Pleasant Gananoque (gan-an-awk-way) is the perfect place to rest your eyes after a long day of squinting at the furry green islands on the misty St Lawrence. The dainty Victorian town, deep in the heart of the Thousand Islands region, teems with cruise-hungry tourists during summer and early fall. Virtually every motel chain is represented along King St E near Hwy 401, and a score of one-of-a-kind digs are found along the water's edge.
The Chamber of Commerce offers basic services like lodging recommendations. Check out www.gananoque.com for additional info.
Like most other towns in the Thousand Islands region, Gananoque is home to several river cruise operators. Shop around before choosing a company – some trips stop at several islands, others don't; some offer dinner cruises, while others specialize in quicker trips on faster boats. The Gananoque Boat Line is a popular choice, with several trip options including a stopover at Boldt Castle. (The castle is technically in the USA, so make sure all your papers are in order if you are planning to visit.)
If you're feeling energetic, a great way to tour the islands is by paddling. 1000 Islands Kayaking has a multitude of packages, including courses and overnight trips.
The Thousand Islands Playhouse has presented a quality lineup of mainly light summer theater since 1983.
Gananoque sports an abundance of memorable accommodations options, including several upmarket and architecturally eye-catching inns.
Victoria Rose Inn, once the mayor's house and a monument to Victorian splendor, has been refurbished to its original elegance. A glassed-in veranda overlooks garden terraces, and the rooms are comfortable and spacious. A friendly family runs the Victoria Rose and is an excellent source of local information.
The large Gananoque Inn, with its signature green shutters, regally sits at the junction of the Gananoque River and the St Lawrence Seaway. The old carriage-works inn opened its doors in 1896, and has retained much of its charm while surreptitiously adding modern amenities like a luxurious day spa. Bike and boat rentals are offered. Half-priced rooms are available in the off-season.
Located about 4km east of Gananoque on the Thousand Islands Pkwy, Misty Isles Lodge is a laid-back beachfront property boasting comfortable units with wicker furnishings. A variety of adventure outfitting is offered as well, including kayak rentals (per day $40), guided tours (day tour $69) and camping packages on some of the river's shrubby islands.
The only thing better than staying near the seaway is staying on the seaway! The main office for Houseboat Holidays, just 3km east of Gananoque along Hwy 2, will set you up with your very own floating hotel and provides a brief instructional course for nautical newbies.