This week my mother, grandmother, and I went on a little road trip down to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. We have family that live in Niagara-on-the-Lake so we decided just a couple of weeks ago to go down for a short visit.
The last time I had been to Niagara-on-the-Lake was in 2006 when I was eleven, the summer before I started middle school. My brothers, Dad, and I had gone to summer camp in Muskoka, so we met up with my mom after for a visit with our family in Niagara for a few days. Being only eleven, my experience was bit different than than trip I just had. In 2006 we had gone out on boats in the lake, visited Niagara Falls, and visiting a Hershey store for the first time was in my memory. However this time, I took note of ALLLLL the vineyards located in the Niagara region, and how beautiful the town is.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is located about two hours south of Toronto, and is an extremely popular summer destination. The town has a population of about 18 000, and is just filled with visitors during the summer.
Here are my recommendations on what to do while visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Take a stroll downtown
First of all, go straight down town. The heart of the town is so beautiful. There are so many cute shops, FLOWERS galore, restaurants and so much more on the main street. Surrounding the main street is the historic district, where you will find homes dating from 1825 that have been restored into cottages or inns.
Admire all the FLOWERS
The climate in Niagara is incredible, it honestly feels like you are in Florida, each day was between 26-30 degrees plus humidity. One of the many benefits of the heat is that flowers grow grow grow, like nothing I have ever seen before. My mom kept making comments about how if she tried to grow flowers like the ones in Niagara-on-the-Lake the deer would simply eat them all.
Shops Shops Shops
We went shopping twice during our stay. There was a good variety of shops, ranging from clothing to kitchen products, there is even a Scottish Shop (which obviously I was quite excited about).
I only picked up a few things: a bottle of wine, earrings and a dress.
Wine wine wine
Brace yourself wine lovers – there are 88 vineyards in the Niagara region. I don’t know how you can possibly visit them all!!!! We just visited one vineyard (I will make a post about that experience next) but you can definitely tell in the town that they are proud of all their vineyards. There are various wine shops throughout the town!
Alongside the crazy number of vineyards there are countless cafes and restaurants in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Again, I don’t know how one would ever get to try them all. We checked out a few while we were there like: The Old Winery, and The Epicurean. Which were all excellent. Next time I would definitely research more about the restaurants in advance and make reservations before coming.
Enjoy the Waterfront
The town is situation on Lake Ontario looking over right at the United States, on a clear day you can even see the CN Tower across the lake. One morning I went for a run around 7:30 around the town and at that hour the lake was so calm (before the rush of tourists arrived). My mom, grandmother and I also had a picnic one evening down at Queens Park looking out to Lake Ontario. We sat out in the sun and watched people swim and sail out in the lake. It’s not the Bay of Fundy, but Lake Ontario was still beautiful.
Check out the Look Out
Who doesn’t appreciate a great view?? Just outside of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Queenstown is an incredible. FUN FACT it is the original location of Niagara Falls, however, over 10 000 years plate tectonics shifted the falls to their current location in Niagara city.
Visit at least one of the Historical Sites
Being a historian and museum employee visiting historical sites, museums and art galleries are always hight on my to do list when travelling. In this case, have you heard of the War of 1812??? Chances are if you are Canadian, American, or British you have. A bulk of the battles all happened in the Niagara region in Southern Ontario or known as Lower Canada back in the 19th century before Canada officially became Canada. I went to visit the Sir Isaac Brock memorial and Fort George.
It was just so lovely to get away from home for a few days, I spent so much time travelling to new places last year, that it’s really great to re-visit places right here in Canada. Plus it was so wonderful to get to spend time with family that I haven’t seen in a few years.
P.S. If you like the white dress I am wearing make sure you check out a previous post I wrote about it here.