Since visiting Niagara Falls might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, why not make the most of it. What we mean is spending time exploring the surrounding areas at the same time you see the most famous waterfalls in the world.
Southern Ontario has so much to offer with a cool collection of cities near Niagara Falls. Let’s check them out and see if you might be inspired to extend your vacation time to enjoy the beautiful greater Niagara Falls area.
Goderich is a beauty of a town on Lake Huron. Stroll the scenic boardwalks, see the lighthouse and collect shells at Rotary Cove Beach. The Huron Historic Gaol and Huron County Museum are worth a visit and a walk across the massive Menesetung Bridge will get your heart racing. There is a rich culture and history in Goderich that is charming and alluring, and it’s a top pick for places near Niagara Falls to visit. In 1827 Goderich was founded by John Galt and William “Tiger” Dunlop of the Canada Company.
Upon arriving in Guelph, you can feel a European vibe from the ancient architecture, including the University of Guelph, which has an eye-catching giant bronzed gryphon statue that is hard to miss. Guelph is known as The Royal City and was once named one of Canada’s most livable places. Indeed all the locals seem joyful and welcoming and who can blame them. Guelph has places like Old Quebec Street Mall, Guelph Farmers Market and Aberfoyle Antique Market.
Hamilton’s charming port city has gorgeous conservation areas and wide-open green spaces for recreational activities, including camping, hiking, and cycling. The urban area is full of restaurants, shopping, and tourist attractions, including International Village in the downtown area. Dundurn Castle, The Royal Botanical Gardens and strolls along the Hamilton waterfront make this a great place to hang out for a day or two. If you are on the way to Niagara Falls, this is one of the cities near Niagara Falls that are recommended for a short stay.
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Time for a drink? You couldn’t find a better place than Lincoln, which is well-known for top wineries. Take a tour and sample wine and cheese as you learn about winemaking. Ball’s Falls Conservation Area is a wonderful place to get some fresh air and see scenic waterfalls, which can be considered an entree to Niagara Falls coming up soon.
You could spend several fun-filled days in London, Ontario, before or after you see Niagara Falls. Nursery rhyme-themed rides and attractions are for kids of all ages (including adults) at Storybook Gardens and the living history museum Fanshawe Pioneer Village is fascinating to see. There are many great accommodation options in many budget ranges and when it’s time to eat and drink, you are spoiled for choice. This bustling city always seems to have something going on if it’s a street festival or sporting event or concert, this colorful city is sure to please.
On the stunning shores of Lake Erie, you will find Port Colborne. It is a city that comes with impressive scenery and a nautical vibe that recognizes the history and culture that goes back to when it was named after British war hero Sir John Colborne. You can learn more at the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum that has been open since 1975.
There are biking trails, beach walks, parks and gardens and a lovely promenade to enjoy and Instagrammable sites like lighthouses, statues and historic buildings.
Try to make time for Mississauga because it is a happening place that is easy to fall in love with. The natural surroundings of the Japanese-inspired Kariya Park and the buzz of Village of Streetsville with fancy boutiques and great dining options are just a few of Mississauga’s highlights. Right on Lake Ontario, you can go shopping, see a working lighthouse and explore the marina where all the luxury boats are docked. Lots of shopping, nightlife, and entertainment options will fill your days, and when you need peace and quiet, there are many gorgeous parks with well-maintained walking trails to explore.
Sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario, with Toronto on one side and Hamilton on the other, the quaint town of Oakville has a great reputation for its scenic harbours, wonderful shopping, vibrant arts community and outstanding dining options that include restaurants, grills, bars and cafes – there is even a roti stop.
Even with the many outdoor locations to wander around, including Bronte Creek Provincial Park and Lions Valley Park, you might be tempted indoors to try skydiving at iFly Toronto (Oakville). Free falling indoors is a unique concept and great for the beginner skydiver.
Head to Dundas Street West to chill out with unique shopping, cool bars and restaurants and some well-preserved historical buildings.
There are many reasons to love Orangeville, including the inspiring shows at Theatre Orangeville and numerous tree sculptures dotted around the town. In case you are wondering, Orangeville was named after Orange Lawrence, a businessman and mill owner from Connecticut.
Theatre and literacy lovers will be instantly drawn to Stratford. If you are lucky enough to be in town for the renowned Stratford Theatre Festival, you can see modern plays and traditional Shakespearean works on stage. The city on the Avon River has Victorian buildings to admire, parks including Shakespearean Gardens with flora featured in the playwright’s works, and don’t miss Gallery Stratford, home to many impressive artworks by Canadian talent.
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