Postcard from Niagara-on-the-Lake

Postcard from Niagara-on-the-Lake

Although I was excited for a weekend escape to Niagara Falls, I also knew that there was only so much time I’d want to spend looking at a waterfall. And after we saw it from several different angles–the American side, the Canadian side, up close on Maid of the Mist and even from above on Niagara Helicopters–I was ready for something new. We opted for a scenic 30-minute drive up to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a town known for its quaint streets, wine-tasting trail and the oldest golf course in North America.

Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, Canada

The drive itself boded well for what was to come: there were plenty of vista points overlooking Niagara River, and we wound past sun-dappled vineyards, roadside fruit stands and a tree-covered bike trail. As soon as we arrived, we both knew we made the right choice to spend the afternoon in NOTL–and perhaps only regretted not choosing to spend the entire weekend here. The tourist crowds at Niagara Falls can be a bit tough to take, and even though the main drag of NOTL is touristy: we immediately agreed that we were OK with the sort of touristy that calls for cute cafes, flower pots hanging from street lamps and kitschy olive oil shops.

Balzac's Coffee at Niagara-on-the-Lake

Our first stop was Balzac’s Coffee Roasters: my boyfriend spotted the facade, and suggested an iced coffee. As soon as we walked in, I was obsessed: that art deco floor! the painted vintage-style posters! the sofa and table made of suitcases! And, of course, the coffee was darn good, too. Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, Canada Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, CanadaI can’t get over how cute the main drag is in NOTL! It’s lined with some cute, and some kitschy, shops and restaurants–but I just loved all the flowers that lined the curbs and the old-style architecture.

Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, Canada Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, Canada Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, Canada Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, CanadaNiagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, CanadaTrue to its namesake, the town is located right where the Niagara River opens up in to Lake Ontario. There is a little beach area and a park that borders the water, with gazebos, walking paths and plenty of places to relax under a shady tree. We set up shop here for a while with our Kindles, and just enjoyed people-watching and soaking up the sunshine and gentle lake breeze.

Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyards near Niagara Falls, Canada Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyards near Niagara Falls, CanadaMy boyfriend isn’t much of a wine drinker, but rumor is that there is a great wine trail that you can bike through the surrounding vineyards. Definitely on my list for the next time I visit–and I certainly hope that there is a next time!

Garrison House, Niagara-on-the-LakeDessert at Garrison House, Niagara-on-the-Lake  

We had dinner at Garrison House after a couple of locals emphatically recommended it to us–and it was great! It’s not located in the center of town, so it feels like more of a local find–and the food is great, and the wine list consists primarily of Niagara wines.

Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, Canada

Have you ever been to Niagara-on-the-Lake? Any recommendations?   

  • YES. Niagara-on-the-Lake is SO picturesque. We were only there on a day trip, sadly, but the charm is incredible.

  • That looks lovely. I’ve never really had the urge to visit Niagra Falls – mostly because, as you said, it’s such a tourist trap, but I also didn’t realize that there’d be cute places like this nearby. Might have to reconsider adding Niagra in general to my list of places I want to go. (Also, that coffee shop!!)

  • I have never been to that area of Niagara but it looks beautiful! That creme brûlée looks fabulous!

    Her Heartland Soul


  • Just the cutest little town ever! I really enjoyed my time here as a little girl 🙂

  • camorose

    Yes! We were only there for a day too, but I’d love to spend more time there.

  • camorose

    Yes! I think it’d be great to do a weekend in NOTL and then just pop over to Niagara for a day to see the falls and check it off the list 🙂

  • camorose

    Yes it was so good!

  • camorose

    Yes! I’d love to go back and explore more, it was adorable!