenic cruise combined with a hike of the Sleeping Giant or maybe sail out to spend a day at Thompson Island, a sauna, a hike, a swim!
10 Algoma St S, 1-807-345-5552
The Magnus Theatre – The Dr. S. Penny Petrone Centre for the Performing Arts in Thunder Bay, was founded in 1971 and is Northwestern Ontario’s most celebrated professional theatre company.
Magnus was founded in 1971 by British director Burton Lancaster and was incorporated in 1972. Each season, Magnus produces seven professional Mainstage productions, and the company’s programs now reach over 40,000 theatre lovers throughout Northwestern Ontario each year.
During the summer season Magnus Theatre pitches a big white tent in the parking lot and hosts a fun series of shows. The al fresco theatre experience includes a small lounge and concession stand selling snacks, wine, beer and canned cocktails.
500 Bass Lake Rd, 1-807-622-6908
If you’re traveling with kids from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie be sure to stop at Amethyst Mine Panorama.
The family-run amethyst mine offers a fun interactive experience for families on an active mine site.
Guests can enjoy a guided tour to learn about the unique geology of the purple precious stones and then pluck their favourite sparkling rocks to take home. There’s also a retail store that sells gift-worthy amethyst jewelry and art.
Greenwich Lake Rd, 1-807-977-2526
Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park located in Dorion on the northern shores of Lake Superior along Highway 17.
It first opened to the public in 1972 and today is famous for its 150-metre wide gorge. Enjoy panoramic views of a 150 metre wide gorge and sheer cliffs that drop 100 metres straight down to the canyon floor!
The popular nature park features a trail and boardwalk that connects two lookout platforms to view the canyon. Fun fact, arctic plants, usually found 1,000 kilometres north, survive in the unique environment at the bottom of the canyon.
It is open May to October and is a day-use park with no camping available. It is very close to Eagle Canyon home to Canada’s longest zip-line, Wolf River Campground, and approximately half way between Nipigon and Thunder Bay.
275 Valley Rd, 1-807-355-3064
The Eagle Canyon Suspension Bridge is Canada’s longest, spanning over 600 feet. The bridge crosses over the canyon and Bat Lake at a height of 152 feet above the canyon floor, offering breathtaking views as you tip toe across to the other side.
At the other end of this bridge you can opt to take the zip line to descend to the bottom of the canyon. The zip line is said to be Canada’s longest, highest and fastest (reaching speeds over 45 mph), extending half a mile long and 175 feet high.
R R 1 Pass Lake, 1-807-977-2526
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is located approximately 1 hour from Thunder Bay.
The park boasts 61,157 acres of protected park land with over 100 km of nature, hiking and backpacking trails. The landscape feature known as the “Sleeping Giant” at the southern tip of Sibley Peninsula is one of the highlights.
If you love to hike and have the time, Top of the Giant Trail affords an experience few will forget offering spectacular vistas from the top of the Giant. If you’re squeezed for time enjoy easily accessible views from the Thunder Bay Lookout.
The park has a Visitor Centre with interpretive displays to explore and the Westwing Store for souvenirs. Naturalist led Discovery Programs are available during the summer months.
Day use and interior camping at 40 backcountry sites are available year-round. Park permits are required for all use types including day use, camping and backcountry.
Silver Islet General Store is located in Silver Islet, a must-visit for those spending time in nearby Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
The General Store was built in 1871 and has long been a staple and historical landmark of the local mining community. It is the oldest business in Northwestern Ontario.
Their living museum features items/artifacts from the original silver mine, the General Store, along with information panels detailing the history of each. See displays with original miners helmets with candles, mine supervisor log books, clothing, boots, books and journals from 1871-1910, and letters of correspondence between Alexander Sibley and the US mining company.
Today, skip inside the General Store and you’ll find a cute Tea Room where tourists rest to enjoy a slice of homemade pie. On a hot day, there’s also ice cream!
1350 King Rd, 1-807-473-2344
Fort William Historical Park is a Canadian historical site that contains a reconstruction of the Fort William fur trade post as it existed in 1816. In 2023 Thunder Bay’s historic fort celebrated its 50th anniversary, which was attended by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
Fort William Historical Park is known as a living history site. Numerous historic buildings have been reconstructed to show the range of the post, and costumed historical interpreters recreate Fort William of the year 1816.
Fort William was not primarily a settlement, but a central transport depot within the now-defunct North West Company’s network of fur trade outposts. Due to its central role, Fort William was much larger, with more facilities than the average fur trade post. Reflecting this, Fort William Historical Park contains 42 reconstructed buildings, a reconstructed Ojibwa village, and a small farm.
Historical interpreters represent the many roles and cultures involved in the fur trade, including Scottish fur traders (people of capital), who often took Native American wives and had their families living with them; French Canadian voyageurs and workers, who also had wives from among the Natives; and native hunters and trappers. The native people in the Fort William area are predominantly Ojibwa are also represented.
Mount McKay is located on Fort William First Nations Reservation.
Mount McKay or Anemki-wacheu as it’s known in Ojibwa is at a momentous height of almost 300m above Lake Superior. On the lower plateau there is an observation walkway and viewing scope offering awe inspiring vistas of the city, surrounding countryside, Lake Superior, and the Sleeping Giant.
Mount Mckay is considered sacred ground by the members of the Fort William First Nation. There is a carved monument that is in honour of their Ojibwa elders here. You can hike the trail to the top, or stop half way at the lookout for a panoramic view. A gravel road takes you to the lookout. Open May to October.
1080 Keewatin St, 807-577-6427
Thunder Bay Art Gallery first launched in the 1970s. Today the gallery is located on the campus of Confederation College and is the largest art gallery in Northern Ontario specializing in contemporary Indigenous art.
Thunder Bay Art Gallery has a permanent collection that consists of more than 1600 works of art including works by Norval Morrisseau, Carl Beam, Daphne Odjig, Robert Houle, Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Shelley Niro, Bob Boyer, Susan Ross, and Benjamin Chee Chee.
Over 30,000 visitors skip through the doors of the gallery each year on school tours and for artistic events.
After spending a fun weekend in Thunder Bay we hopped in the car to start our road trip east to Sault Ste Marie.
The first stop on our Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie drive was the Nipignon Lookout. It’s a 90 minute drive rom downtown Thunder Bay, a great opportunity to stretch your legs.
Climb 65 steps up this 40 foot structure to be rewarded with a 360 degree view from Lake Helen, to the Nipigon River Bridge, to the Marina and beyond. The tower is located on Railway St. near the Edgeview Restaurant. Take the entrance into Nipigon immediately west of the Nipigon River Bridge.
Parking, picnic tables, and benches are available for visitors as well as a Group of Seven Interpretive panel by the parking lot.
Trans-Canada Hwy Rossport, 1-807-824-2298
Attention waterfall lovers!
Rainbow Falls Provincial Park is a gorgeous nature reserve located on 575-hectares of government land a short drive east of Thunder Bay.
The site features Whitesand Lake campground in the main park, and the historic Rossport Campground, which provides campsites along the rough and rocky shorelines of Lake Superior.
The Whitesand Lake campground offers scenic trails to the park’s namesake falls on the Hewitson River. The Rainbow Falls Trail has a waterside boardwalk trail. There is also the Back-40 trail, which goes through an abandoned campground to a panoramic view of the Lake Superior shoreline.
This park runs a small Natural Heritage Education program with a small visitor centre on the beach and an interpretive program offered on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months.
308 Walker Lake Rd, 1-807-824-2611
Train nerds should make sure to make a stop on the Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie route to stop in at the Schreiber Railway Museum.
Climb aboard the museum and walk through the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway and what it means to the tiny town of Schreiber as an 1880s railway construction camp.
Visitors step onto a platform modeled after a modern train station with a train on either side. On the left, board a Virtual Reality train car and watch a video showcasing the history of the town. The train on the opposite side is a refurbished 1953 train car, and holds Schreiber’s most unique artifacts donated by the towns people themselves.
2 Aguasabon Gorge Rd, 1-800-968-8616
Aguasabon Falls is located just west of Terrace Bay, Ontario.
From the large parking area a boardwalk leads you to an observation platform that sits perched right over the falls. The force from the 100 foot falls, especially during the spring, offers visitors a refreshing mist as they overlook the scenic gorge and beyond.
The location also offers an easy access point to the popular Casque Isle Trail. Amenities at the falls include, picnic tables, RV friendly parking, washrooms and a wheelchair accessible boardwalk up until a set of stairs leading down to the platform.
1004 ON-17, 1-807-229-1624
Neys Provincial Park is located along Highway 17, east of Terrace Bay and west of Marathon.
Neys sits on the rugged coast of the Coldwell Peninsula, which extends out from the north shore of Lake Superior. The granite rock in the park was shaped by glaciers and erosion into the fantastic shapes you see today; along the shores the crashing waves carved and hollowed the bedrock.
Back in the 1920s, Group of Seven painter, Lawren Harris visited the peninsula and immortalized the landscape in his famous painting, “Pic Island.”
During World War II, this remote peninsula became a temporarily German Prisoner-of-War camp, designated “Camp 100.” On display at the visitor centre is a model replica of the former POW camp. With a brisk hike through the park you can visit the remains of camp itself and experience an important part of Canadian and World history.
Today, visitors can hike along the coastal trails to explore the sub-arctic plants that are able to survive in Neys thanks to the areas unique climate. The provincial park is also home to a group of Woodland Caribou and other northern wildlife.
Peninsula 65, 1-807-229-1163
The charming town of Marathon is a great stop if you need to overnight as there are a handful of motor inns in town.
You’ll find all the trappings of a rural community here, from Canadian Tire to Tim Horton’s and A&W. If you’re visiting Marathon in the evening pop by Biloxy’s to get a taste of the local watering hole.
Biloxy’s offers classic bar food like crispy wings, decadent poutine, and burgers. They also have affordable Canadian beers on tap and in bottles.
We spent a night here chatting with locals while playing darts and a round of pool.
ON-627 Heron Bay, 1-807-229-0801
Pukaskwa National Park is the only national park on this Northern Ontario Road Trip itinerary so it’s a must-see!
It’s here where local Black bears feast on blueberry bushes, haunting loon song scores sunset and moose stilt-walk across wetlands.
The White River Suspension Bridge over Chigamiwinigum Falls is a highlight of the backcountry Coastal Hiking Trail if you’re spending a few days camping.
For those looking to enjoy a quick stop the Bimose Kinoomagewnan Trail and the Anishinaabe Camp, with its traditional structures, showcase the culture and heritage of the Anishinaabe First Nation.
From the visitor centre you can enjoy a quick 20 minute hike to take in a beautiful view overlooking the islands and lake below from the comfort of two red Muskoka chairs.
A statue of Winnie the Pooh sitting in a tree with a honey pot stands with flower beds surrounding it in the town of White River just off the highway.
So what’s the connection between Winnie the Pooh and this small town in Northern Ontario?
White River is the birth place of the original Winnie the Pooh, the bear cub that was eventually adapted into a cartoon by Walt Disney.
A plaque can be seen at the Park that reads, “On 24 August 1914, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, a young veterinarian from Winnipeg, Manitoba purchased a black bear cub in White River, Ontario while enroute to the First World War. Colebourne named the cub Winnie in honour of this hometown, and the young bear soon became his regimental mascot. Winnie was left in the temporary care of the London Zoo on 9 December 1914 when Colebourn’s regiment was called to the battlefields of France. In 1919 Colebourn permanently donated Winnie to the Zoo. The young bear from Canada became one of the Zoo’s most popular animals. In 1926, the five-year old Christopher Robin Milne, a frequent visitor to the London Zoo, was inspired by the real Canadian bear to rename his own stuffed bear Winnie the Pooh. In turn, his father A.A. Ailne gave the children of the world the timeless stories of Pooh and his friends.”
White River continues to celebrate Winnie-the-Pooh, with an annual 3 day “Winnie’s Hometown Festival” on the third week of August. The event draws visitors from all around, with music, shows, family-friendly events like a Teddy Bear Workshop, a Winnie-the-Pooh Parade, and a re-enactment of when Harry Colebourn purchased Winnie, and a Teddy Bear Picnic.
A massive statue of a Canadian Goose can be found in the tiny town of Wawa in Algoma Country. The Wawa Goose stands at Wawa’s Tourist Information overlooking Highway 17.
In Ojibway Wawa means “Wild Goose” or “Land of the Big Goose” making it the perfect mascot for this naturally beautiful town. It is one of the most photographed landmarks on the Lake Superior Circle Tour. It’s the ideal place to stop for regional information and snap a selfie of the iconic attraction.
Wawa is larger than Marathon, a perfect spot to sleep over the night on the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie. The city has more motels and restaurants to choose from as well as a scenic beach.
171 Mission Rd, 705-856-4000
This epic Northern Ontario Road Trip very much feels like driving down Route 66. You’ll stop into small towns with just one or two restaurants and a handful of old school motor inns.
We slept over in Wawa to break up the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie. The community has some great restaurants and is more or less half way between the two cities.
The Outdoorsman Motel is a 2-story motel featuring comfy beds dressed in Canadiana blankets dotted with moose, bear paws and maple leaves. Guest rooms feature clean bathrooms and convenient kitchenettes as well as a TV and air conditioning.
In the morning guests can enjoy free coffee and cookies at the front desk before hitting the road.
27 Broadway Ave, 705-856-4592
When on a Northern Ontario Road Trip most of the dining options include casual coffee shops, burger joints, and plenty of bar food like poutine, sandwiches and fried chicken. You can find excellent multicultural cuisine on the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie if you’re looking for a change of flavours.
It’s said that you can find a Chinese restaurant in every small town across Canada and it’s true. In the tiny town of Wawa we stopped in for dinner at Lai’s Restaurant. I chatted with the owner who shared that her family moved here from Guangzhou, China 20 years ago.
Canadian Chinese cuisine originated in the mid-19th century, invented by Chinese immigrants who moved to Canada, and among Chinese labourers working on the Canadian Pacific Railway between Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec. Many labourers who remained in Canada after the railway’s completion opened small inexpensive “Chinese cafés” or worked as cooks in mining and logging camps and canneries. Due to common anti-Chinese sentiment at the time, as well as the Chinese Immigration Act in 1885, many Chinese immigrants were unable to work in businesses other than restaurants or laundries.
Many restaurants were opened, despite their owners having little prior cooking experience. These restaurants were often established in small towns and rural areas where residents, predominantly European Canadians, already did not have gathering places of their own, and where the cook/owner could very well be the only Asian person in the community. Chinese restaurant owners thus often had to modify their menus to appeal to the Western tastes of Canadians.
Support local immigrant eateries by noshing on sweet and sour sauce slathered chicken balls and steaming chop suey noodles at Lai’s Restaurant in Wawa.
208 Mission Rd, 705-943-5121
Wawa also serves up traditional Middle Eastern cuisine at the recently launched Philly Wawa Hoagie.
We visited for lunch and found a line of locals patiently waiting for steaming chicken shawarma plates and crunchy falafels slathered in tahini.
Pinewood Dr, 705-852-6642
Algoma Highlands Wild Blueberry Farm and Winery is a family owned and operated farm in Wawa. The natural, sustainable, low-bush wild blueberry farm produces quality fresh wild blueberry products.
During the spring, summer and fall guests can stop in to the gift shop to sample and purchase an assortment of berry jams, BBQ sauces, berry wines and freshly plucked berries.
If the owner is onsite he’s happy to take you on a tour of the winery production facility and blueberry bushes. Beyond blueberries, the farm also grows strawberries, raspberries, potatoes and rhubarb.
96 Broadway Avenue, 1-705-856-2284
Lake Superior Provincial Park is one of the largest provincial parks in Ontario, covering 1,550 square kilometres along the northeastern shores of Lake Superior between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa in Algoma.
Ontario Highway 17 now runs through the park, making it an essential stop on any Northern Ontario Road Trip itinerary.
Lake Superior Provincial Park offers several campsites, beaches and attractions. We visited the park at it’s two most popular sites: Old Woman Bay and Agawa Rock Pictographs.
Located just 20 minutes outside of Wawa on the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie, Old Woman Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in Northern Ontario.
A long sandy beach is dotted with driftwood and sandy shores make it the perfect spot to relax in the sun after a refreshing summer swim.
Looking towards the horizon, the face of the Old Woman can be seen within the 200-metre standing cliffs to the left. The bay horseshoes out to the main body of Lake Superior to the north, leading you to Entrance Island.
Further along the highway as we approached Sault Ste Marie we stopped for a one hour hike to the famous Agawa Rock Pictographs.
Agawa Rock is one of the most famous Pictograph sites in all of Canada and one of the most visited Indigenous archaeological sites. The majority of the red ochre paintings from the Agawa site date back centuries.
Generations of Ojibwe have come to record and commemorate dreams and spirits here. The paintings are amazingly resilient, withstanding the harshest weather in Ontario from scorching summer sun to crashing waves and frigid winters.
The images visible today include canoes and familiar animals such as moose, deer, bear and caribou. The most recognizable painting consisting of a horned animal is said to be Mishipeshu, the Great Lynx, the spirit of the water. The images are thought to be 150-400 years old.
The trail to the site of the pictographs is short, rugged and slippery. Once you arrive you’ll find a few stairs that lead to a flat rock that juts out into the lake. There are some makeshift ropes and rusty chains to help guests reach the pictographs but if you have unstable footing, have a fear of heights or aren’t wearing hiking shoes we don’t suggest risking it or you may slip into the lake.
12729 Hwy 17N, 1-705-882-2209
Pancake Bay Provincial Park was established in 1968 by Ontario Park and is the closest nature park to Sault Ste Marie.
The name Pancake Bay is derived from folk stories that told of voyageurs preparing batches of pancakes from their remaining provisions as they traveled from this area to Sault Ste Marie.
The park was initially created to help preserve the fragile beach dune ecology. Today there are over 300 campsites, 3 comfort stations and yurt glamping available to overnight guests.
Pancake Bay offers more than 3 km of beautiful sand beach and Caribbean blue waters as well as panoramic views of Lake Superior from the Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout hiking trail.
ON-17 Batchawana Bay, 1-705-882-2504
The Voyageurs’ Lodge is located on beautiful Batchawana Beach, just 45 mins north of Sault Ste. Marie.
The award-winning destination resort features 11 air-conditioned guest rooms in log decor, country home cooking, a liquor store, old school General Store, and a full-service gas station.
Locals rave for the apple fritters fried fresh daily at Voyageur’s Lodge. Some folks we met in Sault Ste Marie said they even call in advance to ensure a few fritters are stowed away for them as they can easily sell out by the afternoon.
It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee and munch on an old school apple fritter before hitting the road.
Our last stop before arriving into Sault Ste Marie was a stroll to scenic Chippewa Falls.
This roadside waterfall right on the Trans Canada Highway is best seen after the winter melt when the fast rushing water flows over the 25 metre drop.
There is also a Group of Seven interpretive installation that was inspired a painting by artist A.Y. Jackson called Stream Bed, Lake Superior Country.
A rest area by the falls is a great place to stretch your legs or stop for a picnic while doing the Lake Superior Circle Tour.
Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste Marie is a charming city that straddles Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
Situated on the original meeting grounds of the Batchewana and Anishinabek people in the heart of the Great Lakes, today it’s a popular city to stop on a Northern Ontario Road Trip as it’s located conveniently between Sudbury and Thunder Bay.
Sault Ste Marie is also a US border town, easily accessible to Michigan via a bridge.
360 Great Northern Rd, 1-800-461-0800
After enjoying a week long adventure from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie we finished the trip at The Water Tower Inn.
The Best Western property is a full-service inn offering over 170 guest rooms and suites as well as family accommodations.
Guests enjoy free access to Club Cabana Aqua Spa, featuring a year-round outdoor whirlpool and indoor swimming pool.
Where To Eat & Drink In Sault Ste. Marie
While Sault Ste Marie is smaller than Thunder Bay it’s prime location offers a diverse culinary scene to those who visit.
Trendy restaurants in Sault Ste Marie serve up creative craft cocktails, Asian fusion, local craft beer, decadent brunch dishes and the finest Italian.
4057 Third Line W, 705-779-3394
After road tripping through rural Algoma Country we arrived into Sault Ste Marie and our first stop was lunch at Thomson Farms Cider.
The family-run farm and winery is located just outside of the city and the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch.
While their roots are in strawberry farming, the Thomson family has expanded their farm offerings on their fifty-five-acre property to include berry wines, hard cider and a sun-soaked restaurant patio.
Skip past the retail shop and you’ll find a big 100 year old barn, which has been converted into an event space. When they’re not hosting weddings here the barn acts as a restaurant and tasting room during the colder months of the yaer.
We visited on a hot summer day and grabbed a seat on the patio where we sipped the farms homemade strawberry wine and apple cider. The short but sweet menu includes shareable snacks like a massive charcuterie board, beer cheese dip and pretzel and artisanal grilled cheese sandwich.
515 Queen St E, 1-705-253-0002
For decades Arturo has been a name associated with the fine dining scene in Sault Ste Marie. Many locals associate the friendly dining room with special celebrations like birthdays, graduations and anniversaries.
In 2021, the restaurant marked the 10th anniversary of Chris and Tom Comegna’s ownership. The brothers bought the business from their dad in 2011 to carry on the family’s passion for authentic Italian food. Today, Tom looks after the front of the house while Chris is the chef and oversees the menu.
For the best fine dining deal in town we suggest ordering one of the house specialities as it includes a salad and side of pasta, plenty of food to split between two at the table.
50 Pim St, 705-450-7468
Northern Breweries was founded in 1907 by three families, the Doran family, the Mackey family and the Fee family.
In 1911 Northern Breweries began to expand, with the purchase of the Soo Falls Brewing Co. in Sault Ste. Marie, and again in 1913 with the acquisition of Kakabeka Falls Brewing Co. in Fort William.
In 1919, the company established its Doran’s Brewery division in Timmins, and in 1948 it acquired the Port Arthur Beverage Co. in Port Arthur. All of the individual breweries operated under their original names until 1960. In that year, all of the brewing operations were consolidated under one management and becoming known as Doran’s Northern Breweries.
The tradition of Northern Breweries lives on today with Northern Superior Brewing Co in downtown Sault Ste Marie. Located across from the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, North Superior Brewing offers an indoor beer bar, spacious outdoor patio and new in summer 2023 a rooftop terrace.
Highlights from the taproom include Northern Superior Canadian Lager, Red Maple Irish Red Ale, and Gitche Gumee Double IPA.
265 Bruce St, 1-705-450-6911
If you’re a lover of brunch classics like Eggs Bennie, French Toast and a stack of pancakes you’ll love the creative menu at The Breakfast Pig.
Locals line up on weekends to tuck into Sault Ste Marie’s most popular brunch restaurant, which has been awarded Best Breakfast in the city for several years.
Owner Angela Caputo launched The Breakfast Pig in 2015 with a focus on showcasing local producers. She set out looking for farmers who shared her vision and philosophy, and who raised animals locally, and humanely and fed them corn, soy, and GMO-free food products.
It was on this search that she found Sandy and Craig Holmberg of Sunnynook Farms, who started raising pork exclusively for The Breakfast Pig. Sayer’s Fisheries, Thomson Farms & Winery, Irwin’s Maple Products, and Lock City Dairies are also area producers where many of the menu ingredients are sourced.
While sipping a mug of piping hot coffee wag your finger down The Breakfast Pig menu and you’ll find creative takes on breakfast classics like a local whitefish Eggs Bennie, Korean Gochujang Pork Crepes and Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes.
83 Huron St, 705-759-9995
Once a key industrial hub in Sault Ste. Marie, the Canal District has been reimagined to be one of Northern Ontario’s premier destinations for dining and entertainment.
Visit the Canal District and you’ll find the home of Agawa Canyon Tour Train, a microbrewery, four restaurants, gelato mill, outdoor adventure store, gallery, and outdoor rink.
Skip over to the Machine Shop and you’ll find 3 restaurant concepts: The Mill Steakhouse, The Boiler Room and The Blockhouse Pub.
We enjoyed an al fresco lunch at The Boiler Room, a family-friendly pizzeria preparing wood-oven Italian pies in a relaxed steampunk vibe.
Pair a cold pint with pizza and bar snacks like poutine, bruschetta and fried pickle spears.
674A Queen St E, 1-705-450-7665
Broers Jansen is a cozy wine bar in downtown Sault Ste Marie.
Family owned and operated by Steve Jansen, his older brother Josh, and Josh’s wife Bethany, Broers Jansen offers a diverse selection of house wines as well as local craft beer and premium whiskey.
The must-try is the Bro’cuterie Boards, which feature freshly baked bread, sliced Ontario cheeses, thinly sliced charcuterie and nibble likes almonds and olives.
250 Queen St E, 1-705-450-0077
Looking to sip craft cocktails and people watch over a delicious dinner in Sault Ste Marie?
Peace Restaurant offers a trendy Asian fusion menu and pretty cocktails perfect for a fun date night. In the summer the patio gets packed with family and friends who gather here to sip margaritas and nosh on sushi and oysters.
Chef Matt Goodall who trained at exceptional Toronto restaurants like Canoe shared, “Our menu has Asian-inspired dishes with sharable cuisines to encourage dialogue.”
Chef Goodall’s menu is broken down into sections including Oysters, Bao Buns, and Hot and Cold items. Highlights include Daikon and Vermicelli slaw and tempura shrimp stuffed sushi.
Sault Ste. Marie Attractions
You can easily visit the top attractions in Sault Ste Marie on a weekend getaway.
The city name originates from Saults de Sainte-Marie, archaic French for “Saint Mary’s Falls”, a reference to the rapids of Saint Marys River.
Stroll along the city’s scenic waterfront and you’ll spot the rapids to your right…but the best way to explore the Soo is on a fun 2 hour cruise of the city’s historic locks.
10 East St, 1-705-949-9067
Sault Ste Marie’s top attraction for creatives is the Art Gallery of Algoma, located on the shores of St. Marys River.
The museum was formally incorporated on 7 July 1975, and in 1980, moved to its present location. It maintains a permanent collection of approximately 5,000 works from both regional and other Canadian artists.
The Art Gallery of Algoma’s permanent collection includes numerous Group of Seven site-specific sketches and studies. It showcases rotating Group of Seven exhibits, plein air art classes and guided tours of the permanent collection.
After touring the paintings indoors, head outside next to Elsie Savoie Sculpture Park along the waterfront to view the Group of Seven interpretive installation.
50 Pim St, 1-705-945-6242
The must-see Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre is dedicated to preserving the history of bush flying and forest protection in Canada.
The fascinating museum is housed in a 64,000-square-foot hangar containing more than thirty aircraft. It’s focus is on floatplanes, bush planes, waterbombers, and forest fire fighting equipment along with other aviation and forestry-related artifacts.
With the wild forest fires burning across Canada in 2023 a visit to the plane-lovers museum was an essential education.
We skipped under massive planes and watched a film about the brave men and women that put out fires in Northern Ontario, which was an absolute edge-of-your-seat nail-biter cinematic experience!
800 Bay St, 1-705-759-5443
Consisting of two of the oldest stone buildings northwest of Toronto and surrounded by pretty period gardens, Ermatinger Clergue Site is a must-see attraction for history buffs on a Northern Ontario Road Trip.
The Ermatinger Old Stone House depicts the domestic and professional life of Charles Oakes Ermatinger, a prominent resident between 1808 and 1870. The Clergue Blockhouse, relocated to the grounds in 1996, was the home of Francis Hector Clergue from 1894 to 1908.
You’ll feel as though you’ve traveled back in time over 200 years, learning about how some of the earliest European settlers lived in Northern Ontario during the peak of the fur trade.
Visitors can step into period rooms, stroll through historic gardens, and chat with friendly costumed interpreters.
Roberta Bondar Boardwalk Waterfront, 1-705-989-4985
The Soo locks are a set of parallel locks located on the Canadian and US sides of the twin towns of Sault Ste Marie in Ontario and Michigan.
The historic locks bypass the rapids of the river, where the water falls over 6 metres. The locks pass an average of 10,000 ships per year, despite being closed during the winter from January through March, when ice shuts down shipping on the Great Lakes.
The best way to experience the city’s locks is by booking a 2 hour cruise with Miss Marie. On the tour guests travel through both the American and Canadian locks. There’s an onsite bar so you can sip a cold beer and munch on snacks while waving at boats that putter by.
This is a Dobbernationloves sponsored story.
Save this story to Pinterest!