The Getaway
Things to Do in Kenora and on the Lake of the Woods

Kenora is a city in Ontario located along the Lake of the Woods. Though small in size, Kenora is a place rich in local culture and history, with all sorts of opportunities for fun and adventure. With striking landscapes and views of the gorgeous surrounding lake, it is a place of great natural beauty. It also features several museums, galleries, and other attractions for a wonderful vacation. If you're looking for a unique blend of recreation and education, with plenty of chances to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, check out some of these fun and stimulating activities.

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01 Discover Kenora's natural beauty

Kenora is home to an abundance of natural beauties and unique ways to enjoy them. The cruise ship MS Kenora allows passengers to savor fine dining while gazing out upon the gorgeous Lake of the Woods. McLeod Park features numerous attractions amongst the sights and sounds of the outdoors, including the 40-foot sculpture of a freshwater fish nicknamed Husky the Muskie, the Rotary Club's Goodwill Geyser, which shoots water 75 feet in the air, and several gardens. You could play a round of golf at one of the many courses throughout Kenora or enjoy a day at one of the beaches, such as Garrow Beach, which feeds into the Rabbit Lake Trail System. Fun and unique means of outdoor recreation can be found at every turn in Kenora.

02 Dive into history at the Lake of the Woods Museum

Housed in the Muse alongside the Douglas Family Art Centre, the Lake of the Woods Museum affords visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the history of Kenora and the broader Lake of the Woods region. The museum features interesting and enlightening exhibitions on a variety of subjects, at times focusing on subjects as diverse as the geology and archaeology of the Lake of the Woods, portraits of residents of the area over the years, and the history of the Indigenous populations of the surrounding land. In addition to its revolving exhibitions, the museum also showcases a permanent collection of over 25,000 articles and photographs.

03 Savor brews and views at Lake of the Woods Brewing Company

Since 1898, when Abraham Kingdon established the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company in downtown Kenora, the brewery has been one of the best spots in the area to have a beer. Visit the taproom to savor firsthand the delicious brews on offer, which include a number of seasonal and staple varieties. The brewery tour the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company offers is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of the company as well as take in the stunning sight of the 110-year-old firehall that serves as its base of operations. It doesn't get much better than this spot as far as enjoying a refreshing brew after a day of sightseeing is concerned.

04 Engage in interactive learning at the Discovery Centre

If you're looking for a learning experience that is truly hands-on, you won't want to miss out on a visit to the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre. There, you will find impressive collections and exhibits on a variety of subjects. The Discovery Centre is home to the largest collection of outboard motors in North America, featuring antique models spanning several decades of the early 20th century. One of the Discovery Centre's most remarkable attractions is its interpretive forest, which teaches visitors about the local ecosystems with signs in both English and Ojibway.

05 Immerse yourself in art and culture at The Muse

In addition to the Lake of the Woods Museum, The Muse also houses the Douglas Family Art Centre, a wonderful place that showcases work by various artists of both local and international renown. The Centre features various exhibits focusing on a variety of subjects, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces. As part of their mission statement, the Centre expresses a special commitment to exploring and spotlighting the voices of Indigenous artists. In addition to its seasonal exhibits, the Centre boasts a permanent collection of woodcuts, watercolors, and other pieces by Canadian artist Walter J. Phillips.

06 Have fun with the family at the Rotary Splash Park

Established by the Rotary Club of Kenora, the Kenora Rotary Splash Park is the perfect spot to take the whole family for an afternoon of fun. Centered amidst beautiful foliage, the park is like a giant playground filled with water fountains. With a charming design shaped like a lake, it promises to be a memorable experience as well as a refreshing day out.

07 Adventure on the water

With the stunning Lake of the Woods as a centerpiece, Kenora promises great adventures waiting to be had on the water. There are several local outfitters that will allow you to rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards for a day of fun and exploration on the lake. Some of the most notable routes include the Dogtooth Lake route and the Kakagi Lake route, where you will see beautiful open water surrounded by cliffs lining the shore

08 Go fishing in the Lake of the Woods

For those who are passionate anglers, Lake of the Woods is one of the best places to fish. With miles of open water stretching far away from the shore, the lake is abundantly filled with several different kinds of fish, including walleyes, muskies, and bass. This is true at all times of the year, with the lake providing excellent opportunities for ice fishing to those who take the proper precautions and are up for the challenge. Lake trout and crappies are some of the species still very active during the winter. If you're enthusiastic about fishing, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of what the Lake of the Woods has to offer.

09 Take a hike and explore local trails

Alongside the Lake of the Woods is a vast collection of trails winding into the natural beauties of the surrounding area. The trails in and around Kenora offer memorable experiences for both newcomers and hiking enthusiasts alike. The Rabbit Lake Trail System features paved trails with plenty of spots to rest. It boasts a striking view of Rabbit Lake and feeds into the Garrow Park Beach. The Kenora Nordic Trails, at the Mount Evergreen Ski Club, features 20 kilometers of climbing for the more serious-minded hikers among us. Those committed enough to hike to the top of Mount Evergreen will find a particularly stunning view of the Lake of the Woods.

10 Glean historical insights at Mather-Walls House

In 1857, Scottish native John Mather acquired the lumber rights to an important location around the Lake of the Woods. He had three houses built for his employees, one of which became the residence of his son, David. This house, now known as the Mather-Walls House, is still standing in Kenora. The house is a great source of history for the surrounding region. It is also has a fun legend associated with it, said to be haunted by Edna Walls, the last person who lived in the house. Visit the Mather-Walls House to learn more about its rich history, as well as to stop by the Mather-Walls Historical Tea House for a variety of Victorian selections.

11 Swing your clubs throughout a golfing paradise

Golfing enthusiasts will find Kenora to be a small paradise. With a number of golf courses along the lake, you can take in a stunning view while relaxing and enjoying this great outdoor game. The Kenora Golf and Country Club features 18 holes that are as challenging as the course is beautiful. The Beauty Bay Golf Course is another 18-hole option just outside of Kenora, along Black Sturgeon Lake.

12 Have a unique stay in a houseboat on the lake

The vastness and beauty of the Lake of the Woods offers a unique opportunity for vacation in the form of a houseboat. Book a boat with Houseboat Adventures and enjoy a memorable experience out on the water. Go swimming or fishing out on the beautiful lake, then retire to the pleasant amenities of a comfortable home when it's time for rest. Staying on a houseboat is one of the most interesting ways to enjoy a vacation, and Kenora offers that opportunity.

13 Enjoy local artistry and shopping in Downtown Kenora

Shopping is a fun activity for any vacation. Downtown Kenora offers you the chance to shop for locally-made arts and crafts. With awesome shops and galleries like Naked North and Fragile Glass Studio, you'll be sure to walk away with souvenirs you can't get anywhere else.

14 Indulge yourself with culinary delights and local eats

All the adventure to be had throughout Kenora is sure to work up quite an appetite. Fortunately, Kenora is an amazing place to grab a bite to eat. Dine along the lake at Boathouse Waterfront Eatery & Nightlife, or snatch a burger at Gropp's Grab N' Go Meals. 901 Westside is one of the many places that uses locally sourced ingredients in fish tacos and fresh salads. It's also a great place to grab a pizza.

15 Forge great memories with seasonal festivities and events

If you want to truly experience something special, make sure you plan your trip around one of the many seasonal festivities and events held in Kenora. Catch a show from the Harbourfront Concert Series at the Whitecap Pavilion on Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Check out vintage automobiles at the Kenora Classic Car Show. Learn about local culture and community at the Kenora Agricultural Society Fair. With such a plethora of unique and life-enriching events, you'll be sure to have experiences you'll remember for the rest of your life on your trip to Kenora.

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