Niagara-on-the-Lake, located in Ontario, Canada, is a picturesque town renowned for its stunning landscapes, historical charm, and world-class wineries. It offers a wealth of attractions and activities that make it a must-visit destination for travelers. Whether you’re interested in exploring history, indulging in fine wines, or immersing yourself in natural beauty, Niagara-on-the-Lake has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in this delightful city:
1. Niagara-on-the-Lake Heritage District
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Begin your journey by strolling through the town’s charming heritage district. Admire the well-preserved 19th-century buildings, beautifully manicured gardens, and tree-lined streets. The district is home to numerous boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and cafes, allowing you to shop, dine, and soak up the town’s unique atmosphere.
2. Shaw Festival Theatre
If you have a passion for the performing arts, catch a show at the Shaw Festival Theatre. This internationally renowned theater company presents a wide range of plays, including works by George Bernard Shaw and other contemporary productions. The festival takes place from April to October and offers exceptional performances in multiple venues.
3. Winery Tours and Tastings
Niagara-on-the-Lake is part of the famous Niagara Wine Region, so exploring the local wineries is a must. Take part in winery tours and tastings to experience the area’s award-winning wines firsthand. Some popular wineries in the region include Peller Estates Winery, Inniskillin Winery, and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery.
4. Niagara Parkway
Take a leisurely drive or bike ride along the scenic Niagara Parkway, which runs parallel to the Niagara River. This picturesque route offers breathtaking views of the river, lush landscapes, and historic sites. Stop by the Niagara Falls Floral Clock, Queenston Heights Park, and the Butterfly Conservatory along the way.
5. Fort George National Historic Site
History enthusiasts should not miss a visit to Fort George National Historic Site. This well-preserved fort played a significant role during the War of 1812 and offers a glimpse into Canada’s military past. Explore the grounds, watch historical reenactments, and learn about the fort’s history through exhibits and guided tours.
6. Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club
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Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to tee off at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club. This scenic course offers stunning views of Lake Ontario and beautifully landscaped fairways. Enjoy a round of golf in a serene setting surrounded by natural beauty.
7. Niagara-on-the-Lake Cycling
Rent a bicycle and explore the town and surrounding countryside on two wheels. Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a network of scenic cycling trails, such as the Niagara River Recreation Trail and the Niagara Parkway Trail. Enjoy a leisurely ride and take in the stunning vistas and vineyards along the way.
8. Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival
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If you visit during the winter months, don’t miss the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival. This annual event celebrates the region’s famous icewine, a sweet dessert wine made from grapes frozen on the vine. Enjoy tastings, food pairings, and entertainment during this unique winter celebration.
9. Niagara River Jet Boat Tours
For an exhilarating adventure, embark on a Niagara River jet boat tour. Brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping ride through the river’s whitewater rapids, offering a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
10. Niagara-on-the-Lake Culinary Scene
Indulge your taste buds in the town’s vibrant culinary scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to charming cafes and bakeries, Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a wide range of dining options to suit all tastes. Sample local cuisine, try artisanal cheeses, and savor delicious meals paired with exquisite wines.
11. Niagara-on-the-Lake Ghost Walks
Delve into the town’s haunted history with a ghost walk tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, these evening tours take you through the streets and alleyways, sharing chilling tales and legends of the area’s ghostly encounters. It’s a unique way to experience the town’s rich history and spine-tingling stories.
12. Queen Street
Explore the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Queen Street, known for its quaint shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Browse through charming stores offering local crafts, antiques, clothing, and unique souvenirs. Treat yourself to handmade chocolates, gourmet treats, or a delightful ice cream cone as you wander along this vibrant street.
13. Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum
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Immerse yourself in the town’s history and culture by visiting the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum. Housed in an 1817 building, the museum features exhibits showcasing the area’s rich heritage, including artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays. Gain insights into the town’s past and learn about the significant events that shaped it.
14. Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Gardens
Discover a tranquil oasis at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Gardens. Located near the center of town, these beautifully landscaped gardens showcase a stunning collection of plants, flowers, and shrubs. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding pathways, enjoy the vibrant colors, and find a peaceful spot to relax amidst nature’s beauty.
15. Niagara-on-the-Lake Silversmith Brewing Company
Beer enthusiasts should make a stop at the Silversmith Brewing Company. This craft brewery produces a variety of small-batch beers, incorporating traditional brewing techniques with innovative flavors. Take a brewery tour, sample their offerings in the taproom, and learn about the art of craft beer production.
16. Niagara-on-the-Lake Farmers Market
If you’re visiting on a Saturday morning, make your way to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Farmers Market. Held at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre, this vibrant market showcases an array of local produce, artisanal products, baked goods, and handmade crafts. Experience the vibrant atmosphere, support local vendors, and savor the fresh flavors of the region.
17. Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing
Enjoy the beauty of Lake Ontario with a sailing excursion. Charter a boat or joina sailing tour to experience the serenity of the water and admire the scenic shoreline. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-timer, the lake offers a peaceful escape and a chance to appreciate the stunning views from a different perspective.
18. Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
If you’re seeking a quiet moment or wish to delve into local literature, visit the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library. This modern and welcoming library offers a cozy reading space, computer access, and a vast collection of books, including works by local authors. It’s a perfect spot to relax, read, or research more about the town and its surroundings.
19. Niagara-on-the-Lake Bike Rentals
Explore the town and its scenic surroundings on a bike. Several rental shops in Niagara-on-the-Lake offer bicycles for all ages, allowing you to pedal along the picturesque trails, visit wineries, or simply enjoy a leisurely ride through the town’s charming streets.
20. Niagara Helicopters
For a breathtaking aerial perspective of the region, take a helicopter tour with Niagara Helicopters. Soar above the Niagara River, Niagara Falls, and the beautiful vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake, experiencing a truly unforgettable adventure and capturing stunning views from above.
21. Niagara-on-the-Lake Art Scene
Art enthusiasts will appreciate the vibrant art scene in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Explore the town’s art galleries, which showcase a diverse range of works by local and international artists. From paintings and sculptures to mixed media and photography, you’ll find a variety of artistic expressions to admire and perhaps even take home as a unique memento.
22. Niagara-on-the-Lake Horse and Carriage Rides
Step back in time with a romantic horse and carriage ride through the streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Enjoy the clip-clop of hooves as you traverse the town’s scenic spots, guided by an experienced carriage driver. It’s a charming way to experience the town’s ambiance and create lasting memories.
23. Niagara-on-the-Lake Spa Retreats
Treat yourself to relaxation and rejuvenation at one of the town’s luxurious spas. Indulge in a pampering massage, facial, or body treatment, and let the stresses of everyday life melt away. Many spas in the area also offer wellness activities such as yoga and meditation, providing a holistic approach to wellness.
24. Niagara-on-the-Lake Festivals
Throughout the year, Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts a variety of festivals and events that celebrate the town’s culture, history, and natural beauty. From the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival in winter to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Peach Festival in summer, there’s always something exciting happening. Check the local event calendar to see what festivals coincide with your visit and join in the festivities.
25. Niagara-on-the-Lake Bed and Breakfasts
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Experience warm hospitality and a cozy stay at one of the town’s charming bed and breakfasts. These intimate accommodations offer a personalized touch, often housed in historic buildings with beautiful gardens. Wake up to a delicious homemade breakfast and enjoy the personalized recommendations from your hosts, adding to the overall charm of your stay.
26. Niagara-on-the-Lake Beaches
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During the summer months, head to the nearby Lake Ontario beaches for a day of sun, sand, and relaxation. Lakeside Park Beach and Queen’s Royal Beach are popular choices, offering sandy shores, calm waters, and beautiful views. Pack a picnic, bring a good book, and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of these scenic spots.
Distilleries wineries, it is also home to several distilleries producing fine spirits. Take a tour of a distillery and learn about the production process of whiskey, vodka, gin, or other spirits. Enjoy tastings and discover the craftsmanship behind these exceptional libations.
28. Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf and Country Clubs
Golf enthusiasts will be pleased to find a selection of golf and country clubs in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. Enjoy a round of golf surrounded by lush landscapes and picturesque views. Some notable golf courses in the area include Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, Royal Niagara Golf Club, and Legends on the Niagara.
29. Niagara-on-the-Lake Shopping
In addition to the boutiques on Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake offers several shopping centers and outlet malls. Explore the Outlet Collection at Niagara for discounted designer brands, or visit the Niagara Square Shopping Centre for a variety of retail options. Whether you’re searching for fashion, home decor, or unique gifts, you’re sure to find something special.
30. Niagara-on-the-Lake Sunset Cruises
Witness the beauty of the setting sun with a sunset cruise on Lake Ontario. Board a boat and enjoy a leisurely cruise while the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant colors. Take in the breathtaking views of the waterfront, the town, and the surrounding nature as you savor this serene and romantic experience.
31. Niagara-on-the-Lake Cideries
In addition to its wineries and distilleries, Niagara-on-the-Lake is also home to several cideries. Discover the world of craft ciders by visiting these establishments, where you can learn about the cider-making process, sample a variety of delicious ciders, and even take part in cider tastings and pairings.
32. Niagara-on-the-Lake Cycling Wine Tours
Combine your love for cycling and wine by taking a guided cycling wine tour. Ride through the picturesque countryside, stopping at various wineries along the way to taste their exquisite offerings. These tours often provide bikes, helmets, and a knowledgeable guide, allowing you to enjoy a leisurely day of cycling, wine tasting, and soaking in the stunning vineyard views.
33. Niagara-on-the-Lake Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
For thrill-seekers, the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours offer an exhilarating adventure. Board a jet boat and navigate through the swirling waters of the Niagara River, experiencing the excitement of class 5 whitewater rapids. Brace yourself for a wet and wild ride as you marvel at the natural beauty and power of the river.
34. Niagara-on-the-Lake Horseback Riding
Explore the scenic countryside of Niagara-on-the-Lake on horseback. Join a guided trail ride and meander through lush vineyards, peaceful forests, and picturesque landscapes. Horseback riding is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the tranquility of the region.
35. Niagara-on-the-Lake Culinary Classes
Enhance your culinary skills by participating in a cooking or baking class in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Learn from professional chefs as they guide you through the creation of delectable dishes and desserts, often using local ingredients. Immerse yourself in the culinary arts and take home new recipes and techniques to impress your friends and family.
36. Niagara-on-the-Lake Niagara River Recreation Trail
The Niagara River Recreation Trail offers a scenic pathway for walking, jogging, or cycling along the Niagara River. The trail stretches for several kilometers, providing breathtaking views of the river, wildlife, and stunning landscapes. Take in the fresh air and enjoy the beauty of the river as you explore this picturesque trail.
37. Niagara-on-the-Lake Chocolate Shops
Indulge your sweet tooth at the local chocolate shops in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Discover a variety of delectable handmade chocolates, truffles, and other confections. Take a chocolate-making workshop to learn the art of creating these sweet treats and perhaps even craft your own personalized chocolates to savor or share.
38. Niagara-on-the-Lake Outdoor Concerts
During the summer months, enjoy live outdoor concerts in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s parks and vineyards. The region hosts various music festivals and events, featuring local and international artists across different genres. Pack a picnic blanket, relax on the grass, and let the melodies of the music fill the air.
39. Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Celebrations
Experience the magic of the holiday season in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The town comes alive with festive decorations, twinkling lights, and a cheerful ambiance. Enjoy the annual Christmas parade, visit the holiday markets, and take part in seasonal activities and events that capture the joy and spirit of Christmas.
40. Niagara-on-the-Lake Kayaking
Explore the Niagara River and its surrounding waterways on a kayaking adventure. Rent a kayak or join a guided tour to paddle along the scenic river, taking in the beauty of the shoreline, wildlife, and natural landscapes. It’s a tranquil and immersive way to connect with nature and enjoy a unique perspective of the area.
Places and Things To Do