Niagara: The Land of Waterfalls and VineyardsAugust 22nd, 2012 by GuestBlogger
One of the most famous Canadian landmarks is Niagara Falls. We often brag about our falls being bigger than the USA side, take boat rides under it, and make a pilgrimage of sorts there when vacationing in Toronto or nearby Ontario towns. It’s a truly magnificent sight and well-deserving of a visit, but there’s more to attract a vacationer than just the waterfalls. The surrounding area has a lot to offer too! Guest blogger Taylor Anderson shares with us some of the other amazing things you can experience in Niagara year round:
Scenic landscapes are very easy to find in the Niagara area. You can hike along the river for views that most tourists won’t get, or go further away from the falls and explore Niagara-on-the-Lake, Queenston Heights, and hundreds of kilometres of trails in nearby parks. Just obey the signs and remember to bring plenty of provisions, as some parks are more rural than others and you won’t be able to easily get refreshments while you walk.
For those who want a scenic view without a long hike, Niagara Glenn is a good choice, as the walking trail is just four kilometres long when you enter at Totem Pole park and follow the U-shaped trail around and back to your car.
Wines and Grapes
Vineyards with adorable bed and breakfasts abound in the area, and you’ll find yourself drawn to the many stunning properties with grape vines as far as the eye can see. You can visit the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and take a wine tour that starts downtown, and you’ll get to visit three to five wineries in the area and sample a few wines at each destination. Some tours are walking tours, while others will transport you by bus or bike.
If you’re in the Niagara area in September, January, or June, you can indulge in one of the wine festivals that take place at that time – ice wine, new vintage, or all wines. You’ll get even more of the full “wine and dine” experience at a festival than you would with a tour.
The town of Niagara Falls itself offers a surprising number of animal-related attractions. You can start at the Butterfly Conservatory, located by the botanical gardens and open all year. This conservatory is relatively inexpensive and houses thousands of butterflies from tropical and temperate climates. When you see a Blue Morpho butterfly in real life, it will be worth the trip.
Closer to the downtown area, you can also visit Bird Kingdom, a fun-filled attraction with more than just birds. There’s a gigantic free-flying aviary with hundreds of birds from lorikeets (who will eat and drink from your hand while people take pictures of the experience) to scarlet macaws. You can hold reptiles like a giant snake or crocodile and get another photo op there, or walk around the indoor paradise of birds and enjoy the many tropical species you will find.
Summer isn’t the only season in Niagara Falls. If you visit during the winter, you’ll find festivals that most tourists won’t get to see, especially the Winter Festival of Lights. This is a stunning production put on by the city and comes with fireworks, millions of lights, displays, and family fun.
Other ways you can have fun in winter include visiting the casino, dinner theatre, or the Skywheel which will offer you a Ferris-wheel-like view of the Falls with comfortably heated pods. There’s no limit to what you can do in the Niagara area, no matter what season it is when you visit.
The Niagara area is a truly must-see destination for any traveller looking for unforgettable views, picturesque landscapes, and lots to keep you entertained. Any time of year will satisfy in some way!
Looking for more information on accommodations or activities in Niagara? Contact one of our travel consultants at 1-877-967-5302 or find your closest store.
Taylor Anderson is a part of a network of bloggers writing about travel on behalf of companies such as American Express. Aeroplan cards from American Express offer travellers a number of benefits and rewards.