Vital as ever, Sault Ste. Marie fronts one of the world’s busiest waterways, attracting legions of vessels and visitors. Freighters up to three football fields long churn past the city (pronounced “soo saint marie”) on the St. Marys River and into the Soo Locks. At the viewing platform in Locks Park, visitors watch ships maneuver into the chamber that lets them pass between lakes Superior and Huron. The adjacent visitors center explains the workings of the locks, and loudspeakers announce approaching ships. Aboard the Museum Ship Valley Camp, visitors wander through the 550-foot freighter, exploring its engine room, pilothouse, crew quarters and cargo hold, which is filled with aquariums and nautical exhibits, including lifeboats from the ill-fated Edmund Fitzgerald.
With Soo Locks Boat Tours, the public can "lock through," too, on a two-hour river cruise.
Let the party begin! Celebrate the town’s 350th birthday at events all year in 2018.
Soo Locks Opening Day, March 25 The Soo Locks Visitor Center (normally operating mid-May to mid-October) opens its doors for one day in March to mark the start of the 2018 shipping season.
International Bridge Walk, June 23 Trek 2.8 miles across the International Bridge to Canada for an awesome aerial view. Cyclists get their own Bike Parade an hour earlier. Passports are required.
Engineer’s Day, June 29 Take a rare chance to walk across Soo Locks walls. Tour the U.S. Coast Guard station and see a rescue demo.
Independence Day, July 4 Watch a parade and waterfront fireworks.
350th festival, July 21–27 Enjoy big helpings of food (including a fish fry) and hands-on history.
Rendezvous in the Sault, July 28–29 Historic reenactors, storytellers, musicians and artisans transport visitors to the 17th and 18th centuries.