Spotlight on Guys Getaways: Chill with the Bros in Niagara

two golfers on golf course

With Father’s Day on June 16 fast approaching, it’s time to turn the spotlight on guys in general. Maybe you’re planning to chill with the bros in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and you’re open to ideas on how to rekindle the magic of your glory days, while still maintaining your adult status.

Here are a few ideas to add to your itinerary.

Seeking a little friendly competition or just the calm of the links? Whether you consider yourselves casual players or pros, Niagara-on-the-Lake has great golfing options.

You might want to warm up first at the driving range at the Niagara Golf and Batting Cages. Dubbed “the field of dreams for golf,” the driving range is surrounded by picturesque vineyards. It’s also equipped with AccuRange, which provides accurate distances for golfers to improve their efficiency.

Let’s begin with North America’s oldest golf course in continuous play. That would be the 9-hole course at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club fronting on Lake Ontario, where golfers are treated to some of the most scenic views in Niagara. Later, relax and enjoy a snack on the patio as you take in the view.

golf caddy with red flag and water features

Head up the stunning Niagara Parkway toward Queenston and St. David’s where two more 9-hole courses await you. Tucked under the Niagara Escarpment, the par-35 Queenston Golf Club features numerous sand traps and water hazards while the par-35 St. Davids Golf Course offers a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

A little further up the Parkway is the 18-hole Whirlpool Golf Course with its breathtaking landscape. This classic parkland layout with its strategic hole placements offers golfers a delightful mix of challenges and scoring opportunities.

Just past St. David’s, the 18-hole Eagle Valley Golf Course also features an onsite golf academy, which offers adult and junior private lessons and clinics for all ages and skill levels.

Built to the highest championship standards, the “must play” 27-hole Royal Niagara Golf Club is broken up into three 9-hole courses of sculpted fairways, undulating greens and cavernous bunkers.

A little further afield, there’s Peninsula Lakes, a scenic water-heavy 27-hole course referred to by many as “the Jewel of Niagara.” There’s also the captivating Grand Niagara Golf Club, ranked tops in the area.

bike handlebars and pedal

The terrain around Niagara-on-the-Lake is fairly flat and perfect for easy-going biking convoys along country roads. If mountain-biking is more your style, portions of the Bruce Trail will surely test your limits. You’re never at a loss for new paths to explore in the area.

Short Hills Provincial Park, Decew Falls and Ball’s Falls are other great choices and typically have hiking paths, too.

Hikers also have a generous number of trails to explore in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area. 

The 8.2-kilometre Queenston via Bruce Trail, a moderately challenging route, takes an average of about two hours to complete. Another in the Queenston area is the 1.6-kilometre moderately challenging Queenston Heights Walking Trail, which features tons of historical interpretive signs along the way. The 4.8-kilometre loop Queenston Kilns Trail is also popular for hiking and running as well as bird-watching.

The Niagara Glen has some of the best hiking trails that descend into the Niagara Gorge.  A multi-level metal staircase takes you from the parking lot to the bottom of the escarpment. Marvel at ancient rock formations that date to the last Ice Age, lush greenery and the impressive scenery of the majestic Niagara River. While there are a number of well-marked, easy-to-navigate trails with fascinating natural features to choose from here, the star of this set is the River Trail.

Closer to Old Town, the easier 3.5-kilometre Heritage Trail is great for road biking, running and walking.

Long renowned for its wineries, Niagara-on-the-Lake has also grown into a hotspot for craft brews and spirits.

When it comes to sampling craft brews in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Oast House Brewers in the big red barn on Niagara Stone Road and Silversmith Brewing housed in an old church in Virgil immediately come to mind. Both local favourites offer entertainment and fun events as well as snacks and light fare on their premises.

Bottle of Oast craft beer

You might also want to check out the award-winning beer produced by students at the Niagara College Teaching Brewery in Glendale where they’re happy to answer all your questions.

The Exchange Brewery, a premium brewery and tasting room on Queen Street in Old Town, serves up seasonal and specialty beers as well as snacks and weekly specials. Why not take a tour while you’re there?

For fans of spirits, don’t miss Canadian whisky giants served up at the great one’s Wayne Gretzky Estates also in Virgil where you can book a tour, a tasting or even a cocktail class. Later, enjoy a meal at their onsite restaurant. 

On Lakeshore Road, Spirit in Niagara (SIN, for short) features the ever popular Monday Blooz & Jazz nights. From vodka, gin and bourbon to a selection of Eau de Vie fruit spirits and bitters, this distillery produces the widest range of spirits available in the Niagara region. While there, reserve a table in their Confessional Lounge for a meal you’ll not soon forget.

Why not combine a little exercise with your brew? Get ready to pedal party! Book a seat on the Pedal Pub. Entertained by music along the way, you’ll visit two or three local bars, wineries or restaurants.

Why not leave the driving to someone else and book a chauffeur-driven tour of breweries, wineries and distilleries? Brewery & Distillery Tours Niagara offers daily public tours as well as private tours in Mercedes-Benz vans. They even pick you up and drop you off at your door.

Nights out have plenty to offer you and your crew. High rollers may want to roll over to the poker table at Fallsview Casino or Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls. Both have a regular schedule of big-name entertainers as well.

Need a sports fix? In summer, check out some hoops action with the Niagara River Lions of the newly formed Canadian Elite Basketball League. The team plays at the St. Catharines Meridian Centre, which is also known to have some pretty big performers like Bryan Adams and Jerry Seinfeld.

Jackson-Triggs amphitheatre

If concerts are more your style, nothing beats an evening of music in the vineyards. Check out the summer 2024 line-up at the Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre. Upcoming headliners include the Sam Roberts Band, Jim Cuddy, Bahamas and many more.

Jazz lovers need to head over to the TD Niagara Jazz Festival schedule to scan the list of numerous performances planned for summer 2024. Some happen in the vineyards at the Hare Wine Co. right here in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Or keep it simple and head over to The Irish Harp pub in Old Town for traditional Irish fare along with good beer and some lively music. Around the corner, at the British Pub in the Olde Angel Inn, enjoy live music in the newly renovated English Beer Garden – a fitting end to your guys’ getaway in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

STAY Niagara offers a wide variety of accommodation choices ranging from bed and breakfasts where someone else does the cooking to self-catering cottages, villas and apartments. Wherever you choose to stay, your hosts are happy to provide tips on where to go and what is happening during your bro time in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Wondering what else is happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2024? Check these out:
June 1-30; TD Niagara Summer Jazz Festival
June 1: Earring Making Workshop at RiverBrink Art Museum
June 1 & 2: Niagara-on-the-Lake Studio Tour
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 16 – August 16: Music Niagara Festival 2024
June 22: Seafood Dinner at Reif Estate Winery
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
June 30: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 14: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
July 28: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
August 25 & September 29: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
October 4: Shaw Guild Autumn Soirée
October 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jacksonn-Triggs Estate Winery
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 6 & 7: Rotary Club House Tour
December 14: Christmas Parade

Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email for more information.

Drive Safely: As part of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program, automated speed enforcement cameras have been installed in school zones. Please pay attention to the speed limits posted throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake as more cameras are planned.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town. 

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.