Wine Tasting Etiquette Tips for Wine Month in Niagara

CPblog1.jpegThis November, Niagara Falls is celebrating its rich wine country by giving travelers unique access to the region’s most impressive wineries. Every weekend, one renowned winery is inviting visitors to wine and dine with them to experience world-class food and beverage. If you love your nightly tipple and are heading North this month, you simply cannot miss this outstanding and delicious opportunity.

However, if you don’t often tour vineyards and sip the world’s best wines, then a refresher course in tasting etiquette is likely in order. Practice these simple tips while you’re still at home, and during your November Niagara vacation you’ll be as refined as everyone else.

Wear the Proper Attire

While much of Niagara is well-suited to casual outfits, wine tastings tend to be more elegant affairs. While you don’t have to don a tuxedo or a pearl necklace, your clothing should be quietly sophisticated while remaining comfortable. Think dark wash jeans, and choose a button-up shirt instead of that tank top you wear to the gym.

Take Advantage of Spitting

If you’re enjoying your wine during a paired dinner, you aren’t likely to overindulge, but if you do feel a buzz coming on, use the spittoon or spitting cup provided by the vineyard. When you become drunk, you lose the ability to distinguish the fine flavors of the wines, which discounts the purpose of the tasting. Plus, when you’re drunk, you’re more likely to become rowdy and commit obvious social faux pas, like being rude to the server or annoying fellow guests.

You should also be pacing yourself throughout the tasting, and know that you are never obligated to finish what has been poured. The goal is not to become inebriated, but to taste the world’s best wines.

Don’t Cloud Your Nose or Mouth

CPblog2.jpegYour senses of smell and taste are the most important when it comes to wine tastings, so you don’t want to do anything that will impede the functions of your nose and mouth. This means you should avoid wearing strong cologne or perfume, and in the days leading up to the tasting, avoid meals with lingering flavors like garlic or onion.

Follow the Technique

There’s more to tasting wine than simply drinking it. While every sommelier tends to have his or her stylish quirks, the general method of tasting a glass of wine is the same across the board.

  1. Hold the glass by the stem. Whether it’s white or red, your wine is affected by the temperature of your palm and fingers on the bowl.
  2. Cup the glass around your nose and mouth, and inhale deeply. Many flavors of wine are experienced only through aroma, and you miss out on these subtle notes if you don’t take a whiff.
  3. Sip and swirl. The wine should coat every area of your mouth, including the roof, cheeks, and under the tongue; different areas of the mouth experience different textures and flavors.

As long as you are courteous, it is unlikely the winery will throw you out, but if you want to have a proper tasting experience, use the proper etiquette.

Clifton Hill for Grown-Ups

People celebratingNiagara Falls is a fantastic place for a family vacation. There are hundreds of attractions that will keep your little ones busy all day, but when night hits you might want to unwind the adult way. Clifton Hill may seem like a child’s dreamland, but there are plenty of perfect places made specifically with adults in mind. If you’ve booked a room in a Niagara hotel in the middle of it all, you only need to head outside to find an adult getaway with all the amenities you crave on vacations.

Almost all of the attractions at Clifton Hill are open late, making it the best place to head after your kids are tucked into bed. However, if you get a day or even a whole vacation to yourself, Clifton Hill has still more adult-appropriate attractions to keep you busy. Here are the best adult activities for your Clifton Hill experience.


Both Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallsview Casino have all the games you love — and probably even more — so you can play to your heart’s content. Whether you prefer craps or roulette, poker or blackjack, you can find the opportunity to while away the hours winning back everything you’ve invested into your vacation — or else just trying your luck for the fun of it.

Night Clubs

people dancing One of the best aspects of vacations is the freedom to let it all go, and night clubs filled with the hottest music (not to mention people) really allow you to throw caution to the wind. You can head to the clubs with the expectation of meeting new people, or try spicing up a romantic date with a trip to a club filled with music and lights. Here are four of the best locations to dance the night away:

  • Rumours Night Club. Specializing in techno music, you can almost hear and feel the power inside Rumours from blocks away. Canada’s best DJs come to DJs to show their skills, so dress your best and come let loose on the huge dance floor.
  • Hard Rock Night Club. A fantastic nighttime concept from the people who brought you Hard Rock Café, this club has everything you want and more. From the world’s largest disco ball (dubbed the Ball of Power) to rooms for private parties or more intimate discussions, Hard Rock won’t let you down.
  • Beer Garden Karaoke Patio. If you are looking to sing rather than dance, this bar is for you. The selection of available songs is vast, and you’ll be treated to some of the best talent Niagara has to offer. If you’re confident, take up the microphone yourself and show your stuff!
  • R5. One of the classiest clubs on the list, R5 is chic and refined, but it’s undeniably cool. The club is designed to highlight the beautiful view of the falls seen through the venue’s magnificent windows. You can easily lose yourself in the comfortable lounge chairs and expertly crafted cocktails littered around R5.

3 Most Scenic Waterfalls in the World — Besides Niagara

Niagara Falls Niagara Falls, Ontario offers vacationers everything they could ever want, from unparalleled natural beauty, to unbelievable geological power, to deep history, to exciting thrills. Niagara is clearly one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world, but what about the thing that started it all — the falls?

Niagara Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and it’s no surprise why. The three sets of falls that make up the Niagara Falls system have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, 750,000 gallons per second, and the energy generated by the falls could power 24 million 100-watt bulbs all at once. More than 13 million people travel to the falls to witness their beauty and power — and indulge in all the thrills and excitement the city and surrounding region has to offer.

We all know how fantastic and rewarding a visit to Niagara Falls is, but there are a handful of other gorgeous and jaw-dropping waterfalls scattered around the globe that are worth some investigation. Here are the falls Niagara Falls beat out to win its place in the hearts and minds of travelers everywhere.

Yosemite Falls

One of the tallest falls in the world (beat out by another on this list) Yosemite Falls can be spotted from almost anywhere in the park. Part of what makes the falls so stunning are the three stages that break up the waterfall: the Upper Fall, which is 1,420 feet, the Middle Cascades, which are 640 feet, and the Lower Fall, which is 320 feet. Interested travelers can hike up and down near the falls to get different angles. However, tourists should know that these falls aren’t there year-round; the creek that supplies the falls with water only runs during the mid-spring and early summer when the winter snows melt, then again sometime late fall during the autumn storms but before the winter snow.

Angel Falls

Set in the remote rainforests in Venezuela, Angel Falls is definitely a tough competitor against Niagara for most amazing waterfall in the world. Angel Falls drops uninterrupted for an astounding 3,212 feet from the edge of a tepuy, or table mountain. To see the falls, devoted travelers must endure a four-hour boat ride against the current of two different rivers, and then a grueling 90-minute uphill hike, requiring stream crossing and forest navigating. And did we mention that the name of the tepuy that hosts the falls is Auyantepuy, which basically means The Mountain of the God of Evil?


rainbow These falls in Iceland are the most similar in appearance to those in Niagara. Translated to Golden Falls, Gullfoss is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Iceland, a country known for its natural wonders. With 3,441 gallons rushing over the falls during the peak summer season, these falls are huge and significant, but still the existence of them was challenged in the early 20th century when Icelanders attempted to abuse the falls to generate electricity. Now, the falls are a protected landmark, and travelers are welcome to visit during their tours of the landscape.

4 Wild Facts About Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls HorseshoeFor many people, Niagara Falls is at the top of their must-see lists. They’ve seen pictures and videos of the falls and felt themselves amazed at the power and wonder inspired by the rushing waters. If you’re planning a trip to Niagara Falls, you might even have started reading about the bevy of attractions and activities available in the area. However, you still might not know all that much about the city and falls. You know that Niagara Falls is unbelievably fun and beautiful, but can you believe any of these other astounding facts about the falls and surrounding region?

Niagara Falls Is Actually Made up of 3 Different Waterfalls

The most famous of the falls, and likely the one you’ve seen in picture of Niagara Falls, is Horseshoe Falls, but Niagara Falls also encompasses the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the falls, which is why it is the most exciting to experience, but the other two are just as beautiful. The American Falls are, not surprisingly, on the American side of the border, and Bridal Veil Falls are the smallest of the sequence. All of the falls combine to produce the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world.

Niagara Gets Its Name From Indigenous Peoples

When European explorers and colonists came into the region, they learned about the surrounding landscape from the neutral American Indian tribes living in the area. The tribe who lived closest to Niagara Falls were called themselves the “Thundering Waters” tribe, which the Iroquois translated as “Ongniaahra” which was then Anglicized to “Niagara.”

Niagara Falls Is Moving Every Second

Sure, the water is moving, but the physical location of the falls is changing, too. The erosive power of all the water rushing over the falls is immense, and scientists have discovered that Niagara Falls have moved as far back as seven miles in the last 12,500 years. The falls work to erode almost four feet of rock every year, and several conservation groups are working to preserve Niagara Falls as we see and love them today. If these efforts aren’t successful, scientists predict that Niagara Falls will no longer exist in about 50,000 years — so get your vacation in while you still can.

Niagara Has a Shipwrek

Ship on waterIn 1918, two men were aboard a scow (a type of barge) were dredging sand banks in the Niagara River upstream of the falls. When a tugboat attempted to bring the scow back to shore, the line broke and the scow — with the two men aboard — started floating downstream toward the falls. Luckily, the scow became trapped on some rocks just before the falls. The two men were rescued successfully with a grappling line shot to the scow from the shore, because a rescue boat was too risky given the churning torrents of water just before the falls. The scow has remained behind, completely visible even today, for almost a century.

In 1923, two new owners of a World War I submarine chaser — a small wooden craft — became lost in the Niagara River, and during the night, their new purchase became loose from its moorings and drifted downstream toward the falls. The boat became caught on the same shoal that trapped the old scow, and its owners abandoned it. While the subchaser is harder to see than the huge scow, you might be able to spy it when the waters are lower in the winter.

Learn to Speak Canadian for Your Trip to Niagara Falls

Canadian FlagWhen you’re traveling to a new country, it’s always wise to pick up a bit of the language of the locals. You want to be able to ask about transportation, and it’s helpful to understand key phrases related to buying and selling or ordering food. It is incredibly difficult to convey what you want when you’re speaking two completely different languages.

While Canadians and Americans have many things in common — they both live in North America, for example, or they both speak English — there are still some key differences that can impede communication. Be prepared before you head to the Great White North on your trip to Niagara by learning some key Canadian phrases.

Favourite, Colour, Honour, etc.

You may recognize some words. They look so familiar, you can almost read them, but something is throwing you off. There’s no need to become frustrated and confused — you just can’t get past the way Canadians add the letter u to certain words Americans don’t. The reasons for this unnecessary inclusion aren’t well understood, but many top researchers suggest Americans don’t have the time for such quaint frivolities.


If you come to Niagara during the winter looking for some excellent sledding opportunities, you might leave disappointed. Locals may be avid tobogganers, but sledding is an activity more common among their lower neighbors. Though the toboggan and the sled are the exact same vehicle used for the same purpose, the difference in vocabulary can make equipment rentals tedious.


Another common fall or winter accessory, the toque (or tuque, pronounced “took”) is the same as the American beanie or cap. While your ears are freezing off during a Canadian blizzard, it will be helpful to know what to ask the shopkeeper for to prevent your brain from freezing.


You’ve probably heard this Canadian expression without quite realizing its purpose in the language. An interjection like the American “huh” or “right?” eh works on many levels and in almost any context. Try inserting an “eh” into icebreakers when you’re simply confirming a fact, or else phrases when you’re trying to express surprise or outrage.


Woman asking directionsAfter a long day exploring Niagara Falls, you’d probably like nothing more than collapsing on the couch and taking a well-earned rest. However, Canadians don’t own couches or sofas, they own chesterfields. You could find yourself making a social scene in a furniture store if you use your American terminology.

Homo Milk

You’re walking around a grocery store or convenience market and you spy a term that really ruffles your feathers — but it shouldn’t. In Canada, they prefer to shorten the term “homogenized” when they refer to their milk. This beverage is the same as good old American whole milk and actually isn’t discriminatory at all.


While you’ve probably heard this term applied primarily to toons or crazies, Canadians prefer this word to describe their money. One dollar coins in particular are loonies, so if you hear the term bandied around when you’re trying to use good American money to buy souvenirs, know the shopkeeper isn’t trying to insult your intelligence.

Planning the Ultimate Bachelorette Party in Niagara

cpblog1112.jpegNiagara Falls is a beautiful destination for a wedding, and the area has long been heralded as the Honeymoon Capital of the World. But, have you ever thought of Niagara as one of the best locations for the parties celebrating the time before your wedded bliss?

If you’re a bride-to-be (or bridesmaid) looking for a city to host a bachelorette bash, look no further than Niagara Falls. With all the amenities and none of the stress, Niagara will provide everything you’re looking for without breaking the bank.

Luxury Hotels

When you are celebrating upcoming nuptials, you probably want to be doing it in style and comfort. You want pampering, you want options, and most of all you want a central location so you can get everything done.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel has all of this and more. There are plenty of rooms and suites that are scalable depending on the size of your bridal party, and the hotel can offer packages to nearby attractions to help you organize your weekend. If you’re looking for luxury as well as convenience, Niagara is the place for you.

World-Class Cuisine

At least for the weekend, you don’t want to be worrying about everyone’s pre-wedding diets — especially when there is such good fare to be had. Well within traveling distance are plenty of five-star dining experiences that can’t be missed. Here’s a short list of the best restaurants in the city so you can have a taste of what’s to come:

  • Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra. With fresh, local ingredients and wines selected from local vineyards, the Rainbow Room is a delicious and convenient option for bachelorettes with discerning taste.
  • Windows by Jamie Kennedy. World-renowned and popular chef Jaime Kennedy impeccably designed the menu at this award-winning restaurant, and while you’re dining you’ll have excellent panoramic views through the glass that gives the restaurant its name.
  • Hard Rock Cafe.Once you’ve had your fill of the high-class foods on offer around Niagara, stop by the Hard Rock Cafe for some light-hearted fun with your delicious and familiar meal.

Unique Activities

cpblog2112.jpegThere’s no better way to say it: Niagara Falls is one of the Natural Wonders of the World, meaning you won’t be able to see anything like it anywhere else on Earth. The falls are beautiful and awe-inspiring, and it’s possible to lose minutes or even whole hours just watching and listing to the powerful water move.

There are plenty of angles from which to view the falls; you can take a boat tour to get right underneath the water or take a walk behind them to see the water rushing past. If landscapes are more your style, so many area parks have stations created for the perfect views.

Also a great choice for fun: Wine tasting is quickly becoming one of the most fun and interactive of vacation activities, and Niagara’s established and fertile wine region is perfect for some winery tours. Learn about grapes, wine and the Niagara region as you journey from vineyard to vineyard sampling world-class wines. You can toast the bride-to-be with red or white and have memories to last as long as the marriage.

Avoid the Hangover: Planning a Bachelor Party in Niagara Falls

CPblog30.jpegBachelor parties are widely known for getting a little too wild. In too many situations, before the first night is through, members of the party get lost or hospitalized; the budget for the party is burned; and everyone is too tired, achy or terrified to have any sort of fun. However, these dangers don’t mean you should avoid having a bachelor party altogether.

Instead, plan your trip with your best friends carefully and smartly — by looking into the plethora of attractions available to you in Niagara Falls.

Miles of Golf

For those inclined to enjoy a morning or afternoon on the green, Niagara can provide a veritable sea of golf courses. Spend your time with your pals hitting a few balls down any of our gorgeous trails, and you won’t go home disappointed. The beautiful scenery of Niagara is utilized to create dozens of pristine and challenging courses, so instead of chugging your weekend away in a dingy dive bar, sip your drinks luxuriously while you hit a round outside with friends.

Acres of Excitement

If you are pulled in by the lure of gambling, don’t fret; Niagara has a top-rated casino full of all your favorite games. You can supplement your weekend budget with slots or tables — pick your poison — or throw around some small bills just for the fun. There are even frequent tournaments for any gamblers in your group feeling particularly confident!

Gallons of Brew

CPblog31.jpegThe taste of beer is becoming as popularly important as the delicate flavors of wine, and Niagara can provide all the craft-brewed goodness you are starting to look for in your frosty cold ones.

Local breweries are constantly scrabbling for the top spot in the region, and many of them are nationally ranked for their delicious concoctions. You can discover plenty of Niagara’s breweries by yourself, or if you and your group fancy a look behind the scenes — plus some free tasting and transportation — you might want to check out a brewery tour.

Hours of Thrills

While you spend your nights in complete luxury, you can fill your days with heart-pounding excitement provided by the falls and surrounding attractions. Extreme sports abound in Niagara Falls and the surrounding region, so if your party is full of adrenaline junkies, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Here are a handful of the more popular thrills available for your weekend away.

Snowboarding and skiing. If you are planning a trip during winter, you can’t miss out on the fantastic snow sports the Niagara region has to offer. Miles of trails for any skill level will keep you warm while Niagara is ice cold.

Skydiving. Jumping from a plane thousands of feet in the air is heart-pounding in any location, but it certainly helps when you’re jumping into some beautiful scenery. Grab your most adventurous pals to book a flight today.

White-water rafting. If you prefer the wetter sports, you can catch a ride on any of the rafts traversing the choppy Niagara River. Different-sized rafts provide different levels of stability on the rapids, so pick your boat carefully!

5 Ways to View the Falls in Niagara

cpblog7.jpegNiagara is almost as famous for the diverse ways that you can view the falls as it is for the falls themselves. Many people would like to get as close as possible to the power and thunder while others prefer to enjoy them from a picturesque distance. Still more would like to have a meal while looking over them or view them while lit up under the colorful glow of fireworks. There’s something for everyone.

By Helicopter

Perhaps the most expensive, yet intimate, way to view the falls is by helicopter. Not only are the views unlike that which can be seen any other way but it feels like it’s all for you. A helicopter ride inherently avoids the crowds and the clamor of most other ways to get a look at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. There are a variety of organizations that can take you, so feel free to shop around.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Hornblower Niagara is a boat tour that goes right up to the bottom of the falls so that passengers can come to truly appreciate the sound and the fury of the rushing water. It’s probably the most exciting way to view the falls. It may also be the best for coming to understand the grandeur and wonder of the place.

Journey Behind the Falls

The Journey Behind the Falls is generally less crowded than the Maid of the Mist and is a better option for the watercraft-averse or those with small children. One of the more interesting points is that this attraction is open year-round, except Christmas Day, regardless of weather. This gives an opportunity to experience the proximity of the falls with a more frigid beauty in the winter. Due to the wetness of the trip, like the Maid of the Mist, ponchos are provided to those that participate in this attraction.

Skylon Tower

Skylon Tower is a rather unique structure. 520 feet (160 meters) tall, it contains two restaurants, an observation deck and a convention venue on each of the four floors. On the ground floor is a video arcade. It’s truly a great view of the falls from the tower, whether from the observation deck or one of the restaurants and is probably the most comfortable way to experience the wonder.

Fireworks Over the Falls

cpblog8.jpegTo view the fireworks over the falls, you must be present on a Friday or Sunday night during one of the summer months. The falls are lit up nightly by colored lights, but the fireworks only go off on those two days a week during the peak of the tourist season. For more information on the fireworks schedule, check here.

So, no matter who you are or how you choose to view the falls there’s a way for you: up close and personal by boat or on foot; from a comfortable distance in a helicopter or tower; on top of a Ferris wheel or lit by colorful explosions. Perhaps the most important thing that you know is not how to view the falls but that you’ll be staying in comfort regardless of how you decide to view it.

Why Niagara Falls Is the Perfect Place for Your Corporate Retreat

CPblog20.jpegCompany-wide vacations are usually pretty tricky to plan. You need to make sure to choose a budget-friendly place with plenty of activities to excite a whole group of different types of people. You need to be sure that the location is full of team-building experiences that are engaging and interesting rather than awkward or boring.

If you want to organize a corporate retreat that’s effective and educational but still enjoyable, you should seriously consider organizing your retreat in Niagara Falls. With all the amenities to make your experience both fun and functional, Niagara is the idea location, and here’s why.

Affordable Rates and Convention Spaces

Company retreats can get costly, especially when you factor in renting out space for activities like seminars and speeches. However, Niagara has plenty of both outdoor and indoor spaces for you to host your events. If you want you experience to be more private, you can easily rent the meeting space at your hotel — and scale it to the size of your party.

The upside to this is the customer service and amenities you’ll receive from your hotel, like catering or decoration. Alternatively, if you dare to venture on the wild side, see if other attractions around Niagara are available to rent for groups. The Butterfly Conservatory can be reserved for special parties if your employees appreciate beautiful tropical flora and fauna.

Team Building Experiences

One of the most important aspects of corporate retreats is the growing together as a group. You want your employees to get to know one another and learn to work with each other, not just alongside each other. Niagara is full of attractions that will help your team become closer.

For simple activities, try taking a group hike on one of the popular trails through Niagara’s parks; the Bruce Trail is a popular choice for its scenic views and varying levels of difficulty. For something a little more challenging, invite your employees to come see the falls up close with either a ride on the Maid of the Mist or the Journey Behind the Falls. These activities test their courage and curiosity while creating memorable shared experiences.

Wealth of Outside Activities

CPblog21.jpegWhen your employees go on vacation for work, they are probably going to set aside some time to relax and explore outside of the planned group events. Niagara is a hub of culture, and there are plenty of places and activities worth seeing and doing, even if they don’t have an important business lesson to accompany them.

The Greg Frewin Theatre offers a fantastic magic show from one of the foremost magicians in the world, and the Daredevil Hall of Fame offers unbelievable stories of when foolhardy bravery happened at the falls. It is possible to spin these activities into corporate events, and you may find value in taking your employees to them as a group, but know that you shouldn’t force your employees to stay with the company during the whole of their stay. Niagara is a wonderful place for a corporate retreat, but it’s also an amazing place to take a regular old invigorating vacation.

Outdoor Activities in Niagara

cpblog5.jpegThe city of Niagara Falls, Ontario is placed immediately next to one of the great natural wonders of the world — and not by chance. This has brought nature enthusiasts to the city since its foundation. However, many nature lovers would enjoy further ways to experience the outdoors than seeing the waterfall itself. This is easy to remedy as the nature of the place is frankly all around. Perhaps the best part is that you can get an experience in nature and go home to one of the luxurious Canadian hotels near the falls for the night.


There are 15 kilometers of footpaths through six different nature areas within the city of Niagara Falls, the guide to which is accessible here. Further, there is the 56-kilometer paved Niagara River Recreation Trail that passes by the Laura Secord Homestead, Olde Fort Erie, MacKenzie Printery and Chippawa Battlefield Park. Devil’s Hole Rapids and Giant Rock and Whirpool Rapids adventure hike provide moderate to strenuous hikes that will take from three to five hours for more experienced hikers. Both of these hikes have age minimums of 8 years old in place.

War of 1812 Battle Site

There are a few War of 1812 battle sites within close proximity of Niagara Falls. The Battle of Chippawa was on July 5, 1814 and between British and American forces. The battle led to an American victory that would eventually lead to the battle of Lundy Lane. However, both of these battles would pale in comparison to the battle at Old Fort Erie which was the bloodiest battle ever fought on Canadian soil: the Siege of Fort Erie. The besieged Americans, having taken and expanded the fort a year earlier, would successfully defend the fort against the British by inflicting approximately equal casualties and wounded while capturing 508 more men than the Brits. The British would lift the siege and retire shortly thereafter but the Americans abandoned and demolished the fort after learning of the British attack on Washington D.C.


There are a grand total of at least 15 courses within a 20-mile radius of Niagara Falls, three of which are on the American side. One of the most scenic courses is Oak Hall Golf Club. Like the rest of the courses in the area, it features dense forests, crisp greens and an incredible view of Niagara Falls from the seventh green. Other courses in the area provide a variety of pricing and difficulty that will challenge any golfer.

Niagara Botanical Gardens

cpblog6.jpegThe Niagara Botanical Gardens and Horticultural School sit on a plot of land 99 acres in size. Within its limits is the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory which is a self-sustaining tropical greenhouse that houses more than 2,000 butterflies of 60 species. It is run by the Niagara parks commission and located about 5.6 miles north of the Falls. The botanical gardens promise a fulfilling outdoors experience due to its size, its close proximity to the other attractions of the city for those who want to experience nature and its fine dining within a short time.

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