Niagara-on-the-Lake

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Overview

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a vibrant community located about 30 minutes away from Niagara Falls. It is well-known for its wineries, restaurants, shops, and beautiful natural scenery. <br>Niagara-on-the-Lake is a charming community and we highly recommend a visit if you’re going to be in the Niagara region for a few days. Niagara-on-the-Lake is perhaps most famous for its extensive collection of wineries. <br><br>Niagara-on-the-Lake is also home to a number of inns, bed & breakfasts, spas, restaurants, shops and the Fort George National Historic ...see more

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Niagara-on-the-Lake is a charming community and we highly recommend a visit if you’re going to be in the Niagara region for a few days. Niagara-on-the-Lake is perhaps most famous for its extensive collection of wineries. This lovely town is also home to a number of inns, bed & breakfasts, spas, restaurants, shops, and historical sites and monuments like the Fort George National Historic Site.

If you decide to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake using our shuttle service from Niagara Falls, Ontario, your driver/guide can make recommendations for you based on your interests. If you plan to dine in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we highly recommend making reservations as the restaurants can get pretty busy during peak season.

If you enjoy taking walks along the beach, then this is the perfect place to spend an evening. There are some beautiful parks along the lake and lots of beautiful flowers and trees to round out the scenery of this quaint town. After exploring the area, we wouldn’t be surprised if you were to decide you wanted to live here as Niagara-on-the-Lake has been recognized among the top places to retire by Comfort Life Magazine.

Shuttle to Niagara-on-the-Lake on a Guided Tour!


What to Know

Niagara-on-the-Lake is an old town in Ontario, Canada, situated on the Niagara Peninsula at the mouth of the Niagara River. It is known for its rich history, charming streetscapes, and gorgeous natural surroundings. The town is a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to see its rich culture and history. Niagara-on-the-Lake is the only town in the Niagara Region and the country to be governed by a lord mayor. It's often dubbed "The Loveliest Town in Canada". 

Some of the top attractions in Niagara-on-the-Lake include the Shaw Festival Theatre, Ontario Wine Country, and the Fort George National Historic Site. The town is home to many wineries and is known for its excellent wine and culinary offerings. If you're looking for a charming, historic destination with plenty to see and do, Niagara-on-the-Lake is definitely worth a visit.

How to Get There

Niagara-on-the-Lake is nestled on the beachfront of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River, about 20 km from the scenic Horseshoe Falls. You can get there from Niagara Falls if you follow the picturesque Niagara Parkway north along the Niagara River. It's recommended that you take a shuttle from Niagara Falls to Niagara on the Lake! You'll be picked up from wherever you're staying and will have 4 hours to explore the whole town on this guided tour.

Best Time to Visit 

Even though this scenic town is open year-round, the best time to visit this spot is between May and October so you can enjoy the stunning scenery in the cozy weather!

Highlights 

Explore this quaint town full of Victorian-era charm and take a stroll through its Heritage District which will enchant you with its vintage shops, boutiques, bistros, and more! See a soul-stirring production in the world-famous Shaw Theatre! Sip on award-winning vintages in Ontario Wine Country! Step into a time capsule by visiting the historic district! Sit back and relax in the Queen's Royal Park Gazebo! Get a taste of royalty and class with the timeless Prince of Wales Hotel!

Features 

Visit Niagara on the Lake for its old-town 19th-century charm! Known by the townies and some tourists as NOTL, this quaint town is hemmed by a waterfront on both sides with historic arbor-framed streets. Some call it the heart of Ontario, which you'll understand once you see this quiet paradise among lush boulevard gardens! Take a stroll through the Heritage District which is brimming with enchanting boutiques, vintage shops, cast-iron pots full of lush flowers, tantalizing bistros, and horse-drawn carriages which will make you feel as though you've stepped into a time capsule! 

Ontario Wine Country nestled beyond this eccentric town is something you shouldn't miss out on when you visit NOTL. This tourist attraction is home to 40 wineries that every grape lover will adore! Sip on award-winning vintages and savor distinct Niagara flavors while you're there! Don't forget to try the famous Niagara Icewine. If you can't get enough of this deliciousness, do visit the Peller Estates Winery Restaurant for a leisurely wine country cuisine!

Your Niagara region day trip won't be complete unless you see an acclaimed Shaw Festival Theatre production and let it bewitch you completely! Inspired by the genius of George Bernard Shaw, this world-class theater offers more than ten soul-stirring productions each year performed across three venues in the center of town for more than 250,000 viewers. Enjoy an eclectic mix of contemporary and old theater put together by some of the best actors and directors in the country! Don't forget to bring ice cream or popcorn with you for the best experience!

The historic district of Niagara on the Lake is a must-see featuring some of the most famous historical sites, plaques, and monuments such as Fort George, Butler's Barracks, Fort Drummond, and the Memorial Clock Tower. Another interesting site to see is the Niagara Apothecary which is a museum restoration of a pharmacy that was in practice in 1869 in this town. 

Queen's Royal Park is a must-visit site in this quaint town, nestled off Ricardo Street along the bank of the Niagara River. This park's major attractions are the gazebo from the old Hollywood flick "The Dead Zone", and its spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the historic Fort Niagara! To round out your trip, get a taste of royalty by staying at the Prince of Wales Hotel which exudes timeless elegance and boasts proximity to vibrant Niagara boutiques, restaurants, and theaters!

History

Previously known as Butlersburg in honor of Colonel John Butler (who commanded Butler's Rangers), Niagara-on-the-Lake was officially recognized as a town in 1781. Then referred to as Newark, it served as a military site for The British Army and a sanctuary for the Loyalists who ran away from the US after the American Revolution. In 1798, it was renamed Niagara. 

This town holds historical significance as it functioned as the chief capital of Upper Canada — which is now Ontario. During the War of 1812, the whole town was demolished as a result of the many battles that were fought here following the invasion of Upper Canada by the Americans before withdrawing to Fort Niagara. Along with this town, Fort George, and two older villages of St. David's and Queenston also served as the sites of battles. 

The townsfolk were courageously resolute in their efforts to restore and rebuild this town after the war, and rebuild they did, so beautifully that today tourists around the world come to see its magnificent colonial-style buildings, its closeness to Niagara Falls, Fort George, the Shaw Festival and much more! The residential complex was built around Queen Street and toward King Street, where the new court house was constructed. 

Many of the military sites from the War of 1812 have been restored which led the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to suggest Niagara-on-the-Lake's historic district be established as a National Historic Site of Canada. This title was approved in 2003. Now sightseers from around the globe flock to this town to see its classical revival and regency buildings. A major site of interest in the Niagara National Historic Sites is the Fort George National Historic Site which was a significant battlefield during the War of 1812. When you explore Niagara on the Lake, don't forget to visit this spot!