Remember the saying, "Don’t judge a book by its cover"? This is exactly what I ask of people when they come to visit me in Canton, New York. With a population of just over 6,000 people, and a landscape that is predominantly dedicated to agriculture, many would think that there isn’t much to do here. Wrong! When I’m not busy running around St. Lawrence's campus enjoying our little slice of Canton, I’m venturing out into the greater community. From going out on the Grasse River, eating downtown, or stumbling upon the farmers' market, there is always something to do in Canton! These are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy a fun-filled, jam-packed day in Canton.
Breakfast at the Bagelry
This is, hands down, always the way best way to start your day of Canton adventures. With three locations (Canton, Potsdam, and Ogdensburg), this is a favorite spot for college students in the area. My friends and I love walking to the downtown Canton location on Sunday mornings. The shop itself is bright and inviting with old maps of St. Lawrence County covering the walls and bright yellow chairs. They have an extensive menu of bagel sandwiches and a great selection of coffees. From a sandwich with bacon and Nutella to a matcha lattes, there is something here for every bagel lover. My go-to order? The Charleston (fried egg, pesto, tomato, swiss) on a whole wheat everything bagel and a cold brew iced coffee.
Wander Around the Farmers’ Market
After filling up on bagels, head across to the park to see if the Canton Farmers’ Market is up and running. On Tuesdays and Fridays from May to October, the Park across from the Bagelry is bustling with local vendors. Walking around the market, you can pick up local produce, organic honey, and handmade crafts. This is a great way to get to know the amazing farms that are located nearby. The farmers’ market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., which makes it a perfect way to walk off some of the bagels.
Shopping Spree at Luna
There’s nothing I love more than some good ole’ retail therapy. When I came to St. Lawrence, I genuinely thought that my love for shopping would be confined to the online world, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Close to the downtown park is Luna, a boutique-clothing store. Luna is stocked with great sweaters, dresses, shoes, and accessories. My friends and I always say we are just going to window shop when we go to Luna, but somehow we always end up leaving with something new.
Canoe Shack Visit
After buying some goodies at the Farmers’ Market and maybe a new outfit at Luna, you might be looking for a budget-friendly activity. Something close to all SLU students’ hearts is St. Lawrence's Canoe Shack. Being just a short walk from campus, this is a great option when you’re on a budget because canoe rentals are free! The North Country is a beautiful area, and being on the Grasse River is a great way to get outdoors. All it takes to check out a canoe is leaving your student ID card at the Canoe Shack and then hitting the river with friends! On a really hot day, you can canoe over to the swimming hole where you can take a dip, and, if you're courageous, take a shot at the rope swing.
A Night at the Movie Theatre
After a long day of exploring Canton, sometimes you just have to kick back and enjoy a good movie. Lucky for you the American Theatre is right in town! With a discounted price of $9 for students, it’s always a fun night when a movie and popcorn are involved.
A Trip to Stewart's
What better way to end a day than with ice cream? Stewart's may look like a gas station on the outside, but it is actually the best ice cream place ever (let’s call it a North Country secret). With over 30 flavors and rotating seasonal favorites, there is always something new to try. I wait each year for the Philly Apple Pie flavor to come out, and each year I am in love with it. Stop on by the Stewart's in Canton to try it for yourself and you will be supporting a Laurentian in the process - Gary Dake '82 is the president of Stewart's Shops!
As a junior here, I have really enjoyed doing all of these activities but I am also excited to do some more exploring of my own. The North Country is full of hidden gems, and half the fun is finding them with your friends! From breakfast spots, to farmers’ markets, there is always something to do when you’re planning to head off campus. I’ll keep you posted on my new finds!