Algoma's Top 10 Attractions of Sault Ste Marie
Discover what exciting activities and areas you can explore while at Algoma University.
This article was written by Melanie Purificati.
In Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, students come from all over the world to attend Algoma University in this relatively small city full of hidden gems. Have you ever wondered just what makes Sault Ste Marie special and why you should study here? Allow me to provide for you the top ten recommendations of places to visit and explore in the Soo, from the point of view of someone who has lived here their whole life.
1. Hiawatha Highlands
Hiawatha Highlands are one of the Soo’s most popular and loved places for hiking and biking trails in the warmer weather, and unmatched cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing trails in the wintertime. This is something you can’t get from a big city!
2. The Machine Shop
The Machine Shop is family-owned and offers amazing restaurant, venue, and outdoor event options. The Machine Shop is also the new home of the Agawa Canyon Tour Train Station, which descends 500 feet down through the Agawa Canyonthere is something for everyone. In the wintertime the Machine Shop also offers outdoor skating and the ability to rent the rink with friends or family, and the venue is host to events from weddings to concerts.
3. The Mill Market
In the summertime, The Mill Market is an excellent place to spend the day alone or with company. There are a number of local vendors to shop from and enjoy. The farmers market offers a great selection of fruits and vegetables, as well as sweets, Italian treats, homesteads, candles, and crafts beyond compare.
4. Robertson Cliffs
Robertson Cliffs is truly one of the city's hidden treasures in the district of Goulais River. These hiking trails range from half an hour to four hours, (depending on how you hike), and lead to different peaks at the top of the 150m cliffs with amazing views of the nature below — so beautiful that a photograph doesn’t do them justice.
5. Lustrous Downtown Queen Street
Downtown Queen Street is one of the busiest and most interesting places to explore. There are endless options of local businesses with plenty to offer, whether you want to visit a small café, a bookstore, or a bakery. There are endless possibilities to explore the nightlife with the local bars around. In the summertime Smokey’s Patio is one of the busiest places in town for a fun night of drinking, dancing, and friends. Just down the street is the ever-loved Outspoken Brewing, which is a beer supply for plenty of places around town and a great place to enjoy live local music and great company. A day downtown would be nothing short of fun.
6. Sault Ste Marie Waterfront
The Waterfront is a scenic walk that’ll bring you to many locations. In the summertime you can pass by Beavertails and enjoy a real Canadian treat, eventually making your way to the Roberta Bondar Pavilion tent where events are often hosted in the summertime, bringing life to the downtown waterfront.
The Marina is also along this journey, and the Hub trail for hiking and biking follows you in and extends your explorations. If you walk a bit farther down you will encounter Bellevue Park, where the wildlife and activities are even more lustrous, and nature brings a particular kind of peace from yoga in the park to playing in the playground or just enjoying the fishing nearby. The Boardwalk is also cleared out in the winter and the perfect place to watch the sunset over the snowy river.
7. Art Gallery of Algoma
The Art Gallery of Algoma is the Soo’s art museum. This museum is over forty years old and contains some of the most profound and admired art, with over 5,000 pieces from artists within the region of Algoma. If you are an art lover, a history lover, or just someone who can appreciate the beauty of our talents, this is a wonderful place to pay a visit.
8. Sault Ste Marie Museum
The Sault Ste Marie Museum is a non-profit charitable organization and is home to the city’s most historical artifacts and treasures from the past hundred years and more. The building was converted from the city’s local post office — a historical site itself. This is the perfect place to spend some time admiring the treasures and stories of how Sault Ste Marie and its surrounding areas really came about.
9. Pancake Bay
Just under an hour drive north of Sault Ste Marie, Pancake Bay Provincial Park is the perfect place for a day, or even a weekend spent in nature. The camping sites here are unmatched and offer a private area to tent or camp. Also, the beach at Pancake Bay, stretching over 2 metres long, is one of the sandiest, sunniest beaches around, and a true treasure to the area. While Sault Ste Marie has plenty of beaches to soak up the sun when the weather is nice, Pancake Bay offers a beautiful view of the shore of Lake Superior, and a great balance of privacy while also being able to mingle and enjoy the space with friends.
10. Fort Creek Conservation Area
Fort Creek Conservation Area is a beautifully scenic path filled with bridges overlooking beautiful waterways and nature views. This is the perfect place to walk or jog, especially with a pet. It is an entirely paved pathway with a lower level of difficulty than the other hiking trails mentioned, a place to take your time and absorb the nature of the city.
Beyond this list of top ten wonders, Sault Ste Marie is filled with treasures along the way. Sault Ste Marie may be a small town to live in if you are looking for the “real University experience”, but it has so many things for all different kinds of people to enjoy and do for the first time. This small-town feel can also feel busy at times if you let it, giving you the best of both worlds.
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