You’ve always wanted to feel the sprays of Niagara Falls hitting your face, and witnessing a Toronto sunset unfold from atop the CN Tower is on your bucket list. There is perhaps no better home base for exploring these Ontario attractions and more than Hamilton, which has its own rich assortment of sights and sounds. Situated within an hour’s drive of both Niagara Falls and Toronto, Hamilton has a thriving art scene and smorgasbord of natural vistas. As if that weren’t impressive enough, the community has preserved a number of important historical landmarks, where you can celebrate the region’s history.
We teamed up with two Hamilton experts, Tourism Hamilton and Hamilton International Airport, to bring you the ultimate guide to make the most out of your time in town. Start your adventure with VIP treatment at Hamilton’s conveniently located airport and continue to be spoiled for choice from there.
Take a Bite Out of Hamilton
The culinary scene in Hamilton is off and running, with no signs of slowing down its progress any time soon. Between the arrival of restaurant group the Other Bird and an influx of other entrepreneurs, you’ll find a new spot opening in the Hammer nearly every month. Sink your teeth into a meaty mouthful at Chuck’s Burger Bar, or devour a plate of jerk chicken from Caribbean Canadian Fast Food. Cap off any day in Hamilton with a stop at Two Black Sheep, a local favorite for late-night eats and cocktails.
Channel Your Inner Art Critic
Once your stomach is full, you can also feed your inner artist in Hamilton. The third largest public gallery in the nation, the aptly named Art Gallery of Hamilton, showcases an intensely diverse collection. Check out the sculpture garden, and meander through exhibits of painted canvases, photography, and more. Meanwhile, southern Ontario remains committed to fostering a creative atmosphere. Art crawls, live music, and contemporary dance performances are also among the regular events.
See What History Reveals
Hamilton pays respect to the days of yore by turning sites like the Dundurn Castle into meaningful museums, where former residents are memorialized and past eras meticulously recreated. Tour Griffin House, the Erland Lee Home, and the McQuesten House to get up close and personal with residential architecture.
Military history buffs are welcome to visit the site of the Battle of Stoney Creek, which pays homage to a turning point in the War of 1812. One of the great things about flying into Hamilton International Airport is its proximity to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Show your same-day boarding pass to gain free admission and see dozens of aircraft. Then climb into a flight simulator and experience the historic Avro Lancaster up close.
Lose Your Worries in Nature
While Hamilton boasts plenty of man-made attractions and artistic creations, what Mother Nature has done with the place isn’t too shabby. The Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, is the pièce de résistance of the landscape here. Dozens of waterfalls, rugged mountain trails, and serene vistas are all on the menu. Hamilton also boasts two stunning waterfronts, and its 5,500 acres of parkland have earned it some bragging rights. If you’re a botanist at heart, reserve some time for a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens, where thousands of acres of manicured gardens and lovingly preserved natural lands await.
Once you experience Hamilton, it won’t take long for it to appear on your list of travel destinations again. Go ahead, book your trip into Hamilton International Airport and plan your stay in Hamilton now. You’ll be from the gate to your transportation in about 20 minutes, and from there a world of exploration is your oyster!