Parry Sound is one of those gorgeous cities that is a real pleasure to visit in itself, but the surrounding area? Wow. Parry Sound is nestled into some of the most gorgeous countryside in the entire province. The area is knock your socks off amazing. The area has enough rugged wilderness for you to check off all your backcountry bucket list items, but you can also take it easy and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a cruise ship or with a tour guide to lead the way. With a whole host of parks in the surrounding area and nestled right on the incredible Georgian Bay, outdoor enthusiasts can get really excited about booking a trip. Oh, and if you’re not overly outdoorsy, don’t worry. Parry Sound is rich in history, arts, and culture, which make for some interesting ways to spend your day. Add to that the delectable dining options, exciting galleries, and quaint thrift stores, and you’ll be sure to have a blast.
1. Cruise the waters
Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands
Go on an unforgettable cruise across the vast expanse of 30,000 islands on the Georgian Bay starting from Parry Sound. The tour will take you out into the big sound, and then by the stunning huckleberry island. Once back in the big sound you will enter the amazing hole in the wall. You can opt for morning, afternoon and sunset dinner cruises.
2. Adventure to the islands
If you’re into exploring, it doesn’t get much more exciting than the Islander Adventure Tours. The Islander is a brand new passenger vessel that can take you on four different exciting tours. The tours allow you to explore Georgian Bay as you’ve never seen it before. Explore some of the surrounding islands (yes you even get to go on the islands!) and even stop at a famous fish and chips shop. The tours are very reasonably priced, so the whole family can join in on the fun.
3. Take in a show
The Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts is the perfect place to be if you’re trying to plan an evening out while you’re in Parry Sound. The centre is located along the waterfront overlooking Georgian Bay. Whether you want to take in a show, a film, or live music, the centre has a wide variety of entertainment offerings. If you’ve always wanted to channel your inner artist, you can even take art classes. Whether you want to take in arts and culture, or help create it, the centre is definitely the place to be.
4. Soar through the clouds
If you thought seeing Georgian Bay and Parry Sound from the water was fantastic, you have to see it from above! Luckily, Georgian Bay Airways provides just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Get a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous sparkling waters of Georgian Bay as well as all the incredible islands and shoreline too. You can take a tour of the area, charter a plane, or even enjoy the fly and dine option. Georgian Bay Airways operates from May until October, so there’s plenty of time to get a couple trips, and a couple flights in!
5. Learn all about an amazing biosphere
6. Hit the beach
Get ready for lots of fun in the sun! You don’t have to leave Parry Sound to experience all the delights of a day at the beach. Waubuno Beach is located right in Parry Sound. The beach is actually a Blue Flag certified beach, an important eco-label. The waters at the beach are always crystal clear and perfect for swimming. They’re also quite shallow, making it a family friendly destination. The beach itself also boasts a playground for the littles to have a blast at, and a beach volleyball court. Of course, you can choose to just spread out a blanket and relax the afternoon away too. Come to relax or pack as much action into your day as possible.
7. Hit up the Summer Market
Every year from June to early September, the best of craftspeople Parry Sound and surrounding regions gather at Market Square showcasing their unique wares from fresh produce, smoked fish & meats, baked goods, to jewelry, ceramics, clothing and art.
8. Bobby Orr’s hometown
Parry Sound happens to be Bobby Orr’s hometown. It makes sense then, that no visit to Parry Sound would be complete without seeing the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame. Located alongside the Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, the huge collection of sports memorabilia, including trophies, is sure to delight. There are also a bunch of exciting exhibits that everyone, even if you aren’t a sports fan, can enjoy. The Play-By-Play booth is a can’t miss and of course, all the virtual and real shooting games are pretty darn awesome too.
9. A great escape
Looking for that rugged wilderness escape that still has just enough creature comforts that you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the bush or truly roughing it? Look no further than Killbear Provincial Park. The park has everything from rocky shorelines to sandy beaches. Towering trees, islands, and of course, gorgeous water all await. Bring the canoe and the kayaks, the hiking shoes, or your mountain bikes. There are endless things to do. The 6km trail that runs through the park is a great way to take everything in. Be sure to stop by the visitor centre and enquire about all the discovery programs they offer during the summer months as well.
10. Put some wild in your adventure
If you want to put some wild into your adventure this summer, you have to take in the Massasauga Provincial Park. The park offers many excellent activities like boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking trails, fishing, and camping, but you can take all these activities to the next level if you want. You can backcountry camp, explore the hundreds of islands in the park by water, or explore the trails on land. You can hit the smaller beaches or discover your own. It’s sure to be an adventure of a lifetime.
11. Oastler Lake Provincial Park
12. A quaint cruise
If you’re visiting Parry Sound, please, please book a cruise on the Chippewa III. Not only is it a gorgeous boat that you’ll probably take one look at and spend the next twenty minutes photographing, but the scenery you’ll get to take in on the cruises is also absolutely amazing. It’s one of the best ways to see Parry Sound and Georgian Bay. There are a number of different cruises you can book. From sunset cruises to island getaways, it’s sure to be an unbeatable experience.
13. A historic garden
The Tower Hill Garden was constructed by the Ontario Forestry Branch in the 1920’s, the gardens aren’t just gorgeous, they’re also a historical spot that generations of people have visited and been amazed by. You can still travel down the original flagstone paths. Take in the ponds, the beautiful flowers and greenery, and don’t forget to see the sundial. Don’t plan a visit to Parry Sound and not include a stop at this incredible garden.
14. Quench your thirst
Looking for something that’s a little off the beaten path? Check out the Norse Brewery. Located right in Parry Sound, the Brewery always has delicious offerings you can sample and purchase. You can literally see the beer making in action and learn all about what makes the craft beers so great. Everything is 100% natural. It’s a pretty popular spot, but you don’t have to take our word for it. You can come see it, and taste it, for yourself.
15. Climb atop a totally cool tower
Enjoy the 360-degree views of Parry Sound atop a 30m high observation tower. Delight in the views of Georgian Bay, floatplanes and barges, and the famous Canadian Pacific Railway trestle bridge below you. The tower is situated on at 17 George St where you will find the Tower Hill Garden.
16. Brush up on your history
The West Parry Sound District Museum is a pretty cool place to stop. Not only are the exhibits and artifacts informative, you can also get a more hands on experience by taking one of the many classes offered throughout the season. The museum also has temporary exhibits that are featured from time to time. The history in the area is unique. You can learn all about it and have a blast doing it.
17. An artsy experience at Jessica Vergeer Studios
If you’re looking for an experience on the artsy side, be sure to stop in at Jessica Vergeer Studios. Located downtown, you’ll take in some of the artist’s original paintings, or find that perfect dress- go ahead, spoil yourself! The landscape paintings are inspired by the gorgeous Georgian Bay and Muskoka area. You can take a little bit of the region home with you if you happen to be inspired. Originals, prints, and other items are available for purchase at the gallery.
18. Check out Bearly Used Books
Straying off the beaten path can be a great thing- that’s why we recommend you check out Bearly Used Books. This quaint used bookstore in Parry Sound packs a big punch. They have over 120,000 titles to choose from. That’s right! 120,000! That’s a heck of a lot of books and the best part is that you won’t have to pay full price for any of them! You can also purchase books written by local authors, which is pretty darn cool. Got books you’ve already read? Trade them in for credit at the store and get discover something new.
19. Festival of Sound
20. Paddle Parry Sound
If you’re an avid canoer, you simply must explore the Parry Sound area, staring with Georgian Bay. It’s not hard to see why the area is famed for its wilderness and rustic beauty. You can see everything from the iconic rocky shorelines to the crystal waters, so the many islands dotting the bay’s surface. You can literally paddle around and explore all of it. If you don’t have your own canoe, or you’re a little intimidated to go out by yourself, don’t worry. There are lots of tours and outfitters in the area who will guide you through and help you explore the area. Of course, there are plenty of other bodies of water in the area to explore as well.
21. Cast out
Fishing Georgian Bay can be one of those once in a lifetime experiences. The bay is huge, and it’s known as a premium fishing destination for good reason. Even if you don’t end up catching anything, which is highly unlikely, the area is so breathtaking you probably won’t even mind. There are a ton of different fish species that call Georgian Bay home. Muskie, walleye, pike, perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, sturgeon, channel catfish, salmon, trout, and many others can all be caught. There a whole host of outfitters in the area, as well as charter boats, so even if you don’t have your boat, or you’re not sure where to start, you can still plan a great getaway.
22. A delightful bed and breakfast
23. Tastiest pizza
If all your adventuring and exploring has worked up an appetite, don’t worry. Maurizio’s Pizzeria is definitely the place to head on over to. The different flavours, unique ingredients, and of course, the wood fired oven all come together to create a masterpiece. Locals know that Maurizio’s isn’t any old pizza place. Stop in and taste for yourself.
24. Eat at Henry’s Fish Restaurant
Please don’t come to Parry Sound and not plan to visit the world-famous Henry’s Fish Restaurant. Yes, it really is that good. It’s actually kind of an adventure to get to, so you can work it into your other wanderings. Located on Frying Pan Island, on the Georgian Bay, it’s definitely a bucket-list-worthy experience. There are a few different cruise ships, boats, and tours that can take you out to the island, so getting there can be a lot of fun. Or, if you’re in the mood for adventure, boat on up yourself.
25. A great place to stay
You can stay in style and dine in style too at Trapper’s Choice Restaurant & Inn. It’s a great location, only minutes from downtown and the waterfront area. If you want to be in the middle of it all, you won’t find a much better location. The restaurant boasts delicious dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The dishes are superb and it’s not hard to see why so many people have rated it as one of the best places to eat in Parry Sound.
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