What’s to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake?

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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.

Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to about 21 wineries, most of which are open year-round.

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.

Queen Street shops in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Shops housed in historic buildings line Queen Street in Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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 the early 1800s. Visit Laura Secord House,  the Historical Museum, the MacKenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum and St. Mark’s Cemetery. Every year, some of the historical homes around town open their doors to the public.

Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Regular re-enactments take place during the summer at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Dining in Niagara-on-the-Lake is delightful. Locals favour The Old Winery, the Stone Road Grille, the EpicureanRavine Winery RestaurantHillebrand Winery Restaurant, the Grille on King and Zee’s.

Outdoor dining in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Enjoy lunch or dinner on the outdoor patio overlooking the vineyards at Hillebrand Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

En route to Niagara Falls, there are the Botanical Gardens, the Butterfly Conservatory, the Sir Adam Beck Generating StationBrock’s Monument, North America’s largest totem pole garden and the Floral Clock.

Niagara Totem Pole Park in Niagara, Ontario
Tour North America's largest collection of hand-carved, one-of-a-kind totem poles.

And, once you reach the Falls, hop on the Maid of the Mist, North America’s oldest tourist attraction. Millions of visitors have enjoyed these boat tours since 1846! If you plan to take in more of the sights, such as Journey Behind the Falls, the Whirlpool Aero Car and the White Water Walk, check out the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass and save a bundle.

Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, Ontario

Now, how long did you say you wanted to stay?