A Weekend in Niagara on the Lake

Back in August when I arrived in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a long weekend, I was wary.  Generally small town tourist-centered spots say to me “come check out this quasi charming street, it’s part of a show put on so you will purchase kitschy items available at tourist shops throughout the country and eat at restaurants full of other tourists”.   But no worries, NOTL won me over in a pinch.  Sure the streets were lined with other long weekenders and a few too many maple syrup items but there is also a real history, specialty stores, beautiful sites, and enough wine and ice cream to keep everyone entertained.

King Steet and Picton Street - it's fun to be in a town where their "main" intersection doesn't have a streetlight.

King Street and Picton Street – it’s fun to be in a town where their “main” intersection is super pretty and doesn’t have traffic signals!

The Apothecary is small but definitely worth a visit http://www.niagaraapothecary.ca/.

The Apothecary (Museum) is small but definitely worth a visit. Check hours on website.

The Pillar and Post (part of Vintage Hotels) was a nice place to stay but I wasn't particularly impressed.  Here's a tip, if you're visiting during a long weekend in the summer, book early for more options and savings.

The Pillar and Post (part of Vintage Hotels) was nice for the weekend but I’d likely look elsewhere next visit.  It’s the only hotel in NOTL with an outdoor pool and the pool/courtyard area is well maintained.  Unfortunately some rooms have windows that face hallways (indoor hallway leading to the spa, outdoor hallways around the pool), which means opening the curtain to let in light allows people walking by to see in and it’s difficult to enjoy the seating outside your room when your neighbours are out there smoking (for hours).  If you’re visiting during a weekend in the summer, book early for more options and savings.

Queen’s Royal Park is gorgeous. A great place for a picnic or walk.

Queen’s Royal Park is gorgeous. A great place for a picnic or walk.  (The USA is on the left side of the photo and Canada is on the right side.)

You get an across-the-pond view of Toronto.

View of Toronto from the Queen’s Royal Park.

We saw Lady Windermere's Fan at the Shaw Festival.  I'm a fan of Oscar Wilde and the play was well reviewed but there were way too many distracting comments from the audience ("I can't here," "What's that say?" "Sshhh!").

We saw Lady Windermere’s Fan at the Shaw Festival . Some elements were fantastic and the play was well reviewed but honestly I wish I had picked a different show.  Maybe it was the seat/luck but the audience was surprisingly distracting (Old and young, over and over again: “I can’t hear.” “What’s that say?” “Sshhh!”).  The Festival Theatre, like most of the town, is lovely.

We only had a chance to walk a small portion of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail but I'd definitely walk/bike more of the trail next time I get the chance.

We only had time to walk a small portion of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail but I’d definitely walk/bike more of the trail next time I get the chance.

And best of all… the food!

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