Road Trips in Niagara & Southern Ontario Canada | Best Western Hotels

  

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Niagara Escarpment Tour

A World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the Niagara Escarpment is a famed section of Ontario’s lower regions – plus parts of New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. For our drive tour of this legendary landscape, we’ll start at Niagara Falls – winding over to Bruce Peninsula National Park and back again.

Niagara Falls

We’ll start in Niagara Falls, Ontario – leaving the Golden Horseshoe region and the entire Ontario escarpment ahead of us.

Must See

Of course, Niagara Falls is your Must See here. Visitors of the Niagara Gorge enjoy stunning views of these three famous waterfalls – plus plenty of associated attractions.

Local Guide

For an even closer look at Niagara Falls try the "Journey Behind the Falls" experience. From the Canadian side, the journey leads poncho-clad participants from the Niagara River to a series of tunnels behind Horseshoe Falls. The Observation Platform makes it even more worthwhile.

Outdoor

Get your fill of the falls, and then check out the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory – a butterfly zoo found at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & School of Horticulture. Here you may stroll over 180 meters of walking paths while surrounded by over 2,000 butterflies.

Niagara On The Lake

Just 22 kilometers north of Niagara Falls is the town of Niagara On The Lake – found on the Niagara River against the Lake Ontario.

Must See

The Niagara Escarpment is also a well-known Wine Country– known for its picturesque vineyards and wineries like Southbrook Vineyards. Covering over 150 acres – 63 of which are vineyard ­– Southbrook features the Tasting Room and Vineyard Bistro in the Hospitality Pavilion.

Local Guide

For you theater fans, the annual Shaw Festival is a great way to get to know the minds of Niagara On The Lake. This theatrical series runs from April to November, so you can’t miss it.

Outdoor

For some outdoor adventure on horseback, check out the Niagara Riding Stables just south of NOTL. This no-experience-necessary riding company features 45 to 50-minute rides throughout the day, throughout the season.

St. Catharines

Just west of NOTL along the shores of Lake Ontario, St. Catharines is the Niagara Region’s largest city. Known as the Garden City, St. Kitts is a staple stop along any tour of the Niagara Escarpment.

Must See

Set in Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario, the 5.3-hectare Lakeside Park features the Waterfront Trail and beach, the Port Dalhousie Harbour Walkway, and the iconic Lakeside Park Carousel.

Local Guide

Found in southern St. Catherines, White Meadows Farms is known for celebrating “Everything Canadian Maple.” The farm features Pancake Weekends, the Frog Run, and the Sugar Bush Adventure trail.

Outdoor

Trek through the Ball's Falls Conservation Area, located in western St. Catherines and intersected by the Twenty Mile Creek.

Owen Sound

From St. Catherines, get comfortable for a 240-kilometer drive to Owen Sound – passing though cities like Hamilton, Burlington, Guelph, and Fergus. Owen Sound is known as the Scenic City thanks to its position on the Georgian Bay.

Must See

A National Historic Site of Canada, the Billy Bishop Home & Museum is a beautiful Victorian home commemorating Billy Bishop – a Victoria Cross-awarded flying ace of World War I. Closed Mondays, the museum features Bishop artifacts, current exhibits, and educational programs.

Local Guide

Found a former, historic Canadian National Railway Station – the Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum is a great way to check out local history while cruising the Scenic City’s harbourfront.

Outdoor

A 156-square-kilometre playground, the Bruce Peninsula National Park is the essential part of the UNESCO's Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.

Located 100 kilometers north of Owen Sound at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, this park features everything from hiking, swimming, and kayaking to nature photography, winter sports, and bouldering.

Kincardine

Found on Lake Huron, Kincardine lies about 150 kilometers south of Bruce Peninsula National Park – or just 8- kilometers over from Owen Sound.

Must See

Harbour Street is set right on Lake Huron, and features shopping, eateries like Harbour Street Brasserie and The Erie Belle Restaurant, and attractions including the Walker House and the Kincardine Lighthouse & Museum.

Local Guide

Due to a dense Scottish culture, Kincardine shows off its Celtic heritage with the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band Parades – a series of summer performances happening Saturday nights until Labour Day.

Outdoor

Hit the shoreline or go kayaking at Point Clark Beach – just south of Kincardine along Lake Huron.

Welland

From Kincardine, we’ll be heading back down the Niagara Escarpment to Welland – perhaps stopping in Walkerton for the Brockton's Buskers Festival if you’re traveling in August.

Welland rests nearly 300 kilometers from the Lake Huron shores with plenty of stops along the way. Continue down Highway 21 and head southeast through cities like Kitchener, Cambridge, and Brantford. If time allows, check out the Conestogo River Horseback Adventures or the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.

Must See

The Rose City is back in the heart of the Niagara Escarpment, and home to the Welland Rose Festival. Summer travelers may join events like the Grande Parade, and Days in the Park in Memorial Park.

Local Guide

Port Colborne is found in southern Welland, and features faint little attractions like the Showboat Festival Theatreand the Port Colborne Historical & Marine Museum – plus beaches on Lake Erie.

Outdoor

Hit the Welland Canals Trail set on scenic Merritt Island. Part of the Greater Niagara Cycle Route, visitors may walk, bike, skate, or picnic along the trail.

 

From Welland, it’s just a 23-kilometer drive back to Niagara Falls – nicely rounding out our southern Ontario drive tour.