Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Posted on Jun 27, 2013 by
Richard and I had a short vacation about an hour and a half from home. We have been to both the Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake but we have never stayed overnight. We decided it was time to do so!
We had thought of staying in a bed and breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake but a friend suggested Niagara Falls as a much cheaper alternative. We booked an older hotel in the Fallsview Area (but no falls view!), the Rodeway Inn Fallsview. It is in a great location, walking distance to the high-end hotels, new casino and the Falls. The management was extremely friendly and the room was large and clean. We booked a king room with a small fridge (for our milk for coffee - don`t like the artificial stuff). Free parking. Lots of deals right now in NF so check them out. If you opt for the Rodeway, you should know that the 3-story building does not have an elevator.
Hiking the Niagara Glen - it was wonderful to be down at river level with the huge boulders and the Carolinian forest with tulip trees, etc. However, the spring high water made it a challenge! Worth doing even though I had to crawl over a huge rock, under a "waterfall" and emerged quite muddy.
On another day we hiked a short part of the Bruce Trail but the weather had got very warm and it was not as pleasant.
Our day wine tour - we booked with Crush on Niagara Wine Tours. Because it was early in the season, we were the only passengers in the small van so there was lots of room for our wine! We visited 4 wineries, starting with a tour of Chateau du Charme and ending with an ice wine with chocolates at Caroline Cellars. We had lunch at Ravine winery at a cafe is run by Anna Olsen who is on our food tv channel here. Very tasty! There was no pressure to buy at the wineries. Our driver Roger was friendly with good local knowledge. It was great that both Richard and I could taste the wine. Of course, we could have used the spitoon provided to dump the remains of our glasses but, gosh, I couldn`t do that!
We spent part of another day visiting a few more wineries and added to our cellar. Richard only took a sip or two. It was great to be able to buy some wines that are only available directly from the vintners.
Shaw Festival - we saw two plays during our stay. I particularly enjoyed Sondheim`s Sunday in the Park with George. We attended the opening performance of Brief Lives (Noel Coward) with the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario in attendance.
Welland Canal - we managed to find the remains of the second canal and two lock keepers` homes. We saw a laker go through Lock 3 and visited the canal and local history museum.
Niagara-on-the-Lake - a lovely town with beautiful homes and a heritage business district. We spent some time walking the streets and reading the historic plaques.
Niagara Falls - we didn`t do the touristy things (Maid of the Mist) because we had done some of them on day trips in the past. Still it is always awe-inspiring to see the Falls.
Food - we had some wonderful meals during our stay.
On our last day (today) we had lunch at the Stone Road Grille. Wonderful fresh food made with local ingredients - pasta with wild leeks and ramp and risotto with asparagus. If you are going for dinner before the theatre, be sure to book. We were second-time lucky.
Pie Plate - a good place to stop in Virgil (part of Niagara-on-the-Lake). Meat and fruit pies including pizza with pear, blue cheese and walnuts. Tasty in-season rhubarb pie too. We ate on a shady porch of an old house.
Spice of Life, in Port Dalhousie - we had a selection of interesting appetizers with wonderful soup and shared dessert. A glass of local wine, of course! Port Dalhousie, the terminus of the first 3 Welland canals, is colourful.
In Niagara Falls, we ate in a steak house overlooking the Falls. Not our normal fare but the view was splendid. Portions are large and you don`t really need starters. I think the picture on their website shows our table!
We were in Niagara Falls over Victoria Day weekend so we saw two fireworks displays over the Falls. With our hotel so well located, we enjoyed strolling along the walkways and admiring the Falls. We did pop into the casino to look around but we didn`t try it out.
Several have mentioned spending time in the Niagara area and we are glad that we finally took the time to do so too. If you have any questions about Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake, please ask!