I thought it would be great to focus on a lovely little town, not far from where Rene and I lived and where my parents and brother still live.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, fondly known as NOTL, is located on the Niagara Peninsula, right at the spot where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario, just down from the famous Niagara Falls.
It's one of my favorite places to visit in Canada since it has so much to offer from incredible wineries (over 50 of them!) & breweries to great golfing, fabulous restaurants, boutique shopping, history, art, theatre, biking (you can even rent bikes through a company called "Zoom Bikeshare" shown below) & hiking opportunities and the most amazing flower displays seasonally, of course.
As you approach the Falls, the scene is very calm and the skyline of the Niagara Falls area is quite lovely as you can see, by this photo.
Then, as you get closer, the flow of the river becomes much more swift and you can start to hear the thunderous roar of the Falls with the spray rising up from them. In the winter, your car can become coated in ice as you drive past if the wind is blowing in a certain direction and the lights of the Falls and area are spectacular at Christmastime.
Anyway, I thought it important to show some other lovely areas as you approach Niagara Falls on the Canadian side as you make your way along the lovely Niagara Parkway that takes you past fabulous homes all along the way after you've crossed the Peace Bridge at Buffalo. The upper part of the Niagara River is a hidden gem that few people realize even exists and it's much less busy for biking, hiking, picnicking and simply enjoying the solitude and fantastic scenery all around you.
There are 32 golf courses within 20 miles of Niagara Falls so that there are plenty of options to consider. One such option is The Whirlpool Golf Course depicted here. It's considered one of Canada's most highly rated and renowned public golf courses. It opened in 1951, was designed by Stanley Thompson, and is owned by the Niagara Parks Commission.
The Niagara Parks Commission has many opportunities for some great places to visit along the way from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake including "The Journey Behind the Falls", the "Niagara Parks Power Station", "Niagara City Cruises", "The Whirlpool Aero Car", "The White Water Walk", "Zipline to the Falls", "The Butterfly Sanctuary", and so much more!
Here also is shown the Floral Clock and the rapids that flow through the narrow gorge - it's quite the site!
Some great history to experience along the way includes "The Brock Monument" dedicated to Major General Sir Isaac Brock, one of Canada's heroes of the War of 1812. This monument was constructed between 1853 and 1856 and is the fourth oldest war memorial in Canada.
Fort George is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake and was largely destroyed during the War of 1812 although it has been a National Historic Site since 1921 and features a reconstruction of the Fort. It was used by the British Army, Canadian Militia and the United States Armed Forces for a brief period as well.
For those interested in art, there are a great many shops with some beautiful artwork for sale and there's also the RiverBrink Art Museum, located on the Niagara Parkway in the historic village of Queenston. It's home to a collection of over 1400 works by Canadian and international artists. Queenston is also home to Laura Secord's Homestead. She was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812 when she risked life and limb to walk 20 miles to warn her husband and the rest of his army of an impending attack by the Americans.
The best parts of all with this precious part of Canada include the many great wineries, breweries, hotels and restaurants. Here are just a few of my favorites including Peller Estates, Trius Winery, Riverbend Inn & Restaurant, The Prince of Wales Hotel and Restaurant (shown at the top, above), Queen's Landing, and The Shaw Cafe and Wine Bar to name and show below, just a few.
Peller Estates, above
Trius Winery & Restaurant, above
Riverbend Inn & Restaurant, above
Queen's Landing Inn & Restaurant, above (overlooking the Niagara River)
The Shaw Cafe & Wine Bar, above
And speaking of "The Shaw", for those of you who love the theatre, The Shaw Festival is the second largest repertory theatre company in North America. Founded in 1962, it was originally mandated to stimulate interest in George Bernard Shaw and his period to advance theatre arts development in Canada.
The Town of Niagara-on-the Lake is the perfect backdrop to all the wonderful sites, tastes and sounds, not to mention some great boutique shopping. You can even go for a horse and carriage ride and pretend you're back in the days...
No horses were harmed when this photo was taken - sorry I missed getting the head... ;)
As you can see there really is an incredible amount to see and do on the Canadian side in the beautiful Niagara region and I know that you would be warmly welcomed by all if you decide to visit. If you need any help with this or any other travel, I'm ready and willing to help you with your plans.