Most Australians visit Niagara Falls to witness its natural wonder as part of an itinerary to either Canada’s Ontario province or the US state of New York, as the tumbling passages of water that makes up the Falls are visible from both countries.
A popular destination for couples - Niagara Falls has called itself the ‘honeymoon capital of the world’ since the early 1800s – it also has a lot to offer families. On the Canadian side, Clifton Hill stands out as one of the most vibrant streets, filled with wax museums, haunted houses and arcades - guaranteeing fun at every turn. Step beyond the well-trodden tourist path though and you’ll discover experiences known only to the locals!
If you enjoy hiking, then the Niagara Whirlpool Loop is perfect for immersing yourself in nature. It’s a 4.67km hike that can take up to an hour and a half, leading you through beautiful forest scenery with breathtaking views of the Niagara Gorge and its turquoise Whirlpool. Exercise caution as some sections of the trail may be slippery and you’ll need to climb a few rocks. This area provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle, allowing you to appreciate the naturally-occurring Whirlpool up close.
This small town, just a half-hour from the Falls, is renowned for its wineries and the summer theatre Shaw Festival. For a historical journey, Fort George awaits, inviting you to explore the 19th-century fort built by the British to defend against the Americans. For a quintessentially Canadian experience, visit Wayne Gretzky Estates, the winery founded by none other than the hockey legend himself, Wayne Gretzky, number 99. Take a tour that seamlessly weaves Wayne’s history and legacy while also providing insights into the meticulous craftsmanship behind the wines.
If you want to escape the noise and crowds of the Falls, Dufferin Islands is the place to go. It's a short drive or 20-minute walk from the Falls, offering a secluded park made up of tiny man-made islands. On a hot summer day, bring your swimsuit, as it's the perfect place to cool off. It's also an excellent spot for a picnic, where you might see Canadian geese or even spot a blue jay or robin. In the winter, Dufferin Islands transform into the Winter Festival of Lights, featuring over fifty trees wrapped in lights showcasing Canadian Wildlife such as moose, deer, geese, polar bears and bison. You can either brave the cold on foot or drive through with some hot chocolate to keep you warm.
For the ultimate panoramic view of both the American and Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls, simply bring your passport and take a stroll across the bridge connecting Canada to the United States. From this vantage point, you can marvel at both falls simultaneously while standing in two countries at once!
White Meadows Farms
A Canadian blog wouldn't be complete without a mention of maple syrup. Most locals refer to this place as the 'sugar bush,' often having it as their annual school trip or a family getaway to indulge in some maple syrup. During the fall months, you can take a tour to witness the sap extraction process and learn how maple syrup is made. The tour concludes with a delightful serving of pancakes and maple syrup - absolutely delicious! Additionally, you can indulge in a variety of maple-infused treats, including fudge, tea, mustard, taffy and lollies.
While most tourists usually limit themselves to Clifton Hill or the Falls when visiting the Niagara region, there is a wealth of attractions waiting to be explored. Connect with your Travellers Choice agent to book your trip to Niagara Falls and uncover the hidden gems that locals adore.