The Best Places in Niagara Falls to Get a Pint

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image001Beer doesn’t hold quite the hallowed place that wine does in the hearts of the people of Niagara, but it’s certainly climbing the ranks on lists about why people love visiting the area. From light crisp ales to sweet and earthy stouts, a handful of breweries have popped up in the region in recent years, and the beers they brew are starting to garner some much-deserved attention.

Whether you’re a beer lover on a perpetual tour of the earth’s finest brews or you’re just a guy who likes to drink good beer when you’re away from home, here are some of the best places to grab a pint of beer the next time you visit Niagara Falls.

Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery

Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery blends the best of the farm with excellent food and beverages — just one of the many time-honored traditions visitors to the Niagara Peninsula have enjoyed for decades.

Fresh, local, gourmet food is served with elegant simplicity, and it’s accompanied by excellent beer made on-site. Order the Niagara’s Best Brown Ale, the Taps Rye Knot, or the Niagara’s Best Blonde Premium Ale, and pair any one of them with the duck poutine or a local, dry aged steak.

Syndicate boasts three locations: Niagara Falls, St. Catherines, and Grimsby, but the Niagara Falls location is where the beer is made if you want to take a gander at their operation.

Taps Brewhouse and Grille

Now in its 11th year, Taps Brewing Company — who also makes the beer served and enjoyed in Syndicate — features and perfects small batch craft beer using only the most basic of beer ingredients: pure filtered water, malted barley, yeast, and select hops.

As with almost every libation in Niagara, the beer is made alongside an excellent restaurant whose award-winning chef’s menu includes better-than-basic pub fare. They boast six different types of poutine, including vegetable curry and Philly steak, and a handful of hamburgers worth writing home about.

The beer taps change regularly, but if you’re able, knock back the Taps Charleston Lager and the Taps Red Cream Ale. Besides being a great pub with good food and beer, they also have live music and other entertainment throughout the week.

Niagara Brewing Company

image003Opening up in May 2015, Niagara Brewing Company is the area’s newest beer maker. Firmly planted in the tradition of Canada’s burgeoning craft brew scene, Niagara Brewing Company promises to make and serve one-of-a-kind beers using the best in locally sourced ingredients.

At the helm of this new enterprise is Gord Slater, a brewery and brewpub developer whose roots in the business go down and back 30 years. With more than 60 breweries and pubs under his belt and plenty of awards for the beers he’s made, it’s likely his newest endeavor also pass muster. The Niagara Brewing Company is located in the center of the Falls View Resort.

Whether you love beer as a companion to food or you love it in its own right, accompanied by good friends or a ball game, the beer in Niagara’s breweries continue to get better and more local with each passing year.

The Ride of Silence

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image001May is National Bike Month, which means it’s the perfect time of year for anyone with a childlike hankering to get on a bike again to do so. In Niagara, with winter’s thaw well underway, it’s also the time of year when cyclists from all over the world start descending on the region to enjoy the picturesque scenery, the vast, open roads, and the increasingly charming weather.

If you’re someone who enjoys cycling, you should definitely bring your bicycle along with you the next time you stay in Niagara. Especially if you’re here over the 20th of May, consider joining with other cyclists in the area to ride in and mark the Niagara Falls’ ninth annual Ride of Silence.

The Ride

Every May 20th at 7 p.m., bicyclists in communities around the world join together to take part in a silent bicycle ride to honor those cyclists who have been severely injured or killed while riding on public roads.

A slow-paced event that welcomes anyone of any ability who would like to ride, the Ride of Silence seeks to not only honor the dead and injured, but to also raise awareness of cyclists and safety, as well as the necessity of sharing the road with one another.

Many motorists are unaware that bicyclists have as much a legal right to the road as other vehicles do, or motorists are unaware of bicyclists traveling along their roadways — in both instances, tragic and avoidable accidents can and do occur.

The History

image003The first Ride of Silence happened in 2003, when Chris Phelan organized a ride to commemorate the passing of Larry Schwartz, a nationally known endurance cyclist, who was hit and killed by a school bus mirror. Organized in less than two weeks following Schwatrz’s untimely death, the first ride took place in Dallas and saw more than 1,000 participants, most of who heard about the ride by word of mouth.

Originally intended as a one-time event, each year now finds hundreds of rides happening on May 20th, from Canada and the United States to Cyprus, Israel, and the Philippines. Here’s how the Ride of Silence works: A free ride without sponsors, fundraising efforts, and registration fees, the only stipulations are that those involved ride no faster than 12 miles per hour, that all participants wear a helmet, that everyone follow the rules of the road, and that silence be maintained for the duration of the ride.

The Niagara Falls Ride of Silence

On Wednesday, May 20th, 2015, Niagara Falls’ concerned residents, cyclists, and any visitors who’d like to mark the event with them will meet at the MacBain Community Centre parking lot, which is located on Montrose Road. The ride will leave at 7 p.m., and will travel down the road in silence, procession-style. The entire ride will cover roughly 6 miles, and everyone is welcome. Riders must wear helmets and follow the rules of the road.

Regardless of what brings you to the Niagara Falls region, if you’re a cyclist, events like the Ride of Silence are working to keep you and others like you alive. Building a bridge toward better safety on both sides of the equation — motorists and cyclists alike — the Ride of Silence honors the dead so that the living can enjoy the road from bikes and vehicles in greater, shared safety.

What You’ll Find at the St. Catharines Farmers Market

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image001There are a number of great farmers markets in the Niagara region, and they all showcase the wealth and variety of fruits, berries, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more that the area’s farmers produce.

The St. Catharines Farmers Market, located at the corner of James Street and King Street in the center of the town next to the Courthouse and City Hall, has been in operation since the early 1860s, and it has been an important part of the town’s social and economic life that entire time.

For residents and visitors to Niagara who want to get the freshest, local food and wares from area farmers and artisans, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays should include a visit to the St. Catharines Farmers Market. Here is a look at just some of what you can find at the market.

  • Fruit and Vegetables. From asparagus and eggplant to apricots and apples, Niagara is a fertile place. Here are a few of the farms you can find at the St. Catharines Farmers Market and a smattering of what they grow and sell:
    o Bartel Farms. A seasonal participant only, Bartel Farms specializes in organic produce, raspberries, and cut flowers.
    o Chez Nous Farms. A certified organic farm, Chez Nous grows everything from potatoes
    and kale to heirloom tomatoes. You can find them at the market all year long.
    o Porpiglia Farms. You’ll want to try their apples during the late summer and fall.
    o Bry-Anne Farms. A conventional farm that specializes in letting consumers pick their own fruit, this seasonal farm brings everything from pumpkins to strawberries to the market.
  • Baked Goods. Whether you need a loaf of bread, a dozen sweet rolls, croissants, cakes, or beaver tails, the St. Catharines Farmers Market boasts a wide selection from many of the area’s best bakeries. Bakeries that are usually in attendance all year long include:
    o de la terre bakery. This Vineland, Ontario bakery specializes in organic artisan bread and pastries.
    o Sweet Potato Johnny. If you’re looking for a baked good made out of sweet potatoes, they have it.
    o Vanessa’s Cupcakes and Confections. Makers of sweet treats, who spend the bulk of their image003efforts on cupcakes, Vanessa’s is at the market on Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Meat and Cheese. From plucked, whole chickens to fresh-cured bacon and just-layed eggs, you can get locally raised meat from places like Bessy’s Poultry and Kasha’s Sow Farm at the market. There are also plenty of imported meats and cheeses available from places like Maria’s Deli.
  • International Cuisine. From Perogies to Middle Eastern food, there are a handful of vendors offering international prepared food for sale. Saturdays are the best days to catch this market fare.
  • VQA Wine Sales. It wouldn’t be a market in Niagara if there wasn’t high-quality, local wine for sale. There are about a dozen wineries on a weekly rotation at the market. Some of what you’ll see includes:
    o Cave Spring Cellars.
    o Creekside Estate Winery.
    o Chateau des Charmes Winery.
    o Pillitteri Estates Winery
    o Megalomaniac
    o And more!

Regardless of what brings you to the Niagara region, be sure to spend some time — preferably on a Saturday — perusing the many offerings at the St Catharines Farmers Market. Not only will it give you a hearty sampling of the fecundity of the region, but you’ll get plenty of chances to taste Niagara’s bounty as well.

Travel Exercise Tips for the Tourist in Niagara Falls

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image001Staying active while on vacation is a goal most people have and few people meet. Between jam-packed itineraries and how amazing it feels to sleep in, finding time to hit the gym or the streets to work up a sweat can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. However, research has shown time and time again that regular, daily exercise keeps us healthy in the long-term and in the short-term, which means that even while we’re far from home enjoying a much-deserved break from our regular routine, exercise should still play a role in our vacation plans. If you’re planning on coming to the Niagara region for a vacation, here are some exercise tips well-suited to a holiday in Niagara.

Pick a Hotel With a Gym

One of the easiest ways to make sure you get some exercise while you’re on vacation in Niagara Falls is to plan your stay at a Niagara hotel that has an exercise and fitness room. Whether you prefer weightlifting or cardio workouts, a good hotel fitness room will be able to accommodate you. When you make having access to a hotel gym a priority, you more easily set the stage for making sure your vacation includes some sweating, hard work, and an elevated pulse.

Schedule It

The Niagara region is rich in sights and events, which means: If you’re serious about exercising when you come for a vacation, you’re going to have to schedule it in your itinerary each and every day. Whether you pencil it in before you grab breakfast at one of Niagara’s great bakeries with your family, or you reserve an hour right before dinner at one of the area’s finest restaurants, treat exercise the way you would treat the start time of a vineyard tour, and you’ll have no trouble fitting in exercise amidst all the sights and sounds of Niagara.

Choose to Walk

Walking is one of the best exercises you can get, and there are plenty of ways to build a good, solid walk into a day’s outings around Niagara Falls. For instance, if you stay at the Falls Avenue Resort, you’ll be between a 20-minute and 30-minute walk from the Maid of the Mist. Or, drive to the Botanical Gardens, and walk to the Floral Clock, which is just 2.2 kilometers away. However you do it, build an itinerary that includes travel by foot, and you’ll save on gas and get exercise that won’t tire you out too much, preventing you from enjoying yourself.

Take a Hike

image003There is a lot of good hiking in the Niagara Falls region, especially in the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve. Whether you’re an avid outdoors person or someone who only ventures onto a trail when dragged, consider getting the exercise you need during a mid-morning or afternoon hike on the Niagara Glen’s many trails. Not only will you get your heart rate up, but you’ll also be enveloped in the lush flora of the Niagara region. The trails at the Glen have many unique point of interest, too, so your mind and senses will be as engaged as your legs and lungs.

Visiting Niagara Falls doesn’t have to keep you from maintaining your fitness regimen. From walking to your destinations to booking a hotel with a gym, follow these tips, and you’ll easily stay in shape in Niagara.

What to Pack When Visiting Niagara in the Spring

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image001Niagara Falls, like most vacation destinations, will probably require you to pack clothing that’s a bit different from the items you normally wear when you’re at work or play, and for the tourist visiting the Niagara area during the spring months, this is especially true.

While the winter snow and ice are certainly in retreat, the warmth of summer can’t yet be relied upon, which means packing will need to accommodate a range of options that include warm, cold, muddy, wet, and windy. If you’re looking to book a stay in Niagara during the spring and early summer, here are some items you’ll need to bring along.

1. A Quality Coat

During the month of March, the temperature sits around the mid-30s, and while April and May routinely bring sunshiny days in the 60s, the temperature — especially at night — can still dip into the 40s or even lower. Even if your weather app suggests your springtime vacation will be balmy, bring along a coat that will keep you warm should you need to walk back to your hotel after a late dinner in temperatures that are downright cold.

2. Snow Boots

It isn’t unusual for a snowfall to hit the Niagara region as late as mid-April, and while these storms rarely result in massive accumulations, if the forecast for your time in Niagara does call for snow, you may want to pack your snow boots. Especially if your itinerary includes any hiking, bird watching, or other outdoor activity, a pair of waterproof boots with stable and solid traction that can handle uncertain footing may turn out to be a godsend.

3. Galoshes

image003In the spirit of keeping your feet dry, spring in Niagara, like spring in most places, often includes rain showers that are more easily endured with a good pair of galoshes. From running out from your hotel room to quickly pick up a bagel for breakfast to standing on the deck of the Maid of the Mist, rain boots or shoes will come in handy from March through May.

4. An Umbrella

Nothing ruins an outing like being caught in a rainstorm or snowstorm, and even if you do pack galoshes, you’ll want to make sure you have a small umbrella that’s easy and convenient to carry with you wherever you go to keep your clothes and head dry.

5. Layers

Because spring temperatures in Niagara can be so inconsistent, pack and wear clothing that’s easy to layer so that when you’re chilly, you won’t lose valuable body heat to shivering, and when the day gets warmer than you’d anticipated — or you step into an unusually warm museum, restaurant, or winery’s tasting room — you can swiftly remove a layer or two to remain comfortable. Long sleeve shirts made from thin, moisture-wicking fabrics are great for layering, and while it might not be necessary to employ them, be sure to pack a couple pairs of lightweight thermal tights to wear under jeans or slacks for any especially cold days that might crop up.

Spring weather’s volatility and unpredictability can make traveling and staying comfortable a bit of a gamble if you don’t prepare ahead of time. Keep an eye on the weather, and pack the items listed here for a springtime trip to the Niagara region that will keep you warm, dry, and happy.

Spend a Sunday at the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market

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image0012-300x201St. Catharines sits just 20 kilometers from Niagara Falls and is the Niagara region’s largest city. Home to some excellent restaurants and breweries, St. Catharines also boasts Ontario’s largest, indoor and outdoor flea market. While the term originated from marché aux puces — a name given to a marketplace in Paris where tired, used items were sold, ostensibly with fleas — the St. Catherine’s Factory Outlet Flea Market is tidy, clean, and filled with such a vast assortment of items and wares that on Sundays seems to offer nowhere near the time necessary for the die-hard second-hand treasure hunter. The next time you book a stay in the Niagara region, be sure to leave your Sunday wide open for an unforgettable trip to the St. Catharine’s Factory Outlet Flea Market.

How it Works

Today’s flea markets are usually made up of individual stalls or booths, where different purveyors set up shop and sell their goods. While at some flea markets, each booth’s owner receives payment at his or her space for whatever it is a customer wants to buy, other markets have a centralized checkout area, where customers can purchase all they’ve found within the entire market in one fell swoop as they’re leaving the building. The St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market utilizes the latter method, which makes it simpler for guests to peruse their over 250 stalls stocked by 125 different sellers. The variety of items available is truly impressive, which is why over 2,000 people descend upon the market every Sunday, which is the only day it is open.

What You’ll Find

image003It can be difficult to adequately categorize all the items you can find at a flea market, and the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market is no exception. Kitchen utensils, sports memorabilia, books, furniture, homemade knit children’s clothing, records, preserves, and antiques of all stripes, shapes, and sizes are all par for the course, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg, too. Whether you need a one-of-a-kind gift for your college-aged son, a vintage dress for a costume party, or you collect a certain style of pottery from the early 20th century, this flea market is the perfect place to try and find exactly what you need, especially since it’s also the kind of place where you might get lucky and happen upon all three. From the moment you step into the market until the time you leave, you’ll find you’re always at the perfect shopping intersection of the hard-to-find, the truly nostalgic, the incredibly useful, and the reasonably priced.

What Goes On

In addition to being a storehouse of a little bit of everything under the sun, the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market also hosts a number of events. Every Sunday finds plenty of locals in the cafeteria at 1:30 p.m. to try their hand at winning Bingo, and anyone is welcome to join in. They also host photo contests and coloring contests of different kinds throughout the year. And every May finds the market hosting their annual Community Swap Meet where, for $20, people set up their own little yard sale alongside the many stalls and booths, transforming the space into an even more impressive bargain hunter’s dream.

Spend your next Sunday in Niagara at the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market where you’ll find all sorts of items you need and plenty that you don’t in one unforgettable space in the heart of Niagara.

Niagara Falls Shows You Won’t Want to Miss in April

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image001Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and while the Falls themselves have always been — and always will be — the primary draw for anyone taking a vacation in Niagara, these days find a wealth of world-class entertainment available that has absolutely nothing to do with all that majestic water. Whether your idea of a good time is attending throwback 1980s musical theater or you’re never happier than when you’re enjoying a night of classic rock, the shows that take place in Niagara are their own reason to come and stay a while. Here is a small sample of the excellent fun to be had this April.

Moody Blues

The Fallsview Casino Resort is responsible for bringing in some of the area’s best acts, and on April 1 and 2, you can get tickets to see Moody Blues live in concert at the Avalon Theatre. For over 50 years, this classic rock act has been writing, recording, and touring, playing hits such as “Nights in White Satin” and “Your Wildest Dreams” all over the world. As of 2015, they’d sold over 55 million records, and while these days find them touring with some new faces, you can still enjoy original drummer Graeme Edge, bass player John Lodge, and guitarist Justin Hayward.

ABBA and the Bee Gees Tribute Show

image003Relive your favorite songs from two of the 1970’s hottest bands on April 9 at the Greg Frewin Theatre. “Night Fever!” is a show that features two amazing cover bands uniting to entertain for either a matinee (with or without a buffet lunch), or an evening performance (with or without a buffet dinner). From what will appear to be the Bee Gees’ Gibb brothers reincarnated, you’ll hear “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” and “Stayin Alive,” and ABBAMANIA will highlight all the songs that made ABBA famous during their disco days.

Flashdance

Flashdance the Musical” will be at the Fallsview Casino Resort from April 7 through 18. Drawing largely from the hit movie that starred Jennifer Beals over 30 years ago, the musical tells the classic story of Alex Owens, a young Pittsburgh woman, who hopes one day to become a professional dancer. A welder by day and a dancer at a cabaret by night, Alex’s involvement with her boss at the steel mill complicates her goals, but she stays the course and eventually gains admittance to the conservatory to study dance formally. Filled with electrifying music and unbelievable dancing, “Flashdance the Musical” is an inspiring story set to a soundtrack that anyone who lived during the 1980s will love. Songs include: “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” and more.

Art Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel, the other half of beloved American folk duo Simon & Garfunkel, is one of the most important musicians of the 20th century, whose lengthy solo career has resulted in a number of classics, including: “Skywriter,” “Second Avenue,” and “Bright Eyes.” On April 24 and 25, concertgoers can enjoy an intimate evening of music with Garfunkel in the Fallsview Casino Resort’s Avalon Theatre.

No matter what your musical and entertainment taste, you’ll find something with which to satisfy it this April in Niagara Falls.

Easter Egg Hunting in Niagara Falls

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image001Niagara Falls is a remarkably popular holiday destination, even during the bleaker winter months. Not only are the waterfalls a stunning sight even when it’s cold and icy, but hotel accommodations are less expensive, and the Winter Festival of Lights is underway from November through January, routinely attracting over 1 million people to its lush and luminous displays.

As the days begin to lengthen and the weather slowly warms, however, other holidays enter the calendar, and it turns out that spring has its own reasons for visiting Niagara Falls that rival winter’s. In particular, Niagara Falls hosts a couple of separate Easter egg hunting forays: one for kids and one for dogs.

For Kids

image003While no one is certain when the first Easter egg hunt took place, the fun and competitive tradition has been around for at least a few hundred years, and children, it seems, have always been the primary participants of the hunt. Niagara Falls has its own version of the egg hunt that takes place every year on the Friday before Easter at Fireman’s Park. Put on by the Stamford Volunteer Fireman’s Association, the day’s events start at 11 a.m. and include face painting, a coloring contest, a bouncy castle, visits with the Easter Bunny, guessing games, Boy Scouts, 400 pounds of chocolate, and, of course, Easter egg hunting. Children from ages 4 to 6 can hunt for eggs at 11 a.m. and noon.

Children ages 7 to 9 can hunt eggs at 11:20 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. Kids from 10 to 11 can hunt at 11:40 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. Children 3 and under can look for eggs at any time. Admission to the day’s events is just $3 per child or a food donation to Project SHARE, a nonprofit organization in Niagara Falls that supplies emergency food and support services to people in the area living at or below the poverty line.

For Dogs

Hosted by National Service Dogs (NSD), an organization that works to provide specially trained Golden Retrievers and Labradors to families and individuals in need regardless of their ability to pay, this Easter egg hunt for dogs and their owners is a fundraiser for NSD. Each year, NSD trains and graduates roughly 30 dogs, and this Easter egg hunt fundraiser and others like it are one of its primary means of funding. Participants collect donations and pledges related to the number of eggs (plastic eggs filled with a dog treat) their pooch can find. There are multiple hunt locations on the Friday before Easter, and this year, each location will give out a grand prize of a Bissell DeepClean Lift-Off carpet cleaner package worth over $350. Bring your dog or just go for the fun. The hunt takes place at Burgoyne Woods in St. Catherines. Registration is at 10:00 a.m., and the hunt starts at 11:00 a.m.

Spend Easter in the Niagara area this April. Whether you have children or dogs, or you just like to watch a good egg hunt undertaken for a good cause, these two Easter egg hunting events make being in Niagara in early spring an ever more attractive option.

4 Fantastic Women of Niagara Falls

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NFH7.jpegMarch is National Women’s History Month, which serves to remind everyone of the important women of the past and present. Niagara Falls has long appreciated the power women wield to shape history; in fact, some of Niagara’s most significant developments occurred because of the wits and wisdom of women. If you visit Niagara Falls in March, make sure you remember these four women while you enjoy Niagara’s amazing attractions.

1. Lelawala

You have likely heard of the Maid of the Mist, the must-see boat tour that takes tourists up close and personal with the mystical water at the base of the falls. However, you might not have heard about the legendary American Indian woman who gives the boat its name.

According to the Ongiaras Tribe (the group that lent their word for “thundering water” to the entire Niagara region), long ago a young woman name Lelawala was wholly distraught by the loss of her husband and decided to throw herself off the edge of Niagara Falls. Instead of crashing into the water below, Lelawala was caught by Heno, the god of thunder, who invited her to live with him and his sons behind the Falls’ veil of water.

Lelawala is said to have lived for several decades with the gods, mothering several children and saving the nearby human tribes from certain ruin, including from pestilence, flood, and famine. Without Lelawala’s diligent eye, the native peoples around Niagara may not have been around to enlighten European explorers of the region’s fertility.

2. Theodosia Burr

Despite the natural romance in the misty air, Niagara Falls wasn’t always the Honeymoon Capital of the World. For much of history, Niagara Falls was simply a magnificent wonder enjoyed by a handful of local colonists and native American Indians. However, around the beginning of the 19th century, Theodosia Burr — noteworthy daughter of America’s third vice president, Aaron Burr — decided to travel to the rumored waterfalls with her newly minted husband, and a worldwide tradition was born.

Following in her footsteps, millions of newlyweds flocked to the landscape. Today, countless thousands of couples make the pilgrimage to Niagara Falls every year to experience the natural ardor of the region, and it is all thanks to Theodosia.

NFH8.jpeg3. Laura Secord

While the War of 1812 may pass through the sieve of American memories, it remains one of the fiercest military skirmishes that Canada has ever fought, especially on its own turf. Situated squarely on the border between America and Canada, Niagara Falls was a contentious zone filled with bloody battles. American and Canadian families alike were torn apart on the battlefield.

One woman sought to end the troubles of her family by intervening in the military efforts. Laura Secord, a Niagara local, by chance overheard the military strategy of the American armies on the Niagara peninsula. Frustrated and frightened by the frequent war activity that threatened the livelihood of her and her husband, Secord refused to wait for a military messenger; she walked 20 miles through the Niagara wilderness spotted with enemy camps to deliver her news to the closest Canadian military company. As a direct result of Secord’s heroism, the Canadians were able to ambush the Americans and push them out of peaceful Niagara.

4. Annie Edison Taylor

It is difficult to imagine Niagara Falls without thinking of the long legacy of daredevils that flock to this astounding place. It is even more difficult to imagine that these risky stunts were all inspired by the work of one 63-year-old woman looking for fame and glory.

In 1901, Annie Edison Taylor realized late in her career as a schoolteacher that she had not generated enough savings to keep her housed and fed for the duration of her retirement. Instead of resigning herself to the poorhouse, she designed a large, oak barrel, stuffed herself into it, and threw herself off into the rushing water of the Niagara River and down the plummeting Falls. While she suffered little injury, she gained little fortune from her act. Still, despite Taylor’s admonitions against others attempting the feat, dozens of copycats have tried (and succeeded as well as failed) to survive a trip down the Falls.

Enjoying Mardi Gras Throughout the Year in Niagara Falls

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NFH5.jpegEvery year, on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, people of all denominations celebrate a holiday of fantasy and whimsy. With faces covered in masks ranging from heavily ornate to mysteriously simple, bodies outfitted in outrageous costumes ranging from scandalous to hilarious, people take to the streets to revel in what traditionally was the last glorious day of excess and joy before the 40 days of mourning prescribed by the Christian Church.

However, even as fewer people participate in Lent every year, the Mardi Gras practices of eating lavishly, imbibing copiously, and generally being merry in any and all manners continue across the world — in many places well past the singular date of Mardi Gras.

While Quebec City may be the Canadian town most notorious for Fat Tuesday festivities, the French Canadians have nothing on Niagara Falls. Though the annual celebration occurred on February 17, Niagara Falls is dedicated to continuing the party well into spring. Here are all of Niagara’s hot spots where you and your friends can enjoy in the dazzling Mardi Gras style throughout the season.

Niagara Nightlife

Even though Niagara Falls is frequently called “The Honeymoon Capital of the World,” the city is as well-known for starting love affairs as it is solidifying them, and there is no better place to meet new people than in a crowded club filled with music and dancing. Niagara Falls boasts some of the best destination bars and clubs in the country, which means you and your friends will have no shortage of late nights to make merry during Mardi Gras.

One club in particular takes the familiar and exciting atmosphere of Mardi Gras to the extreme: Instead of carousing for just the season, Club Mardi Gras welcomes Fat Tuesday pleasure seekers all year-round. Inspired by the wild and free celebrations of New Orleans, Club Mardi Gras provides partiers masks and beads with the hope of encouraging fanciful fun. Bright lights, loud music, and elevated dancing cages ensure a thrilling night; as goes the slogan of Club Mardi Gras: What happens behind the mask stays behind the mask.

Niagara Falls also offers a bevy of other exciting bars and clubs to provide the Mardi Gras spirit of scintillation and satiety. Here’s a shortlist of Niagara’s hottest places to get your revelry on:

  • Rumours Nightclub. Dedicated to hot beats and cold drinks, Rumours knows how to get a party going. The club cultivates only Niagara’s best DJs, and the regular crowd is always rowdy — in a good way for Mardi Gras celebrations.
  • Club Rouge. Rouge is the newest club to hit Niagara’s scene, but it opened with a bang and hasn’t stopped running since. Effectively balancing elegance and high spirits, this club is an excellent choice for both a kickoff point and a last stop on your night of merrymaking.
  • Club Se7en. Long touted as the crown jewel of Niagara’s night scene, Se7en is as sophisticated as it is boisterous — the perfect atmosphere for Mardi Gras. With a full bar and dancefloor ready all night long, you might never want to leave this club.

NFH6.jpegThe Morning After

Even after all-night revelries at Niagara’s best bars and clubs, you can spend your days in the Mardi Gras spirit. You can enjoy a relaxing day full of winery tours replete with luscious tastings and mouthwatering food pairings; in fact, Reif Estate Winery welcomes Mardi Gras celebrations on March 7 with discounted prices and festivity-specific food.

You may also choose to spend your days luxuriating in the pools at Fallsview Indoor Water Park or wandering around Niagara’s myriad beautiful parks and gardens. After all, you’ll need to conserve your energy for more nights of Mardi Gras magic at Niagara’s nightclubs.