Thursday, July 31, 2014

Falls Guy

A healthy dose of Niagara



If your inner daredevil is taunting you to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, ask him for $10,000 to cover the stunting fines.

Instead, go for foodie-style wine tasting around one of Canada's greatest natural wonders, now in prime season.

(Yes, you’re going to the Canadian side. It's better.)

Get there
You have two options. Fly into Toronto and taking a romantic train ride on the VIA rail to Niagara Falls. Or land in Buffalo, NY, rent a car, and drive across the border for spectacular views.

Stand in awe
To feel the power and hear the roar of the falls, observe from several vantage points. First, go behind the great falls, 150 feet below the surface at Journey Behind the Falls. Hike along the rapids on the White Water Walk. Then board North America’s first tourist attraction, the Maid of the Mist, a boat that gets close enough to the falls to wet your pants — presumably from the water. Stick around for the stunning evening illumination after sunset.
All attractions open by April 12. Niagara Parks, niagaraparks.com (1-877-642-7275)

Stay
Skip the cornball honeymoon suites from the '70s and head for quaint Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL), a short 20-minute drive. Surrounded by wineries, you’ll be glad for a nearby place to rest your head after all those tastings. The five-star Pillar and Post country inn features an on-site spa. All guests get access to the heated indoor and outdoor pools, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and outdoor hot springs. Yes, more outdoor water attractions.
Rates from $149/night. 48 John St. W., Niagara-on-the-Lake. (1-888-669-5566)

Eat
Dine as close as you can get to the falls (without falling in) at Elements on the Falls.

6650 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls (905-354-3631)

In NOTL, feast on a gourmet tasting menu and wine pairing at the Peller Estates Winery Restaurant overlooking the vineyards.
290 John St. E., NOTL (888-673-5537)

Or join the locals at Stone Road Grille (known as REST to the townspeople) for The Weekly Beast, a delectable snout-to-tail multi-dish creation.
238 Mary St., NOTL (905-468-3474)

Drink
Rent a bike or hire a driver/tour guide to taste your way through NOTL’s 28 wineries (most known for the region's signature ice wine) with Grape Escape Wine Tours. Make sure Stratus, Reif Estate and Inniskillin wineries are all on your itinerary for three diverse approaches to winemaking.

Photo credit Rodrigo Orta

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