For many Canadians, visiting Niagara Falls is a rite of passage. The thundering chutes of water showcase the power of nature. But there’s so much more to Niagara than the Falls.

Lush wineries and vineyards, 5-star spas, and a buzzing culinary scene make this destination the perfect weekend getaway for couples and families alike. if you’re planning a getaway to Niagara for the weekend, here’s a 72-hour guide for experiences in the area you won’t want to miss.

Friday

Take a Wine Tour at Ravine Vineyard

Ravine Vineyard

Begin your weekend early for a head start on traffic. Once you’ve settled into your hotel, head out to Ravine Vineyard for a chance to stretch your legs and to breathe in the fresh, Niagara air.

Niagara is home to some of the finest wineries in the country, and this over 100-year-old, certified organic, family-owned estate vineyard is no exception.

For your first stop on the weekend, experience the region’s unique terroir, taste some of their artisan breads, and of course, take a stroll through their stunning grounds on a Winery or Chardonnay Tour.

Discover Farm Fresh at AG Inspired Cuisine

Elegantly plated dish of beef tenderloin, leafy greens, and cranberry sauce.

After working up an appetite on the tour, you’ll need some sustenance. Head to AG Inspired Cuisine, where chef Cory Linkson knows local food. Everything you’ll find in the restaurant is picked daily from surrounding farms. Expect to find a beautiful selection of elegant, rustic comfort food, like five spice braised pork belly and Niagara strawberries and cream.

Take in The Falls from the Niagara Skywheel

Niagara Skywheel

No trip to the Falls would be complete without just a little bit of tourist fun at the Niagara Skywheel. End your evening taking in the falls from 52 metres (175 feet) in the air for the perfect nightcap after a day of exploring.

Saturday

Go on an Adventure with Safari Niagara

Sunset with elephant's silhouette

After allowing yourself some generous time for sleeping in, prepare for an adventurous afternoon out on safari at Safari Niagara. Get up close and personal with over 1,000 different species of wild animals, including reptiles, big cats, hippos, giraffes, and exotic birds.

Refresh at the Spa at White Oaks Resort

The Spa at White Oaks Resort

After a busy afternoon on a safari excursion, you’ll need to unwind. And what better way to relax than with a spa treatment?

The Spa at White Oaks Resorts offers a host of luxurious options. Indulge in a microdermabrasion, rejuvenate with a customized facial, or opt for the “Nectar of Niagara” body wrap with a whipped honey salt scrub for a truly reinvigorating experience.

Taste Niagara at Treadwell Farm-To-Table

Treadwell Farm-To-Table in Niagara

After a relaxing afternoon at the spa, bundle up for a cool night on the patio at Treadwell Cuisine. Award-winning chef Stephen Treadwell focuses on enhancing the flavours of the foods native to the region. His simple elegant entrées like beet-cured Lake Huron whitefish and new potatoes, or a selection of local charcuterie, pair beautifully with a constantly evolving selection of local Niagara VQA wines.

Sunday

Reconnect with Nature at Niagara Parks

Niagara Butterfly Gardens

After breakfast, grab a coffee and head out to Niagara Parks for a sunny Sunday morning stroll. Check out the butterfly conservatory for over 2,000 varieties of butterflies, or take a walk through the endless rows of beautiful flowers in the botanical gardens to recharge in nature for the week ahead.

With so many great locally-inspired restaurants, small-batch wineries, and outdoor activities, it’s impossible to fit everything in one weekend. But once you’ve had a taste of all that Niagara has to offer, you’re sure to come back soon.

Want to discover more about what Niagara has to offer? Find your perfect home in the district at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

Photos: Artur Staszewski, courtesy of Ravine Vineyard, courtesy of AG Inspired Cuisine, Doerky, Andy Brunner, Bryan Caporicci Photography courtesy of Treadwell Cuisine, delete2007

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