Niagara Dreaming on Such a Winter’s Day

CP3.jpegWith this winter chill in the air, there is nothing more exciting than planning a spring vacation. Niagara Falls is a stunning winter wonderland with millions of twinkling lights and glittering icicles. However, visitors looking forward to Niagara’s warmer temperatures may enjoy ruminating on the spectacular spring scenery soon to appear.

1. Niagara Parks

Queen Victoria Park is on the edge of the bustling tourist district of Fallsview, and it looks out on the most dazzling view of Horseshoe Falls you’re likely to see anywhere. The park itself is lovely, with hanging baskets filled with blooms, a serene rock garden, and perfectly kept lawns ideal for picnics and lounging.

Currently, the dark, bare trees and shrubs are striking against the bright white landscape of Niagara, but in the spring, the city decorates Queen Victoria Park with 500,000 daffodils, as well as countless tulips, and other flowers. As a bonus, at the entrance to the park, concerts, shows, and other events are held throughout the spring and summer, so you can get some culture to go along with your beautiful scenery.

The Niagara Botanical Gardens is open to the public year-round with rotating beds of seasonal buds, but it is especially stunning during the spring when the brightest and most fragrant flowers are in bloom. The rose garden is world-class, with almost 2,500 elegant roses, but along every pathway you’ll spy perennials and annuals sure to make your day. See the famous Floral Clock — a timepiece crafted entirely out of plant life — and experience the Butterfly Conservatory, where thousands of winged insects flitter about every day.

2. Lake Ontario

If you rent a car (maybe a convertible?) you can take a few day trips to visit more beautiful scenery in the greater Niagara region of Canada. Just a quick trip down the highway will take you to the gorgeous shores of Lake Ontario, where the Niagara River empties its waters. Along the drive, you’ll see a patchwork of orchards and vineyards making use of the abundantly fertile soils; you can stop and enjoy a tasting and lunch.

However, looming deep blue in the distance, Lake Ontario beckons with its whitecap waves. Surrounding the lake are parks and beaches perfect for picnics and sightseeing. On the south shore of Lake Ontario you can find Grimsby Beach, which is dotted with whimsical cottages of bright colors, transforming the world into a fairytale landscape. There is certainly plenty to explore in this region of Niagara.

3. Panoramas

CP4.jpegJust a few minutes outside Niagara Falls proper, visitors can gain some altitude for excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Queenston Heights Park is the most popular place folks go to see far and wide, mostly due to its proximity to the city. After just a short climb on the infamous Bruce Trail, you’ll catch sights of Niagara Falls, the snaking Niagara River, and Lake Ontario in the distance.

However, the best birds-eye you’re likely to get in the region is at Beamer Memorial Conservation Area, which offers true panoramas of the region, including the mountains, escarpment, Falls, river, and lake. Take your camera, and you might bring home a masterpiece to hang above the mantle.

The cold weather of December might bring winter blues, but you can banish chilly thoughts by thinking about your warm spring trip to Niagara Falls. The birds will be chirping, the flowers will be blooming, and you’ll be soaking up the sun in the most magnificent scenery in North America.