Posted July 27, 2009 by Jamie Moore
There's a reason Niagara Falls is one of the most spectacular natural sights in the world: Approximately 150,000 cubic feet of water per second rush over the edge and drop 170 feet to the rocks below. And that's just on the American side of the falls. Explore this natural wonder for less, taking an in-depth tour of the falls, staying at an English-style inn, and indulging in the local gourmet fast food.
Cave of the Winds: Rain slickers are included in the admission fee of this "must-do" Niagara Falls tour, and on the "hurricane deck" you'll understand why. Start with a 175-foot descent into the Niagara gorge and a careful ramble along a series of wooden walkways. When you finally reach the hurricane deck, you'll be standing a refreshing 20 feet from the falls. Rainbows dance in the mist and winds sometimes reach tropical storm conditions of up to 68 mph. The experience ($11 per person) can be, literally, breathtaking.
The Red Coach Inn: Since 1923, guests have been staying at this Tudor-style inn, which draws visitors with its spectacular view over the Niagara River rapids. The falls are only 1,500 feet away, and across the street are popular tours like Cave of the Winds. If your feet get a bit wet during your excursions, dry them by the inn's wood fire in winter or on the sun-drenched patio in summer. Or treat yourself to a fine dining experience accompanied by vintage wine at the inn's restaurant. Rooms start at $99.
Misty Dog Grille: Gain a whole new appreciation for the humble hot dog at this popular Niagara eatery. The Misty Dog Grille serves up 25 varieties of gourmet-style frankfurters. Order one smothered in smoky Texas sauce topped with hot peppers and cheddar, or go mild with the cheese and bacon dog. The taste adventure doesn't stop there. Try fried macaroni and cheese or deep-fried pickles. For the less daring, there's familiar fare like sweet potato fries and cooked-to-perfection burgers.
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(Photo: D. Falconer/PhotoLink)
Posted June 5, 2009 by Kate Hamman
Welcoming visitors like a breath of fresh wine-scented air, Niagara-on-the-Lake sits among rolling vineyards just a few miles from the neon lights and kitschy entertainment of Niagara Falls. This English-influenced town—with nods to British royalty on street and hotel names—is maturing into a proper getaway for wine, theater, and food. Come experience the finer things in life.
Peller Estates: Peller Estates turns its tasting room into a classroom, and helps everyone become a valedictorian when it comes to wine. If you've ever wondered whether to serve a Cabernet or a Chardonnay, or which glass to serve which wine in, then the interactive Wine Experiences may be the answer. Classes covering subjects from entertaining to food pairings start at $15 CAD (about $13.50 U.S. dollars; see XE.com for current exchange rates). Tours of the wine-making facilities cost $10 CAD.
Shaw Café & Wine Bar: Bacchus would feel right at home in this European-style cafe in the heart of the town center. Guests are encouraged to sample regional wines from the extensive menu, while grabbing a gourmet bite to eat. Be sure to say hello to playwright George Bernard Shaw, the cafe's namesake, whose statue welcomes visitors on the patio out front. If the meal prices seem a bit too steep, then take in the Old-World ambiance with just a dessert—such as the Toblerone Cheesecake for $7.95 CAD—and a glass of wine.
Britaly Bed and Breakfast: Finding a place to curl up after a day of wine tasting may sound simple, but very few places exude the homey atmosphere, and price, of this three-bedroom B&B. Hosts Graham Hall, Aldo Petronelli, and Rufus the Lab treat guests like royalty. Visitors are instantly drawn to the impressive back garden, where they can relax by the pond. The cozy bedrooms, decorated to capture the spirit of England, Canada, and Italy, come en suite or with a private bathroom just steps away. Prices start at $110 CAD during high season, and include a homemade breakfast fit for a king. Note that weekend stays require a two-night minimum.
To search for flights and compare prices to Buffalo, which is home to Niagara-on-the-Lake’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.
(Photo: Shaw Cafe & Wine Bar)