Niagara-on-the-Lake: Hello Summer!

Niagara-on-the-Lake drummed in the Summer Solstice on June 21, marking the official start of the homey, heartfelt Cancer season when the Sun illuminates our most treasured bonds. From beloved relatives to friends who have earned our “chosen family” status, this time is ideal for cozy gatherings. 

Or maybe you’re in the mood for some summertime romance and prefer to spend a few lazy, crazy days of summer in a cuddle puddle listening to your favourite old-fashioned love song. 

Whether you choose to be with a pod of close friends or relatives in a bed and breakfast, cottage, villa or apartment, or cocoon in a private retreat for two, STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake has you covered. And our hosts are ready to help you make your time with us a little more memorable.

Your Self-Care Playbook
Who doesn’t appreciate a little tender loving care? Niagara-on-the-Lake is definitely a spa town. The 100 Fountain Spa at the Pillar and Post, the Secret Garden Spa at the Prince of Wales, the Oban Spa and the Spa at Q all offer escapes into tranquility where you’ll find extensive menus of spa services to soothe whatever ails you. A couple of cosmetic spas, namely Diosa Beauty Clinic and the Blossom Lounge Spa, are renowned for their premium treatments.

Couple in a garden setting

Take home a little memento of your time with us. Make your residence a little more aromatic with toiletries and scented candles from the NEOB Lavender or One Earth Boutique on Queen Street. A plethora of other decorative gems are found at quaint shops and art galleries along the way and in antique stores throughout the area. If you’re around, drop by the Wine & Wears event on Thursday, June 29, at St. Mark’s Church, and enjoy wine and nibbles while you shop. Items include vintage clothing, accessories, antiques, artwork and collectibles. If you miss this one, you have a second chance at A Haute Emporium on July 8, when St. Mark’s hosts the Cherry Festival. If you’re in town on Canada Day Weekend, stroll down to the waterfront gazebo for the juried Artistry by the Lake event.

Let Mama Nature soothe your soul. Procure a book at the Old Niagara Bookshop on Regent Street and head over to the nearest bench at the Voices of Freedom Park across the street and immerse yourself in an important aspect of our history. Or grab a blanket, pack a picnic, rent a bike from Zoom Leisure, and claim your favourite picnic table with a view at Simcoe Park, Ryerson Park, Queen’s Royal Park, the Niagara Parkway or Queenston Heights Park.

Does music comfort you? You’ve come to the right place — at the right time! Spend an evening under the stars with a glass of wine and some of your favourite musicians at the Jackson-Triggs Estate amphitheatre. The Spirit in Niagara Distillery is popular for its Monday Blooz & Jazz and Thursday Night Delight events where you’re welcome to dance or just sit back and enjoy the music, cocktails and food. Take in the wealth of international talent performing at the Music Niagara Festival. You also want to check out what’s on tap at the TD Niagara 2023 Summer Festival

Flex Your Epicurean Muscles
Nourish yourself by connecting to the food you put in your body. The Niagara area is renowned for its fresh local produce sold at numerous roadside stands. Why not put on your favourite playlist and laugh, talk and bond as you prepare your own tasty meals together in your self-catering rental? 

Prefer to let someone else do the cooking? Niagara-on-the-Lake is also known as the “Culinary Capital of Canada” because of its outstanding selection of dining experiences. Treat yourself to a world of flavours … Asian fusion, Greek, Indian, Italian, Sushi, Thai, upscale, casual, pub fare, indoor, outdoor. It’s all here.

Indulge mindfully — and responsibly — as you challenge your palate and explore the variety of vintages available from numerous wineries in the area. Organize your own food and wine pairings at your cottage, villa or apartment rental. Or take part in one of the many vineyard and winery tours, seminars and workshops offered by our Niagara wine connoisseurs and tour companies. 

What’s Coming Up?
Something’s always cookin’ in Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Until August 29: Music Niagara Summer Festival Concert Series
Until September 15: Jackson-Triggs Summer Concert Series
Until September 30: Roger & Hammerstein Concerts at the BMO Stage
June 29: Wine & Wears at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
July 1: Canada Day at Fort George
July 1–3: Artistry by the Lake; Canada Day Fireworks;
July 2: Bell Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
July 8: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival, A Haute Emporium
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 2023 Summer Festival 
August 6: Bell Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
August 12: Peach Festival
August 12: Sip, Savour & Stroll
August 13: Shades of Rosé
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 
September 3: Bell Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church

Niagara-on-the-Lake: Activate Your Passion

March 20 heralded in the Spring Equinox and the Aries Season while a New Moon on March 21 added a punch to underscore the importance of this annual celestial event. Think of this lunar lift as a ribbon-cutting ceremony for your freshest, most out-of-the-box ideas. This cosmic invitation is summoning your inner warrior to recommit to living life by your own design!

As it turns out, passion is an essential element to living a fulfilled life. So, you might say, this celestial combo is asking you to tune in to your passion meter for excitement and let the hot blood pump through your veins as you spring into action.

Some of our best insights and ideas come to us when we’re active and enjoying something we love — cycling, hiking, golfing, birdwatching, dining, spa treatments, live stage performances, music, museums and historical re-enactments, gardens… Our minds are relaxed and our intuition — our personal GPS — works best when the mind is engrossed in the present moment. Like they say, time flies when you’re having a good time.

And what better place to enjoy good times and indulge your passion(s) than in Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Spring Into Action
Vineyards, fruits orchards and fields of vegetation surround Niagara-on-the-Lake, making it a culinary haven for chefs, foodies and wine-lovers alike. Dining venues throughout the area range from affordable pub fare to five-star gourmet experiences. Why not make a day of it with friends? Chauffeured guided tour companies offer an excellent way to experience three or more wineries, and some tour options even include lunch or supper at a local dining establishment.

Partying with friends

Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake is a safe, very walkable community, perfect for daytime and evening strolls along residential streets and nature trails that meander through provincial parks and along the Niagara River where there is year-round birdwatching at its best. Most bed and breakfasts and short-term rental properties are within easy walking distance of restaurants, theatres, shops and wine- or beer-tasting venues. So, why not park the car and forget about it?

Flat terrain and quiet country roads in the area are ideal for cycling and e-bikes — a great way to combine fresh-air exercise with touring some of our award-winning wineries on your own. Be sure to check out the 2020 Chardonnay at Two Sisters Vineyards, winner of a Gold Medal at the 2023 Chardonnay-du-Monde competition held in Burgundy, France. Bring your own bike or rent one at one of the local businesses, such as Zoom Leisure, Grape Escape, Vino Velo and eBike Rental Niagara, to name just a few. Many also offer guided cycling wine tours.

Take in a round of golf and some of the area’s most scenic views at the oldest surviving golf course in North America. Its lakefront restaurant patio and indoor lounge are popular watering holes for a light post-game bite, a brew and some friendly banter.

Perhaps self-care is one of your passions. Niagara-on-the-Lake features a selection of world-renowned spas, each of which offers a menu of treatments that are sure to leave your body singing with relief and gratitude.

Passionate about live theatre and musical performances? Niagara-on-the-Lake also hosts world-class performances at the ever-popular Shaw Festival, which, in 2023, is presenting 14 plays, and several concerts and events at the Festival Royal George and Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatres as well as the new Spiegeltent outdoor venue.

Choose Your Private Retreat
After a full day of activities and sightseeing, a well-deserved night’s rest is in order. STAY Niagara-on-the Lake offers a long list of accommodation options where you can relax and reminisce over that fine bottle of Niagara wine you picked up earlier.

For couples, a bed and breakfast is the perfect choice. Today, most B&Bs feature secluded guest quarters with private ensuite washrooms for complete privacy, as well as indoor and outdoor nooks where you can mingle with your hosts or other guests — or not. Nightly rates include breakfast, on-site parking and internet access. For parties of three or more, self-catering apartments, villas or cottages may be a more reasonable alternative.

Go ahead and check us out. Make a few calls and ask questions. We want you to make the choice that’s best for you and your needs.

Plan Ahead
Here is a taste of things to come this spring and summer to rev up those passion meters and get your creative juices flowing:

April 1 – Fort George opens Saturdays and Sundays, and daily May 20
April 29 – Queens of the Vineyard at Caroline Cellars
May Weekends – Sip & Sizzle at various Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries
May 6 – TD Niagara Jazz Festival Spring 2023 Fundraising Event at The Hare Wine Co.
June 9 – White Effect Dinner at Peller Estates Winery
June 24 – Shaw Guild Garden Tour
July 1-3 – Artistry by the Lake
July 8 – Cherry Festival
August 12 – Peach Festival
August 12 – Sip, Savour & Stroll
August 13 – Shades of Summer Dinner