Often known as the “gateway to the 1,000 islands,” Gananoque is a scenic area of Canada. Sitting right on the St. Lawrence River, the 5,000+ residents can almost see the United States, if those islands didn’t get in the way! Tourists and locals alike cherish this area for the opportunities it offers. Fishing, hiking, and generally enjoying the outdoors is a big part of this community and what draws visitors. However, there are some other attractions that would be a shame to miss. Here are the top 10 things to do when visiting Gananoque, Canada!
1. Have a night at the theater at the Thousand Island Playhouse
The cast of Anne of Green Gables (2019) Photos by ftbd.ca / Randy...Posted by Thousand Islands Playhouse on Tuesday, 25 June 2019
A night out of unparalleled entertainment can be found at the fully renovated historic Thousand Island Playhouse. The theater has been an important fixture in Gananoque since 1982 when former Stratford actor Greg Wanless helped found it. Currently, the theater draws 44,000 annual patrons with their professional and youth theaters. The theater has also attracted notice from national and international media including Variety Magazine, NCPR radio, and The Globe & Mail, and was called “the most charming theatre in the country” by CBC radio.
Thousand Island Playhouse
Address: 185 South St, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 1A1, Canada
Website: Thousand Island Playhouse
2. Try your hand at the Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands
If you have a hot hand in the town of Gananoque, there is only one place to go: the Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands. There are over 500 slot machines ranging from two cents to five dollars, leaving the risk of each pull up to you. If you are looking for other games, you will be happy with the Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and Texas Hold’em Poker tables. If you need a breather from the action, try the fine cuisine at the casino restaurant. There is never a dull moment here!
Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands
Address: 380 Highway 2, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 2V4, Canada
Website: Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands
3. Experience the Gananoque Brewing Company
Looking for a local beer? Then you are one of the many tourists that founder Bruce Davis kept hearing requests from for a local flavor. Since 2011, Davis and his partners have been producing beer from the heart of Gananoque. Try their safe sipping beer the Naughty Otter Lager or their extra hoppy Train Wreck Strong Ale. If you’re looking for organic products, try their Terroir Series including Shiver Eisbock, Red Fife Heritage Wheat Ale, Valour Rye Beer and Remarkable Session Ale.
Gananoque Brewing Company
Address: 9 King St E, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 1E7, Canada
Website: Gananoque Brewing Company
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4. See Gananoque from above in a Thousand Island Helicopter Tour
Want to take in the grandeur of the 1,000 islands, but don’t have time to take a boat around? Then the 1,000 Island Helicopter Tour is perfect for you. Choose from planned options or map out something original with a custom tour. You can even take home a recording of the trip with a high-definition video of your experience.
Thousand Island Helicopter Tour
Address: 88 County Rd 32, Gananoque, ON K7G 2V3, Canada
Website: Thousand Island Helicopter Tour
5. Visit the beautiful St. John's Catholic Church
Check out the beautiful architecture of the St. John’s Evangelist Catholic Church. This hidden treasure in Gananoque has classic grandeur that stands out from the rest of the city. The mosaic style roofing, the marble arches complete with engravings and the Carrara marble Altar are not to be missed.
If you are looking to attend a service, mass runs on Saturdays at 5:00 pm and Sundays at 10:30 am.
St. John's Catholic Church
Address: 270 Stone St S, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 2A1, Canada
Website: St. John’s Catholic Church
6. Take a tour of 1000 Islands History Museum
Calling all history buffs to 1000 Islands History Museum! Originally the Thousand Islands Railway Station, this museum came from the dedicated work of Arthur Child to inform the public about this treasured area. This FREE museum is a non-profit charity whose mission is to create exhibits and preserve the history of this unique area. Join the 30,000 annual visitors to learn about and celebrate 1,000 island history.
1000 Islands History Museum
Address: 125 Water St, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 3E3, Canada
Website: 1000 Islands History Museum
7. See the famous boats at the Thousand Island Boat Museum
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Tired of museums that have everything behind glass or a line? Come check out the hands-on Thousand Islands Boat Museum and take ahold of history. The museum includes a Boatbuilding Shop, a Children’s Activity Center, and Exhibit Galleries. Enjoy over 32 boats in addition to student built ships. Make sure to come during the summer months when extra staff educators are present to answer all your questions. Don’t miss one of the many festivals and events the museum hosts.
Thousand Island Boat Museum
Address: 125 Water St, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 3E3, Canada
Website: Thousand Island Boat Museum
8. Hike through the Marble Rock Conservation Area
Nature lovers looking for a moderate challenge can take on the Marble Rock Conservation Area. Marble Rock is just a short 12-minute drive out of the city of Gananoque into the wilderness. Take in the picturesque scenes as you traipse along the trails. Make sure to keep an eye out for the animals including deer, otter, beaver, blue heron, grouse, frogs, and wild turkeys.
Marble Rock Conservation Area
Address: Marble Rock Road, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 2V4, Canada
Website: Marble Rock Conservation Area
9. Amble through the Sculpture Park
If you like art and relaxing then look no further than Canada’s largest outdoor contemporary art exhibit. The Sculpture Park sits on what used to be an Industrial site until the community came together to make something better of it in 1967. Originally pieces from the Art Bank had been installed in the park, but now local artists make up the creative expressions of the history or environment of Gananoque. Enjoy two-hour parking to amble through the park, taking the time to appreciate the pieces or just sit back and relax.
Address: 30 King St W, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 2E9, Canada
Website: Sculpture Park
10. Splash around at the Joel Stone Heritage Park and Beach
For anyone who needs a break from the running around there is the Joel Stone Heritage Park. This is the perfect place for families to hang out, let the kids goof around on the splash pad, or lay out on the beach. This waterfront is perfect during the summer months to enjoy all the watery fun, but the park serves as a pleasant place to take a break all year round. No need to worry about parking, it is free!
Joel Stone Heritage Park
Address: 135 Water St, Gananoque, Ontario K7G 2M7, Canada
Website: Joel Stone Heritage Park
Outdoors or indoors
Gananoque provides the space for you to have the kind of trip you want or adjust your travels to what you need. If you are feeling outdoorsy, take in the Canadian nature on a hike or relaxing at a park. If you are ready to head inside you have options from appreciating some beautiful sights and interesting history, to having professional actors entertain you. No matter what you need, Gananoque can provide a nice relaxing time for you and your family.
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