Niagara Region is perfect for a weekend getaway. Get a taste of what this area is all about with these suggestions.
It’s sure to be one of your life’s most memorable trips! Whether you are travelling with family, friends or your newly betrothed there is much to do for everyone in Niagara.
DAY 1 – Day
- Start your day with a thrilling helicopter ride over the Falls with Niagara Helicopters.
- From the helicopter location just follow River Road, which will lead you into the main touring district of Niagara Falls. Less than a ten-minute drive away you’ll find the Whirlpool Aero Car, one of the Niagara Parks Commission’s many attractions. The aero car will take you above and across the turbulent waters of the Niagara River whirlpool. You’ll get an amazing view of the river from this vantage point.
- Continue along River Road until you reach the heart of Niagara Falls – here most of the attractions are easily accessible by foot. One of the highlights of seeing the Falls is to experience it from the Maid of the Mist boat which has been in operation for over 150 years, thrilling visitors from all over the world. Covered in the famed blue rain poncho you ride the boat as close as you can get and feel the mist of the falls on your face! After your boat ride, walk along the riverside walkway that will lead you to Table Rock. This is an ideal spot to view the Falls up close but from a different perspective! You’ll hear the thundering waters as they tumble far below and maybe even see a beautiful rainbow. At Table Rock you can also visit two exciting attractions: Niagara’s Fury, a family friendly, 4D, interactive experience which tells the birth of the Falls and Journey Behind the Falls, where you can walk down tunnels below and behind the Falls. If you have a sweet tooth, there is a candy store for kids of all ages! Lots of options to eat here also, but for a spectacular Falls view while eating lunch or dinner try the Elements on the Falls restaurant on site.
- Just steps away get a different view of the Falls and the city by taking a ride on the Niagara Skywheel in a climate controlled gondola. Nearby visit the IMAX Theatre and Daredevil Exhibit.
- Other suggestions that would be great for families is the world’s largest aviary, Bird Kingdom or Marineland.
Day 1 – Night
- One great free attraction is the nightly illumination of the Falls and in the summer months every Friday, Sunday and holidays as well as during the Winter Festival of Lights there are spectacular fireworks over the Falls.
- For more fun head up to Clifton Hill – this famous street is well known for family fun museums such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Guinness Museum of World Records, The Haunted House and much more. Many of the attractions are open into the night.
- Another great way to see the Falls either by day or night is by taking the “yellow bug” elevators up the Skylon Tower (775 feet/236m) to the indoor/outdoor observation deck – perhaps enjoy lunch or dinner here in the revolving restaurant. Niagara boasts a second tower 163 metres above the Falls – the Konica Minolta Tower Centre, which also has a restaurant on site.
- If you’re an avid golfer, then Niagara Region has some of the best fairways like Legends on the Niagara and Thundering Waters Golf Course and still many others nearby.
- For nightlife try your luck at Casino Niagara’s or Fallsview Casino Resort’s slot machines or gaming tables!
DAY 2 – Day
- Head out towards Niagara-on-the-Lake, only 38 km from Niagara Falls. Along the way be sure to stop at the Butterfly Conservatory where you’ll find more than 40 different species of butterflies moving through a lush climate controlled conservatory. Then continue on to the Botanical Gardens, where you can enjoy more than 2,300 varieties of roses, floral displays and gardens on the 99 acre site.
- As you approach Niagara-on-the-Lake, you will be driving past many Ontario wineries. There are more than 60 wineries in the Niagara region many of which you can stop at for a guided or self-guided visit and wine tasting. Some have excellent restaurants on site where you can enjoy some of the best regional cuisine made with fresh local ingredients. A great way to enjoy farm to table cuisine!
- For those looking for a learning vacation there are several cooking schools in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake offering a wide array of classes for beginners to experienced cooks. Classes range from a day to multi-day and many include learning how to pair wines and allow enough free time to continue to explore the region.
- For history buffs, you may wish to visit Fort George National Historic Park which was built by the British between 1796 and 1799 to replace Fort Niagara and is open April to November.
- As you enter Niagara-on-the-Lake the picturesque tree lined main street welcomes any visitor with its beautiful historic homes, and charming boutiques. Niagara-on-the-Lake’s tranquil atmosphere is sure to please, but if you want a little adventure try an exhilarating trip down the Niagara River to the gorge and through the rapids with Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a variety of accommodation from hundreds of quaint bed & breakfasts, boutique hotels, inns and grand historic hotels. Many of the hotels have an on site spa for those looking at a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway.
Day 2 – Night
- In the evening enjoy a sumptuous dinner at one of the winery restaurants before an evening performance the famed Shaw Festival which runs from April to November and features the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. The annual festival takes place in three historic theatres along the main street (of course matinee performances are available as well).
- Niagara-on-the-Lake has a rich heritage and the old town is itself one giant heritage site with many plaques and sites relating the period of the War of 1812. Take in the well preserved and maintained Georgian architecture during a romantic horse drawn carriage tour or a simply stroll through town.