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The honeymoon capital of the Americas, Niagara Falls is home to the second largest waterfall on the planet. The Falls are 167-feet high, and have a water flow of over two million litres of water per second. The Niagara-on-the-Lake region is also home to more than 50 wineries that produce award-winning reds, whites and Canadian ice wines, along with some of the best golf courses in the entire country.
Where to stay in Niagara Falls
NIAGARA FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT
6380 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls (00 1 905 374 3598; www.fallsviewcasinoresort.com). Whether you’re looking to shop, see a show, or hit over 3,000 slot machines, this 368-room all-North American casino hotel has something for everyone. The hotel’s casino has 150 gaming tables, 10 restaurants and cafés, and a 1,500-seat ballroom that serves as a major concert and entertainment venue for the greater Niagara area. There’s also a health spa and shopping on the premises. £££
STERLING INN AND SPA
5195 Magdalen Street, Niagara Falls (00 1 289 292 0000; www.sterlingniagara.com). Each standard room in this dairy creamery from 1929 is equipped with a fireplace, king-size bed and a two-person Jacuzzi. The hotel’s suites are even more spacious and luxurious, and the hotel is ideally located just off Clifton Hill, with the Falls and surrounding attractions all within easy walking distance. The refurbishment carefully renovated and modernised the building, while preserving exposed beams and the distinctive three-storey “milk bottle entrance” to the hotel. The hotel restaurant’s executive chef, Cory Linkson, has developed a spectacular menu, which allows guests to enjoy the tastes of Ontario. The hotel’s spa has drawn inspiration from cultural therapies and holistic experiences from around the world. ££££
WHITE OAK RESORT
253 Taylor Road SS4, Niagara-on-the-Lake (00 1 905 688 2550; www.whiteoaksresort.com). Boarded by a golf course and two wineries, this luxurious Feng Shui resort and spa has a restorative calming ambiance. Each room is designed with either a sunrise or sunset view; the platinum suits are equipped with gas-burning fireplaces and a five-head granite shower, and the hotel’s award-winning spa and enormous fitness centre are great if you want to while away the hours. Award-winning Chef Michael Price runs the hotel’s LIV restaurant (see Where to Eat) based on the ancient philosophy of tao, which takes Feng Shui from ambiance to nutritional health for a truly mind and body balancing resort experience. £££
Where to eat out in Niagara Falls
JACKSON-TRIGGS NIAGARA ESTATE WINERY
2145 Regional Road 55, Niagara-on-the-Lake (00 1 905 468 4637; www.jacksontriggswinery.com). This winery hosts spectacular fine-dining “Savour the Sight” events, where you will be served five courses of food and wine, each in a different location on the estate. It is a part of an interactive tour of the estate, from the vineyards to the cellars, and you are advised to buy tickets in advance.
253 Taylor Road SS4, Niagara-on-the-Lake (00 1 905 688 2550; www.whiteoaksresort.com). Chef Michael Price at the award-winning LIV restaurant at the White Oak Resort (see Where to Stay) bases the restaurant’s marvellous cuisine on the ancient philosophy of tao (pronounced dow). With Feng Shui ambiance and menu, meals make for a holistic mind and body balancing experience, and will really tantalise your taste buds.
5200 Robinson Street, Niagara Falls (00 1 905 356 2651; www.skylon.com). A 775-foot tall revolving tower restaurant with a 360-degree view of both the city and falls, Skylon is especially great for dinner at sunset.
What to see in Niagara Falls
It would be almost impossible to stay in Niagara Falls without getting a glimpse of the raging 167-foot high Canadian side of the waterfalls, which have given the city its name. But you shouldn’t be satisfied with the view you’re getting out of your hotel window. The Maid of the Mist ferry will take you on a ride down into the Falls, and the Niagara River Walk is a boardwalk built in the Fall’s walls that lets you get an even closer look (see What to Do). In summertime, there are regularly scheduled fireworks shows over the Falls that are a definite must-see, whereas in winter you can catch a fantastic light show with the Falls illuminated in brilliant colours visible through the ice and steaming mist. Fireworks and Light show details are available via the Niagara Falls tourism website.
Located right on Niagara Lake, just a few kilometres from Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the region’s world famous wineries, parks, and golf courses. You will also find local farmers’ markets, museums and historical sites. Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the White Oak Resort, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery and the Royal Niagara Golf Course (see Where to Stay and What to Do).
Things to do in Niagara Falls
Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls (www.cliftonhill.com). This hill is the “strip” of Niagara, with casinos, arcades, wax museums, restaurants, concerts, street performers and more – all on one street. The street begins at the Falls and the town’s main tourist attractions are centrally located within easy walking distance of it: the Niagara Sky Wheel is located halfway up the hill and the Maid of the Mist boarding dock is at the base. In the evening, the hill lights up like Las Vegas for an exciting carnival-like atmosphere.
JACKSON-TRIGGS NIAGARA ESTATE WINERY
2145 Regional Road 55, Niagara-on-the-Lake (00 1 905 468 4637; www.jacksontriggswinery.com). One of the 50 wineries in the luscious Niagara-on-the-Lake region, Jackson-Triggs offer tours of the beautiful grounds and winery, along with wine tasting events, dinner events (see Where to Eat), concerts and entertainment in the estate’s outdoor amphitheatre.
MAID OF THE MIST
Niagara Falls (00 1 905 358 5781; www.maidofthemist.com). Featured in numerous films, including Jim Carrey’s Bruce Almighty and Marilyn Monroe’s Niagara, the Maid of the Mist is the best way to see the falls up close. The ferry will take you through the rising mist of the great falls for a fantastic, and somewhat moist, view of the majestic natural wonder. The boarding dock is located right at bottom of Clifton Hill and tours operate seasonally from April to October depending on weather conditions.
NIAGARA FALLS SKYWHEEL
4946 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls (www.cliftonhill.com). This 53-metre tall Ferris wheel provides a view of the entire city of Niagara Falls, the American and Canadian sides of the Falls, the Niagara River, as well as the surrounding the Niagara Parks and marinas. Nighttime rides provide a colourfully illuminated view of Clifton Hill, the Niagara skyline, and the Falls’ light show.
NIAGARA HELICOPTERS LIMITED
3731 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls (00 1 905 357 5672; www.niagarahelicopters.com). Following the curve of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in a helicopter, you will get a bird’s-eye-view of the top Niagara attractions with this 12-minute aerial tour. You will see both the US and Canadian side of the Falls, as well as fantastic views of the city and local parks. The mist creates spectacular rainbows in all directions and the entire tour is picture-perfect.
NIAGARA NATURE TRAILS
(www.niagaraparks.com) The Niagara River Recreation Trail meanders through beautiful countryside, and was a favourite of Winston Churchill’s. It is perfect if you want to go for a leisurely walk or hike in the beautiful Ontario wilderness.
NIAGARA RIVER WALK
Niagara Falls (www.niagaraparks.com). Take a stroll along a boardwalk at the very edge of one of the Falls’ white water, and prepare to get wet as trillions of litres of water rush past and you are surrounded by the mist rising from the river basin. The boardwalk is open seasonally between March and November depending on weather conditions.
ROYAL NIAGARA GOLF COURSE
One Niagara-on-the-Green Boulevard, Niagara-On-The-Lake (00 1 905 685 9501; www.toyalniagara.com). With three different courses, this 21-hole course is great for golfers of varying skills, ages and handicaps. The Iron Bridge Course features an abandoned tunnel, thundering water and old canal walls, while the Old Canal Course is dominated by water obstacles. Private lessons are available for every skill level and the course neighbours the White Oak Resort (see Where to Stay), which organises golf packages with lessons, accommodation and course access.
Where to shop in Niagara Falls
GREAT MOUNTAIN GINSENG HERBAL SHOP
758 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake (00 1 905 685 7328; www.greatmountainginseng.com). This shop sells the Great Mountain Ginseng farm’s fresh Ontario ginseng products. They also offer a free tour of their farm, where you can learn the difference between Ontario ginseng and Asian ginseng, along with the history of the plant, how it is grown and harvested, and how it can benefit your health. Tours operate from May to October, but the shop is open throughout the year.
GIO MONTE MODELS BOUTIQUE
6853 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara-on-the-Lake (00 1 905 356 6789). Three kilometres from the neon lights of Clifton Hill lies the only boutique on the Canadian side of Niagara carrying European designer brands. The boutique stocks Versace, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferre, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Cavalli, and many more
FASHION OUTLETS OF NIAGARA
900 Military Road, Niagara Falls (00 1 716 297 2022; www.fashionoutletsniagara.com). This designer outlet features over 150 designers and is located nine kilometres from Clifton Hill on the US side of the Falls. This designer mega-outlet stocks Burberry, Banana Republic, Liz Claiborne, Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, and many more.
When to go to Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is an all-year holiday destination: the Falls get crowded in summer, but the nice and hot weather – and the fact that you can catch the firework shows over the Falls every night – makes up for it. Winter is bitterly cold, but the light shows over the frozen and steaming Falls are majestic and run from November to January. Spring and autumn offer more temperate climates, but no light shows or fireworks. Some attractions are closed in winder due to weather conditions.
How to get to Niagara Falls
The main international gateways to the Niagara Falls is Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Ottawa International Airport.
AIRLINES FROM THE UK
Air Canada (08705 247 226; www.aircanada.ca)
BA (0845 779 9977; www.ba.com)
Both Air Canada and British Airways fly directly to Ottawa and Toronto from London daily.