During your visit to Toronto it’s worth the trip Niagara Falls just to see these majestic falls – which ranks as one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the world. Although they are not the world’s highest falls, they have the highest rated flow rate with more than a million cubic feet of water thundering over these majestic falls every minute.
We refer to them collectively as Niagara Falls, but there are actually three separate waterfalls; the Horseshoe, the American and the Bridal Veil Falls which spans the Canada and US border. Most of Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side while the American Falls is entirely on the American side separated by Goat Island. The smallest, Bridal Veil Falls, is also located on the American side. The Falls, however, are best viewed from Canadian side. If you can be sure to stick around to see the Falls illuminated at night.
What to do in Niagara Falls – You have the option of doing the Journey Behind the Falls (Adult $15.95) of the powerful Horseshoe Falls. Or you don rain gear and take a cruise on the Hornblower Niagara Cruises (Adult $19.75) where you will get wet from the mist as the boat approaches near the base of the Falls. Last September we took the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour (Adult $61.00) which leaves from Niagara-on-the-Lake and takes you for an unforgettable exciting ride up the Niagara River for a spin in the class five Whirlpool Rapids. It was so much fun and we got very wet! If you don’t want to get drenched you also have the option of selecting a covered Jet Dome boat so that you can stay dry. The photo is courtesy of Niagara Whirpool Jet Boat Tours
If you don’t want to get completely soaked by doing the Whirlpool Jet Boat ride you can get a good view of the Niagara Whirlpool by taking the AeroCar ($13.50) for a view over the turbulent rapids. There is also a lovely bicycle trail along the Niagara River which passes near the forty foot Floral Clock, the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory and the home of the famous heroine Laura Secord who in 1812 warned the British soldiers of the impending attack by the Americans. If you want to do a private vow renewal or romantic engagement then you might want to stop at the Living Water Wayside Chapel, but be aware that there is only room for a few people.
Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) is located 25 minutes from Niagara Falls by taking the scenic Niagara Parkway. Make sure you leave some time for strolling around downtown NOTL which is known as the prettiest little town in Canada. Be sure to stop at the chocolate factory and lunch at one of the many patios in town. We enjoy picking up a picnic lunch and finding a table in the park along the waterfront away from all the hustle and bustle. We were even joined by a local fox looking for some food from unsuspecting picnickers.
While in Niagara Falls we got to experience dinner at the Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse. Gaucho waiters dress in tradition outfits which include black loose fitting pants belted with a sash and gathered at the ankles, called bombachas, with tall leather boots, a woolen poncho worn with a colourful scarf and a flat brimmed hat. The meat is cooked using a century old tradition of Gaucho style cooking over open flames which is typical of cattle farmers from southern of Brazil. The meat is slow grilled and then presented on large skewers for carving by the Gauchos. The accompanying buffet included an impressive selection of grilled vegetables and authentic Brazilian fare such as polenta and fried bananas. We thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and would highly recommend the Brasa in Niagara Falls.Tip: Be sure to try the grilled pineapple. Reservations recommended.
Wine Tasting in Niagara – A trip to Niagara is not complete without at least one stop to a few of the Niagara Wineries. We managed to visit: Trius Winery at Hillebrand, Peller Estate Winery, Jackson Triggs Winery, Reif Estate and Inniskillin. Many wines are only available at the wineries so be sure to pick up a few bottles to take home with you. The best part of the winery tasting and tours are ability to taste the Niagara Ice Wines which I like to call Liquid Gold. Please ask us for VIP Taste passes.
Travel Tip – Off the beaten path: If your prefer whiskey over wine then you should make at Forty Creek Distillery for a tasting and distillery tour. You can purchase limited edition bottles of Forty Creek Canadian Whisky or their maple whisky liqueur appropriately named “Oh Canada” or the award winning whisky cream liqueur. If you are really lucky they will let you behind the bar for a quick picture!
Getting there: Niagara Falls is 1 1/2 hours from Toronto by car or ask us about booking a Niagara Day Tour for an unforgettable day trip. $79 per person + tax. The boat cruise into the falls is an additional $20.
You might also enjoy a side trip to Stratford, Ontario