5 things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake
You’ve heard of Niagara Falls and its adjacent tourist town, but have you heard of Niagara-on-the-Lake?
Located only 25 minutes from the famous waterfalls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a well-preserved 19th-century village - with beautiful Colonial-style buildings - which looks out onto the scenic Lake Ontario. It’s the destination of choice for travellers who want to be within easy reach of the iconic Niagara Falls but desire somewhere more peaceful than the bustling Toronto or Niagara Falls Town.
While the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is quaint and not overrun with glitzy attractions, there is still a generous helping of relaxing ways to spend your day. Here are the top five things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
1. Shaw Festival
If you’re a huge theatre-fiend visiting between April and October, then this is a must-do. The Shaw Festival is a major charitable theatre festival and is the second largest repertory theatre company in North America. 2018’s programme includes performances and re-enactments of The Magician's Nephew, A Christmas Carol, Grand Hotel and The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is the heart of Ontario’s wine region. There are 39 wineries that call this town home – all with their own unique and distinctive story. There’s Andrew Peller Limited who produced many of the brands you’ll see in Canadian wine shops, through to Frogpond Farm which is Ontario’s first certified organic winery.
Most of the wineries offer tours but require advance booking. There are also tour companies that offer days out stopping by different wineries by bike!
3. Fort George
Fort George National Historic Site is a historic military structure that was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812. It was built by the British Army in 1796 and became their HQ after it was completed in 1802. Today it consists of earthworks and palisades, along with internal structures, including an officer's quarters, and blockhouses for other military and their families. The Powder Artillery is the only original structure still standing. And remember to look out over the water where you’ll see historic Fort Niagara in New York State.
4. Outlet Collection
Even though Niagara-on-the-Lake isn’t a big city, it is still home to a big outlet-style mall that North America is famed for. Outlet Collection at Niagara is an open-air outlet shopping mall found on Queen Elizabeth Way and Glendale Avenue. Here you’ll find all you need for a shopping day trip: from big-name brands like Adidas, Kate Spade and The Body Shop, to restaurants like Subway, Bear Sushi, and Big Smoke Burger.
5. Niagara Falls
We can’t forget about the famous Niagara Falls, can we? Only a 25 minute drive away, you’ll be exploring the iconic falls and the surrounding town in no time. Remember to book yourself a ride on the Hornblower for a close-up view!