The Niagara Region is home to the Niagara Parkway, which is one of the oldest roads in Ontario. This beautiful parkway stretches 55km along the Niagara River and passes through incredible towns, villages, and natural areas from Fort Erie to Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you walk, cycle, or drive along the parkway, which Sir Winston Churchill deemed “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world”, you’ll experience some of these amazing sights and destinations that will make your trip to Niagara something truly unforgettable.
Horseshoe and American Falls
You can get an up close look at the remarkable Horseshoe Falls from the parkway and stand near the brink over which more than 500,000 litres of water flow every second. And situated across the Niagara River are the American and Bridal Veil Falls, which add to the beauty and allure of the area.
Flowing from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and forming the border between Canada and the United States, the Niagara River is an impressive body of water that runs parallel to the Niagara Parkway. The river runs for about 58km with a lot of the water being diverted for power generation. It’s a truly beautiful river that includes Niagara Falls and leads to rapids and the Niagara Whirlpool, which are definitely must-see stops along the way.
Niagara Falls Tourist District
The bustling heart of Niagara Falls’ tourist district is located on Clifton Hill, which is lovingly referred to as “the street of fun”. This area of Niagara Falls is located just off the parkway, minutes from the brink of the Horseshoe Falls and features hotels like the historic Crowne Plaza and Sheraton Fallsview, Fallsview restaurants like the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra and attractions like Niagara Brewing Company, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Hershey’s Chocolate World Niagara Falls, and Fallsview Casino Resort.
Located right on the Niagara Parkway, the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory sits on the beautiful grounds of the Botanical Gardens and is a lush indoor sanctuary where over 2,000 butterflies flutter about among flowers, vegetation, and trickling waterfalls. It’s a tranquil and one of a kind destination that is perfect for a leisurely daytime stroll.
Queenston Heights Park was the site of a famous battle during the War of 1812 in which Major General Sir Isaac Brock was killed. The expansive park is now home to the 56-metre high Brock’s Monument and a monument commemorating Laura Secord. It also features wide lawns, picnic areas, an outdoor stage, pavilions, and the Queenston Heights Restaurant making it a worthwhile outdoor area to explore while travelling around Niagara.
One of the official ends of the Niagara Parkway is Fort George in Niagara on the Lake, which served as the setting for a number of battles during the War of 1812 and is now a designated National Historic Site. You can visit the fort to tour around the grounds, and also catch live reenactments from infantry soldier interpreters.
There are a number of fantastic wineries located along the Niagara Parkway where you can stop for a tour and tasting and pick up some famous Niagara Icewine. This includes Reif Estate Winery, Inniskillin Wines, and Riverbend Inn & Vineyard, which all feature beautiful vineyards and have a wide selection of reds and whites available to bring home to commemorate your time in Niagara.