Things to Do in Yukon, According to Dawson City Locals
Widely recognized as the center of the Klondike Gold Rush, Dawson City, Yukon is the perfect blend of 19th century history, modern excitement and classic good taste. Because of this, that Dawson City is an important stop on our Gray Line Alaska tour itineraries!
While anyone can hop on the Internet and read a travel blog about the town often called the “Paris of the North,” we took it one step further and asked the people living, working and playing in Dawson City what makes their town special. We’ve compiled just a few of the must-see, must-do sites and activities in Dawson City, according to the locals.
To start our tour of Dawson City, we spoke with Paul Robitaille, marketing and events manager at the Klondike Visitors Association. Paul has lived in Dawson City for eight years and had plenty of insight about the best things to do in Yukon while you’re visiting.
“One of my favorite things to do is to golf at the Top of the World Golf Course. It’s the northernmost golf course in Canada with greens,” Paul said. “Also, you can tee off at midnight in the summer, which is pretty unique.”
The Top of the World Golf Course is a nine-hole course open seven days a week. And you don’t even have to make a reservation for a tee time! The course also rents golf gear so forget hauling your golf bag with all your gear; just show up and experience this Dawson City hidden treasure.
Canada’s oldest gambling hall gives visitors a chance to relive the days of the Gold Rush. Dawson City’s world-famous, non-profit gambling hall is named after Gold Rush dance hall queen Diamond Tooth Gertie Lovejoy.
“If you like gambling, go to Gerties. If you don’t, you can watch the can-can show! It’s the oldest casino in Canada. The dealers are friendly, and you’re sure to have fun there,” Paul said.
Native Dawson City resident Karen DuBois, executive director at Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) recommends stopping by the Yukon Visitor Reception Center upon arrival to check out all of the local events and things to do in Yukon. KIAC has two art galleries that are open year-round. Karen notes that another can’t-miss is the annual Yukon Riverside Art Festival, a summer event that takes place on Dawson City’s Discovery Days weekend. In addition to events at KIAC, Karen recommends a short walk along the riverbank.
“If you cross the river on the ferry and walk down through the campground, along the water on the side of the river you will find abandoned sternwheelers. They’ve been beached since the early 1950s, and they’re incredibly impressive. It’s my favorite tourist attraction,” Karen said.
While you’re in Dawson City, make sure to say hello to Linda Gould, general manager at the Westmark Inn Dawson City. Retaining the character of the turn-of-the-century Gold Rush days, the Westmark Inn Dawson City has even more to offer than northern hospitality.
“Just footsteps away from the property is the trail that passes the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike rivers, this makes for a perfect sunset stroll,” Linda said.
There’s no shortage of history, excitement, scenery, good taste or things to do in Dawson City, Yukon. But don’t take our word for it, visit Dawson City for yourself to see why the locals don’t leave and the visitors keep on coming back.
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