Monday, June 22, 2015

Niagara Falls and the Oh So Charming Niagara-on-the-Lake

Since I failed at posting my Photo Sunday on Sunday, I decided I owed you a full post.
The weekend before this one that I just missed, my mom, aunt, and I drove up from PA to Niagara Falls (Canada Side. Which is the best side).

The first day was very rainy and overcast.

The day we arrived at Niagara Falls it rained about 90% of the day. So we drove down toward Niagara-on-the-Lake and hit up some wineries. Did you know ice wine is cheaper then real wine in Canada? I love ice wine, but it is nearly fifty bucks at home. In Canada it was only about twenty Canadian dollars. Not bad at all. I didn't end up buying any though, because I preferred to save up my money for maple sugar candy. That stuff is expensive but tastes like sugar heaven.

We visited Niagara-on-the-Lake for real our second day (our only full day), because it was raining rather hard. The rain let up long enough the first day to snap some pictures of the falls, such as the one above, but you can see how overcast it was.

The view from above the falls. Look at those clouds overhead. Yuck.

You can barely see the falls through the haze, but the seagulls were having a grand time.

Luckily the rain held off enough after visiting the falls that we were able to walk down a couple blocks for dinner. We stayed at the Comfort Inn beside the falls, which was in a great location. The hotel itself was infuriating. They had free breakfast but it was only open for a couple hours and the room was teeny tiny, so you had to wait.

Back to dinner, we got ridiculously lost on our way to a restaurant I found on Yelp and never ended up finding it. We tried to follow Main Street to it, but I swear that road just vanishes. We could not find where the road continued and ended up just following Stanley. Still, we found a yummy little Italian place called Four Brothers Cucina. It doesn't have great reviews on Yelp, but I'm not sure why. Everything we got was great, but perhaps it is hit or miss.

Lucky for us, the next day was sunny and gorgeous. We got up early and made our way to the boat ride. While slightly pricey (20 Canadian dollars), the boat ride is definitely worth it. It is hard to fully appreciate how immense the falls are until you are at the bottom looking up at them.

Plus, fashionable ponchos.

My mom and I rocked the ponchos.

You will get soaked on the boat, even with the ponchos. I recommend getting there early, even if there is fog. The fog level is pretty consistent down at the base of the falls from the mist, even if it is really bad up top. Plus, when there is fog the line is super short.

My mom then proceeded to mix up the stores at Niagara Falls and the ones at Niagara-on-the-Lake and foolishly told us Niagara Falls had cute shops. It does not. It is like a flashy neon boardwalk. I hated it and quickly moved us on to Niagara-on-the-lake. The shops there are much, much, much cuter. The whole town is adorable and located right along the lake.

There are a couple restaurants, but don't feel like you have to go to them for great food. The little bakeries along the main stretch are amazing and reasonably priced. I got a spanakopita (not pronounced spankotopia as I like to say it) and it was phenomenal. Plus, it is all so cute!

Look at that little clock tower. 

It has stores like this.

And houses like this!

How can you not enjoy a town this darn cute? Plus many of the shops give free samples. Free samples are the best. Our favorite shop sells tapenades, jam, and some other goodies. The store is called Kurtz Orchards and has the best tapenades I have ever tasted. They are a bit pricey, but you can always just try them and not buy any. I suggest at least trying them. My mom bought a bunch because she has no self control.

We spent a couple hours wandering around the town and down to the nearby lake Ontario. I had no idea how massive the Great Lakes truly were before this trip. If you didn't know better you would think you were looking out at an ocean. They are that massive. If you visit Niagara-on-the-lake I would suggest walking down to the lakefront, there is a cute little park there.

Where is the end??

Looking out over the lake.

A cute pavilion beside the lake.

While the falls are breathtaking, for spending a day wandering I much preferred Niagara-on-the-Lake.

After a couple hours we returned to the falls for some pictures with actual sunshine. That hill to the falls is killer though. My legs were dying by the end of the day.

Much more sunshine.

Posing over the falls.

The walkway is very high up.

Much better views.

If you're ever in the Niagara Falls area, or within a reasonable driving distance, I suggest hitting them up. The falls are something everyone should get to see.

Plus the drive up from PA is super easy and mostly back roads, and Canada is not a bad place to drive.

Has anyone else been to Niagara Falls? What about Niagara-on-the-Lake? How'd you like them? Anyone else think maple sugar candy tastes like magic?


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