Known as a hotbed of award-winning wines, the Niagara Peninsula, and Niagara-on-the-Lake in particular, draws oenophiles from around the globe with astonishing and increasing frequency. The bucolic landscape, the cutting-edge technology, the never-ending stream of wine festivals and wine events — if you enjoy the fruit of the wine and the work and culture that surround it, Niagara is truly a heaven on earth.
Not everyone loves wine with the fervor of a saint, however, and for those who do not, it can seem like a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake can be avoided. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. From the shopping to the parks, here are five ways to spend the day in Niagara-on-the-Lake that have nothing to do with wine.
Regardless of what type of shopping you’re into, you’ll find something up your alley in Niagara-on-the-Lake. From quaint boutiques and art galleries to bookstores and thrift stores, you can easily while away the day roaming from store to store. Some highlights to put on your itinerary include the BeauChapeau Hat Shop, Modern Bee — a fabric and yarn store — and Kurtz Orchards Gourmet Marketplace.
Ok. So, maybe you don’t want to spend all day eating in Niagara-on-the-Lake, but if you wanted to, you’d have ample opportunity to eat like a king. Farm-to-table restaurants abound, as do small diners and cafes. Here are a handful of eateries sure to delight:
- A farm-to-table restaurant with the best in seasonal cuisine.
- Ginger Restaurant. A fun Asian fusion restaurant.
- Little Red Rooster. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at its comfort food-finest.
- The Old Winery Restaurant. Tuscan food and excellent wood-fired pizzas.
3. The Parks
Niagara-on-the-Lake boasts over a dozen beautifully maintained city parks. They range in size and function, but each one of them has an appeal all its own. Whether you’re looking for a park to take an easy walk in or you need a playground to let your children loose for a while, there’s a park in Niagara-on-the-Lake that will suit you. A couple of standouts are Centennial Park, which has the most facilities, including soccer fields, ball diamonds, tennis courts, and a skate park and William Nassau Park — a four-acre park that has a playground and a Memorial Garden that’s lovingly maintained by Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Horticultural Society.
4. Fort Mississauga
A National Historic Site, Fort Mississauga sits on the shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River. An all-brick fort that was built during the War of 1812 to replace Fort George, it was a central defense point that also included a lighthouse. For any lover of history, maritime, military or otherwise, it’s a beautiful spot on a stunning piece of shoreline.
5. The Niagara Apothecary Museum
An authentic restoration museum, as soon as you take a step into the Niagara Apothecary Museum you’ll feel instantly shuttled back in time. While the apothecary was a functioning pharmacy from 1820 until 1964, the museum has been restored to all the detailed glory of 1869. If you find medicine, tonics, and the history and culture of how people have tackled illness and wellness fascinating, you need to stop by.
So get yourself to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Even without the wine, it’s a wonderful place to spend the day.