By Alexis Daly
Many consider Niagara Falls as a top natural wonder of the world which is easy to understand. Known in history as a popular location for daredevils to show off their crazy antics, the falls are a huge 170-foot drop and can top speeds up to 68 mph.
Just feeling the mist of the falls, while taking in the breathtaking views, is an adventure all in its own.
Although, the summer is often considered the best time to visit Niagara Falls according to most travel sites, fall and winter months are the ideal time to visit the falls. Not only are their discounted rates at hotels and less crowded tourist attractions, but there are exclusive events and even wine tours that are only offered in November and December.
Regardless of what time of year you visits the falls, these popular attractions are all a must see while on your trip; although, they are especially unique in the fall/winter.
Maid of the Mist
Of course a trip to Niagara Falls would not be complete without a ride on the Maid of the Mist. The boat takes visitors on an excursion into the base of the falls to experience the power of the falls up close. The boat travels so close to the falls that visitors get soaked with the mist of the falls, hence the name of the attraction. It is extremely important to pick up a souvenir rain poncho because visitors will get wet!
Cave of the Winds
Another attraction any visitor to Niagara Falls should definitely visit is the Cave of the Winds tour. Although not as well known as the Maid of the Mist, this attraction is an adventure of a lifetime.
The journey begins with an elevator ride 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge. Again, wearing a souvenir rain poncho, visitors follow wooden walkways along the river to the “Hurricane Deck.” This deck is just a few steps from the falls and creates tropical storm conditions, which offer a huge rush.
Make sure to visit this attraction soon because the wooden walkways are taken down mid-November to prepare for the harsh conditions of winter.
The Observation Tower should also be on your itinerary of things to do while you are visiting Niagara Falls. This is the only observation deck that offers a panoramic view of all three falls, including the American side.
The tower extends out significantly over the Niagara Gorge, giving visitor’s views of the white waters below as well as the falls. This is also a very popular bird watching site for visitors to view the local birds of the region.
Exploring Niagara Wine Country
Niagara Wine Country is an essential trip for any wine lover. With hundreds of different vineyards and wineries, there is something for everyone to drink. Most hotels offer great wine tasting deals, some including personal tours of the actual vineyards and wineries.
Niagara wine country is known mostly for its world famous Icewines. Unlike any other wine, a real Icewine is only made from naturally frozen grapes. These grapes are picked from the vine at a low -8°C or lower and immediately pressed to create a single drop of liquid. Since it’s concentrated with natural sugars and acidity, the result is a dessert wine that is perfectly lush and sweet.
There are many wineries that produce Icewine in Niagara wine country, but there are a few famous ones that are worth a trip of tasting.
With a rich history and a large collection of wines, Inniskillin Winery is considered one of the best wineries in Niagara on the Lake. As the first estate winery in Canada, it is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in Icewine, winning endless awards and earning numerous credentials.
A visit to Inniskillin is unlike any other, especially in the fall and winter months. This winery features its own Icewine tasting bar. Here, guests can learn all about Icewine, compare different flavors of Icewine, and learn about the specifics of the Riedel Icewine Glass.
This winery is definitely worth a stop while on your tour of Niagara Wine Country.
As a well-known name in wine, Jackson-Triggs Winery crafts premium wines that pair well with any occasion. Jackson-Triggs started crafting wines in 1993 under strict values dedicated to quality and has followed them ever since.
A trip to the winery and its vineyards is one you will never forget. Visitors get a behind the scenes look at how Jackson-Triggs crafts their wines. The tour starts with a private glimpse at the vineyards and ends with a tasting in their boutique.
Jackson-Triggs winery is one of the most technologically advanced wineries in Canada, so this tour is bound to be a unique experience.
If you are tempted to visit these wineries and need a place to stay, the Marriott Fallsview offers a great deal.
With packages starting at $142/night, these offers include a one-night accommodation, all you can eat breakfast, a $40 voucher toward their in-house restaurant, and, most importantly, a Niagara on the Lake Winery tasting at both Jackson-Triggs winery and Inniskillin winery. This is a great deal that is only offered during the fall and winter months, so make sure to book your room soon!
Raise a Glass
Niagara Falls is a beautiful landmark that everyone should visit at least once in his or her life. During the fall and winter months, there are endless deals offered, as well as the opportunity to see the production of Icewine during its peak craft time. So, raise your glass to a trip to Niagara Falls.
For more information:
New York State Tourism: I Love New York