Nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a town rich with history, culture and cuisine. It’s a unique destination filled with stunning vistas and plenty of experiences for any kind of tourist — here we break down how to spend a day out in Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Breakfast - approximate cost $15
For a quality breakfast at an inexpensive price head over to Silks Country Kitchen, located a short distance from Niagara-on-the-Lake river in Virgil. Their menu offers a fantastic selection with many Canadian-American favourites, Ukrainian options and all-day breakfast (prices range from $3.89 to $15.99), but they’re perhaps best known for their $3.49 breakfasts specials. It’s a family-owned and family-friendly restaurant offering a casual dining experience. Check out the menu online for details.
Fort George National Historic Site - approximate cost $11.70 for admission
Founded in 1796, Fort George National Historic Site allows people to step back into the War of 1812 and explore the military post that was fortified to defend Canada against American attacks. Fort George is a protected historic site that represents a nationally significant example of our nation’s cultural heritage. People are welcome to live in the past by experiencing 19th century-style food, witnessing uniformed soldiers demonstrate musket loading and firing, and exploring the fort’s grounds. Guided tours and ghost walks of the fort are also available.
Two Mile Creek Conservation Area -free
Explore the great outdoors at the Two Mile Creek Conservation Area, a significant portion of the protected Lower Two Mile Creek Valley System, between Lakeshore Road and Niagara Stone Road. This forested floodplain is conserved for its significant ecological features and consists of local trails with access to Colonel Butler’s Burial Ground, where commemorative plaques describe his historical contributions in the 1700’s in developing a British stronghold in Niagara. It’s open year round and provides an easy natural landscape for hiking.
Lunch - approximate cost $20
For lunch, try out Bistro Six-One, located in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake, for a delectably casual multi-cuisine experience with a diverse menu crafted from fresh ingredients. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their complimented wine menu that showcases fantastic local wines and classic labels. Mid-range items are plentiful at this bistro so make sure to taste their wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas, saucy Italian pastas or unique entrees, ranging in price from $15.99 to $24.99.
Queen’s Royal Park -free
The Queen’s Royal Park is a beautifully maintained park— located off Ricardo Street along the bank of the Niagara River — available to the public free of charge. The park was originally the site of the Queen’s Royal Hotel, built in 1868. It was known as one of the best hotels in North America at the time but it was demolished in 1930 and the property was built into what is no a park. Queen’s Royal Park commands phenomenal views of the surrounding Lake Ontario, and features a gazebo that was erected for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone” with Christopher Walken. It was donated to the town after the film wrapped up filming in the 1980’s.
King Street Gallery -free entry
King Street Gallery is an exciting art gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Historic District that houses the works of Canadian artists. Historically, the building is one of the oldest in Niagara. Built in 1791, it housed the first Legislative Assembly and was used as an army barracks during the war of 1812 later on. The gallery is the perfect destination to not only admire art but also to purchase pieces to decorate your home with. Currently, King Street Gallery is featuring the following artists: Gisele Comtois, Larry Wing, Ann Reimer and Julie Clark among others.
Dinner/Drinks - approximate cost $30
During a night out of hitting the town, check out the upbeat Irish Harp Pub for food and drinks. This award-winning pub is home to a high quality of atmosphere, friendliness and service. They also strive to bring a “wee bit of Ireland” to Canada through their restored building, which was remodeled by having an entire pub and restaurant contents imported from Ireland. Featuring homestyle cooked food, the extensive menu excels in late night grub like the Belfast Harp Burger ($16), “Irish” Corned Beef Sandwich ($17) and Black and Tan Onion Rings ($15). On tap, this wonderful watering hole offers 23 different beers every day.
Wine Tours - approximate cost $20
Niagara-on-the-Lake is famous for its wineries so wine tours and tastings are a must-try if you’re in town. The Konzelmann Estate Winery is a scenic vineyard on Lake Ontario and just one of many wineries that offers public attractions, retail wines and other entertaining events to partake in. Konzelmann boasts a wide portfolio of wines like their popular peachwine and award-winning pinot noir. The winery offers various tours and tastings (between $10 and $25) along with pricer vineyard safaris and lakefront lunch experiences. It’s heralded for providing a superiorly friendly, informative and educational experience in Niagara’s wine country.
Go to the theatre - approximate cost $60
The Shaw Festival Theatre is a flagship 856-seat theatre nestled in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s one of Canada’s finest arts attractions, throwing on a variety of plays, musicals, comedies and dramas every year, from April to October. The Shaw Festival’s 2018 season features 14 productions presented across three theatres — these include Stephen Fry’s Mythos: A Trilogy - Gods. Heroes. Men., a stage adaptation of Sherlock Holmes’ The Hound of the Baskervilles and a production of the musical Grand Hotel. Tickets range from $28 to $238.