Dolgellau is an extremely interesting town and has several shops both for tourist and locals alike which are well worth exploring. There are several restaurants but make sure you book in the summer and arrive early as they all seem to stop taking food orders at around 9.00pm. There are numerous pubs in the town all of which are good and welcoming. You can hire bikes in the town and catch the local buses to other villages and towns. There are several garages for fuel and two supermarkets. On certain Sundays there is a farmers market held.
A well known feature throughout the music world is the music festival held in March on the playing fields (marian) near the bridge. The festival is called Sesiwn Fawr and attracts acts from all over the world.
There is also a tourist board office in the town square.
Barmouth is a typical seaside village. There is a fun fair and a fishing harbour where you can book fishing trips. There are several outdoor sport stores and restaurants. The beach is huge and there is plenty to do for children. There are several antique/junk shops which are very interesting. There is a market there on Saturdays.
You can take a ferry ride across the estuary to Fairborne which is a quiet village with a miniature train ride along the sea front. It is far less commercialised than Barmouth. The road from Dolgellau to Barmouth passes the Mawdach Restaurant which is very good and further along you will pass the toll road which goes across the estuary to the George III pub. Barmouth also has a webcam.
Some 20 minutes from Barmouth you will reach Harlech where the castle can be seen. Here there are a variety of shops and restaurants, A favourite is The Plas on the main street. From the lawn at the back the views across the bay are amazing. If you reach the centre of the town take the road going up the hill which is very steep and turn left when you reach the top, this road travels along the top of the mountain and will eventually bring you to the village of Talsarnau on the road towards Portmeirion. The view from the tops is just astounding on a clear day as you can see across the bay to Portmeirion, Criccieth, Portmadoc and Snowdonia. A camera is essential.
Some 20 minutes from Harlech and across a toll road you will reach the famous village of Portmeirion. Here is where the television series the Prisoner was filmed and it is well worth a visit.
Other items of interest
There are numerous slate caverns and mountain railways and details of these are in leaflets on display in the house.