Niagara: From Wonders to Wineries

Niagara Falls

Niagara is so much more than epic waterfalls.

In addition to its incomparable natural wonder, the Niagara region is home to tasty modern cuisine and award-winning vineyards, world-class entertainment and casinos, as well as outdoor, cultural, and historical experiences.

Whether it’s your first trip to Niagara, or your tenth, there’s always something new to explore. Check out our list of ‘must-do’ experiences in this nature-filled, cosmopolitan region. 

The Journey Behind the Falls

Niagara Falls

Feel the power behind the roar of the water as you approach the world-famous waterfalls, the mist you feel on your face as you gaze 50 metres above at a true natural wonder, and the sheer vibration of the falls that reverberates in your bones, has to be experienced to be believed.  

For a classic way to view the falls from below, take a boat cruise for an up-close and soggy view. Don your mist poncho, climb up to the observation deck of a Hornblower Catamaran, and take in that view as you tour the Great Gorge, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. As night falls, watch the falls light up in colour, on a special “Illumination Night Cruise.”

Take an exhilarating ride on the new MistRider Zipline to the Falls.  Be one of the first to experience this new attraction! It’s an amazing rush to soar high and fast toward the breathtaking Niagara Falls. On four parallel ziplines, travelling 670 metres through the wide river gorge, guests get picture-perfect views of the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls – an exclusive Niagara experience! This guided, gravity powered Element is an incredible, unforgettable flight.

If you enjoyed the view from the front of the falls, why not head behind them? On your Journey Behind the Falls, step into an elevator and descend 45 metres through bedrock to your destination below the rim of the gorge, right into the heart of Niagara Falls. A tunnel takes you behind a wall of water free-falling more than 13 storeys every second. It’s an experience that will leave you speechless. 

Niagara Helicopters Credit: Mike Reyno

After seeing it from the front and the back, what’s left? How about from above? Witnessing Niagara Falls than from the cockpit of a helicopter is an enthralling, unforgettable experience. Take off in a Niagara Helicopter and fly as close as possible to the thundering water on your personal tour. Don’t forget your camera!

The remarkable Skylon Tower allows you to take in the Falls and surrounding scenery from almost 240 metres above the action. Choose from the indoor and outdoor observation spaces or two separate dining rooms which all provide a fantastic look at the natural wonder and beyond, with views stretching for 128 kilometres.

 

Playing outside

Beyond the falls, the Niagara region is full of exciting outdoor adventures.

Practice your swing on Canada’s largest collection of golf courses. With 48 courses to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find one tailored to your taste. Not sure where to start? Tee off on the Niagara Golf Trail, a route bringing you around seven of the region’s top courses.

Soak up the sun on the South Coast region of Niagara and kick back on one of the eight beautiful, sandy beaches of Lake Erie. Port Colborne, named the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town in 2013, is the ultimate place to hook trout, salmon, walleye, and perch, or just relax with a line in the water.

Explore Niagara on two wheels, with hundreds of miles of cycling trails found in Niagara, from winding roads to challenging hills and everything in between. Take an easy cycle along the Welland Canals Parkway Trail, passing vineyards as you ride the Niagara River Recreation Trail, or take on sections of the lengthy Greater Niagara Circle Route — a popular destination for keen cyclists.

From biking to hiking! The Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, is a fan-favourite for hiking and nature walks. Head out on the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, to immerse yourself in nature at your own pace.

The White Water Walk is an incredible way to experience one of the world’s wildest stretches of whitewater. Walk along a boardwalk to take in the incredible Whirlpool Rapids swirling below, where the fast-moving water creates standing waves up to 20 metres high.

Inniskillin's Ice Wines can't be beat

Wining and dining Niagara

Discover wine cellars, sample vintages and discover the perfect pairings at over 80 vineyards in this wine-lover’s paradise. Of those, nearly 30 can be found in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area, named TripAdvisor’s #1 food and wine destination in Canada. The area is also home to the Icewine Festival, an annual two-week celebration of this quintessentially Canadian drink. Learn how the wine is created and pair fine drops with delicious local cuisine.

Niagara is a foodie’s heaven, full of great eats sourced from local ingredients. Whether you’re walking through town in search of a quick bite, celebrating at an upscale restaurant, or just want a bite to pair with your wine, there’s a plethora of culinary offerings for all taste buds.

No less than 14 restaurants in Niagara-On-The-Lake have combined to form Signature Kitchens, a culinary group celebrating the joys of local, artisanal, and seasonal cuisine. Drop by the Riverbed Inn for country cooking with views of local vineyards, have your pick of steak and seafood at the Cannery Restaurant, or try out the menu at the Epicurean’s dinner bistro.

For a meal with a view, score a seat almost on top of Horseshoe Falls at Elements on The Falls. Directly across from the natural wonder, indulge your senses with a meal from renowned chef Massimo Capra at the Rainbow Room. Alternatively, head to Windows by Jamie Kennedy, where farm-to-table cuisine can be enjoyed with a thirteenth-floor view of the falls.

Want fine dining at a great price? Head to Benchmark, where students of the Niagara College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute hone their skills, or slip on an apron and learn to cook your own fantastic meal at the Wine Country Cooking School.

 

Niagara-on-the-Lake Farmers' Market

Head to one of the many farmers markets scattered throughout the region and plan the perfect picnic from the best local produce, fruit, cheeses, and pastries.

 

Never a dull moment

Niagara locals are a lively bunch. From music to theatre, the region buzzes with performing arts all year round.  

Head to the Shaw Festival, a production company that creates a steady stream of high-quality musicals, dramas, and comedies. For an all-season mixture of theatre, dance, music, and comedy head to St. Catharine’s’ First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. Looking for light entertainment? Take in a comedy show at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, or dinner theatre at Oh Canada Eh?, a frothy musical focused on Canadian icons and stereotypes.

Shaw Festival Theatre Niagara

Spend a day discovering the history of the region. Step back in time at the Niagara Falls History Museum. Visit Fort George, the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army during the War of 1812. Watch soldiers in red coats fire muskets, or learn to fire one yourself. Follow Niagara’s South Coast Arts & Culture Route and jump from gallery, to studio, to museum.

Love to shop? Visit the Canada One Factory Outlets or the Outlet Collection at Niagara and bag yourself a bargain.

For an adult night out, Niagara has two world-class casinos, including the Niagara Fallsview Casino, the largest in Canada. Fancy a punt? Head to the Fort Erie Race Track and try your luck on the horses.

Want to feel like a kid again? Visit the wax museum, haunted houses, and arcades on the “Street of Fun,” in Clifton Hill.

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