Niagara Falls, Canada is one of the many wonders of the world and is located only 1.5 hours by car from Toronto. I come to Niagara at least 10 times a year, yes lots of kilometres on the car but it's so worth it. However, the best place I like going to is Niagara-on-the-lake which is about a 20-minute drive from the falls.
Niagara-on-the-lake is Canada's biggest wine country, an old historic village full of gorgeous shops, cozy bed & breakfasts & lots of great gourmet restaurants (better than in Niagara Falls).
I always go with my husband & we pick a new place to stay every single time. From my experience, if you want a truly unique & romantic experience you need to stay in Niagara-on-the-lake and drive to the falls to do some sightseeing.
Wine tastings on bicycles! You cannot come to Niagara and not do any tastings. However, the most fun way to do that is to book a wine tasting on bicycles. Yes, it's safe & you get to breathe the fresh clean air in Niagara. Typically you would pay an average of $80 -$110 per person for a guided tour depending on if you take the half-day or full-day package with lunch or not. You can also rent your own bikes, get a map & do your own tour.
I've been to over 25 wineries now and I find the best wineries are the smaller family ones rather than the big commercial ones. Head on over to my website to read about my favourite wineries I recommend if you plan to do your own wine tours/tastings.
Don't forget to try Ice Wine! Canada is the number 1 producer of Ice Wine globally.
A walk by the falls & in the old historic village of Niagara-on-the-lake. These are a must to take in the sights & sounds of these wonderful places & to take great pictures. When in Niagara-on-the-lake, be sure to grab a hot cocoa or coffee at Balzac's cafe to start your walk.
Take a romantic Horse & Carriage ride & tour in old historic Niagara-on-the-lake with Sentinel Carriages. The fee is $100 for a 30-minute tour, $145 for a 45-minute tour & $165 for a 60-minute tour. They offer blankets for sale in the winter for $25 because of COVID instead of just using it for the ride. You can either just show up and buy the tour on the spot or make a reservation online.
Take a walking Ghost Tour through old historic Niagara-on-the-lake with Ghost Walks. This is a fun activity for all ages & great for couples. Niagara-on-the-lake is actually Canada's most haunted town due to the history of the war of 1812 which was the only war fought on Canadian soil. There are several tours, and they get very busy in the warmer months. After Halloween, the number of tours slows down but they never stop no matter the weather. The tour is led by a guide dressed in an old school costume holding a real oil lamp. The cost is $16 per adult & senior & $12 per child.
Walk down by the rushing Niagara river at the White Water Walk. This is a great activity for couples because it's a beautiful relaxing walk where you can get really close to the rushing rapids of the Niagara River. The fee is $16.50 for adults & $10.50 for children and you take a short elevator ride down that brings you to the boardwalk. This is seasonal and they are closed in the winter months.
Where To Stay
As I mentioned above, I recommend to stay at a cozy hotel or bed & breakfast in old historic Niagara-on-the-lake and take a day trip to the falls.
Oban Inn Spa Restaurant
A Historic Luxury Boutique Hotel, Spa and Restaurant in the heart of Old Town. This inn is over 200 years old and is the oldest inn/hotel in Niagara-on-the-lake.
They have 26 guest rooms, a gorgeous spa & an outdoor pool & a jacuzzi surrounded by a lush garden. The rooms are all beautiful & luxurious and some have balconies or patios.
Somerset Bed & Breakfast
This is an elegant & upscale B&B located right on the lake in Old Town Niagara-on-the-lake. Since it's a B&B, there are only 3 rooms - the Main Suite which is right in the middle & 1 room on each side of the house and all rooms have a lakeview, but the Main Suite has the biggest balcony. This is where we stayed for 1 night and it was so worth it, I just can't say enough about this place. From the moment we checked in to when we had to leave it was truly a luxurious, personal experience. The manager Julie, will make a gourmet breakfast for all the guests either indoor or outdoor depending on the weather.
You will notice beautiful unique art on the walls which the owner buys from an artist in Miami. There is a story behind every piece of art in there & if you happen to meet the owner he will tell you about it.
The nightly rates are between $400 - $600/night but if you want to spoil your partner with an unforgettable stay then this is the place but try to get the main suite when you book.
Pillar and Post Inn & Spa
This is a 5-star inn that's part of the Vintage Hotels group. The hotel is luxurious & cozy and the building itself is from the 19th century. They have an indoor & outdoor pool with a sundeck and outdoor hot springs surrounded by a rock cliff garden. You can also get pampered at their luxurious spa.
The rooms are luxurious, cozy and warm & some come equipped with electric fireplaces.
Where To Eat
You can't go wrong with starting at the fine, romantic & luxurious restaurant at the Pillar & Post hotel. The chef uses fine local ingredients from the Niagara region & the menu changes with the seasons.
Make a reservation & ask to sit by the fireplace, which is the most romantic spot in the restaurant. Trust me your partner will love it and you two will enjoy a beautiful romantic dinner together.
The Gate House
This restaurant has a gorgeous patio set up so if you can, please sit on the patio! They use all local, farm-to-table ingredients. This is another luxurious romantic restaurant perfect for a date. They offer delicious vegan option as well upon request.
This restaurant used to be a meeting place for many of the town’s residents before and after the War of 1812. Although most of the original building was destroyed by a fire in 1849, The Gate House showcases several aspects of the original building, including the beautifully restored original stone work throughout the dining room.
Another amazing restaurant (my favourite) located in the old town, who use seasonal local ingredients from Niagara. The food, ambiance & service is perfect for a romantic dinner during your stay. Despite all the pandemic restrictions, they did an amazing job setting up a perfect patio sealed off from the wind with heaters so you can enjoy the patio even if it's a cold windy night.
PRO TIP: Finish off the night after dinner with a romantic horse & carriage ride! (see above).
Enjoy your time in my favourite city in Ontario, Canada! There is still so much to see and do but we'll save that for another time.