LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Where is Niagara-on-the-Lake? We are just a 20-minute drive along the beautiful Niagara River Parkway from Niagara Falls; a 90-minute drive along the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from Toronto; a 75-minute drive from Toronto’s L.B. International Airport; a 50-minute drive from Buffalo’s International Airport in northern New York State; and a comfortable day’s drive from New York City, Detroit and points in between. A car is definitely recommended if you plan to tour the Niagara Region, but not necessary if you intend to spend your entire time in the Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you do not plan to rent a car at any of the airports, Niagara Airbus provides door-to-door service between all of the airports and Globetrotters B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Make your reservations online at www.niagaraairbus.com and save 10% or call them direct at 905-374-8111 in Niagara or 716-835-8111 in Buffalo, NY.
WHAT’S THERE TO DO IN NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE? In a single word—plenty. In fact, you’ll likely run out of time before you experience all there is to see and do. The picturesque historic Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a range of activities for all ages and interests: a repertoire of live theatrical performances at the Shaw Festival; musical performances at various venues by talented musicians from around the world at Music Niagara and numerous Jazz Festivals; historical, architectural and winery tours; a host of great shopping and dining venues; hiking, biking and horseback riding trails; goat yoga; as well as a huge variety of unique sightseeing tours in and around Niagara Falls. Some of our star attractions for the upcoming season are listed below for your convenience but feel free to contact us and we’re happy to let you know what’s happening during your intended stay. For information on sightseeing tours in Niagara Falls and the Discover Niagara Pass, click here.
FOR YOUR DINING PLEASURE
Looking for a restaurant that offers quality food and service at reasonable prices? Advance reservations are always advised. Here are some of our favourites:
The English Pub at the Old Angel’s Inn and the Irish pub at The Harp are also crowd-pleasers and do not require advance reservations.
For a more complete listing of dining options in Niagara-on-the-Lake, please feel free to ask us for recommendations.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE
Looking for something to do other than shop, taste wine or beer or dine? You’ve come to the right place. These are just a few of the activities and fun tours available in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls—even on rainy days*.
NOTE: Information was correct at time of printing and may have changed due to the current COVID situation. Please check the website (linked) for latest information.
BACKSTAGE AT THE SHAW FESTIVAL *
Take a guided one-hour Backstage Tour at the Shaw Festival Theatre every Saturday and Sunday at 11am to learn about the history and unique operations of this repertory theatre company and the many facets of theatre production. Tickets are just $10. Book tickets in advance by calling 1-800-511-7429 or visit www.shawfest.com.
BUTTERFLY CONSERVATORY *
2405 Niagara River Parkway, Niagara Falls
In a tropical rainforest setting, explore an ingenious network of pathways among lush, exotic flora. Everywhere exquisite butterflies float in the warm, moist air and spread their iridescent wings on leaves and flowers. It’s magical.
There are a number of options in town:
Located on Old Stone Road in Virgil, Grape Escape Wine Tours offers fully guided bicycle tours as well a bike rentals. All rental rates include premium Fuji bicycles, helmets, handle bar bags. bottle cages and maps. Call in advance to reserve your full-day (or more) bike rental. 1-866-935-4445 or 905-468-9959 or 905-468-9969.
At 431 Mississauga Street, ZOOM Leisure offers quality service and bike rentals. All bikes are equipped with handle bar bags, bells, water bottle cages and kickstands. Helmets, locks and maps are included in the rental price. Selections include touring hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, bicycles for two or children’s bikes and trailer attachments. They’ll even deliver your bikes to our door so it’s here when you arrive. Call 905-468-2366 or 1-866-811-6993.
During the evening you will hear a score of ghostly accounts as well as be introduced to the history of Fort George and the surrounding area. Tours happen on Sunday evenings during May, June and September, then Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings in July and August. Visit online or call 905-468-6621.
HISTORICAL WALKS OF NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE
From mid-May through October, join an adventure back in time. Hear historical stories of pirates, merchant ships and the only two existing complete 1812 warships in the world, as well as the secrets of three nearby forts. Walks begin at 11 a.m. at the gazebo on Lake Ontario and include entrance to The Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum.
Meandering scenic trails along the Niagara Escarpment offer panoramic views of the Niagara region and beyond. Trail rides take approximately 45-50 minutes and are available year-round with winter rides when weather permits. Conveniently located within 15 minutes of Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Contact: Dinah McGibbon, Niagara Riding Stables
Address: 471 Warner Road, Niagara on the Lake, ON
IMAX THEATRE NIAGARA FALLS *
Experience The Falls inside. The IMAX Theatre Niagara Falls, home of one of the most spectacular IMAX adventures of all time, presents Legends and Daredevils.
HORNBLOWER NIAGARA CRUISES * 5920 River Road, Niagara Falls
Truth is, you’re going to get wet anyway, so what if it’s raining! This is as good a time as any to take the tour. They’ll even provide you with slickers and rubber boots to keep you as dry as possible as they transport you to the base of the Falls, but expect to get wet nonetheless. Boat tours to the base of Niagara Falls have entertained millions of visitors since 1846, making it the oldest and most-renowned tourist attraction in North America. Hornblower is the only company on the Canadian side of the Niagara River permitted to operate boat tours of The Falls. With its fleet of custom-designed, state-of-the-art tour boats and its variety of tour options, Hornblower breathes new life into an iconic Canadian sightseeing adventure. Hornblower’s custom-designed 700-passenger catamarans offer the best views possible of the three waterfalls (the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls) that make up “The Falls” and the greatest number of tour options ever offered to view them. This is one adventure you will never forget!
NIAGARA FALLS AVIARY *
5651 River Road, Niagara Falls
The Aviary is home to more than 300 tropical birds from around the world; some are free flying while others are observational exhibits. It’s well worth a visit.
NIAGARA FALLS HELICOPTER TOURS
National Helicopters, Niagara District Airport, Hwy #55,
Call: 905-641-2222 or 1-800-491-3117
Niagara Helicopters, Heliport in Niagara Falls, 3731 Victoria Street
Discover Niagara like never before! Take to the sky on a 20-minute flight in a helicopter. Fly over the majestic Niagara Falls, historical landmarks and Niagara’s renowned vineyards. For something really special, National Helicopters can arrange to drop you off at a vineyard for a tour and dinner following your helicopter ride. How cool is that!
NIAGARA’S FURY *
The Niagara Parks Commission’s Niagara’s Fury™ lets you experience the extreme, violent and beautiful birth of Niagara Falls in a way you’ve never dreamed possible. Inside the stunning new Table Rock located at the brink of the Falls, Niagara’s Fury™ begins with a captivating pre-show that tells the story of Niagara’s momentous creation. Then you enter an immersive environment to see and actually feel the sights, sounds and sensations of Niagara’s birth where you’re not just watching nature’s fury … you’re a part of it.
NIAGARA’S GIANT OBSERVATION SKYWHEEL *
At 175 feet tall (53 metres), the Niagara SkyWheel is a most exciting way to see Niagara Falls. This world-class ride features fully enclosed heated and air-conditioned gondolas, for year-round comfort and enjoyment. Operating from 9am to 1am daily, rides last 12-15 minutes.
SPA AT Q124 *
Located at 124 Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Sanctuary Day Spa offers a range of treatments including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, as well as a retail outlet featuring skin and body care products. Call 905-468-7404 or 1-855-487-8301 to book your spa service(s).
OUTLET MALL RETAIL THERAPY *
300 Taylor Road at the QEW, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Shop ’til you drop at 100 brand-name stores at The Outlet Collection in Niagara-on-the-Lake, conveniently located along the QEW at the Glendale Avenue exit. Brand names include Bench, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Gap, Izod, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Bass Pro and many more. And there’s plenty of parking for 2,300 vehicles. Call 1-866-284-5781.
SKYLON TOWER *
5200 Robinson Street, Niagara Falls
Take a ride up to the observation deck of the Skylon Tower for breathtaking views of Niagara Falls and the surrounding countryside. Call 905-356-2651.
THE SHAW FESTIVAL *
The stage is set for the upcoming season of the Shaw Festival. Inquire about their “under 30” program and discounts. Details are found at www.shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-SHAW.
WELLAND CANAL MUSEUM*
Government Road, St. Catharines
If you only have time for one canal stop, the Lock 3 Viewing Complex and Museum is where to go. The complex houses a tourist information and interpretive centre complete with ship schedules, the St. Catharines Historical Museum, the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a restaurant, picnic areas and free parking. Climb a special viewing platform where you can look down on the decks of gigantic ships as they manoeuvre through the locks with only inches to spare as they climb or descend “the highest water staircase” this side of China.
WHIRLPOOL JET BOAT TOURS *
Again, this is as good a time as any to take this moving adventure since you’re going to get wet anyway. Be sure to bring along a FULL change of clothing to change into after the ride — and we mean underwear and all. For those who don’t want to get wet, there’s a covered boat excursion as well. Save by buying your tickets online or call Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours at 905-468-4800.
WILLOWBANK HERITAGE ESTATE *
Throughout the year, hands-on workshops, seminars, lectures, historical walks and performances are featured at the Willowbank Heritage Estate in Queenston. For information on upcoming events, call 905-262-1239 or visit them online at www.willowbank.ca
GETTING AROUND NIAGARA
A car is A MUST when visiting the Niagara Region. For those who prefer not to drive, there is taxi and Uber service between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Taxi rate information is available at 905-358-3232. During the summer months, there is also a regular bus service from 11am to 5pm between Niagara Falls and the Fort George parking lot in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
If you do not wish to rent a car, there is daily year-round service via the GO system (train and bus service) between Toronto and St. Catharines or Niagara Falls. The taxi fare between Niagara Falls or St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake is about $35 CDN one way.
Also, visitors are able to travel round-trip between downtown Toronto and Niagara using the seasonal GO train service. (Group tickets are valid for two adults and three children or one adult and four children.) Your round-trip ticket includes GO train service to and from Niagara, with stops at Union, Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlington and St. Catharines stations, as well as a two-day access pass to WEGO, the hop-on, hop-off tourism bus system that travels throughout Niagara Parks, the City of Niagara Falls and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Weekend service will run from late June through Labour Day Weekend in September and over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October. Trains running on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays during the summer months feature three bike cars with room for 18 bikes on each. The new travel packages also help you enjoy the best of what Niagara Parks has to offer on your weekend getaway by offering discounted prices for both the Niagara Parks Adventure Pass and the WEGO Niagara-on-the-Lake shuttle service. For more information on pricing and schedules or to purchase your tickets online, visit www.niagaraparks.com/go.
While most shops, restaurants and theatres within Old Town are easily within a 20- to 30-minute walk from anywhere, regular shuttle service is available between Queen Street and the Community Centre, which is just a three-minute walk from Globetrotters Bed and Breakfast. This shuttle service also provides transportation between Niagara-on-the-Lake and The Niagara Outlet Collection.
In Niagara Falls, paid parking is available at the Falls parking lot, the Greenhouse and the Rapidsview parking lot. If you park at the latter, you can ride the free shuttle bus from the parking lot to the Falls and back. Information is available from WEGO.