6 options for a great Niagara Region getaway
By Natalie & Phil Friday, November 6, 2015
When we think of Niagara, the first thing that comes to mind is Niagara Falls. And you should definitely visit them at least once in your life – they may not officially be a world wonder, but they are pretty wonderful!. But Niagara region is so much more! From the Niagara Falls area, to Niagara on the Lake, the region runs the gamut from fun and tacky, to awe-inspiring to lush and gorgeous, to mouth-watering!
The Falls are as spectacular as they are made out to be. But as amazing as they are from land, you can’t really feel the size and power unless you are a bit closer…and wetter! Take a “Voyage to the Falls” Boat Tour with Hornblower, or ride a Jet Boat on the Niagara River or check out Niagara Parks’ Journey Behind the Falls and White Water Walk…trust me…you’ll appreciate the rain ponchos! Want to stay a bit dryer? Marvel at the Falls on the Niagara Skywheel, or an Aero Car suspended high over the Whirlpool or take a helicopter to get a bird’s eye view
After spending some time at the Falls, the animal lovers among you might want to see the furry and feathered friends in the area. Go on safari right in Ontario at Safari Niagara’s 150 acre interactive nature park. Or let one of the 2000 free flying butterflies land on your shoulder at a Butterfly Conservatory. If feathers are your thing, Bird Kingdom has spectacular tropical birds flying freely around you as well as bat feedings. And don’t forget about Marineland too!
With Niagara Falls nearby, water is always top of mind. And the waterparks in the area let you play and frolic and sometimes scream with excitement in gallons and gallons of the wet stuff. Waves Indoor Waterpark, Bissells Hideaway Waterpark, Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, Great Wolf Lodge and just across the border, Darien Lake, are all known for their incredible waterparks and slides. Some are only available to the hotel guests while others offer day passes, so check each before planning your visit. Some have just indoor facilities, other just outdoor and others have both, so even if you visit in winter or inclement weather, don’t count the waterpark option out!
Niagara Falls Attractions
Niagara Falls has built an entire industry around keeping people busy after they have finished seeing the Falls. With attractions like the House of Frankenstein, Louis Tussaud’s & the Rock Legends Wax Museums, Ghost Blasters Dark Ride, the Great Canadian Midway and the Guinness Book of World Records, among many others, you can stay busy for days. Don’t forget that Niagara Falls is also the home of 2 Casinos, as well as live horseracing so if you are visiting with adults only, make sure to investigate those – the casinos have world class live entertainment.
Niagara on the Lake
Just a short drive from Niagara Falls is the beautiful, quaint and charming town of Niagara on the Lake, home of the world famous Shaw Festival. People come from around the world for the quality plays put on by the second largest repertory theatre company in North America and stay because this 19th-century village is known as one of the prettiest towns in Ontario. The hotels, inns, spas and restaurants are all big city quality with small town charm. Because of the surrounding farmland and wine region, it is also a wonderful place to rent a bike and explore on two wheels.
Ontario’s Niagara wine region has been winning international awards for several years now and the level of quality goes up every year. With new wineries, new methods, new varietals and talented wine makers flocking to the area, Niagara wines are worth a taste. Icewine is a must-try and was one of the first to put this region on the map, but it is no longer alone at the top. Book a wine tour or take a driver and hop from place to place. In some cases, you can find a dozen wineries all along one road. Most offer tours and tastings and many have restaurants on site with wine pairings to complement the outstanding menus.
Niagara region is multi-faceted and offers things to do for all ages and interests. Close enough to Toronto and some of Southwestern Ontario to go for the day, Niagara also makes a wonderful weekend or overnight getaway