If you’ve never been to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, you may be thinking 48 hours can’t possibly be enough time! I’m here to tell you, it is! Depending on how much of the touristy things you want to do, even one full day can be enough time. But if you’re into wineries, give yourself at least one more day to explore Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Must See Attractions
In my opinion there are 3 attractions you absolutely must do when visiting Niagara Falls. The first is taking a ride on the Hornblower Cruise. The first boat leaves at 8:30 am every morning, it’s also the only time when the boat isn’t jam packed. If you go at any other time, be prepared to wait in line and to be packed on the boat like sardines. Disclaimer: be prepared to get wet!!! They give you a poncho which helps for the most part but once you get so close to the Horseshoe Falls, your arms, face and hair will get pretty wet.
The second is to get even closer to the Falls by experiencing the Journey Behind the Falls. You take an elevator down 125 feet and come out to an observation deck directly next to the Horseshoe Falls. Again, you’re probably going to get wet. Another poncho is provided, but with the Journey Behind the Falls, you’re walking and seeing everything at you own pace. So if you don’t want to get too close, you don’t have to. But what’s the fun in that?!
After visiting the observation deck, you travel behind the water falls to two viewing portals where you can see, hear and feel the vibration of the roaring falls. Throughout the tunnel there are tons of information signs giving you a background and education of the falls, the erosion plan and other significant events involving the Niagara Falls. The experience of standing at the heart of the falls is simply breathtaking.
The third thing you have to do is visit the Skylon Tower. If you opt to have dinner at the Revolving Dining Room Restaurant 775 feet above the Falls, you get access to the observation deck for free. This is totally worth it! I have to say, our dinner at the Skylon Revolving Dining Room Restaurant was the best meal we had on the trip. The observation deck allows you to walk around to view 360 degree views of Niagara Falls. Visibility from the observation deck on a clear day is 80 miles.
Now, onto what I was most excited about, Niagara-on-the-Lake! There are over 90 wineries in NOTL. How do you choose which ones to visit? What I did was look for specific types of wines I wanted to try and narrowed it down to a handful to visit. Ice Wine is what many people flock to, mostly because this is one of the only places where Ice Wine is made in North America. Ice Wine is made from frozen grapes. It takes one grape to produce one drop of wine. Because it takes so much to make, it is not cheap. This is where the fun of wine tasking comes in. I wanted to stop at wineries that were known for their Ice Wine so we stopped at Trius Winery and Pellar Estates.
Pellar Estates has the best wine tour in all of NOTL! They are the only winery in NOTL that has a 10Below Lounge where you’re provided a parka and enjoy one of their finest Ice Wines. Since it’s basically an igloo, eventually the ice will melt and will need to be remade. A new design is created every couple of years and we were lucky enough to be one of the first tour groups visiting the new lounge. The builders who make the lounge, are the same builders who make the Ice Hotel in Quebec City. The tour itself is pricey but we received a buy one get one free coupon and free tastings from our hotel, so make sure to ask you hotels concierge for coupons.
We also ate and drank at Wayne Gretzky Estates. Pretty much just because it’s Wayne Gretzky’s.
Wine not your thing? Don’t worry, there are several breweries and distilleries to check out as well. Including Wayne Gretzky’s Estate which is also a distillery.
Some of the wineries and distilleries also have restaurants, but there is also a cute downtown area filled with shops and more restaurants to check out.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my favorite things to do in Niagara Falls. Niagara is about an 8 hour drive from Chicago, so grab your passport and plan a road trip! Have you been to Niagara Falls? What was you favorite thing to do? Tell me below or let me know on Instagram @katiemorleystyle!