Ontario - Niagara

A ways east on Kings Hwy 4, then south on Hwy 406, there’s lots of fun in and around famed Niagara Falls. Naturally, you and yours are obliged to take in the falls from the observation deck of the 520-foot tall Skylon Tower, take a Maid of the Midst boat excursion, or a helicopter flight just above the waterfalls. Wave to a whale at Marineland, shop at factory outlet stores, see an IMAX film, and visit the Rossi Glass studio, where fine pieces of handmade collectible glass are produced. Visit the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, tour local wineries, take a whirlpool jet boat ride, hike the Bruce Trail or Niagara River Recreation Trail in the well-named Niagara-on-the-Lake. There’s really no shortage of things to do here.
When you’ve got your fill of water, water everywhere, head west on Hwy 420 until it connects with Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Continue traveling west/northwest on QEW into Hamilton, home to 60 (smaller) waterfalls in the city, as well as the African Lion Safari, just north of town. While you’re there, drive through the Game Reserves, take the African Queen cruise, and go for a scenic railway ride.
Across the bay of the same name, Burlington is a great place to put those walking shoes to the test. Navigate the downtown section at Burlington’s Discovery Landing, catch the lake view from the observatory, and grab a bite to eat at a waterfront restaurant.
From Burlington, pick up King’s Hwy 403 northeast into Bronte.Immerse yourself in the living history demonstrations at Bronte Creek Provincial Park for a quiet respite. From Bronte, travel on County Road 25 northwest until it runs into Express Toll Route 407 north. Continue on 407 until you can pick up County Road 1 north into Georgetown. Shop at Georgetown’s Marketplace Mall or Saturday Farmers’ Market and go for a picnic at Cedarvale Park.
From Georgetown, backtrack south on County Road 1 and pick up Express Toll Route 407 southwest to King’s Hwy 401 southwest to Morriston. Head south on King’s Hwy 6, southwest on King’s Hwy 3, and west on County Road 2/53 to Brantford. We didn’t lose you, did we? Assuming you made it to Brantford, it’s time to work some muscles along the Grand River via canoe or kayak, take in views of the zebras at Twin Valley Zoo, or gather a basketful of fresh fruits and veggies to get your five-a-day at the Brantford Farmer’s Market.
Wake the co-pilot up because things get a little tricky here. From Brantford, head west on County Road 53/King’s Hwy 24, then south on King’s Hwy 24. You’ll take County Road 59 south to Long Point Provincial Park, on the thin strip of land jutting into Lake Erie. Pack your binoculars so you’ll be able to get a close-up view of the migratory shorebirds there.
For those looking to get acquainted with Ontario’s superior northwest, buckle up and meet us in at Sault Ste. Marie on Lake Superior’s craggy coast. First things first. Tour the Canada Bushplane Heritage Centre to learn about northern Ontario’s high-flying settlers and take a one-day wilderness train ride to awesome Agawa Canyon. www.ontariotravel.net; 800-ONTARIO