Things To Do In Niagara-on-the-lake
Niagara–on-the-lake is a quiet little town located along the southern part of Ontario and within the vicinity of the mighty Niagara River around the Youngstown New York area. It is acknowledged as the official wine country with exquisite and affordable wines to offer. The road to the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-lake is a very interesting journey, along the way you can easily reach several intermediate cities and vine-growing areas where you can visit the factories and taste wines with the support of experts. The wine tours along the beautiful vineyards situated on the banks of the lake are well organized and informative. Niagara-on-the-lake is a wonderful ride starting from the; Niagara Parks Garden, the Whirlpool area, the dam, and obviously, the famous Niagara Falls. It is the largest waterfalls in North America and serves as the landmark border between USA and Canada.
When To Go:
The best time to visit is during the peak season months from June to August. These summer months have average highs that can go from 70s to 80s. The fogs and breezes produced by the nearby Niagara Falls can make the area less humid and feel colder despite the sunny days in Niagara–on-the-lake. Hotels and tour packages are a bit costly, but the agreeable weather is the ideal way to enjoy all the major attractions of this border town in Canada.
The spring and fall season months (September to November) have fewer vacationers and the temperature is characterized with colder climates. What's more, come December until January, you need to wear thick clothes for the winter season, which may last all the way from March until May. Around the cold winter season the falls are often solidified and most major attractions close down. Avoid going on tour during the low season, however, the cold atmosphere does drive down lodging rates and flight deals.
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Here are the attractions and top things to do in the town of Niagara-on-the-lake…
Niagara Parks Garden Trail
It is a beautiful cycle path from Niagara On the Lake and Niagara Falls along the river. The Niagara Parks Garden Trail is all flat, making it suitable for children and beginners. Along the way you can see the dam on the river and the famous Whirlpool. It is about 20 km long. The Niagara Parks and Garden Trail are in a prime and organized location, clean and suitable for recreation, sightseeing, and picnic. You can ride around the lake, visit the wine cellar and try the wine tasting while contemplating the beautiful nature. Summer there is something that is almost indescribable, the streets are calm, very flowery, and tourists are everywhere. If you are in Niagara, set aside a day to visit this beautiful place. The architecture of the buildings is beautiful, besides the wonderful view or a chance to swim the Lake Ontario. This place is divine!
This park is worth stopping by, especially at the time of passage between the seasons when the trees are changing their colors. It has large gardens up to the edge of Lake Ontario. A sincerely immense beauty, the small town was once voted as one of the best cities to spend holidays and seasons in Canada. It is especially beautiful in the fall and early winter, where the yellow leaves form a carpet on the lawns. It is a park that leads to the Niagara and Canadian side of the falls. Numerous tour buses and guests go there to witness the beauty of the place.
Fort George National Historic Site of Canada
If you want to understand Canada's independence, a visit to the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada is a must. At first, it looks a bit sparse, because the system is so expansive, but the picket fence is very impressive and the cannon embankments also. You can visit a number of houses that are still designed like how they look during the 18th century. The buildings are different from typical modern houses there now; it uses an unusual amount of wood back then. When it comes to historical value, it is worthwhile to look at this place, because it is here where one of the foundations for today's Independence (state) in Canada by the United States was first established.
The parking ticket serves as an admission ticket at the Fort for the whole day. From the Fort, it is not too far to walk into town. The fort itself attracts tourists with a re-enactment of war where you can see soldiers in original uniforms engaged in a musketry firing exercise. For the traditional side, you can see women in traditional clothing, making cookies in the kitchen and telling how life used to be in the Fort back then. Not to be missed is the vivid presentation of the War of 1812 with the United States.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
If you want to experience the most thrilling ride while exploring the Niagara-on-the-lake, try the adventure offered by the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. You must arrive 45 minutes before the tour, it may be much, but it is requested as a precaution for possible latecomers. Some precautions before departure are given by the staff, and then you are provided with accessories like; a poncho, life jacket, and water sandals. The crew is very nice and gives some explanation before getting into the thick of things on the coast and the beginning of the action in the rapids. You can pass several times through the rapids, water walls falling or cascading down on the boat handled by a professional skipper at the back, and the experience of being rocked, flooded, and soaked by the cool waters are just a few of the highlights of this tour. The ride is great, very restless, but brilliant! It is the most adrenaline pumping adventure and exciting things to do if you're in Niagara -on-the-lake.
The boat ride on the Niagara River is everything the tour company promised; information about the area, adrenaline rush, speed, and large baths! Most of the guests say they only felt the cold water in the final minutes of the lap. The cold feeling can be solved with the change of clothes (the organizers will require that you bring a full set of dry clothes, which is absolutely necessary), a glass of wine and a good meal in a nice restaurant a few blocks away. To relax your thrilled senses, take a walk in the small and peaceful Niagara on the Lake. It is a not to be missed adventure for those who enjoy water sports!
Niagara Apothecary Museum
The Niagara Apothecary Museum is an old pharmacy museum that is kept and presented exceptionally well. Admission is free and if you want to take pictures, you have to leave a donation. The exquisite lady who welcomes every guest is of Italian origin and the one who outlined the history of the pharmacy.
The shelves have exposed containers of medicines and herbs. It also has a thorough photographic documentation accompanied with captions telling the story of the pharmacy. Inside the museum you can buy natural made soap and body creams. This is also a small shop, the first distributor of commercial goods in Niagara-on-the-Lake and definitely worth the detour.
Shaw Festival Theater
The Shaw Festival takes place during the summer season in the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is an annual cultural program attended by Canadians and guests from other countries. It is held every year in honor of George Bernard Shaw from April to October.
If you're in Niagara-on-the-Lake, do not lose the opportunity to visit the complex and watch a beautiful play in the Shaw Festival Theater. There are many locals who attend here, and it is a good way to know the habits and culture of the residents regarding playwright and performance arts.
Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum
The Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum is a landmark attraction in Niagara-on-the-Lake that opens the door on Canadian history since the nineteenth century; its culture and its policies. This interactive tour is a must for anyone visiting the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, a page in history that must be preserved for the next generation.
It is fun to discover this restored home where you can see different original wooden presses, printed materials, (the printer is still working) and its evolution and at the same time knowing the history of William L. Mackenzie.
Niagara Vintage Wine Tours
The bilingual guides of the Niagara Vintage Wine Tours make the winery tour and experience most enjoyable. Each visit is unique, and every winery has its different features. It's a well organized tour where the meal and drinks are excellent. The tour covers at least three vineyards and it is highly recommended to anyone who wants to know a unique experience of discovering the wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Konzelmann Estate Winery
At the Konzelmann Estate Winery, you can visit the wine production process, the fields where the vines are grown, and taste a selection of wines. The highlight is the ice wine produced there. It is very sweet and light. It also has a shop with various items to take legal gift (wine bottles cost around $15). For wine lovers, this place is a paradise and it is well worth doing the tour.
It is quite interesting to know the whole process. The Ice Wine is wonderful and the service is great. The tasting glasses are filled enough for visitors to taste the product properly. The wines are excellent, the information is interesting without going into too much detail, and all the staffs are friendly and accommodating. In clear weather, you will love the view of the lake and the vineyards while enjoying a glass of wine.
Grape Escape Wine Tours
A visit to the wine estate factories with the guides from the Grape Escape Wine Tours is of incomparable quality. The amusing guide has a gold mine of information about the wine on the Niagara region and its producers. Once you get off the bus, the guide explains the process of growing grapes and give more information about Ontario and Niagara-on-the-lake.
You will be treated to a wine tasting, cheese and charcuterie with explanations inside the facilities. The second wine tour stop is at the Pilliteri vineyard where you can visit the facilities and observe how the wines are made. The third stop is at Stonechurch, a crowd favorite and where every guest is given a warm welcome and needless to say, another wine tasting.
Peller Estates Winery
The Peller Estates Winery is one of the great places to start a tour of the vineyards in Niagara-on-the-lake. The estate is also overlooking the cherry trees (the cherries here are delicious) nurtured and grown in this vicinity. The opportunity to visit the vineyard with 4 wine tastings is included in the tour or you can go directly to the shop where you can also taste wine at $7 for 3 glasses.
If you want to buy a few bottles, it is returned at $7 per bottle purchased. Wine selling is not allowed for anyone under 19 years old. It is advisable to test the famous Ice wine, rosé or appetizers, pizza and delicious desserts in the restaurant. The visit, accompanied by wine tastings and tour is nice and gives excellent information. The place is cool and the shop offers a wide range of local products, and on weekends it becomes a great barbecue place. On clear skies, you can enjoy the terrace and watch the sunset. The tasting bar here has a good quality / price ratio. Make sure you visit this winery while in Niagara-on-the-lake.
Chateau Des Charmes
The Chateau Des Charmes is a winery in Niagara-on-the-lake with French guided tours. Learn and see how wine is made up to the marketing of products and everything is explained in French and English that is much appreciated by tourists. The place is beautiful and the tasting of their products and their shop is quite advisable to make a stop. It is a favorite wedding events place and other gatherings for a special feast. The skilled guides are available to animate the presentation and make every guest feel welcome and know more about wines.
A visit to the neat cellars and shops is included in the package. You will enjoy the tour of all the facilities followed by wine tasting. While wine tasting is included in the tour, access to a tasting of the much finer products is accessible to a very modest price after the visit. This allows you to stop your choice on the many wines available at the store. You can choose from their Riesling Late vintage 2007 or the White Viognier. They also have a good selection of red and white wines and a magnificent terrace for reception. The vineyard is beautiful and the only downside is they do not offer meal services.
Zoom Leisure Bikes
The Zoom Leisure Bikes is a good and safe choice for visiting the vineyards. You can tour the wineries with more mobility and taste several products at the same time. Bike rental is a good option to go from one wine estate to another. It is best to rent the bike for a whole day so you will not be too rushed and enjoy each visit to the row of wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
What's nice is that you can bring the bike even after closing time. The price includes a padlock, a map, and a basket on the front to put all your stuff. You can do it as a family and plan a picnic at the lake area after the wine tour. A guide will accompany you if you’re not that familiar with the route.
National Helicopters - Niagara Falls Heli-Tours
The National Helicopters - Niagara Falls Heli-Tours lasts for 20 minutes. If you like a thrilling and more adventurous way to observe the Niagara Falls, book a tour with the Heli-Tours. The pilot flies over the falls up to the large curve where you can get a good spot to see the entire waterfall from the air. The pilot is well experienced and makes sure that the 20 minute ride over the falls is safe and truly worth the ride. The only drawback is that there are six people in the helicopter trying to cram. There's always one over there in the middle that sometimes cannot see much. Make sure you will not be placed in the center. The briefing video is informative and the crew is very friendly and helpful.
The views are spectacular and it’s the best way to take pictures of the falls on a wide angle view! You can choose the option of having just the commentary or listening in on all the radio chatter. The aerial view of the famous falls is a bit pricey, but it's definitely worth it!
Planning a great vacation in the Niagara-on-the-Lake is not hard to accomplish. The town will not disappoint you with its little surprises along the way. There is a huge number of wine estates to explore, thrilling activities to try, historic sites to discover, a chance to taste the best wine and food of the region, and a host of family fun adventures that will make your stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake truly memorable and worth coming back to.
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