When you visit the town of Niagara Falls, you'll inevitably go to see the actual Falls. It's no wonder. The so-called seventh Natural Wonder of the World is comprised of the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Combined, the falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet.
But there's so much more to this tourist area than these magical waterfalls. We chose some of our favourites:
1. Whirlpool Aero Car
The Whirlpool Aero Car, located downstream from the falls, is a cable car that crosses the Niagara River, travelling a one-kilometre round trip over a natural whirlpool.
2. The Butterfly Conservatory
The Butterfly Conservatory on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens features over 2,000 colourful, tropical butterflies from 45 different species.
3. The Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens are 99 acres filled with thousands of perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas and other flowers and vegetables, not to mention a world-famous rose garden featuring over 2,400 roses. If you're feeling romantic, take a horse and carriage ride through the grounds.
4. Clifton Hill
The Niagara SkyWheel is just one of the many attractions on Clifton Hill, the most famous street in Niagara Falls. You'll find everything from wax museums, midway rides and souvenir shops to themed restaurants and hotels along this commonly named "Street of Fun."
5. The Niagara Bird Kingdom
Just a five-minute walk from the falls, the Niagara Bird Kingdom is home to a vast array of birds as well as bearded dragons, snakes, tortoises and other creatures.
6. Hershey's Chocolate World
Hershey's Chocolate World is a chocolate lover's paradise. Come hungry. Try the chocolate fudge or chocolate-covered strawberries and wash it all down with a thick Hershey's chocolate shake.
7. The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, inside the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, features 16 slides that are up to six stories high, a giant wave pool, adult Jacuzzis and play areas for toddlers.
8. The Upside Down House
Have your world turned upside down at this attraction. Yes, everything is upside down on the inside as well, so feel free to belt out Lionel Richie's 80s hit "Dancing on the Ceiling" when you visit.
9. AG Inspired Cuisine
Niagara may have its fair of fast food or chain restaurants, but that doesn't mean you can't find fine dining. Check out AG Inspired Cuisine. The Sterling Silver tenderloin of beef tastes as good as it looks.
See current Travelzoo.ca Niagara Falls deals here.
Andrea Chrysanthou is an editor of the Travelzoo Canada blog and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.
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Oban Inn" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 160 Front St., Niagara-on-the-Lake Type of food: Modern takes on local ingredients Type of price: Appetizers and salads $12 to $18; mains $24 to $39 Known for: "Chef Jason Dobbie is a quiet rock star of a chef, one of those innovative but unassuming chefs," says Kimberley Gunning of Niagara Culinary Tours. "The raw steak and greens is a must and he does a wonderful vegan soba noodle dish. Perry Johnson, their manager, is the best host in NOTL hands down... a consummate entertainer and professional. This team is what Niagara is all about!"
Kitchen 76 at Two Sisters Vineyards" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 240 John Street East, Niagara-on-the-Lake Type of food: Italian Type of price: Appetizers $8 to $24; pasta and pizza $21 to $26; mains $29 to $40 Known for: "Excellent food, excellent wine, beautiful decor and atmosphere," says Joanne Deall, owner of Highbrook Bed and Breakfast and creator of lifestyle blog Niagarafied. "I've been several times, and each time it's been excellent."
Backhouse" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 242 Mary St., Niagara-on-the-Lake Type of food: "Cool climate" and "sustainable" cuisine — i.e. items grown in Canada, with their own private farm supplying as much as possible Type of price: Appetizers $5 to $11; mains $14 to $29; three and five-course tasting menus also available Known for: Beloved local chefs Ryan Crawford and Bev Hotchkiss were much celebrated when they opened this spot in 2015, and have been received praise for their attention to detail in everything from greens to tea.
Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 114 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake Type of food: Simple, high quality ingredients from local suppliers Type of price: Appetizers $12 to $20; mains $32 to $38 Known for: "Chef Stephen is a founder of wine country cuisine and has been doing farm-to-table long before it was a trend," says Gunning. "Their wine bar has a charcuterie platter that our customers keep asking for. And they have the best peameal bacon sandwich and fresh cut frites with rosemary sea salt and malt vinegar mayo that you can't leave a bite."
The Smokin' Buddha " width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 265 King St., Port Colborne Type of food: Global eats Type of price: Appetizers and salads $8 to $13; mains $12 to $16 Known for: "You can get Thai, Mexican, Indian and Japanese specialties all under one roof!" says Deall. "And the food is really delicious."
AG Inspired Cuisine" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 5195 Magdalen Ave., Niagara Falls Type of food: Classical French with a seasonal sensibility Type of price: Appetizers $10 to $16; mains $22 to $44 (approximate) Known for: "This is one of Niagara Falls' hidden gems," says Gunning. "Chef Corey Linkson, formerly of Hillebrand and Peller, has helped develop wine country cuisine as we know it. Try the sterling silver tenderloin with its almond-brie crust or the prosciutto-wrapped rabbit."
OLiV Tasting Room & Restaurant at Strewn Winery" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 1339 Lakeshore Rd., RR#3, Niagara-on-the-Lake Type of food: Continental, shareable plates Type of price: Soups and salads $9 to $11; tapas $6 to $12; mains $20 to $42 Known for: "I love the variety in their menu," says Deall. "Tuesdays their special is artisanal pizza, Thursdays it's gourmet sliders. They also have Sunday brunch, a tapas menu, and their regular menu on top of that."
Restaurant at Vineland Estates Winery" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 3620 Moyer Rd., Vineland Type of food: Classic dishes, made with local ingredients Type of price: Appetizers $12 to $22; pasta $15; mains $32 to $36; five-course tasting menu for $80 Known for: "This is a great example of a chef [Justin Downes] who gets to step out of the restaurant once in awhile," says Gunning. "They have a stellar view from their patio and a sweet little carriage house that they use for events and weddings." And, adds Deall, "they have excellent wine, and an always beautiful presentation."
Iggy's Pub & Grub" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 115 Hwy 20 E, Thorold Type of food: Upscale pub food Type of price: Shareable appetizers $7 to $12; mains $10 to $16 Known for: "They have elevated pub grub and made it interesting and delicious," says Gunning. "You'll find items like burgers with cookie butter, San Francisco garlic fries and smoked wings. They're also known for their craft beer and VQA wines."
Zest Kitchen" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 1469 Pelham St. S., Fonthill Type of food: Casual fare Type of price: Appetizers $8 to $14; mains $25 to $29 Known for: "Excellent food, with an open kitchen and a bit of an urban vibe," says Deall. It's a favourite among locals, and worth the 20-minute drive for tourists to Niagara Falls.
Ravine Vineyard" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 1366 York Road, St. Davids Type of food: Based on what's available locally (including from foragers) Type of price: Appetizers and salads $9 to $16; entrees $22 to $32 Known for: "Ravine is one of the less formal winery restaurants but don't let that fool you — the food is exceptional," says Gunning. "I dream of the slow-braised short rib with buttermilk whipped potato and Steven prefers the patio pizza bar, where he can hang out on a hot summer night and have a beer."
Mai Thai Cuisine" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 8123 Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls Type of food: Thai Type of price: Appetizers, soups and salads $5.95 to $14.95; noodles $10.95 to $14.95; mains $10.95 to $20.95 Known for: A family-owned and operated vibe, with mom as the chef and daughters running the front of house. "We enjoy their green curry with kaffir leaves and bamboo shoots, or their Panang curry with peanuts," says Gunning.
Il Sorriso Cafe and Pizzeria" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 5983 Clark Ave., Niagara Falls Type of food: Pizza Type of price: Pizzas $7.99 to $13.99 Known for: An authentic Italian thin-crust pizza. "They have something for everyone, including my favourite, cudo e rugola and calabrese," says Gunning. "It's a known hangout for local chefs who like to try some of their more exotic offerings, like tuna and onions or a surprise pizza."
Wellington Court" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 11 Wellington St., St. Catharines Type of food: Classic dishes with surprising, modern touches Type of price: Appetizers $10 to $16; mains $24 to $40 Known for: Thirty years in a house that's belonged to the Peacock family for 60 years. "Chef Erik is a rather young old boy on the Niagara food scene," says Gunning. "This year he opened the upstairs [called UP] and offers a fine private dining experience."
Tide and Vine Oyster House" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 3491 Portage Rd., Niagara Falls Type of food: Oysters and associated snacks Type of price: Dependent on the oysters, but approximately $8 to $12 for appetizers; $24 to $31 for mains Known for: What was once a food truck is now a full-fledged hangout. "It's a nice place for a date night and oysters for two from their oyster bed and raw bar," says Gunning.
Rise Above" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 120 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines Type of food: Vegetarian and vegan Type of price: Soups, salads and appetizers $4 to $10; sandwiches and entrees $12 to $14 Known for: "A vegan restaurant that makes even a carnivore enjoy his veggies," says Gunning. "Last time we were there we enjoyed the kale caesar salad, a roasted root bowl and an apple walnut flatbread."
Scratch Kitchen in the Flour Mill Restaurants at Old Stone Inn" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 6080 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls Type of food: Organic and local Type of price: Appetizers $9 to $20; mains $25 to $38 Known for: "It's located in a boutique hotel that was formally a 1904 flour mill. The bar has a 10 for $10 menu, but when looking for something a little more posh, the restaurant really delivers," says Gunning. "Great vibe, nice people and an old soul."
Weinkeller" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 5633 Victoria Ave., Niagara Falls Type of food: Lots of meat (and a little pasta) Type of price: Three courses for $50, or five courses for $60 (with extras a little bit more) Known for: An unexpected gem in the midst of a tourist-heavy area, with food that's both familiar and well-crafted. Plus, they make their own wine.
Peller Estates Winery Restaurant" width="52" height="52"/>
Where: 290 John St. E., Niagara-on-the-Lake Type of food: Canadian flavours Type of price: Appetizers $10 to $15; mains $30 to $44; or five-course tasting menu, $89; seven-course tasting menu $109 Known for: A constantly changing menu that is impeccably prepared in a room geared toward romance, complete with a massive fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows.
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