sault ste marie

How to spend 36 hours in Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario has become a hot spot for many tourists because of its hidden gems and for its community-based culture like no other.

Sault Ste. Marie is a beautiful city that runs along the St. Mary's River in northern Ontario and prides itself on being "one of Ontario's best adventure towns."

With its endless possibilities when it comes to outdoor activities, there is so much to discover. Whether it's travelling to Pancake Bay, just outside of town, to see the view where the Edmund Fitzgerald ship sank in 1975—or staying close to town by walking or biking the path that runs around the city.

One of the most notable things about Sault Ste. Marie is its food. Just by taking one walk along the downtown core, you'll get the pleasant aromas of over 20 local restaurants. And the great thing is, you don’t have to look far to find Italian Heritage or its cuisine.

It might be the perfect getaway, and nothing is too far out of the way.

Here's how to spend 36 hours in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

8 a.m. Start your day with the most important meal The Breakfast Pig

Chef and restaurant owner Angela Caputo has been cooking up flavours that even comedian and Food Network host John Catucci couldn't pass up.

The Breakfast Pig is a staple in Sault Ste. Marie and known for its pork products that are all locally sourced, and its breakfast twists will have you begging for more.

10 a.m. After breakfast, hit The Mill Market

Next, take a stroll along the waterfront or head into The Mill Market, where you'll find local vendors from the Algoma District. The Market has grown over the years and is one of the many great ways to spend your Saturday morning.

A few vendors to keep your eyes out for are Stock the Broth for all your soup needs and ice wine from Thomson Farms Cider and Winery.

11 a.m. Hit the Sault Canal Lock and walk along the John Rowswell Hub trail

Sault Ste. Marie is full of history, nature and the bodies of water around the city are very significant to the community. The Sault Canal Locks is the perfect way to view the waterfront and have a chance to walk Whitefish Island.

Finish your walk before getting lunch by walking through Roberta Bondar Park and Tent Pavilion. The park was named after Sault native and Canada's first female astronaut, Dr. Roberta Bondar.

If you're hungry sooner, whip over to Ernie's Cafe, most times, you'll find the owner John Armstrong cooking up a storm in the streets. As a new owner, he's spicing up the restaurant's flavours that have been with the city since 1971.

1 p.m. Choose from two incredible restaurants for lunch

When hunger strikes, check out two restaurants that are diagonal from one another. Grab East Street Pizza's Jalapeno Dill Pickle Pizza, or walk up to Muio's for fresh Italian flavours that have been in The Soo for over 60 years. You'll want to try out their famous Chicken on a Bun.

2 p.m. Walk it off to The Bush Plane Museum or maybe grab a drink from Northern Superior Brewing Co. and The Tap Room.

Continue on the John Rowswell Hub Trail, and you'll find the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. Pop inside, and you'll get a chance not only to see planes, but the Entomica Insectarium is the place to see displays of insects from around the world.

After a bit of a tour of the centre, stop in at The Tap Room for a drink. You’ll get a chance to see their latest patio that’s been well worth the wait in the community, and it’s even pet-friendly!

3 p.m. Check-in at a luxury hotel in a charming community and get ready for one beautiful adventure.

Quattro Hotel is just one of many hotel options in Sault Ste. Marie and it is perfectly settled within walking distance from many shops and local restaurants.

5 p.m. It's time to go to the Boiler Room

Before your next adventure, a good meal will be needed. Check out The Boiler Room and their wood-oven pizza and before heading out, make sure to stop at The Gelato Mill for its in-house baking.

6 p.m. Load up the car. It's time to catch the sunset

The perfect way to cap off any night in Sault Ste. Marie is a walk on the Robertson's Cliff Trail. It makes for great views of fall colours in Autumn but in the summer, it's equally impressive as the waterfalls are flowing.

9 p.m. Arrive back at the hotel and enjoy one final glass of wine on the Quattro Vinotecca patio.

Sit back and relax and enjoy Quattro Fresco.

8 a.m. Wake up with a morning coffee at Sault Ste. Marie's Indie Coffee Shop

Scott's Coffee Co. is sure to make you feel at home with its comfortable, cozy coffee experience with some of the sweetest treats in town, with all locally sourced ingredients.

10 a.m. Time to drive the other way

Drive out to Gros Cap Conservation Area and have a walk on its pebble shores. It's also a good spot to visit during the winter and crawl through the ice caves from parts of frozen Lake Superior.

12 p.m. Strawberries and wine are the perfect pairings

When in season, pick strawberries at one of Thomson Farms Cider and Winery, and while you're there, sample its most craved wines. If you don't happen to make it in time for summer, no worries, it's also a popular spot for picking pumpkins in the fall.

3. p.m. What makes Sault Ste. Marie so breathtaking? The trails

One place that is a must-see is the Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area. Filled with endless biking and hiking trails with waterfalls so beautiful you'd forget how close you are to the city.

5 p.m. A trip on the Trans-Canada Highway

Forty-five minutes outside of the city on Highway 17 is the Voyageurs' Lodge and Cookhouse, a The Soo's treasured pitstop on the way to camp. Known for its World-famous Apple Fritters, often times the size of your head.

8 p.m. Stay for the night shoreside

Check into one of The Voyageurs' cabins, explore Batchawana Bay Provincial Park, and catch the sunset on Lake Superior.

Lead photo by

Sault Ste Marie Canal National Historic Site

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