uncover niagara's unique adventures | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

uncover niagara’s unique adventures

beyond the glitz and glamour

uncover niagara’s unique adventures
melinda cheevers

When one thinks of Niagara Falls, it’s usually more than just the world famous cataracts that come to mind: for some, it’s the main tourist district, filled with bright lights, kitschy attractions and tacky souvenirs; for others, it’s the casinos, world-class restaurants and wineries spread across the region; while some might recall the golden heyday of the area, once dubbed the honeymoon capital, with a past filled with daredevils and tight-rope walkers, themed hotels featuring heart-shaped jacuzzis and carnival-style attractions.

Beyond the glitz and glamour, the history and the fanfare there’s a natural beauty that exists in Niagara Falls, and the entire Niagara region, just waiting to be explored. By boat, bicycle, foot or segway – there are many great ways to discover the true wonders of Niagara.


Launching July 1, Niagara Sunset Cruises will offer up dining and sightseeing cruises on the lower Niagara River aboard the Niagara Belle, a restored 150-passenger paddle wheeler. The new cruising experience is being offered up by the people behind Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. While the two operations will share the same waterways, they will offer two very unique perspectives from the river. “Anybody who has had the opportunity to watch a Lake Ontario Sunset from any of the shoreline vantage points in Niagara-on-the-Lake often says the same thing: Wouldn’t it be amazing to be on the water and have that an even better view?” explained owner/operator John Kinney. There is a variety of cruises offered, including lunch, brunch, dinner and sightseeing/sunset cruises. For more details visit www.niagarasunsetcruises.com or by calling 1-888-438-4444.


While Sir Winston Churchill did once describe the Niagara Parkway – the man-made road and riverfront trail running from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Queenston, through Niagara Falls and Chippawa to Fort Erie – as the “prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world”, he never experienced the route by bicycle. On two wheels, you not only get to take in the beautiful views but you get a greater appreciation for the sights when you can pause at any moment to really enjoy them. Not able to bring your own bike with you? Not a problem! Zoom Leisure has a fleet of bikes available, ranging from modern comfort cruisers, efficient hybrids and road or race bikes for those ready to really let loose. While there are pickup locations in both Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, those situated elsewhere in Niagara can get bikes delivered to them. For more information, or to find out about organized tours, visit www.zoomleisure.com.


You don’t have to hop on a bike to take in the sights on two wheels – there’s also the Segway. Niagara Segway offers up tours around the region, like the tour of St. Catharines’ waterfront neighbourhood of Port Dalhousie. Check out the shores of Lake Ontario and go for a ride on the carousel, still just five cents or swing by Martindale Pond where rowers from across the world descend each year for the Royal Henley Regatta. Check out Creekside Winery and Vineyard, Henry of Pelham Winery and Vineyard, Reif Estate or Niagara College Teaching Winery by Segway or watch as the ships go through the Welland Canal. Visit www.niagarasegway.ca for details.


These aren’t the sand sculptures you’re used to seeing at the beach on a sunny afternoon. The International Sand Sculpture Exhibition in Niagara Falls features masterpieces created by 17 of the world’s most talented sand sculptors and artists. Portraying most of the important events in the history of the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the War of 1812, the unique art display also includes images of the greatest political, military, national and First Nations heroes of the time. There are 25 sculptures, created with 3,000,000 kgs of sand – measuring between 13 to 22 feet in height. Call 1-888-880-9101 for details.


Get the personal treatment at one of Niagara’s many quaint bed and breakfasts. The Wine Country B&B, a fully restored 20th century home situated in Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake, is not just a guest accommodation – it’s home to John and Jeff who will make you feel like royalty with their warm hospitality, clean comfortable suites and delicious breakfast. The heritage home allows you to really soak up the historic feel of the community, with its wide plank pine floors, detailed moulded ceilings and soft, rich colours. Relax in the comfy chairs by the fireplace or enjoy a glass of Niagara-grown wine out on the verandah. Visit www.winecountrybb.com for more information.

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Authormelinda cheevers

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