So you find yourself in the beautiful lakefront community of Kenora on a rainy summer day and because it’s raining, you’re wondering what is there to do? Here are a few suggestions to deal with the rain and still have a great visit!
1 – Go for a Cruise on the MS Kenora
The MS Kenora is a 200-passenger cruise ship that offers daily tours during the summer. While the cruise is best enjoyed when it is sunny or not raining, it is definitely still worthwhile to see the incredible Lake of the Woods and its many man-made and natural attractions. You can choose an afternoon or dinner cruise and sit on one of two indoor levels. Captain Alan Luby and his crew will cruise by eagle nests, multi-million dollar cottages as well as other historical and natural attractions. Lake of the Woods has over 14,522 islands and 65,000 miles of shoreline, making it one of the natural wonders in North America. You could see a bear, moose, or whitetail deer along its shores.
2 – Step Back in History
With roots in the fur trade and the site of a 19th-century gold rush, there is no shortage of history to discover in the City of Kenora. You could easily spend the day visiting the area’s historical attractions and you’ll stay dry while you do it. It’s highly recommended you start your tour at "The Muse", labeled by CAA as “One of the coolest little museums in Canada!” you can immerse yourself in local history while learning about the famed Ontario/Manitoba border dispute or view the Frank Edwards collection of native artifacts – one of the best in one place anywhere in Canada. The new adjoining Douglas Family Arts Centre is another must-stop.
After touring the museum, make your way to the Mather-Walls House in nearby Keewatin and see Victorian-era charm preserved perfectly in the Queen Anne Style house. Other historical attractions include the Lake of the Woods Railroaders Museum at Norman Park or stay in the car, drive around town and see some or all of the 21 Heritage Townscape Murals on the sides of buildings across town.
3 – Visit the Bottle House in Reddit
Perhaps one of the most unique attractions in the Kenora area is the Bottle House located in Redditt, Ontario, about a 15-minute drive north of Kenora on Highway 658. Built in the early 1970s by Mr. Deverell as a dollhouse for his wife Myrtle’s doll collection, over 1,500 bottles were used in its construction. The unique patterns in the glass walls are something to behold.
4 – Take a Craft Brewery Tour
If it’s a Saturday or Sunday an option you have to get out of the rain is to take a tour of the workings at the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. This local craft brewery has already established a reputation for the quality of its beer and you can take the tour and see how craft beer is made. Samples and takeaways can be included as part of the tour. After you're done seeing everything, you can eat in the Tap Room with a full menu of delectable foods to choose from. The Tap Room is open 7 days a week.
5 – Shop Until You Drop
If you ask anyone who has been to Kenora and who has shopped at the retail businesses in the city they will tell you how unique the experience is. Many stores have products you won’t see elsewhere and if you’re visiting and looking for a souvenir to bring back home with you, we would recommend you stop at one of these three businesses. The Zen Den offers a truly amazing variety of products (my favourite are the salt rock lamps) while just across the street at The Seasons Shop, you’ll also find an incredible array of products (including the famous Kenora dinner jacket) that you can purchase.
As you head south to 2nd Street and make your way towards Matheson you’ll see one of the nicest clothing shops in Kenora. Island Girl has a fantastic line of women’s wear, so guys, if you’re in the doghouse, a trip to Island Girl may just be the ticket you need to get back in her good books! Kenora dinner jackets are available here too!
While we hope it is sunny and warm out during your visit, if not, these five ideas are a great start to making sure your visit to Kenora on beautiful Lake of the Woods will be something to remember in a good way, despite the fact it was raining the day you visited!