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Sheraton On The Falls Blog


Spotlight on the Crossing Point Tour

SOTFblog3One of the darkest parts of American history centers on the institution of slavery. Both before the American Revolutionary War and after, the trafficking of African people was big business that drove everything from industry and agriculture to politics and culture in the burgeoning democracy.

As the abolitionist movement that finally led to the American Civil War heated up, an Underground Railroad was developed that helped enslaved people escape bondage to find a new life in free states in the Northern United States and in Canada. Niagara Falls, because of its location at the American border, was a prominent place for enslaved African Americans to make their way to and settle on their quest for freedom.

Part of Niagara Bound Tours, the Crossing Point Tour highlights the people, places, events, and experiences of the many fleeing, enslaved African Americans who resettled as free people in southern Ontario. Here is a little of what you can expect should you take part in the Crossing Point Tour while visiting Niagara Falls.

The Underground Railroad

During the 19th century, the Underground Railroad developed to assist enslaved people on their path to freedom. A secret network of people, routes, and places used by abolitionists, allies, and former slaves, it was often a harrowing and difficult journey. While some enslaved people simply found their way to the sympathetic and non-slave-owning Northern United States, others wanted to ensure their freedom by following the Underground Railroad all the way up to Canada.

Niagara Falls and the southern Ontario region were vital parts of the Underground Railroad, and the Crossing Point Tour tells much of this fascinating history from the early years of passage through the Civil War.


In many ways it’s hard to imagine just how dangerous the passage from slavery into freedom was for any person attempting to escape the American South, but this tour brings the stories to life.

Fugitives from the law, enslaved people faced grave danger trying to reach Canada. The tour highlights individual stories of escape, travail, bravery, and danger to give tour attendees a true taste of what it would have been like to escape slavery and try to get to freedom, as well as the process of resettling after making it across the border.

Your Tour Guide

SOTFblog4The Crossing Point Tour is given by a woman named Lezlie Harper Wells. She is a fifth generation Canadian and a direct descendent of a fugitive enslaved person who escaped Kentucky in 1850 and made it to Canada to start a new life in the Niagara area. Her interest in and knowledge of the area is vast and detailed, which makes for an informative and exciting tour. Regardless of whether you’re traveling with a large group or a family of four, the tour is totally customizable regarding time frame, budget, and even meals.

Whether you’ve visited the Niagara region dozens of times or you decide to take this tour on your first trip here, the Crossing Point Tour will give you a great appreciation for the place and its people in relation to the struggle for freedom millions of enslaved African Americans endured in the United States.

When You Need to Find a Dress in Niagara, Head to One of These 3 Shops

SOTFBlog1It’s almost inevitable when you head out on vacation that something you count as essential is forgotten or misplaced. While a missing toothbrush, shaver, or phone charger is certainly annoying to have to hunt down in a new location, these types of commonly forgotten items are almost always replaceable at any number of different stores close to your Niagara hotel. Forgetting your little black dress or its equivalent, however, is a problem of an entirely different magnitude.

For the woman intent on looking her best along every stop of her Niagara itinerary, leaving a treasured piece of clothing in your closet back home is tantamount to disaster. Should you find yourself facing a fancy evening without your fancy evening wear in the shadow of Niagara Falls, don’t despair. The Niagara region has plenty of places where you can find the perfect dress to replace the one you left behind, whether what you need is wedding attire, film premier, anniversary dinner, or icewine gala.

The Perfect Dress

Just as the name suggests, you really can find the perfect dress at this store, so long as the dress you’re looking for is on the fancier side. A formal wear shop that caters to brides, teenagers headed to prom or quinceanera, and women on the guest lists of the region’s finest galas, The Perfect Dress is an ideal spot if the dress you’re replacing was a true force to be reckoned with. Whether you want sequins, silk, floor length or a rhinestone-studded mini, when you need something to wear to a black tie affair in Niagara, The Perfect dress is the perfect place to find what you need.


Located in the Niagara Mall, when you need a simple dress fast and you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, pop into Ardene. While it tends to cater to a younger crowd, a woman of almost any age should be able to find something she could use here, provided she doesn’t mind looking very on-trend, and who could possibly mind that — especially while on vacation?

While nothing in the store will fit in the formal wear category (just in case you’re going to a wedding), there are plenty of more casual-looking and feeling dresses as well as dresses that would be perfect for a cocktail party or dinner.

Canadian Clothing Exchange

SOTFblog2A consignment store unlike any other, you might feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack at the Canadian Clothing Exchange when you’re looking for the perfect dress, but since the store routinely deals in gently used designer threads, it’s actually possible to find an amazing dress at a massive savings.

That being said, you should only venture into the Canadian Clothing Exchange if you aren’t pinched for time in regards to your dress pursuit. Because their inventory is always turning over, it’s possible to spend time hunting there and still not turn up a single item you can use.

So, don’t worry when you leave your favorite dress behind. So long as your vacation is in Niagara, you can easily find a standout replacement.

If You Could Only Eat One Meal in Niagara Falls…

SOTFblog1.jpgAh, eating. Is there any vacation pleasure more reliable than that of getting to taste and eat the cuisine in a brand-new place? For many of us, the answer is a resounding, “Nope!”

Food tells as much if not more about a place, a people, a history, and a culture than even the most thorough and engaging museums do, and while much of the food in Niagara would be familiar to anyone from Canada or the United States, there are still some restaurants or dishes that bear singling out because they are so exceptional.

For the visitor to Niagara who’s pinched for time or just wants to make sure not a single meal is wasted, here is a look at a few of the places where your time and hunger are sure to be well-spent. If you could only eat one meal in Niagara, eat at one of the following places.

Windows by Jamie Kennedy

There are a plethora of reasons why Windows would make a great choice for the traveler who had but one meal to give, but prime among them are its location and the view it provides. Set on the 13th floor of the Sheraton on the Falls hotel, guests enjoy their meals against the breathtaking backdrop of the area’s eponymous waterfalls.

In addition to the exceptional view, the food is always prepared from the finest and freshest local ingredients year round, and the wine list is second to none. For a one-meal event that will give you a literal taste of Niagara’s bounty while you gaze wonderingly at Niagara Falls, Windows by Jamie Kennedy is an excellent choice.

Taps on Queen

SOTFblog2.jpgFor the craft beer lover who’d like to experience a little local beer flavor, a meal at Taps on Queen is in order. Lagers, IPAs, Cream Ales, Wheat beers — there’s bound to be something you can enjoy with your single Niagara meal that will give you an inside experience of what beer in the region tastes like. In addition to the local beer experience, Taps also has some stellar pub food.

While the burgers, sandwiches, and mussels are all worthy of eating, what you should definitely ingest sits somewhere on Taps’ Poutine-a-Palooza menu. Poutine is a uniquely Canadian dish that usually varies little. More often than not, it’s just French fries covered with fresh cheese curd and gravy — comfort food at its finest. However, the Taps poutine menu is broad. Choose between Classic, Chili and Cheese, Philly Steak, Vegetable Curry, and the Piggy Poutine, which features both pulled pork and bacon in addition to curds and gravy.

Windows by Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill & Wine Bar Wins Golden Plate Award

ClefsdeDor(3)The Windows by Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill & Wine Bar restaurant located inside the Sheraton on the Falls hotel has just been awarded the 2015 Golden Plate Award. Les Clefs d’Or Niagara recognizes one local restaurant each year with this prestigious award based on criteria related to cuisine, customer service, restaurant atmosphere, reservation convenience, and guest feedback.

The award is now in its ninth year and the Windows by Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill & Wine Bar team is honoured to be chosen as the 2015 recipient. Lead by a strong commitment to seasonal cuisine and Niagara’s burgeoning farm-to-table movement, each Windows dining experience offers a remarkable taste of the best ingredients that Niagara has to offer along with an extensive list of award-winning local wines.

The Windows by Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill & Wine Bar team is proud to be recognized for their commitment to excellence and looks forward to continuing to offer spectacular Fallsview dining experiences right in the heart of Niagara Falls.

Spectacular New Year’s Eve Experiences Await in Niagara Falls

niagara-falls-fireworks-largeExperience a world-class New Year’s Eve celebration in Niagara Falls at the city’s amazing annual free concert in Queen Victoria Park, located just steps away from the thundering Falls. This year’s concert starts at 8:00pm with the musical line-up featuring performances by Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, Dennis Deyoung and the music of Styx, Down With Webster, and Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies! The amazing live music, beautiful setting, and spectacular fireworks show are sure to make this New Year’s Eve a night to remember.

And for the very best view of Niagara Falls and the surrounding parklands make sure to book a spectacular Fallsview room at the 4-Diamond Sheraton on the Falls hotel and admire the awe-inspiring Falls and remarkable fireworks show from floor-to-ceiling windows. 2016 is almost here and Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls is the place to be this New Year’s Eve to ring it in and celebrate!

4 Restaurants With Live Music in Niagara

SOTFblog3.jpegEating dinner while on vacation is almost always a treat. Besides being able to relish the work of someone else’s hands in preparation, service, and clean up, many towns, regions, and provinces have their very own unique spin on dining and food. The Niagara region is especially rich when it comes to restaurants that are able to provide excellent eating experiences, and for the traveler to Niagara who loves live music, many establishments provide that as well.

Here is a closer look at four of the restaurants in the region that can be counted on to provide quality, live music along with their tasty fare.

Mahtay Cafe

A comfortable and cozy little restaurant in St. Catharines, the Mahtay Cafe is a favorite among the locals. The first time you set foot in it, you’ll see why. Besides offering a welcoming atmosphere, they’re also a mainstay of the local music scene, offering everything from live jazz to record release events. Thursdays are open mic nights, and the first Friday of every month brings out all the local slam poets.

The live music events tend to start earlier in the evening, too, so you can enjoy your meal and the music at the same time. They’re open from 7 a.m. in the morning until late at night, and their menu has everything on it from hummus and nachos to pizza and salads.

The Olde Angel Inn

An authentic English pub, The Olde Angel Inn was originally established all the way back in 1789. It boasts gas fireplaces in its three dining rooms, and the decor and atmosphere absolutely drip history. They’re another go-to venue for local and regional bands, too, where every Wednesday through Saturday, you can find everything from a rock and roll band to a singer-songwriter gracing the stage. Their food can accommodate quite the variance in taste, too, as you’ll find both escargot and potato skins on the menu in addition to many excellent beer and wine offerings.

SOTFblog4.jpegSpicy Olive Bar and Grille

Centrally located in the Niagara Falls tourist district, which means it’s just a quick walk from the waterfalls themselves, the Spicy Olive is a family-owned and operated restaurant that features tasty Italian fare seven days a week.

They also offer live music almost every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. If you’re someone who likes to dance, the music they feature tends to be the kind you can move to. So, come in for dinner and enjoy everything from stone-fired pizzas to specialty pastas, and then, dance the night away.

Taps Brewing Company

An excellent restaurant to head to if you or anyone in your party is a beer lover, Taps Brewing Company specializes in quality craft beers made in small batches. They’re purists, so they only use water, hops, malted barley, and yeast. The results are fantastic, and their excellent kitchen is a welcome compliment. They have mouth-watering pizza and sandwiches, and for the poutine lover, they offer a near cornucopia of options. They also offer live music two days a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Most of the music starts late, so be sure to plan accordingly.

The next time you make it to Niagara, don’t forego the music in favor of a meal. As these four restaurants show, there are plenty of ways to do both.

Some of the Best Amenities at Sheraton on the Falls

sotfblog1.jpegChoosing where to stay when you visit Niagara Falls is no easy task, as there are scores of award-winning hotels, campsites, and bed and breakfasts scattered throughout the city and the region. While the range of lodging options can provide for a difficult decision-making process, overall, the fact that there is such a wide variety of places to stay helps ensure that almost everyone can find a place to unwind, relax, and sleep when they come to experience all the fullness and fun that Niagara has to offer.

At Sheraton on the Falls, we take great pride in being one of the region’s finest hotels. From our on-site spa to the fantastic view that can be had throughout our space, here is a brief look at just a few of the many world-class amenities that have made our hotel one of the most sought-after in the region.

The View

While there are a thousand reasons to visit Niagara Falls, the primary one is still the trio of impressive and natural waterfalls for which the town and region take their names. When you stay at Sheraton on the Falls, you’re not only a stone’s throw from the water, but you can also book a fallsview room that will supply you with an outstanding and coveted view.

Gaze admiringly out of your hotel room’s window each morning of your stay as millions of gallons of water rush by. Marvel at the ways in which the fireworks light up the water during the many nighttime fireworks displays. If you want a view of the falls that is both unparalleled and easily had whenever you look out your hotel room window, Sheraton on the Falls is hard to beat.

Green Initiatives

For the eco-minded, travel can be a headache. How do you travel and keep your carbon footprint small? Where do you stay where comfort and eco-consciousness co-exist? Sheraton on the Falls has been given the esteemed 4 Green Keys Rating, a recognition granted by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program. That recognition indicates that the staff and management at Sheraton on the Falls are hard at work implementing environmentally sound practices and policies such as:

  • Improved water conservation
  • More efficient waste management
  • Ecologically minded purchasing programs
  • The use of natural light for housekeeping services
  • Biodegradable cleaners instead of chemical cleaners

sotfblog2.jpegChristienne Fallsview Spa

What could be better than staying in a hotel that has an award-winning spa on-site? Staying at a hotel with a killer view of the waterfalls that also has an award-winning spa on site, that’s what.

At Sheraton on the Falls, guests can easily make use of the Christienne Fallsview Spa, which not only offers state-of-the art treatments, but also supplies visitors with yet another tremendous view of thundering Niagara Falls. From manicures and pedicures to facials and massage, whatever it is you need to fully relax and rejuvenate, you can find it at our spa.

Don’t just head to Niagara Falls and hope for the best. Stay with us, and enjoy one of the best experiences and views the area has to offer.

Magical Holiday Experiences Await at Falls Avenue Resort

holidayExperience the breathtaking sights of Niagara Falls in wintertime with Falls Avenue Resort’s special Holiday Magic package, which will gain you and your family access to a number of incredible accommodation, dining, and entertainment destinations right in the heart of the city’s tourist district.

The Holiday Magic package allows you to stay in direct view of the snowy and spectacular Niagara Falls with a Fallsview room at the 4-Diamond Sheraton on the Falls, or choose amazing accommodations at one of three other Falls Avenue Resort hotels.

You and your family will also be connected with one-of-a-kind entertainment and receive four two-day passes to the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and passes to the Adventure Heroes Laser Ride, Wild Safari Mini Golf, Combat Bumper Cars, and an amazing Magic Show on select dates.

And for the best in Fallsview dining, enjoy a Kids Eat Free meal at the Fallsview Buffet Restaurant or the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra, and Kids Eat Free lunch or dinner at Planet Hollywood.

Make this holiday season a truly spectacular one by visiting fallsavenueresort.com/packages/family-holiday and booking your limited-time package today!

wfol-event-calendar-promoWinter Festival of Lights Brings Spectacular Sparkle to Niagara Falls

The amazing Winter Festival of Lights transforms Niagara into a spectacular winter wonderland from November 21st until January 31st, illuminating Niagara Falls and the surrounding parklands with millions of sparkling lights and one-of-a-kind light displays.

You can experience this incredible festival by driving along the 5km festival route, looking out over the illuminated Falls from floor-to-ceiling windows in a Fallsview guest room, catching a spectacular fireworks show right over Niagara Falls, or visiting Dufferin Islands to take in the magnificent Great Canadian Outdoors light displays, which includes three-dimensional displays of moose, bison, geese, bears, deer, and more! There are also beautiful lights to be seen in the Fallsview District, and in the Lundy’s Lane Battlefield Park.

Winter is an exciting season in which to visit Niagara Falls, and the Winter Festival of Lights is a beloved tradition that adds sparkling beauty and all-ages fun to every getaway experience.

5 Reasons to Spend the Holidays in Niagara

For some people, trying to decide where to spend the holidays is easy, whether it’s because Mom’s stuffing is too fantastic to miss or because you married into a family that’s amazing at marking Hanukkah. For many, however, the holidays often present one more dilemma of decision-making that can create more headaches than happy memories. If you’re unsure about where to spend the holidays this December, consider giving yourself a vacation you’ll always remember. Here are five reasons to head to the Niagara region for the holidays.

1. The Falls

image001Ironically, the waterfalls at Niagara Falls are sometimes taken for granted, by locals and visitors alike. After all, they’re always here, and because they’re the primary reason the place is known as a destination at all, they can get lumped in with the ordinary — until you see them in person that is. When you first lay eyes in real time anspace on these stunning displays of nature’s power and majesty, you’ll realize they aren’t just photo opportunities. They’re proof of the world’s wildness, and they can serve as a means to reconnect with wonder — something many of us are looking for in our holiday experiences.

2. The Winter Festival of Lights

If you love holiday light displays, the Winter Festival of Lights is its own reason to spend the holidays in Niagara. Millions of lights and illuminated holiday displays span an almost three-mile route that includes the Dufferin Islands, the tourist districts, and parts of the Niagara Parks. More than 1 million visitors head to Niagara for this light display from November 21 until January 31, and you can easily be one of them.

3. The Wine

The wine in Niagara is a reason to visit every day of the year, but for anyone who loves to eat their holiday meals with the fruit of the vine, it can be hard to improve on the offerings available throughout the Niagara Peninsula. While many of our area wineries distribute their goods beyond the region, there are still plenty of vintages that can only be gotten locally. If you consider yourself a oenophile, or if you’re aspiring to become one, the holidays are a perfect time to hunker down with some excellent Niagara wine and get to know the region’s terroir and offerings a little better.

4. The Food

image003Niagara is known as a gastronomical wonderland, and during the holidays, the many excellent farm-to-table restaurants provide menus that reflect the season and the season’s bounty. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on your favorite holiday food, let Niagara’s talented chefs and fertile farms counter that concern. From Windows by Jamie Kennedy and the Rainbow Room to Treadwell and Ravine Winery Restaurant, you can satisfy every taste bud on your tongue multiple times throughout a holiday stay in the area.

5. Fewer People

Finally, celebrate the holidays with a trip to Niagara, because Niagara itself takes on a mystique unique to the season. While the summer affords an energy that can only be granted by massive crowds and non-stop action, the winter’s slower pace and less populated spaces make it an ideal time to be alone or with a loved one. For a holiday that’s intimate, Niagara in December is perfect.

So head to Niagara for the holidays, from the falls to the food, it’s a perfect time for celebration.

Stay Fit on Vacation: 4 Easy Ways to Get Physical This December in Niagara

image001While it isn’t the first thing listed on most Niagara Falls itineraries, for many vacationers, staying in shape while traveling is still a goal they work hard to reach. After all, vacation is often a time of hearty eating and drinking, which means exercise — while a little tougher to convince yourself to do — is even more welcome than normal. If you’re planning a trip to Niagara this December, and you’re worried about being able to stay on top of your fitness goals, don’t be. The place is teeming with unique opportunities that will make moving your body more fun than ever.

1. First Fridays Swing Fever

On Friday, December 4 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., join other lovers of culture, history, music, and dancing for a night of fun that will barely register in your mind as exercise. Every first Friday of the month at the Niagara Falls History Museum, you can dance the night away to a live band, while enjoying hors d’oeurves and drinks. Tickets are just $10, and, if you’re serious about it, you can get a great workout while having a great time. Of, course, if you aren’t serious about it, you can still have a fantastic evening that just happens to include dancing. How you look at it is up to you.

2. Hiking

image003There are so many opportunities to get outside in the cooling late autumn and early winter air in the Niagara region that it’s impossible to list all of them. From the Niagara Glen to the many conservation areas filled with trails that dot the Niagara Peninsula, how much or little you want to get outdoors, enjoy the scenery, and get your blood pumping is entirely up to you. Rest assured, however, that you will not want for beautiful places to hike in the Niagara region during the month of December.

3. Community Yoga

A join venture of Shine On Yoga and the Niagara Falls History Museum, you can also take part in free community yoga classes — even if you’ve never done yoga before. On Thursday, December 3 and Thursday, December 17 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., join other yogis of all skill levels at the museum for a free class that will stretch you, relax you, and, in general, create a context of improved health. The class is limited to 20 people, so get there early to make sure you get a spot. Of course, there are also plenty of yoga studios throughout the Niagara region if you’d like to fit in more yoga during your stay.

4. The Hotel’s Fitness Center

The Sheraton on the Falls is an ideal hotel for staying on top of your fitness goals while on vacation. With a fitness center outfitted with everything from stationary bikes and treadmills to elliptical machines and free weights, you’re more than equipped to get in your daily workout. There’s also an indoor pool where you can swim, and we offer a series of workout programs you can download if you’d like a little guidance.

Don’t set aside your health and exercise goals just because you’re on vacation. When you’re visiting Niagara, staying in shape can be part of the fun.