In July, Marissa and I had the pleasure of hopping over the border to Niagara, USA for a couple of nights for some sight seeing, shopping, and relaxation. We were in awe with it’s beauty, culture, and some of the little known attractions on the US side of the falls.
When most people think of Niagara, they think of waterfalls and wine. Niagara Falls is an attraction that brings many people in from around the world. The falls straddles the Canadian/USA border, and attracts over 12 million tourists each and every year.
We arrived to the Falls from the Canadian side of the border in the late evening on a Sunday and braced ourselves for a long border lineup. We were delighted to find that the lineup was non existent, and we were able to get right through the border in less than five minutes. Approaching the border it’s hard to look away from the beautiful sites.
We had the opportunity to stay at the Giacomo Hotel. While it is technically a boutique hotel, that doesn’t mean that it lacks the amenities that larger hotels had. There were comfy robes, chocolates waiting for us, bottled water, and the rooms were stunning. Marissa and I had adjoining rooms, so we could leave the doors open but have our privacy, as well.
The Giacomo is right on First Street, which is optimal if you want to be able to walk to the Falls. The hotel is within walking distance to restaurants, shopping, the casino, and, of course, the area’s main attraction.
One of the best parts of the Giacomo is the sky lounge, which is the perfect place to hang out with a glass of wine and enjoy the views of Niagara.
When in Rome..
The first thing we did was go on the Maid of the Mist. It’s something you just have to do when you’re in Niagara. There’s a reason it’s called Maid of the Mist, and we were both so grateful that we left our DSLRs at the hotel room. Those plastic ponchos really do keep you dry, though, and the view from the river was beautiful.
After the Maid of the Mist, we dropped off our bags at the Giacomo so they didn’t get soaked at our next destination: the Cave of the Winds.
The Cave of the Winds is incredibly close to falls, so much so that if you stand on the “hurricane deck”, you’ll get soaked. We weren’t that adventurous and stood back a ways, but it was absolutely beautiful and we learned a lot about the Falls.
Food & Wine
Both Marissa and I agreed that the food in Niagara and neighboring Lewiston was delicious. After visiting the attractions, we went over to Third Pizza Bistro to have some lunch. The food was amazing and the service was great.
We then went to visit the Gust of Sun winery, a short drive on the wine trail, where we enjoyed some chocolate and wine pairings in the adorable family-owned winery. We chatted with the owners a bit, and learned a little more about the wine trail.
We worked up an appetite for dinner by shopping (of course) and ended up at Carmelo’s in Lewiston, where we gorged on focaccia bread, risotto balls, and entres before calling it an evening.
Many tourists in Niagara spend all of their time across the border on the Ontario side, but they are missing out. The quaint, charming Niagara County just across the border has so many attractions that you’d be crazy not to check it out.