Located by the southern shores of Lake Superior, Sault Ste. Marie is a vibrant, diverse port city filled with history and adventure. Known affectionately as The Soo,” Sault Ste. Marie features a mix of cultural and outdoor attractions that will delight both adventure and leisure travellers, as well as fine, locally sourced cuisine. With all that in mind, here are some of the best things to do around Sault Ste. Marie in summer.

Agawa Canyon Train Tour

Experience the wild beauty and rugged vistas of Northern Ontario’s Agawa Canyon from the comfort of a leather seat aboard the Agawa Canyon Train Tour. Running from Sault Ste. Marie through the breadth of the Agawa Canyon, this stunning one-day rail tour traverses 114 miles of nigh-untouched wilderness along the steep walls of this 1.2‑billion-year-old geological marvel. The train ride also comes with an optional audio guide recounting the rich history of the region. At the end of the line, passengers can enjoy a picnic in the heart of Agawa Canyon Park before boarding for the return trip back to Sault Ste. Marie.

The Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site 

Not only the longest set of locks in the world when it was first unveiled in 1895, but also the first to be powered by electricity, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site is an engineering marvel that helped facilitate the Great Lakes shipping trade that remains strong today. Successor to two previous canals that were destroyed by American forces in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 respectively, the newer canal built in 1895 was meant to provide Canadians access to Lake Superior and Lake Huron without relying on the American locks. Today, visitors can watch recreational craft pass through the Sault Ste. Marie Canal and visit several heritage buildings including the canal’s powerhouse, Administration Building, and the superintendent’s residence. There are also boardwalk trails with stunning views of the St. Mary River at sunset. 

Art Gallery of Algoma 

Housed in an unassuming brick building, the Art Gallery of Algoma houses over 5,000 pieces from renowned Canadian and international artists including renowned Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson, J.E.H. MacDonald, and A. J. Casson. The gallery also features works from Dr. Roberta Bondar, the first female Canadian astronaut and Sault Ste. Marie native. Beyond the works collected in the gallery itself, the Art Gallery of Algoma is also famous for its sculpture garden containing pieces like Algoma Blue by Haydn Llewellyn Davies and Dis Car Dead Parts #2 by William Morin.

Farm to Table Dining at Quattro Vinotecca 

Get a taste of the fresh and natural produce and meats of Algoma Country at Quattro Vinotecca, offering one of the best farm to table dining experiences in Sault Ste. Marie. Located within the Quattro Hotel & Conference Centre, Ascend Hotel Collection, Quattro Vinotecca specializes in crafting unique, inventive dishes using meats from their own farm in Thessalon, Ontario as well as several other local farms. With an upscale, intimate atmosphere and well-stocked bar with a top-notch wine collection, enjoying a meal at Quattro Vinotecca at the height of the summer farming season is one of the best things to do in Sault Ste. Marie. 

Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre 

Housed inside a 5,900 m² hangar that was once an Ontario Provincial Air Service air base, the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre features a collection of two dozen classic bushplanes and helicopters from throughout the history of Canadian aviation and forest protection. The museum also has a popular exhibit on the history of radio-controlled model planes with restored RC planes that can run on electric power. The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre is also the only civilian museum to have a working test engine cell where visitors can see the inner workings of a propeller turbine in action. Children will love taking the pilot’s seat in the facility’s flight simulator with a full-size cockpit and authentic control system. 

Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site 

Built by influential fur trader and pioneer Charles Oakes Ermatinger in the early 1800s and later updated by businessman Francis Hector Clergue in 1819, the Ermatinger Clergue house was one of the first stone manors in Northern Ontario and even had one of the first indoor bathrooms in the area. 

Originally from Montreal, Ermatinger established a trading post in Sault Ste. Marie in the early 1800s and had become an influential trader by the time of the War of 1812. During the war, he led the area’s militia, and his local knowledge was instrumental in securing the surrender and capture of Fort Michilimackinac. 

Today, the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site houses a number of exhibits related to the War of 1812 including a photo gallery and memorabilia from the conflict. 

Choice Hotels in Sault Ste. Marie