Oh Canada! Our Favorite Things To Do In Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls has evolved into so much more than 1960s honeymoon spot of our parents. From the falls to the lake, Niagara has got it going on. Where else can you sip Ice Cuvee at lunch and fly over North America’s most powerful waterfall before dinner? And the fun doesn’t stop there. We’ve put together our favorite things to do in Niagara Falls, just don’t expect the heart shaped hotel Jacuzzi to make the list.
Jet Boat Through Devil’s Hole
Let me first just say that you will get wet, and you will love every minute of your time in Niagara’s whitewater playground. In my teenager years, I went whitewater rafting a few times and loved it. But our river trips were only through class 1-3 rapids, which are fun, but nothing too radical. I had always wanted to go bigger, but, honestly, I was a bit afraid. Well, in July, I finally got my chance to experience the raw power of the Niagara River gorge, whose class 5 rapids are commonly referred to as the “Mount Everest” of whitewater rapids.
This time, though, the raft and paddle were replaced by a Whirlpool Jet Boat, which is a custom vessel that uses a triple turbo diesel jet system for propulsion and steering. The design allows the boat to maneuver through the turbulent whitewater and do unique tricks, like 360 flat spins, in the calmer portions of the river gorge.
Take a Helicopter Ride Over Niagara Falls
How do you make your first helicopter ride even better? You take it over Niagara Falls, of course. I was a little nervous as the chopper hovered off the ground before darting into the clear blue sky, but as we came up over the river gorge, all my worries disappeared as I peered wide-eyed out the window and down to the cauldron of whitewater that flowed from the three waterfalls.
Beth and I flew the friendly Northern Ontario skies with Niagara Helicopters, which has got it down to an art. Flights are approximately nine minutes long, so not long after one helicopter takes off another lands. As you take off a pre-recorded tour begins playing in your flight headphones, giving you a lot of information and details about what you are viewing. Aside from going over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel, flying over the mammoth waterfalls is without a doubt the most thrilling way to see these natural wonders.
Sip Ice Cuvee On A Summer’s Day
Looking back on our summer Niagara getaway, I realize now that it was a trip of firsts. But nothing made tingle–not even the jet boat or helicopter ride–the way that my first glass of Ice Cuvee did. A true award winner, Peller Estate’s Ice Cuvee is a spectacular off-dry sparkling wine made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Grapes in the traditional méthode’. A ‘dosage’ of Vidal Icewine is then added when the lees are degorged, which helps to create a burst of flavor. Honestly, though, the estate’s Ice Cuvee would be just as good in the dead of a Yukon winter, especially if you were pairing it with an Indian curry dish or some spicy Asian food (pairing tip courtesy of Peller Estates).
Tour the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake by bicycle
I like wine tasting. I also like riding bikes. So when I found out that they two activities have been combined at Niagara-on-the Lake, I was psyched. Unfortunately, we were a little late getting into the area, so we didn’t get to partake in this activity. But since I already did the research, I figured I’d go ahead and include it here.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to more than 30 wineries, ranging from small cottages to world class estates, each bringing its own personality to the grape. Set along the historic south shore of Lake Ontario, a virtually flat bike path runs from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the falls. Our plan was to take to our bikes after our sensational lunch at Peller Estates and head up to Trius Winery at Hillebrand for a summer jazz festival. In the end, we did get to visit both wineries, we just had to do it by car.
In addition to bicycle rentals, several outfits also do wine bike tours, which I think would make for a perfect afternoon. For more information about renting a bicycle or doing a wine tour, check out Zoom Lesiure Bikes. They’ve got a location at the lake and the falls, and even offer free delivery of the bike within 8km of either one of their shops.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Niagara Falls?
*While we were hosted by the Canadian Tourism Board, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.
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