20 Things To Do in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Historic and picturesque, Niagara on the Lake is bursting boutiques, galleries, cafes and wine bars. The charming town on the shores of Lake Ontario is easily one of Canada’s most beautiful towns. The historic hamlet’s heritage buildings are mostly 19th-century originals while the town itself was the first capital of Upper Canada (before Canada became the nation it is today).
Located on the shore of Lake Ontario, a 30-minute drive from Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake is perfect for visitors who prefer to stay away from the high-rise hotels and casinos. However, you’ll be surprised at the variety of things to do in Niagara on the Lake even though it’s quite a contrast to Niagara Falls.
Niagara on the Lake is a favourite weekend getaway for Torontonians, who are drawn to a romantic weekend in one of the charming Niagara on the Lake hotels, indulge in fine food and wine at the best Niagara on the Lake restaurants and fantastic Niagara wineries or to rejuvenate at a spa. Here are the best things to do in Niagara on the Lake for a fabulous getaway.
Concerts at Jackson Triggs Winery return again this year, the line-up is sure to be exciting! Tickets go on sale this Spring – check with their website for the exact dates.
Niagara Craft Shows takes place in the spring. With over 17,000 square feet of some of Canada’s best Artisans, Crafters and Gourmet Food Creators you are sure to find something to take home!
The weekly Wednesday night Supper Market returns from May to September. It is always guaranteed to be a fun evening with numerous food vendors, music, wine & beer. Also at the same location is the Market at the Village on Saturday mornings starting in May to June.
The Shaw Guild Garden Tour Eight gardens are selected. A VIP experience will be held on the first evening, with an intimate evening strolling through enchanting gardens accompanied by live music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine. Reduced early bird tickets will go one sale.
The Annual NOTL Horticultural Society Garden Tour will take place in July. Always a beautiful event!
Monday to Friday,
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Grapescape Wine Tours
Crush on Niagara Tours
20 THINGS TO DO IN NIAGARA ON THE LAKE
As Niagara on the Lake is only a half-hour drive from the world-famous waterfall, you can’t go to Niagara without seeing this famous Canadian landmark at least once.
Although there many things to do in Niagara Falls and a multitude of ways to see and experience the Falls, just getting up close to feel the power of this gushing body of water is an incredible experience.
Niagara Falls straddles the border of the USA and Canada.
Canada’s Horseshoe Falls is the most impressive, with six million cubic feet of water flowing over every minute.
HOW TO VISIT NIAGARA FALLS FROM NIAGARA ON THE LAKE
If you prefer not to drive, you can take the shuttle between Fort George and the Floral Clock (CAD$14 CAD both ways) in Niagara Falls and connect with the WEGO bus to get to most Niagara Falls attractions (a 24-hour pass costs $9 CAD). A memorable way to visit Niagara Falls from Niagara on the Lake is to take an exciting 30-minute flight in a fixed-wing aircraft for a bird’s-eye view over the region and Bridal Veil Falls on the American side as well as the stunning Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian Side.
2- TASTE ICEWINE IN THE 10BELOW ICEWINE LOUNGE
The Niagara region is famous for its icewine, which is a sweet wine that originated from Germany and Austria.
Icewine is made from grapes that are left on the vine through winter and handpicked when frozen at -8C.
These frozen grapes are quickly picked and pressed so that the juice made is very high in sugar, which is then made into wine, which is luscious and sweet.
Many of the region’s wineries produce excellent icewine, however, an experience you won’t forget is rugging up in an Arctic down jacket for a tasting experience in the 10Below Icewine Lounge at Peller Estate.
Peller Estate is a European-style château with a large and busy tasting room.
The Andrew Peller Signature Series Oak Aged Vidal Icewine 2017 by Pellar Estates won a gold medal at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Other wineries that produce excellent icewine are Inniskillin, Ice House Winery and Pillitteri Estates Winery.
Experience the 10Below Icewine Lounge on the Greatest Winery Tour ($35).
3- SIP WINE IN THE VINEYARDS
Lake Ontario is cooling in summer and warming in winter, making it a good place for vineyards to thrive.
The climate in Niagara on the Lake is perfect for growing red grapes but the region also produces excellent white varietals as well.
Warm days and cool nights create an environment where the wines have a balance of ripe fruit and acidity.
There are 37 wineries and 27 restaurants in Niagara on the Lake.
Many offer winery tours all year round, including Canada’s oldest winery, Inniskillin Wines.
Inniskillin’s 1989 Vidal Icewine put Canada on the winemaking map when it won the prestigious Grand Prix d’Honneur at Vinexpo in France bac in 1991 and has since won many more international awards.
Relax at Two Sisters vineyards (pictured above) with a glass of Cabernet Franc, a rich Cabernet Sauvignon or a fruity Merlot.
4- GO SHOPPING ON QUEEN STREET
Niagara on the Lake’s main shopping street is Queen Street, which is packed with gift shops and boutiques selling a range of shoes, clothes and accessories.
There are bakeries, cafes, ice cream and candy shops such as the Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe, which specializes in nostalgic candy that will take you back to your youth and stocks brands that you might be surprised to find.
For local flavor, Kurtz Culinary Creations is a shop owned by local third-generation orchard farmers.
5- STEP BACK IN TIME AT THE APOTHECARY
While exploring Queen Street, visit the Niagara Apothecary, which is a museum that retains the atmosphere of an 1869 pharmacy.
Its walnut cabinets and shelves displaying porcelain jars of tonics and drugs is a portal to the past.