Girlfriend, call/text/email/talk to your BFFs (NOW!) and plan your next Girlfriend Getaway Trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
I know what you’re thinking … Canada? We have to go all the way to Canada for a Girlfriend Trip?! The answer is YES and NO – it isn’t that far!
First, let me tell you a little about this perfect destination for women’s travel … Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint town of 15.5k in the heart of Ontario’s first wine region (per my tourist brochure) and is often called the loveliest town in Ontario. I went there last week with a girlfriend and had the BEST Girlfriend Getaway Vacation together!
Actually, if I were to win the lottery, I’d live in Niagara-on-the-Lake!
Let me share a little about my favorite Girlfriend Getaway location:
- Awesome Location: 36 miles from Buffalo, NY and around 15 miles from Niagara Falls (Canada side), Niagara-on-the-Lake is easy to drive or fly to. It is less than a 5-hour drive from Pittsburg, Cleveland, or Detroit (and less than 9-hour drive from Chicago, New York, Washington DC, or Boston). Being so easily driveable makes it fun and easy to load up the car with girlfriends, and load it up for the return trip with wine you buy there! You can fly into Buffalo NY or Toronto (less than 80 miles from the airport and goes through more wine country!). (It took about 7.5 hours from Cincinnati – not a bad drive at all!) Here are our 10 Tips for a Canada Girlfriend Trip!
- Over 30 wineries: Speaking of loading the car with wine … you will find a beautiful wine country there with over 30 wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake and more than 100 in the region. Everything from refreshing Iced Wine to sophisticated Pinot Gamay, Chardonnays to Cabernets, and more! Plus, there are breweries, cooking tours, spas, bike/wine tours, etc. See ‘Things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake Girlfriend Getaway.’ In four days, we visited 20 wineries – it was very fun! (Don’t worry, they only allow ounce tastings so we were driving responsibly!) I’ve been to both Napa and Sonoma in California and I’d put Niagara-on-the-Lake right up with this these popular wine regions, if not a little more vibrant and fun!
- It’s beautiful!!!: Niagara-on-the-Lake is defined as Canada’s most beautiful city and it is incredible! Beautiful garden, historic homes, picturesque views over the water on Lake Ontario and Niagara River are just the start! Bring your camera and be ready to experience a perfect destination for a girlfriend trip!
Things to do on a Girlfriend Getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake
- NOTL by the Numbers (per the travel publication): 5 Spas, 4 Music Festivals, 37 Wineries, 5 Golf Courses, 3 Cycling Trails, 25 Historic Sites, 10 Patios, 30+ Restaurants, 8 Antique Stores, and more!
- Shopping – The heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake is Queen-Pictora Streets where you’ll find lovely shops like a busy Christmas Store, Fudge Shops, several Ice Cream and Gelato parlors, nice apparel and accessories stores, and gift shops. Such a lovely way to spend a day – just wandering through the shops, tasting their fine treats and enjoying time on a bench on a street painted with huge displays of flowers and beautiful gardens. Outside of downtown, you’ll find more shops too, as well as shops in the wineries and an outlet mall to grab some deals to take back with you!
- Live Theater (or ‘live theatre!’) – The Shaw Festival is a fabulous theater festival and takes place from April to October. Check out our Girlfriend Review of Shaw Fest!
- Stand-up Paddleboarding! So FUN! See our pictures and info below!
More Fun things to do for a Girlfriend trip in Niagara-on-the-Lake:
EATING! Right?! Vacation calories don’t count and food tastes best you’re on a vacation and when someone else makes it! (Again, Right?!) Here’s our recommendation on where to eat in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario:
The Olde Angel Inn – The Olde Angel Inn was established in 1789 and rebuilt in 1815 after the War of 1812. (I apologized for our country attaching Canada in 1812!!) It’s a part of the local history for Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and is a wonderful place for lunch, dinner, music in the pub, and even cool sleeping rooms right in the heart of downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake!
Actually, this lively English-style pub reminded me of my travels to England – it has a quaint dining room and pub, and features delicious British fare. So, of course, we had to try their recommendations: Fish & Chips (remember – fries and calories don’t count on trips for women!) and Steak & Guinness Pie. Both were served HOT and YUMMMY! We paired them with local wines and had a wonderful lunch. (I really want to go back for Curry night on Tuesday and to listen to live music in their pub!)
If you’re a Ghost hunter, you also need to check out the Olde Angel Inn – they are on the list of 10 most haunted places in Canada! They swear that their resident ghost – Captain Colin Swayze, is a friendly ghost!
A little Trivia Pursuit for you too – The game ‘Trivia Pursuit‘ was created in the Olde Angel Inn bar and is one of the questions in that popular game!
The staff at the Olde Angel Inn were super friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. They shared info on the menu, the Inn, the surrounding wines and wineries, etc. (We actually took a peak in the sleeping rooms and tried to book it for an extension for our trip but, with only two-days notice, they were already booked. They were very nice and affordable. We’ll be back!)
Stand-up Paddleboarding Lessons with Paddle Niagara!
Sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone and it’s always best to do it with a girlfriend or a group of your BFFs that will laugh with, not AT, you! Learning Stand-up Paddleboarding might be one of those things!
I totally thought I’d fall (a bunch) and might not enjoy the experience of learning to stand-up paddle board – but I didn’t fall and I did love it! We took a lesson from Paddle Niagara (aka: Tim) on the Niagara River. So FUN!
Tim starts the lesson by finding out your swimming comfort level and equipping you with the right life jacket and board. He has everything you need! The lesson was actually very quick – it’s isn’t hard to do! (I promise!) Then we proceeded to walk our boards into the beautiful Niagara River. (What is kinda funny about the Niagara River is that it is a ‘stone’s throw’ from the other shore – which is the U.S.A.! The water is pristine too! We actually swam later in Lake Ontario and were pleasantly surprised. We could see below the water for so far!)
Within a minute or two, we were up on our boards and paddling – that’s us on the boards in the blue photo below. I thought it would be difficult and a lot of work. It actually was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon with fun people and getting a little exercise. (To compensate for eating at the Olde Angel Inn or other wonderful restaurants or wineries!)
Our super-chill instructor, Tim, made the experience fun and relaxing. And, he also filled us in on local information – like the amazing homes along the river and even a local Food Truck festival going on that night! (Supper Market is on Wednesdays across from Jackson-Triggs winery. We felt like a local at this popular and fun gathering! )Thanks Tim too for our first beer and for the great photos from our standup paddleboarding experience. It won’t be our last to paddleboard or back to paddle with Paddle Niagara!
For more travel for women tips for your next Girlfriend Getaway:
More on a Travel for Women to Niagara on the Lake/strong> – Restaurant and Paddleboarding!
Disclaimer: I received complimentary meals by the restaurant and the lesson mentioned here in exchange for an honest review during a recent visit. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by the freebies. I only share what I would honestly tell my girlfriends! I wish I could take you all there to eat and paddleboard!
Here’s a view from the Oban Inn & Spa.
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