Right about now you’ve probably had your fill of puttering around the house and spending more time with your family than you’d ever imagined, and you might be yearning for a getaway to someplace where you can see and experience different things and explore new vistas in the great outdoors.
As soon as those options are available again, then, you should consider a vacation across the pond in Canada, with a nice long stop to visit the famous Niagara Falls and the vast recreational and sightseeing area surrounding them. It’s a destination that offers a magnificent setting with plenty of outdoor and indoor activities to engage family members of all ages. Not to mention that for over one hundred years it’s been known as the honeymoon capital of the world.
For starters, there are actually two cities named Niagara Falls, one on each side of the international border between Canada and the United States. The Canadian side is at the southern edge of the province of Ontario, an easy 116 km (72 miles) drive or train ride from the provincial capital of Toronto. There is usually a wide choice of nonstop flights to Toronto from the UK.
Choices of accommodations abound on the Canadian side, from full-service resort hotels to bed & breakfasts, motels, and a variety of affordable campgrounds with amenities. Restaurants range from family-friendly to fine dining establishments showcasing farm-to-table specialties and a wide variety of international cuisines. The famed Canadian friendliness will make you feel welcome wherever you go.
Here are some don’t-miss things to do and see:
See The Three Falls
Niagara Falls is comprised of three magnificent waterfalls that are a wonder of the natural world. For a complete experience, join up with one of the Niagara Falls boat tours that includes an excursion on a Hornblower cruise into the basin of the falls either by day or by night when they’re illuminated. You’ll get wet for certain, but a nifty rain poncho that’s yours to keep is included in the price of admission.
If you haven’t gotten your fill, you can see the falls from another perspective with the Niagara Parks Journey Behind The Falls that takes you down 150 feet in an elevator to a series of tunnels that lead you right to the edge of the wall of water thundering down from the top.
And for the truly adventurous, you can get another perspective yet by taking an exhilarating ride on a zipline right over them. If you’ve got a Go-Pro, this is definitely the time for it.
Bike Along The Countryside
A great way to see the natural beauty of the region is on one of its many cycling trails. Take along a picnic lunch and choose one of the more than 200 trails, catering to riders of every level. Named one of the top ten cycling routes in the world is the Niagara Parkway that runs 58 km (36 miles) along the Canadian side of the Niagara River.
Enjoy A Day On The Water
For a lovely way to spend some time, take a lazy afternoon outing on the Niagara River via canoe or river raft. For a wilder go, you can take a kayak trip on a fast-moving current. If you’ve got the kids along, head over to the huge indoor waterpark with slides and wave pool where everyone will have fun.
Explore The Trails
If you want to stretch your legs, set out for the Niagara Gorge trails which offer1.1 km (6.8 miles) of glorious views. Hike them on your own or take a guided tour through the pristine, old-growth forest of Niagara Glen. For a real challenge, the Niagara Glen Bouldering Trail is for you.
Do Some Wine Tasting
The Niagara Region is known for its award-winning wines, including the unique ice wine, made from grapes harvested in the winter when temperatures are way below freezing and sugar content is highest. The Niagara Wine Route features dozens of wineries with tasting rooms set amidst acres of beautiful vineyards.
Take In The Nightlife
Nothing stops in Niagara Falls when the sun goes down. There are seven nightclubs as well as casino gaming, comedy clubs, and live entertainment with headline stars. If you’d rather kick back, you can relax in one of the city’s many pubs with a pint of local Moosehead lager and a big bowl of poutine, Canada’s national dish. A good way to end any day, eh?