If a June night could talk, it would probably boast
it invented romance. – Sir Bernard, English Philosopher
From weddings and honeymoons to vow renewals and anniversaries, couples want to celebrate their special day in a setting of their dreams. Niagara-on-the-Lake has become one of those dream destinations — and for so many reasons.
The world’s prime wine-producing regions are located between the 30th and 50th parallels of latitude in both hemispheres. Situated at roughly 43 degrees latitude, the Niagara Region is the geographic centre of winemaking excellence in Canada. In addition to its ideal location for wine production, fertile, complex soil conditions and a unique climate create a winning combination for growing grapes and producing quality Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet France as well as rosé, sparkling wine and Canada’s famous Icewine.
A popular way to enjoy wine country is on a guided half- or full-day winery tour with one of the many tour companies in the area. However, you are free to explore on your own as well. Most wineries offer tasting opportunities and a variety of tours of the vineyard and wine-making facilities. Some include food-tasting options ranging from flight-pairing snacks to full-service dining rooms and restaurants. Feel free to ask your accommodation hosts for some recommendations.
What is fine wine without some tasty creations to accompany it? One thing is certain: you will never go hungry or thirsty in Niagara-on-the-Lake. In addition to all the food-and-wine pairing menus offered by winery restaurants and dining rooms, our little town has attracted some of the most creative chefs in the culinary field. Our menu book lists a number of our favourite dining options.
From fast-food restaurants, pubs and four-course fine dining to Italian, Greek and Thai, there’s something for every budget and taste. Ice-cream and gelato lovers will have a fine time comparing the variety of flavours served at numerous locations along Queen Street. Sample all Niagara-on-the-Lake has to offer on a Niagara Culinary Tour. Fancy yourself a chocolate connoisseur? A chocolate-lover’s paradise awaits you in St. David’s at The Chocolate Factory where you can learn all about the intricate process of chocolate-making on a complimentary tour.
Food and wine always tastes better with a little music thrown into the mix. And perhaps no one does it better than Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate where incredible performances take place under the stars at their one-of-a-kind amphitheatre. The Music Niagara Festival kicks off its 2023 season in June with performances by the Toronto Children’s on June 18, Dang Thai Son on June 19 and soprano Katelyn Bird, countertenor Christian Massuci Facchini and baritone Alexander Dobson on June 29.
Concert under the stars at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate
And who doesn’t love the performing arts and a Broadway-inspired musical? The Shaw Festival’s musical fable, Gypsy, will surely captivate starry-eyed audiences throughout its run at the Festival Theatre until October 7. Other musical productions, Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon and The Amen Corner, will have you tapping your feet and swaying to the music. More musical events are planned throughout the summer at the Shaw’s BMO Stage, in the new Spiegeltent and their Pop-up Patio.
A couple of pubs in town, like the Angel’s Inn and The Irish Harp, regularly feature local entertainers as does the Barrelhead at Pillitteri Winery on Stone Road where delicious pizzas, salads and wine are served daily in their cherry tree orchard from noon to 10 p.m.
The beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake has been the inspiration behind many an artist. While Old Town is filled with art galleries that display local creations, you’ll want to explore some of the gems found in the surrounding area as well.
Art by Sandra Iafrate
In town on Queen Street, the King Street Gallery displays a wide variety of amazing art by very talented artists. The Edward Spera Gallery specializes in the art of wildlife photography. The Pandaya Gallery features a wide variety of items from around the world. Upper Canada Native Art showcases aboriginal artwork from across North America. ARTSPACE106 sells contemporary and traditional paintings and sculptures as well as hand-blown glass, pottery, stained glass and jewellery by Canadian artists. The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre on Ricardo Street displays works by local artists and artisans. Be sure to check out their programs as well. At her Gate Street Studio, Sandra Iafrate brings a nostalgic feel to her fresh colourful work. The Steele Gallery at 233 John Street West features the work of Scott and Richard Steele, which can be viewed on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or by appointment Monday to Friday). The gift shop at the Festival Theatre also carries some delightful gems.
A little further afield at the Niagara Image Gallery located at 1627 Niagara Stone Road, you’ll find works of art by Trish Romance, Tanya Jean Peterson, Jordan Morrison and Alex Colville. At 755 Lakeshore Road, Ron and Barb Zimmermann sell unique stoneware pottery at their Lakeside Pottery Studio. You’ll find more stoneware pottery creations at the Queenston Pottery Studio at 1648 York Road in Queenston. Or maybe you want to create your own designs in a Bélisle Pottery workshop.
Mother Nature has blessed Niagara-on-the-Lake and its surrounding countryside with spectacular beauty that changes with the seasons. In June, gardens become a feast for the eyes as they burst with colour and leave visitors in awe. Visit the best Niagara has to offer on the Shaw Guild Garden Tour on June 24, which features nine fabulous private gardens in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The NEOB Lavender Farm located at 933 Niagara Stone Road invites you to roam through their lavender fields. Just look for the lavender picnic tables. Or drop by their shop at 38 Queen Street.
There are so many more ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Fill a picnic basket with local fresh fruits and vegetables from one of the many roadside stands in the area. Or order your picnic from Picnix Niagara. Then, cycle along the off-road pathway that follows the mighty Niagara River to choose your super scenic spot to spread out and watch the world go by. The banks along the river are also popular for birdwatching and fishing.
Organized outdoor activities abound. Get soaked on a Whirlpool JetBoat Adventure or challenge yourself on an adventure course at WildPlay. Several tour companies, like ZOOM Leisure, Grape Escape and others, offer guided cycling tours to various wineries, breweries and distilleries throughout the area. They’re a great way to meet fellow cyclists from around the world.
Cycling through the vineyards
As you can see, the possibilities for entertainment and enjoyment are endless in Niagara-on-the-Lake. And so are your accommodation options. STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake is your go-to website to check out availability at licensed bed and breakfasts and cottage, apartment or villa rentals in Old Town and the surrounding countryside and communities of Virgil, St. David’s, Queenston and Glendale. And our hosts are only too happy to help you plan your time with them so you come away with memories that last a lifetime and have you coming back for more.
So Many More Reasons to Visit
June is strawberry time
June 9–September 15: Jackson-Triggs Summer Concert Series
June 17: Strawberry Festival
June 17 & 18: Outdoor Juried Art Show & Sale at RiverBrink
June 18–August 29: Music Niagara Summer Festival Concert Series
June 21: Drumming Down the Sun & Yoga (Summer Solstice) at Ryerson Park
June 22: NOTL Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament
June 23: Humor and Hops at the Exchange Brewery
June 24: Shaw Guild Garden Tour
June 24: Seafood Dinner at Reif Estate Winery
June 24–25: Fort George in the Great War
July 1: Canada Day at Fort George
July 1–3: Artistry by the Lake; Canada Day Fireworks;
July 8: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 10–14: Kids’ Summer Art Camp at RiverBrink Art Museum
July 15-16: Battle of Fort George Re-enactment
July 15–23: TD Niagara Jazz Festival
August 12: Peach Festival
August 12: Sip, Savour & Stroll
August 23: Shades of Summer Dinner
August 19-20: Fife & Drum Muster & Soldiers’ Field Day
August 31: Heritage Garden Party at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum