Now it is time to take a closer look at the beautiful, world famous, glorious and just amazing Niagara Falls.
Your trip to the Niagara Falls will take place in Toronto, if you are traveling from Canada; otherwise, your trip is going to be from the United States. Both ways are fine and interesting, but here I would like to concentrate on the Canadian side.
- Where: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
The road will start from downtown Toronto; you will need to take Gardiner Expy (Gardiner Expressway). This is in case if you travel by car, which, I believe, is the best option. From Gardiner Expy you will get to Queen Elizabeth Way and going all the way passing Mississauga and Oakville. After that you get to Burlington, a nice small town. Well, if you have enough time and you are not tough with your schedule, take several stops at all of those small towns you are about to pass by or go through. You can take a short cut and go through Burlington or/and a long way though Hamilton. I would recommend seeing both places, making a stop and grabbing some coffee, walking, having some rest, taking pictures and enjoying the opportunity to be there. Believe me, it is not every day when you have a chance to see it all.
Continue your trip on Queen Elizabeth Way till you see the St. Cathatines, a small town, beautiful in its look. Obviously, you are going to pass by many different small towns, smaller than those above mentioned. And here is what I would love to show you. From St. Catharines you can take 3 routes to get to the place I recommend you visit on the way to Niagara Falls.
- Route 1: take Ontario St. and then Lakeshore Rd. till the end of this road. That way you can see the shore of the Lake Ontario and the port, Port Weller.
- Route 2: Niagara Stone Rd. all the way until you reach the destination.
- Route 3: Niagara Pkwy; this would be the way to another destination. If you take that road, you can see so many beautiful, amazing and breathtaking views.
The place I am telling you about is Niagara-on-the-Lake, a small town by the shore of the Lake Ontario. If you go down King St. or any other, which lead to the Queen’s Royal Park, you will be able to see another shore, the U.S. border and the lake itself. It is so spectacular and so wonderful.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a town where retired people prefer to live. It is a quiet and peaceful town with charming views, beautiful nature and kind people. Make a stop and have lunch or dinner, enjoy the beauty of the place.
When you are about to leave the town, take Picton St. followed by Queen's Parade and then you get to Niagara Pkwy. There are some parks on the right side of the road if you are headed to the Niagara Falls. Once you reach a tall and long bridge, you are near the Canadian–U.S. border.
Yes, it is right on the bridge. A lot of people from the United States are coming to see the Niagara Falls from the Canadian side as it is the most developed one. Especially you can meet a lot of people from Buffalo.
Getting closer to the “magic” place, you feel the spirit of it, breathe the air coming from it and hear it!
The closer you are the taller buildings you see. There lots of casinos, hotels, shops, anything tourists might need.
Before giving into the charm of the place, try to be rational and find yourself a parking place for a whole day. Definitely, if you are planning to stay for a couple of days, you have a reservation at one of the hotels and probably, reserved parking place. Otherwise, go a little away from the central place and find a cheaper parking place.
What comes to the hotel, you have many choices. One of such choices would be Hilton Niagara Falls / Fallsview Hotel & Suites. The hotel offers a terrific view to the Niagara Falls, good view to all directions and great comfort.
If you want to have something simpler you can choose Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Niagara Falls, ON. Nice design and comfortable rooms and a little of the country spirit.
As another option, you might consider Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa, which also has a view to the Falls. Stylish design, perfect location and good service are definitely going to be a good memory for you and your family and / or friends.
I am pretty much sure you are going to spend a whole day watching the falls, but do not forget about other entertainment. Definitely, if you are there in winter, there is not much to see; however, if you are there in summer, there is a lot to see and to do. You can take some cruises coming very close to the falls so that you can become totally wet because of the water. Some of those cruises are very entertaining, so go check their websites.
Do not spend all your time inside of the hotel, no, please, do not! Enjoy the gorgeous view, take pictures, walk and be happy! As the sun goes down, the night fun begins, oh, yes. First of all, there is a good place to visit, Clifton Hill. There you will find the Niagara SkyWheel. When you are on the top, you feel so impressed, no words needed… just experience that.
I can share my own experience, I was on the Wheel and all three times I was on the top, there were fireworks. Yes, fireworks take place in the late evening when it is getting dark and people can see them (so the schedule for them depends on the season). Besides, you can see the Niagara Falls in the night with beautiful lights; it reminded me (somehow) the northern lights, so beautiful it was.
And definitely, you should visit souvenir/gift shops in the downtown area. You will find unique souvenirs and a very good memory to bring back with you. Do not leave it for the other day, buy them as you see and like them. It is worth it.
Concluding this part of the journey, I can say that no matter where you are from, no matter how old you are, no matter if you do not have much time; every minute spent there is memorable and enjoyable! It is a good family place. So, try to find some space in your schedule for such a lovely place. I sincerely hope you are going to like the Niagara Falls.
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Julia Kostina is a professional luxury travel consultant at Renshaw Travel, one of the best luxury travel agencies in Canada.