From the cheesy to the tasty to the quaint, the Niagara Falls area has it all.

Just one and a half hours from Toronto is one of Canada’s most famous tourist attractions: Niagara Falls. A Niagara weekend getaway is the perfect short break.

The Falls themselves are free to see. Here’s what you need to know.

  • View the Falls for free at Table Rock Welcome Centre.
  • To get a closer look, you can pay to take a cruise, a helicopter ride, or a journey behind the Falls.
  • The Falls are lit up every night. On certain dates they are in special colours, but every night they are illuminated and spectacular.
The falls are lit at night.

The falls are lit at night.

At one time it was the Falls alone that attracted people to the area. But with so many people visiting Niagara Falls, novelty museums were inspired to piggy-back on the attraction of the Falls. Now there are lots of thing to do and see.

Cheesy Niagara weekend getaway

How many quirky tourist attractions can you fit into one weekend? Well, you have many options. This is just a short list:

There are also less cheesy but equally fun things to do, such as:

  • Niagara Go-Karts
  • Super Putt
  • Niagara IMAX Theatre
Southbrook Vineyards wine with their vines in background.

Southbrook Vineyards wine with their vines in background.

Tasty Niagara weekend getaway

Near Niagara Falls is Niagara wine country. With over 70 wineries in the area you have plenty to choose from. Take a self-guided approach (cycle or have a designated driver) or let someone else do the driving on one of a variety of wine and culinary tours available.

At the wineries you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the processes of the various vineyards, taste, and yes, buy wine if you like. Don’t miss trying Icewine, a local specialty. If wine isn’t to your liking, there are a number of local craft breweries you can visit as well. Three of my favourite wineries are:

  • Fielding Estates
  • GreenLane Winery
  • Southbrook Vineyards

Watch for events, festivals, and parties at the various vineyards.

Chef Jason Parsons of Peller Estates in the overseeing the preparation of our Kitchen Table Dinner.

Quaint Niagara weekend getaway

Half an hour from the Falls is Niagara-on-the-Lake, a quaint town of about 15,000 residents with a charming main street. High on your list of things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake should be:

  • The Shaw Festival – The Festival is the second largest repertory theatre company in North America and features plays by George Bernard Shaw and contemporaries in four venues from April to October.
  • Shopping on Queen Street – This is the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the heart of the Heritage District. Don’t miss the Beau Chapeau Hat Shop, Irish Design, or the Scottish Loft.
  • Peller Estates – A short walk out of town is Peller Estates where you can take a wine tour and enjoy a variety of dinner options including a Kitchen Table Dinner hosted by the chef or dining in the vineyard.
  • Niagara Apothecary Museum – This authentic restoration of an 1869 pharmacy provides a unique dose of medical history.

Choose your theme and experience Niagara Falls your way. Or mix them up and enjoy a cheesy morning, a tasty afternoon, and a quaint evening.

What will be on your must-do list in Niagara Falls?