Things to Do in Parry Sound

Situated along the eastern shore of its namesake sound, 2.5 hours north of Toronto, Parry Sound, Ontario, offers a perfect combination of pristine wilderness and a sophisticated lifestyle. Known for picturesque landscapes and rich maritime history, those searching for breathtaking vistas and a refuge from the daily grind will find a welcoming place to relax and recharge. Truly, Parry Sound is a gem in the heart of Ontario's cottage country, offering everything from the great outdoors to the arts and a notable piece of hockey history.

Parry Sound is the ideal location for discerning property seekers hoping to own a primary or secondary property. Its abundant offerings are tailored to the adventurous, particularly those who want to experience the area's unique cottage country lifestyle or secure an opulent lake house property. It's an unparalleled, high-quality lifestyle in a beautiful and revered locale.

A significant part of Parry Sound's charm includes an extraordinary list of things to see and do. Its beautiful location, tucked between Mill Lake and the magnificent Georgian Bay, gives priority to outdoor excursions. Whether on land, water, or even in the air, residents have ample opportunity to connect with nature and the brilliant surroundings. There's also a thriving arts scene, great places to shop and eat, and plenty of history to explore. Read on for a list of things to do in Parry Sound.

Parry Sound and Georgian Bay water cruises

Life in Parry Sound revolves around the water. To the northeast is Mill Lake, and skirting southwest through the center of town is the Seguin River. To the west, you’ll find Parry Sound harbour — the world's deepest natural freshwater port — and then Georgian Bay just beyond.

As one might expect, boating is a significant part of the excitement in this region of Ontario. While many residents own a vessel or two — and spectacular waterfront properties to house them — others enjoy leaving the navigation to someone else.

Island Queen cruises

Among Parry Sound's most popular activities are trips out on the water via the Island Queen, a custom-designed ship tailor-made for navigating Georgian Bay and getting up close and personal with the geographical contours of the bay's 30,000 islands. There are few better vantage points to admire the region's iconic water scenes and landscapes than from the decks of the Island Queen as it cuts through the waves. You can choose between two and three-hour cruises — the former staying within Parry Sound and the latter venturing into Georgian Bay — with each offering an unforgettable, breathtaking journey.

Island Queen Cruises also features the 40-passenger Islander tour, which takes adventurers out to Huckleberry Island for a hike led by a Georgian Bay biosphere naturalist and a chance to swim in a secluded beach area before returning to Parry Sound.

The Chippewa III

Those seeking a more intimate and historical journey will want to board the Parry Sound Cruise Lines' M.V. Chippewa III — formerly the Maid of the Mist — for a two-hour morning or afternoon cruise around Georgian Bay. Teeming with history and fantastic views, the Chippewa III also boasts a 2.5-hour dinner cruise and is available for private charters.

Georgian Bay Airways

The water is not the only place to experience the majestic and expansive islands of Georgian Bay. Providing one of the most unique things to do in Parry Sound, Georgian Bay Airways takes you up in one of its classic floatplanes, soaring above the region as the breathtaking scenery unfolds beneath you. With spellbinding vistas from an unrivaled vantage point, it's a rare opportunity to see the 30,000-island region in all its glory. Operating seasonally from May to October, Georgian Bay Airways offers a variety of aerial tours, including sunset tours, fall colors tours, fly-and-dine tours, and private charters.

Tower Hill Heritage Garden

Those with a green thumb and a love for local Ontario history will appreciate the gorgeous hidden gem that is the Tower Hill Heritage Garden. Nestled amidst the trees on a hill overlooking Parry Sound, the Tower Hill Heritage Garden stands as a remarkable public display of natural splendor. Originally developed between 1927 and 1934, the municipal garden took root around the base of the Tower Hill Lookout, an observation tower initially erected for forest fire detection in the early 1920s.

Tended by local volunteers throughout the year, Tower Hill's gardens offer a continually changing display of colors and fragrances. They are a majestic setting for summer sunsets and vibrant autumn hues. A trip up the tower provides a sweeping panorama of Parry Sound, the Seguin River, and the islands. It's a dazzling display of the region's pristine beauty you don’t want to miss.

Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

More than a showcase for natural wonders, Parry Sound boasts a vibrant community that includes several standout museums (two of which are highlighted below) as well as The Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts at the heart of the region's arts scene. Situated on a 3.5-acre site overlooking Parry Sound and Georgian Bay, the Stockey Centre is an architectural gem inside and out, and its 400-seat festival performance hall is an intimate spot to take in an amazing performance. The centre plays host to concerts, fantastic shows, and exhibitions of all types and across all genres and is the permanent venue for the annual Festival of the Sound.

The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Museum

In addition to its performance hall duties, the Charles W. Stockey Centre includes the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Museum. A celebration of the life and career of the transcendent hockey great Bobby Orr, Orr was born and spent his formative years in Parry Sound. The interactive museum features an extensive collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and photos from Orr's career and numerous activities sure to delight hockey fans. The museum also explores contributions from Parry Sound to Canada's sports heritage and is a perfect complement to the Stockey Centre.

Museum on Tower Hill

Circling back to Tower Hill, in addition to the Heritage Garden and Tower Hill Lookout, visitors are encouraged to explore the adjacent Museum on Tower Hill. Also referred to as the West Parry Sound District Museum, this quaint museum offers a window into the colorful history of both the town and its larger namesake district. Featuring two galleries, one of which is the permanent E. Roy Smith Gallery, the museum houses impressive exhibits exploring the major events and timelines that shaped the region's evolution.

Waubuno Beach

To the west of the Parry Sound town center, the pristine waters and soft sands of Waubuno Beach welcome those seeking summertime fun in the sun. With a shallow shoreline, plenty of room to stretch out, and seasonal lifeguards on duty, the beach is ideal for families, sunseekers, and those looking for a refreshing swim in Georgian Bay waters or a game of beach volleyball. Its west-facing location makes Waubuno Beach and the adjacent Waubuno Park a favorite for sunset gazing.

Discover even more in Parry Sound

If you want to discover even more things to do in Parry Sound, or if you're ready to find a potential cottage or waterfront property of your own, contact the team at Halloran & Associates to begin your Parry Sound journey. Their experience and vast expertise will help you navigate Parry Sound and the one-of-a-kind Georgian Bay luxury real estate market with ease.