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Niagara

Niagara is for Everyone: Entertainment at the Falls

EACH YEAR, MORE THAN 12 MILLION PEOPLE VISIT THE NIAGARA REGION. THE EVER-POPULAR GLITZY MAIN STRIP, CLIFTON HILL AND IT’S THRIVING NIGHTLIFE SCENE CONTINUE TO DRAW (AND DAZZLE) VISITORS. 

Great Canadian Midway

The exciting Great Canadian Midway.

Dino Adventure Golf

Golf with towering dinosaurs at Dinosaur Adventure Golf.

Clifton Hill is arguably Niagara’s most colourful street, providing a touch of Vegas with its blazing lights, eclectic attractions and themed restaurants. Non-stop campy fun and plenty of stimulation can be found at the Great Canadian Midway, which has more than 300 games primarily of the arcade variety, as well as rides. The ‘Street of Fun’ as Clifton Hill is sometimes referred to, proudly claims two Canadian records: the Niagara Skywheel is the largest observation wheel sitting 175 feet above the falls, while the Dinosaur Adventure Golf is the largest mini golf attraction with 50 dinosaurs throughout the course, some of which stand more than 30 feet high. Take a selfie with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson at Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars, which pays homage to celebrities and beloved film characters like Harry Potter and Indiana Jones.

 

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Fallsview Casino Resort has an unbeatable view.

Fallsview Casino Resort offers grown up stimulation by way of 3,000 slot machines, a dedicated poker room, and table games like blackjack and roulette. A 1,500-seat theatre hosts more than 250 shows   each year ranging from musicians and comedians to dance. Catch the likes of Jeff Dunham (May 19 and 20) and Flatley Lord of the Dance (May 25 to June 5), among other performances. Over at the Greg Frewin Theatre (5781 Ellen Ave., 1-905-356-0777), watch a magic show complete with a rare white Siberian tiger and exotic birds.

Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood are two popular chain restaurants in the area. The former is known for its musical memorabilia complete with a mural of rock stars, while the latter is dedicated to celebrities. The laid back vibe of Jimmy Buffet’s three-level Margaritaville with its island-themed decor is an ideal place for a burger, and of course, a slushy alcoholic beverage.

—Linda Luong Luck

 

 

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Niagara is for Everyone: Wine and Dine your way Through Niagara

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PondView Estate Winery

NIAGARA IS HOME TO MORE THAN 70 AWARD-WINNING WINERIES, SOME OF WHICH HAVE CALLED THE REGION HOME FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, WHILE OTHERS ARE STILL MAKING THEIR MARK

Among the area’s mainstays, visit Marynissen Estates, which boasts the oldest commercial planting of cabernet sauvignon in the country; Peller Estates, which also has a sister vineyard in British Columbia’s Okanagen Valley; Château des Charmes, which is owned by the Bosc family whose winemaking roots date back to the 1840s; and Pondview Estate Winery, which has been run by the Puglisi family for three generations.

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Sunset at Southbrook Vineyards

Other wineries may not have decades of experience, but they take great pride in crafting nuanced vintages nonetheless. Frogpond Farm is the province’s first winery to produce certified organic wines; Southbrook Winery is also an organic and biodynamic-certified winery; Two Sisters Vineyards is set on 76 acres with a beautiful estate; while Cornerstone Estate Winery counts their fruit wines among their best sellers.

Jackson-Triggs is internationally recognized for its award–winning chardonnays and Rieslings among others, but also has an engaging summer concert series at its outdoor amphitheatre with Canadian musicians, such as the Sam Roberts Band (June 9), Steven Page (June 17) and Whitehorse (June 18).

Ravine VineyardPizza

The restaurant at Ravine Vineyard

Wine and food are a natural pairing, and select wineries can deliver both in a single visit through on-site restaurants. Each month, The Good Earth hosts the Good Girth Supper Club, a monthly themed dinner at the bistro and orchard (May 25 focuses on soul food while June 11 is a tapas tasting). Trius Winery offers a variety of experiences like sip and snack events, or book a table at its fine dining restaurant where chef Frank Dodd prepares a seasonal menu that compliments winemaker Craig McDonald’s carefully-crafted vintages. Over at Ravine Vineyard, the local eats movement is taken quite literally—in addition to its vineyard, there is also a farm where pigs are raised and organic vegetables are grown for both the restaurant and The Canning House shop.

Treadwell is a much-respected restaurant in the region, co-owned by chef Stephen Treadwell and his sommelier son James. The wine list is comprised primarily of Niagara offerings with an emphasis on vintages from smaller producers, such as Five Rows and Lailey. Chosen as Where Toronto’s Best New Restaurant of 2015, Backhouse is the brainchild of husband and wife team Ryan Crawford and Bev Hotchkiss; she runs the front of the house while as the chef he creates their seasonally changing cool climate menu. Most wineries offer tours of their vineyards, but call ahead to confirm the schedule and fees.

—Linda Luong Luck

 

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