Okay, so we all know about the Shaw Festival, the Falls and Marineland, but what else can we do in the Niagara area, you ask? Plenty. Here are some suggestions if you find yourself in Niagara-on-the-Lake or surrounding area: - Try geocaching and really get to know the area. – Take the stairway down to a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest and walk around among tall trees and huge rocks at the river’s edge in the cool Niagara Glen to get a sense of how things were before tourists came. The Niagara Glen overlooks the Niagara River Whirlpool, a unique natural phenomenon. - Hike the trails along the Niagara Escarpment. - Cycle or e-scoot your way through the countryside. - Visit one of many museums and historic sites located throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake and surrounding area; enjoy tea and a treat at the McFarland House. – Climb 235 steps to the top of Brock’s Monument for $1 or tour the battlefield at Queenston Heights with costumed staff and enjoy a spectacular view of the Niagara Frontier. Pack a picnic and a bottle of Niagara wine and relax a while or cool off at the splash pad. - Book a ghost walk tour ($13/adult; $10/senior; $5/child 13 & under) and learn all about all the paranormal activity that goes on here. - Tour a winery or several (there are 28 in Niagara-on-the-Lake alone); ask your B&B hosts for some complimentary wine-tasting coupons. – Saunter through the Botanical Gardens and admire the bloomin’ scenery. - Visit the Niagara College Teaching Winery and the Niagara College Teaching Brewery to learn a thing or two about making wine or beer. - Tour the NEOB Lavender Boutique & Tea Garden to learn how lavender [...]
Everyone knows about the usual wine tastings, seminars and tours offered by most wineries. But there’s so much more going on at the wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Many of them offer a variety of ways to enjoy hot summer days as you sip your favourite vintage surrounded by vineyards. Here’s a sampling of what’s happening on any given weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake: Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery Every summer, this Niagara-on-the-Lake winery sets up its outdoor amphitheatre for its wonderful concert series in the vineyards. Enjoy award-winning wines and brilliant talent under the starry skies. Peller Estates Try the Chef’s Table Dining Experience (July 14, 21 and August 4, 11 & 18) to discover how Jason Parsons approaches the art of pairing wine and food. $165/person. Or dine alfresco on five courses amongst the vines (August 4, 11 & 18) and enjoy one of the most beautiful views in Niagara Wine Country. $130/person. A tad expensive perhaps, but you have to reward yourself sometimes and this is how to do it right. Ravine Winery While this was one of my favourite places to dine, recent experiences make me think twice for dinner. What they are good at though are lunches and, every Friday, Saturday and some Sundays, you can enjoy live jazz from 7pm. Reif Estate Winery A Corvette, Classic and Hot Rod Car Show (July 22, 10am–5pm), grilled pizza in the garden every weekend from 11am-5pm, a winemaker’s luncheon with Lynn Ogryzlo (August 4, 12:30–2pm) and gelato in the garden every day are just some of the events waiting for you at this winery. Southbrook Vineyards Back by popular demand, Treadwell’s Vineyard Bistro serves a perfect partnership of food and wine from 11:30am–4:30pm. Stonechurch Vineyards Relax on their [...]
Been here before and looking for different ways to enjoy Niagara-on-the-Lake? Here are a few suggestions: - Try geocaching and get to know the area. - Walk around among tall trees and huge rocks at the river’s edge in the cool Niagara Gorge to get a sense of how things were before tourists came. - Hike the trails along the Niagara Escarpment. - Cycle or e-scoot your way through the countryside. - Visit one of many museums and historic sites located throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake. This is the 200th commemoration of the War of 1812, so there’s lots of new things to see and experience. - Book a ghost walk tour and learn all about all the paranormal activity that goes on here. - Tour a winery. - Visit the Niagara College Teaching Winery. - Tour the NEOB Lavender Boutique & Tea Garden. Take in the 2nd annual Lavender Festival on July 14 & 15, 2012. - Book an 1812 walking tour of Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s only $5 per person including free admission to the Niagara Historical Museum. - Attend a lecture at the “Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake” series, scheduled at the Niagara Historical Museum at 7:30 p.m. on July 21, August 18 and September 15. $5 for non-members. A wonderful display of the War of 1812 is the highlight this year. Take a backstage tour at the Festival Theatre at 11am (10:30am for families) Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays to find out what goes into theatre productions. Try on the hats, the jewellery…oh, what fun you’ll have! It’s the best value in town: cost $5/person for one hour tour. There’s always something new happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
When it comes to dining in Niagara-on-the-Lake, there are plenty of restaurants and wineries so you definitely won’t go hungry or thirsty. It really depends upon your tastes and budget. Tips: If you are attending an evening performance at one of the theatres in town, we suggest you reserve your table for 5:30pm so you can enjoy a leisurely meal and walk—not run—to the theatre. Also, many restaurants close their kitchens at 9pm during the summer months, so be sure to be seated before then (pubs and wine bars excepted). Our favourite spots to dine in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake are: Old Winery Restaurant In the tradition of the famous Italian Trattoria, the sights, sounds and aromas of authentic Italian cuisine are created fresh every day in a beautifully restored old winery building. Enjoy pizza from a wood-burning oven, pasta, seafood, organic steaks and a variety of other delicious foods. You can easily share an appetizer or salad and a pizza or entrée as servings are generous enough. You can sit inside or outdoors on their wooden deck overlooking Butler’s Creek. There’s also entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights in the wine bar, where you can also order things from a tapas menu. Reservations recommended. Phone: 905-468-8900 Address: 2228 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake Website: http://www.theoldwineryrestaurant.com The Stone Road Grille Defined as “the place where locals dine,” this restaurant has been a hit since its doors opened. It’s more expensive than the Old Winery and, despite its odd location in a strip mall at the corner of Mary and Mississagua Streets, it exudes a funky vibe the minute you walk in. Reservations are definitely required. Phone: 905-468-3474 Address: 238 Mary Street at Mississagua in the Garrison Plaza [...]
You might wonder what is there for a family to do in and around Niagara-on-the Lake. Here are a few suggestions. Happy Rolph’s Petting Farm & Bird Sanctuary: Located just before Lock 1 of the Welland Canal in St. Catharines, just off Lakeshore Road, this is a great place for the family. There are many farm animals—horses, pigs, rabbits, llamas, goats, sheep, cows, chickens, a donkey and more—all are accustomed to visitors. Purchase some pellets at the farm so you and the kids can feed the animals. The bird sanctuary features hundreds of ducks, geese and native birds as well as one of Canada’s most exotic collections of rhododendrons. Open 7am to dusk, Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. Free to explore. Butterfly Conservatory: The self-guided walking tour of the Butterfly Conservatory begins with a short, informative video presentation, close-captioned for the hearing impaired. This magical attraction features more than 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Don’t forget to visit the twin baby marmosets—Cheeko and Bamboo—born on February 29, 2012, at the Butterfly Conservatory! Cost: $12.95 for 13+; $8.25 for children (6–12); free for 5 and under. Parking is $5. Open year-round except December 25. Bird Kingdom: Located in Niagara Falls, this is the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world. More than 300 birds make their home in this multi-level rainforest setting. Visit the small aviary where smaller birds nest, a nocturnal exhibit which stays light at night and dark during the day so night-living animals will be active when you visit and the Macaw Market. Cost: $16.95 for adults; $14.95 for seniors 55+; $11.95 for children 4–15; free for children 3 and under. Special online rates apply: $13 for [...]
IT’S RAINING, IT’S POURING: Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Here are some ideas to get you thinking and planning: - Take in a 2 p.m. afternoon or an 8 p.m. evening performance at one of the four Shaw Festival theatres in town. (Mondays are dark.) Be sure to check out those last-minute, senior and under 30 ticket prices. - Or take a fun-filled one-hour backstage tour at 11am at the Festival Theatre on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays (10:30am for families). Cost: $5 per person. - Visit the Butterfly Conservatory located next to the Botanical Gardens on the Niagara Parkway. - Tour the Welland Canal Centre Lock 3 Museum. - Visit Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world. - Music Niagara performances take place in indoor venues on weekends during the months of July and August. - Tour Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Lavender Farm hothouse and boutique on Niagara Stone Road. - Book a Whirlpool Jet Boat ride anyway. After all, you’ll be getting wet anyway. Book online and save money. - Shop til you drop at the Factory Outlet Mall on Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls. - Visit some of the many antique shops in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. - Visit Queenston Pottery on York Road in St. David’s. - Visit the historic Laura Secord House in Queenston. - Tour the Niagara Historical Museum located on Castlereagh in Old Town. - Tour the Riverbrink Art Museum in Queenston. - Visit the MacKenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum in Queenston. - Tour the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station. - Work out in the gym at our Community Centre located on Anderson Lane. - Book a spa treatment [...]
With short-sleeve weather just around the corner, you’ll be wanting to spend more time outdoors. Here are some fun things to do when it’s sunny in Niagara-on-the-Lake: - Cycling is a great way to explore the natural beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake and surrounding countryside thanks to an increasing number of maintained and signposted off-road cycling trails available. Bring your own bike or rent a bike from ZOOM Rentals, Grape Escape or International Bike Tours here in town. - E-bikes or e-scooters, short for “electric bicycle,” are the newest craze in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Rent one at E-Skoot Niagara on Mary Street, Grape Escape on King or International Bike Tours on Picton. - Picnic along the Niagara River, at Queen’s Royal Park on Lake Ontario or at Queenston Heights Park on the Niagara Escarpment where picnic tables and barbecues await you. Pick up cheese, cold cuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh bread and a salad at any of the many area markets. Add a local bottle of wine and enjoy. - Roller-blade, stroll, cycle, e-bike or run along the tree-lined streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake or along the Waterfront Trail (paved off-road trails that run along the Niagara River). - Horseback ride through vineyards or the wooded trails along the Niagara Escarpment. - Visit Totem Park located on the Niagara Parkway to view this year-round attraction of 600 hand-carved totem poles—North America’s largest collection of one-of-a-kind totem poles. Master carver Frank Kim is on site several days a week to give demonstrations. Cost: $5, free for 5 and under. - Music Niagara performances take place in open-air venues on weekends during the months of July and August. Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine and enjoy the outdoor performances in the [...]
In a word—plenty. Come for a day and you’ll wish you had planned on three or four days. World-renowned Niagara Falls is just a 30-minute drive along the scenic Niagara Parkway, considered by Sir Winston Churchill to be the most the prettiest Sunday drive in the world. Not much has changed since then; it still is. What has changed is the landscape. Today, about 21 wineries thrive in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area and most, if not all, welcome visitors to step inside to taste their wines. The larger ones and some of the smaller ones offer tours of the property year-round to give you the inside scoop on how grapes are processed to create flavourful red, white and ice wines. Ask us for free wine-tasting coupons to sample some. Niagara-on-the-Lake is also home to the Shaw Festival. From April through October, two performances daily (at 2 and 8pm, except Mondays) take place at three theatres, all within easy walking distance of each other. In between performances, explore the unique shops, galleries and restaurants that line Queen Street—the main thoroughfare in town. A little out-of-the-way shop that’s worth a visit—Mai Thai Silk—is located at Johnson and Simcoe in what appears to be a private home with a small addition on the side. On a hot day, ride a jetboat up the Niagara River and you’ll cool off very quickly. Or grab an ice-cream or gelato at one of three shops in town. Or stop in at the Olde Angel Inn Pub or the Irish Harp Pub for a cool beer. Historians love our town. The buildings on Queen Street are historical and Fort George, at the mouth of the Niagara River, features re-enactments and tours of how life used to be in [...]