This picture-perfect Ontario town is known for its storybook-like castles, historical shipwrecks, massively stunning mansions, and waterfront views. The town of Gananoque is a gem worth exploring on your next road trip.

The town is internationally recognized as one of Eastern Ontario’s most stunning waterfront communities, according to 1000 Islands Tourism. Here you’ll find a charming downtown core home to delicious dining spots, local shops, arts, and culture.

Gananoque, or also known to locals as “Gan”, is a small town that can easily be explored in a single day.

Whether you’re heading east towards Ottawa or west to Kingston, Gananoque is the perfect stop if you’re looking to grab a bite or stretch your legs.

Hoping to spot a castle? Feast your eyes on the 1000 Islands, which Gan happens to be the gateway to.

According to Destination Ontario, Gananoque and the 1000 Islands is home to castles, shipwrecks, National Parks, millionaire’s mansions, and more.

You can find “cute and quirky cottages, historical sites (including some from the War of 1812), waterside theatres, food, music, festivals and even a casino.”

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There’s a stunning waterfront trail you can explore while you take in the beauty of the St Lawrence River.

According to the Town of Gananoque, its name has the distinction of having several meanings; “ Water Rising over Rocks” or “Garden of the Great Spirit”.

It was founded by a man named Joel Stone, who was granted land by the British in 1793. Stone was a refugee Loyalist, “who became a prosperous entrepreneur,” per the town’s site.

It is stated that he started with 700 acres and a flour mill, and then saw the potential to develop its industrial foundation.

“Gananoque also played an essential role as a forwarding point on the supply line moving up the St Lawrence River from Montreal and Cornwall to Kingston,” shares the town.

From Antiques and collectible shops to wellness experiences and museum tours, Gananoque is a town full of hidden gems, wonders, and a bold past.

Add Gananoque to your next road trip!