While in Canada, and so close to the US border, we decided to visit Niagara Falls! We first looked into staying directly near the falls. However, we decided to be a little farther from the hustle and bustle of tourists and looked into nearby towns. During this mini trip, we were able to sight-see and do some wine tasting!
Where to stay:
- Niagara on the Lake: While this location is a little outside of the Niagara Falls attraction, it is less touristy and more of a town, with still plenty to do! We recommend a day trip to the falls, of course, but take advantage of this quaint shopping town near the lake.
- There are many B&Bs in town and larger hotels on the outskirts.
- It is about a 40 minute drive to the falls.
Where to eat:
- Backhouse – Here, we had a delicious, eclectic dinner. The food is always fresh, brought in directly from their farm down the road. Most of the restaurant’s employees also work at the farm, so they get to see the produce through the entire process and are therefore quite knowledgeable on the menu. Along with an a la carte menu, there are a few tasting menus to choose from, allowing for any dietary requests.
- Trius – This is a wine tasting room that also has a restaurant. The wine was decent, but the food and service were great. We even got to play a game with our wine during dinner. They brought us out a wine pairing for each course (appetizer, entree, and dessert) and we had to guess the grape varietal and alcohol content for points!
What to do:
- Wine Tasting! I had no idea there were so many vineyards near Niagara. There was a whole wine country! They specialize in ice wines, but you can find some wonderful chardonnays and pinots as well. There are a lot of wineries down the street from Niagara on the Lake (even in walking distance), but our favorites were about a 40 minute drive, near Lincoln, ON; we really liked Hidden Bench Estate and Tawse Winery.
- Have a picnic at the nearby lake’s park: there is a lot of greenery, picnic tables, public restrooms and a small beach for kids to play on.
- Niagara Falls:
- Walk across the bridge into the USA to get a different perspective of the falls.
*1 dollar toll on the Canadian side to walk the bridge (US or Canadian currency)*
- Take a voyage on the Maid of the Mist. You can catch this from the US side. There are no reservations required (but be prepared to wait in line), and you get an up close and personal view of the falls! They give you a poncho, BUT you will get wet. Bring a GoPro if you have one.
- Get a WeGo bus pass. Especially during the hot summer months, it is nice to have a break from walking in the heat. It will even take you to other adventure parks and cheaper parking areas. There are a few stands set up around town where you can purchase these.
- Check out the small town nearby for a nice break from the crowds at a cafe. It is only a 20 minute walk past the bridge or a 5 minute bus ride.