The Getaway
15 Things to Do in North Bay, Ontario

Nestled between the lush landscapes of the Canadian Shield and the sparkling waters of Lake Nipissing, North Bay, Ontario, stands as a beacon for adventurers, culture enthusiasts, and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. This charming city isn't just a stopover — it's a destination brimming with activities catering to every interest and age group. From the serene to the exhilarating, North Bay offers a plethora of experiences that blend natural beauty with rich history and vibrant community life.

Whether you're drawn by the call of the wild, the allure of history, or the warmth of small-town hospitality, you can find your place in North Bay. As the seasons change, so do the landscapes and activities, making every visit unique and memorable. Let's embark on a journey through the 15 must-do activities that make North Bay a treasure awaiting discovery.


01 Hike Duchesnay Falls

The blurred water of Duchesnay Falls flows down a river through a forest in North Bay, Ontario during sunset.

Escape into nature's embrace at Duchesnay Falls. The trails around this natural wonder offer both novices and seasoned hikers a chance to marvel at the beauty of the Canadian wilderness. The pristine North Duchesnay Summit hike meanders through the forest, leading you to the breathtaking 70m-high cascading falls. Getting to this peaceful retreat with rustling leaves and roaring falls is easy — the parking area sits just off Hwy 17.


02 Explore the waterfront

A pair of trees frames an empty park bench as a single boat floats on Lake Nipissing during a beautifully colourful sunset in North Bay, Ontario.

Take a leisurely stroll against the beauty of Lake Nipissing at the North Bay Waterfront, where smiles are abundant, and the stress of daily life slips away. Perfect for bike rides and people-watching, the waterfront sits at the heart of the city's outdoor life, providing both locals and visitors with stunning sunset views. Enjoy numerous activities here, including paddleboarding and kayaking in the summer and ice fishing in the winter.


03 Visit Discovery North Bay Museum

Get a fascinating glimpse into the region's past at the Discovery North Bay Museum. Located in the historic Canadian Pacific Railway station, the museum's exhibits cover the area's indigenous history, the impact of the railway, and the city's military significance. It's a must-visit for history buffs and anyone interested in understanding the forces that shaped North Bay and the surrounding area.


04 Enjoy the North Bay Farmers' Market

The North Bay Farmer's Market serves as a vibrant hub of local culture, offering fresh produce, artisanal foods, and unique crafts. Open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the market showcases community's commitment to supporting local farmers and artisans. Head here to grab a bite, enjoy live music, and meet the people who make North Bay such a special place.


05 Cycle the Kate Pace Way

Named after the Olympic skier from North Bay, the Kate Pace Way is a 12-kilometer multi-use trail featuring breathtaking views and a safe path for cyclists of all levels. This pathway stretches from the waterfront to the historic town of Callander, giving you a fantastic way to explore the area's natural beauty. Easy bike rentals on the waterfront make it simple for everyone to enjoy this scenic ride.


06 Relax at Marathon Beach

Marathon Beach on the shores of Lake Nipissing makes the perfect spot for a family outing. With its sandy beach, clear waters, and ample space for picnics and volleyball, it's a summer favorite. The beach reminds visitors of the simple pleasures in life — a swim in the lake, a game with friends, or just a day spent soaking up the sun.


07 Experience the Capitol Centre

The Capitol Centre sits at the cultural heart of North Bay, hosting a wide range of performances, from live theater and concerts to art exhibitions. The stunning architecture of this historic venue perfectly matches the beauty and energy of North Bay's vibrant arts scene. Whether you're in the mood for a musical, a play, or an art show, the Capitol Centre has something to entertain you.


08 Paddle on Trout Lake

Spend a peaceful day enjoying the serene beauty of nature by canoeing or kayaking on Trout Lake. The clear waters here make this spot popular with anglers and paddlers alike, and its excellent finishing opportunities draw in both locals and tourists. The surrounding forests only add to the tranquil atmosphere, providing visitors with a break from their daily lives.


09 Shop Downtown North Bay

Find everything from local crafts to high-end fashion at Downtown North Bay. This charming mix of shops lets you discover unique gifts, update your wardrobe, or just enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the world go by. The downtown area reflects the city's friendly atmosphere and community spirit.


10 Walk the Laurier Woods Conservation Area

For a quick escape into nature, the Laurier Woods Conservation Area offers trails through diverse habitats, including wetlands and forests. It's an excellent spot for birdwatching, photography, or simply enjoying a quiet walk. This conservation area serves as a reminder of how important it is to preserve natural spaces within urban environments.


11 Attend the North Bay Heritage Festival

North Bay City signage

Celebrate the city's culture and heritage at the North Bay Heritage Festival. Featuring live music, food vendors, and activities for the whole family, this annual festival brings the community together in a vibrant display of pride and spirit. Go to this event to experience the very best of North Bay and its people.


12 Explore the Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence

North Bay, Ontario, Canada - June 8, 2022: An old Canadian missile defense plane is on display in front of the Canadian National Aerospace Defense Museum in North Bay, Ontario. jrtwynam /

The Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence offers an intriguing look at Canada's military history. With exhibits ranging from historical aircraft to interactive displays, the museum both educates and entertains with its tribute to the men and women who've served in Canada's air forces. Expect a fascinating visit if you're someone who's interested in military history.


13 Savor local cuisine

North Bay's culinary scene delights foodies with its range of dining options that showcase local ingredients and flavors. From cozy cafes to fine dining restaurants, there's something here to satisfy every palate. The city's commitment to local produce and innovative cuisine makes dining out a delicious adventure.


14 Visit the Dionne Quints Museum

The Dionne Quintuplets Museum tells the unique story of the world's first surviving quintuplets, who were born in the area in 1934. The museum offers a glimpse into the lives of the Dionne Quintuplets and the impact of their birth on the world. This fascinating piece of local and national history isn't to be missed.


15 Enjoy seasonal sports

North Bay's changing seasons offer a variety of sports and recreational activities. The Laurentian Ski Hill provides slopes for skiing and snowboarding in winter, while summer brings opportunities for golfing at one of the local courses. The city's commitment to recreational activities ensures you can always find something fun to do, no matter the time of year.

North Bay, Ontario, is a city that truly has it all — natural beauty, rich history, and a vibrant community. Whether you're exploring its trails, enjoying its cultural offerings, or simply relaxing by the lake, the city has a wealth of experiences to make your visit memorable. So pack your bags, set your sights on North Bay, and discover the countless reasons why it's a place to return to time and time again.


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