12 Hours in Niagara

A few weeks ago, Jamie and I continued our yearly tour of minor league baseball cities and went to see my brother play in Buffalo, NY. Not to offend any western New Yorkers, but you’ll notice this blog post is NOT about Buffalo. We were there for three days, found a cool brewery, and grabbed some buffalo wings (duh), but not a lot to report.

On Monday, though, we decided to take a day trip to see Niagara Falls since we were so close and neither of us had been before. While I was researching, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) recommended that we cross the border and see the falls from the Canadian side. THIS IS KEY.

There’s a little town about 20 minutes up the river from Niagara Falls called Niagara-on-the-Lake and it’s basically a little wine region (WHO KNEW) with the cutest vineyards and most gorgeous views. You KNOW I’m going to find the wine, wherever I go.

STROLL: NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE

If you pictured the perfect little Canadian town, like from a postcard, Niagara-on-the-Lake is still cuter. There are gorgeous flowers everywhere – in planters along the sidewalks, flower boxes in the windows, hanging from the streetlights.

We parked on the main street and wandered around exploring the cute little shops and restaurants. It’s such a pretty walk and the summer weather in Canada is PERFECT. Literally no humidity.

EAT: CORKS

I love a good patio, so I spotted this adorable restaurant right when we pulled into town. We stopped in for lunch before heading to our wine tastings and had the BEST crabcakes of my life. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Perfect ratio of crab and breading – which is key.

DRINK: STRATUS VINEYARDS

We scheduled tastings at three different vineyards around the little town and Stratus was my favorite, by far. We signed up for their Signature Experience which includes a tour of their facilities and guided tasting with cheese and charcuterie pairings. You know Jamie wasn’t going to sign up for wine tastings if snacks weren’t involved.

I love paired tastings because it helps me differentiate between different wines. And also because I like cheese and chocolate.

Stratus was gorgeous, the staff was so helpful and knowledgeable, and the wine was excellent.

SEE: THE FALLS (via the HORNBLOWER CRUISE)

The falls are hard to miss, obviously, but even hearing all the hype, they are absolutely breathtaking. We walked along the river for a few minutes before heading down to board the Hornblower Cruise into the falls.

GUYS IT WAS THE MOST FUN EVER. I literally couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. The three wine tastings earlier that day had nothing to do with it, I’m sure.

First of all, we take an elevator down to the dock and suit up in our bright red ponchos. I thought maybe we’d get sprinkled on, a little. We were one of the first on the boat, so we go up to the top deck of the boat and get a spot by the rail.

We take off towards the falls and are kind of riding alongside some of them, heading towards what they call “The Horseshoe”. All of a sudden, we are legit getting SOAKED. I can’t stop laughing, Jamie’s videoing, everyone’s screaming. It’s mass chaos, but with a crazy view. There’s a reason this thing is one of the natural wonders of the world. Definitely worth the trip.

DRIVE: NIAGARA PARKWAY

Ok, full disclosure here, Jamie insisted on taking the “scenic route” along the river on the way back to Buffalo from Niagara and I was pissed because I thought he was going to get us lost. UnFortunately, he was right, and the view was the perfect way to end the day. There are gorgeous homes on one side and gorgeous river views on the other and we were the only ones on the road.

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