When my friend Lisa told me she was getting matted in Niagara on the Lake, I immediately looked it up online… and was so excited to go.
I love a tourist trap (I mean that in the best way) and this is exactly what it looked like – a cute, little Canadian town full of polite people. Give me a couple of roads with quaint local shops and bakeries and I will be entertained for a week!
In this post, I’m going to share seven things you can do in and around the prettiest town – Niagara on the Lake. While we didn’t do all of these things with three kids in tow, we hope to visit again and do even more.
7 Things to do in Niagara on the Lake in Ontario, Canada
1. Shop in the Historic Downtown
Because you can’t walk around Niagara on the Lake and not shop. But seriously, you can just walk around Queen Street and King Street. The town with all of its antique shops is gorgeous.
Whoever does the landscaping and flowers is amazing at their jobs. Yes, it means bees are just about everywhere, but it is stunning.
Whenever I go anywhere, I love to get a souvenir of my trip… and I got a few. At one of the boutique shops, we all got some Niagara on the Lake gear – hats, sweats, and shirts. At another, I spent a little too much on matching Canadian Christmas jammies. (Mark my words – we will take a family picture in them!)
My next trip will hopefully include a stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel, see a show at Shaw Festival Theatre, and take a carriage ride alongside the retail shops and boutique hotels.
2. Eat in the Historic Downtown
The breakfast, the fudge, the pizza, and for my husband… all the baked goods. While you’re shopping, there are so many great places to stop for great things to eat. I’m a fan of all the sweets and snacks in the heritage district.
I suggest sitting outside if you can to see the historic sites in the old town.
The good news? There is a lot of free parking in this small town. If you want to do more drinking than eating, lots of wineries are just a short drive away. Speaking of…
3. Take a Winery Tour
While I did make it to a winery because that’s where my friend Lisa got married, I did not go on a tour.
I’m not a big wine drinker, but I think this is something I’d like to do because maybe I’ll find a wine I like on a tour and will become a wine drinker.
If you like to drink local wines, then I suggest hopping on Niagara Stone Road and checking out the dozens of nearby wineries and places to tour… and the fun, different ways to tour them.
In Southern Ontario, this is hands down one of the best places to visit if you are a fan of red wine, white wine, or ice wine. One of the lake wineries we visited was Wayne Gretzky Estates. But again, it was for lunch and we didn’t drink too much or take a tour.
4. Visit the Park and the Coast
Remember when I said the first capital of Upper Canada is a great place to just walk around, this is why.
You can take your ice cream, cookies, and fudge to the park or the coastline to just relax with the victorian buildings surrounding you. There is also a cute local bookshop in the historic downtown, so you can grab a book and take it to the park or water edge and spend the day reading. (Now, that’s my kind of day!)
When we were there, we saw a couple getting married right on the shores of Lake Ontario at Queens Royal Park. It’s here on the Niagara peninsula that you can see New York in the United States.
The Fort George National Historic Site with Navy Hall is also within walking distance.
5. Go Golfing
This is one of two things we did not do during our trip, however, I would be remiss having a golf pro as a husband if I did not add this one to the list.
When we drove into the historic downtown, we could not miss the Niagara on the Lake Golf Course. The location couldn’t be better – right in between the water and the hustle and bustle of all the action.
6. See Niagara Falls
My daughter Julianna has been asking to see the falls for a couple of years now. So, when we went to Niagara on the Lake, it was so easy to drive the 15 minutes to the falls.
This was pretty cool to see. Click here to hop aboard the boat with us and go into the falls. We got soaked, but it was so cool to see.
While there is a lot to walk around and do and see, we didn’t do anything else there, but you can do a walking tour, zip line, huge sightseeing wheel, and more.
Obviously, we viewed falls from the Canadian side. It really is the better side with breathtaking views because there are more waterfalls to see.
7. Visit Toronto
Luckily, we flew in and out of Toronto for our visit, so it made it easy to explore part of this amazing city in the province of Ontario. There is so much to do here, but we kept it easy and all within walking distance of our downtown hotel. Click here to see a :30 Instagram reel of our trip.
Because I’m not a fan of heights, Julianna joined her dad at the top of the CN tower to check out the city.
We all walked by where the Blue Jays play baseball, now known as Rogers Centre, ate and drank at some local restaurants, and walked around the very clean and friendly downtown.
We loved our vacation so much and are planning to go back, so please let me know what I should do next time on the trip.
If you’ve been to Toronto, Niagara on the Lake, or Niagara Falls, then let me know what I missed and what I can add to this list, and my next experience. You can find me on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay.