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  • Writer's pictureJen Bedard

Experience Niagara Like a True Local

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

The Niagara Region is known worldwide for its beautiful Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls include two waterfalls that straddle the US and Canadian border. These waterfalls are known for their majestic beauty and attract millions of tourists from around the world every year. Despite the beauty of the Niagara Falls and the obvious reasons you should visit and experience everything they have to offer, there is a lot to do and see in Niagara besides the waterfalls. Here is a list of things to help you enjoy the Niagara Region as a local would, whether you are living here already, or you are planning to move here shortly.

The Niagara Region is a collection of 12 municipalities in Southern Ontario, each one offering a unique element that contributes to the diversity and endless experiences the region has to offer.

A few things you can enjoy in the Niagara region include white sandy beaches, countless wineries, lush green hiking and biking trails, a plethora of shopping and dining options, and several entertainment venues that offer dinner theatre, sporting events, concerts and so much more.

The City of Niagara Falls

This city is always bustling with activities for locals and tourists alike. Clifton Hill offers innumerable attractions for everyone to enjoy. These include museums, arcades, haunted houses and recreational activities for kids and families. There are also numerous spas and fine dining options in the city if you are in need of some relaxation. For those desiring outdoor adventure, the city offers plenty of of hiking trails that will allow you to explore the natural beauty of the area.

Visit Happy Rolph’s

Happy Rolph’s is a dependable and free way for Niagara locals to enjoy a summer day with the family. This wildlife reserve is loved by kids and adults alike. It hosts an abundance of farm animals such as bunnies, llamas, guinea pigs, and pigs for you to look at and feed. There are many beautiful trails and paths that are enjoyed by the visitors as well. Happy Rolph’s has a wonderful picnic spot with a playground, a pavilion, and a pond.

The screaming tunnels

This is an old train passage that has been a go-to “hang-out” for many locals. The legend of the tunnel is that a little girl was burnt alive in the tunnel. There are many versions of the legend, so I’ll leave out the details since I’ve heard many variations.Visitors enter the tunnel, light a match and it is said that the match will be blown out by the little girl. Thousands of people have heard the little girl scream after lighting the match as well. The tunnel is located just off Warner Road near the North-West corner of Niagara Falls.

Indulge in fruit picking

The Niagara Region is famous for its fruit belt containing orchards and fields full of vegetables and fruit. If you are a fruit-lover, you can enjoy a Spring or Summer day picking the seasonal fruits. Take advantage of the opportunity to pick blueberries, strawberries, cherries, or peaches from the trees and bushes in lush green orchards. The Niagara region also hosts an annual Peach Festival, Strawberry Festival and Grape and Wine Festival.

Take a tour of the wineries

Niagara Region is as famous for its wineries as it is for the Niagara Falls. Wines of Niagara are considered some of the finest in the world and if you are a connoisseur, or just enjoy wine, a tour of the wineries should be on your to-do list. If sipping wine, and enjoying fine dining isn’t enough, consider taking a bicycle tour of the wineries. I also suggest checking out signature events like Sip and Sizzle where you can enjoy barbecue paired with wine, or Days of Wine and Chocolate where you get to taste chocolate themed wines.

Port Dalhousie and the 5 cent carousel

This carousel is a hidden gem in the Neighbourhood of Port Dalhousie in St. Catharines.The carousel was built over a century ago and features horses, giraffes, camels, lions, and goats that you can ride with your kids. Because the cost to ride the carousel hasn’t changed and continues to be only 5 cents, your kids can ride all day without breaking the bank. The carousel is located along the shore of Lake Ontario which also features a beach with a pier, a boardwalk and a park for the kids to enjoy. Port Dalhousie also offers small shops to discover and beautiful historic homes.

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