Niagara Falls Blog

How to Tour Umbria, Italy via Ontario, Canada

NFH1.jpegMost travelers looking for sunshine and Italian cuisine think first of Tuscany, high on the leg of Italy’s boot. However, Tuscany has become incredibly popular in recent years, and excessive numbers of world tourists are stamping out the region’s provincial charm.

Just to the south, the tiny region of Umbria is quietly being heralded as Tuscany’s successor in terms of food and feel — and there is no better place to get a taste of Umbria than in good old Niagara Falls, Ontario.

On Friday, March 6, world-renowned Italian chef Massimo Capra is paying his respects to the unique culture found in Umbria with an Umbrian-inspired menu and wine list. Read on for more information on this one-of-a-kind culinary adventure you can only find in Niagara Falls.

Umbria’s Delights

Affectionately named “The Green Heart of Italy,” Umbria is the country’s fourth smallest region — bordered neither by coastline nor by mountains — yet one of the biggest and best Italian producers of olive oil and wine. Because of its lack of popularity among tourists when compared to its northern neighbor Tuscany and the southern metropolises of Rome and Venice, Umbria has retained a large amount of its stunning natural landscape, which remains somewhat mystical in light and atmosphere to travelers and locals alike.

Landlocked, Umbria’s traditional foods are not influenced by the sea as is more familiar Italian cuisine. Instead, food critics explain that Umbrian cooking is particularly rustic, governed now as always by the earthy foods grown in the region’s fertile soils. For example, standard Umbrian recipes rely heavily on whole grains like barley, wheat, faro, and spelt mixed copiously with fresh, rich fruits and vegetables; Umbrian olives are notoriously luscious — which is why the region’s olive oil industry is booming — and black truffles are a common delicacy as they grow bountifully in the region’s forests.

NFH2.jpegNiagara Falls’ Homage

Massimo Capra is well-known as one of the world’s top chefs in Italian cuisine, which is why Niagara Falls is so proud to claim his iconic restaurant, the Rainbow Room.

Every day, the Rainbow Room in Crowne Plaza serves up unparalleled Italian cuisine crafted from Niagara’s fresh produce raised in the local landscape; guests can enjoy succulent lobster bruschetta, chicken alla diavola (roasted chicken breast), and black truffle gnocchi, among dozens of other sumptuous dishes. Most Niagara Falls visitors simply cannot miss a meal at the Rainbow Room any time of year, but in March, guests will receive a special treat.

In continuation of Capra’s tour of Italy’s varying regional cuisines, the Rainbow room will spend the evening of March 6 wholly transformed into a vessel for the delights of Umbria. Guests are welcome to come for cocktail hour and enjoy the company of the illustrious chef in person, as well as mix and mingle with fellow food and wine lovers from across the globe. Capra will prepare a night’s worth of dishes, including a handful of canapes and a five-course dinner, exploring the intricacy and extent of Umbria’s cuisine.

Additionally, the evening will celebrate masterful winemaker Marco Caprai of Arnaldo-Caprai Winery, who has won countless awards for his efforts with the sagrantino grape. Each dish will come perfectly paired with a traditional glass of wine, and certainly no one will leave the table disappointed with Umbria or Ontario.


Quintessential Canadian Cuisine

nfh7.jpegNot many people immediately think of Canada when they are asked to name countries with excellent cuisine. However, though Canada may not include particularly exotic ingredients, the food produced here is certainly some of the world’s best.

In honor of February’s celebration of the 26th annual Cuvee festival, a gathering where Niagara’s most talented chefs and winemakers present their fare to locals and visitors, here are some of Canada’s most iconic foods to sample during your next trip to Niagara Falls.

1. Maple Syrup

It isn’t just coincidence that put the maple leaf on Canada’s flag — it is Canadians’ profound love of the sticky, sweet sap the tree produces. As versatile as it is iconic, maple syrup isn’t just for breakfast foods; natives will drizzle it on just about anything, from pancakes to bacon. Cooked into candy and mixed into marinades, maple syrup shows up in Canadian recipes you’d least expect. Make sure to try as many maple goodies as you can while you’re north of the border, and bring back a bottle, or five, of the sap to experiment with your own maple creations.

2. Poutine

This monstrosity of a meal is becoming more famous in the United States, but it remains a recognizably Canadian dish. French fries slathered in gravy and littered with cheese curds makes for a salty, gooey treat that will fill your calorie requirement for at least two days — but somehow, it’s always worth it. While there are many variations on poutine, you should start out with the traditional three ingredients for the real Canadian experience.

3. Beaver Tail

Though Canada developed into an important colonial holding due to its profitable beaver trade, this noteworthy treat has nothing to do with the dam-building rodents. Instead, a beaver tail is a huge, sweet pastry, perfect on cold Canadian days. Shaped like their namesake, sweet pastry dough is then topped with the diner’s preferred garnishes, which can include chocolate syrup, fruit, sprinkles, or, of course, maple syrup.

4. Nanaimo Bar

Another favorite Canadian dessert, the Nanaimo bar is much simpler to make at home than the beaver tail, but the real thing can only be tasted at a Canadian bakery — though they require no baking whatsoever. The treats are layer cookie bars, and like poutine, they have spawned several hundred varieties due to their popularity. However, the traditional Nanaimo bar as first created in Nanaimo, British Columbia, features a graham cracker base, vanilla custard filling, and chocolate ganache top.

nfhj8.jpeg5. Bannock

Every culture has its own type of bread: Jews have challah, the French have baguettes, and the American South has cornbread. Canadians enjoy a quick, biscuit-like bread called Bannock that is incredibly adaptable to any meal. Covered in icing and sprinkles, bannock tastes just like a doughnut. Wrapped around a hotdog, bannock is buttery and crisp just like a toasted bun. During at least one meal in Niagara Falls, you are bound to find bannock sitting next to your plate.

6. Ketchup Chips

Americans enjoy dipping potato chips in a variety of sauces — from French onion to Mexican bean — but very few would ever consider slathering their crisp in bright red ketchup. However, ketchup is such a popular topping for potato chips in Canada that familiar chip vendors in the states, Frito-Lay for example, produce (and frequently sell out of) ketchup-flavored varieties. While these snacks won’t win a culinary award anytime soon, you won’t find a bag of Ketchup chips in America, so you should sample them while you have the chance.


How Niagara Falls Can Help With Your New Year’s Resolutions

rickynelsonrememberedMaking lasting change in your life is never easy, which is why we often save resolutions for January 1, when we have a brand new year and a clean slate of opportunity. However, when you’re surrounded by your regular friends and activities, it can be exceedingly difficult to break the cycle and construct a new you. If you are looking to actually fulfill any of your resolutions in 2015, here’s why you should head to Niagara Falls.

You Can Save Money and Still Enjoy a Vacation

A popular resolution is to get out and see the world, but that is often difficult for those with tight budgets. So why not start out with a trip to Canada? Niagara Falls offers one of the most budget-friendly vacations in the world. There are hundreds of activities and attractions that are completely free and completely worthwhile.

For example, it costs nothing to view the city’s most popular sight, which also happens to be internationally recognized as a Wonder of the World, Niagara Falls itself. On top of the Falls, there are miles of free nature trails through parks and forests to explore on foot, as well as miles more of scenic cycling or driving roads weaving throughout the region.

Because Niagara Falls is most popular among budding families and young couples without much income to spare, even paid attractions won’t break the bank. Lodging in the middle of the action will actually save you the expense of transport, so you will be able to afford to see any number of award-winning shows or dine at top culinary spots in the city. Come to Niagara Falls for a fulfilling vacation, and put the rest of your earnings in a savings account for future use.

You Can Get Fit

NFHblog7.jpegVacations aren’t always the most conducive to weight-loss goals, but Niagara Falls has a built-in fitness center that will keep you moving while you relax. Just minutes from the hubbub of the tourist district of the city are the miles of hiking trails and walking paths that will take you into the heart of Niagara Falls wilderness. Simply by meandering through the pristine parks and fantastic forests throughout Niagara Falls and the surrounding region, you can burn calories and stay true to your fitness goals without even realizing it. Here are two sights you can only spot by adventuring on foot:

  • Whirlpool Rapids. Regarded as some of the most dangerous rapids in the world for their speed and intensity, Niagara River’s Whirlpool Rapids can be seen up-close and personal on a short three-mile hike.
  • Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens. Encompassing more than 99 acres, these stunning gardens are crisscrossed with walking paths for visitors to enjoy the rotating arrangements of local and imported flowers. The most popular spot is the rose garden, which is world famous for its more than 2,400 blooms.

You Can Quit Smoking

Believe it or not, Niagara Falls can help lifelong smokers finally work towards kicking their habit, too. Canada as a whole has a lower percentage of smokers than the United States; less than 17 percent of Canadians regularly buy cigarettes (and that number continues to annually decline), while more than 20 percent of Americans smoke. Coming to Niagara Falls, cigarette smokers will find a fresh, natural environment generally free of common smoking triggers, like stress and fellow smokers. Thus, a vacation to Niagara might be just the thing to help you in ending that dangerous, lasting addiction.


How Niagara Falls Came to Be

NFHblog3.jpegEvery fantastic place needs a fantastic origin story. Indigenous groups all over the world have extraordinary mythologies explaining the creation of a region’s landmarks, the existence of the moon and stars, the birth of humankind, and more. Niagara Falls is no different; ever since the first Native Americans set eyes on the unbelievable intensity and beauty of the Falls, people have been telling stories about how they became what they are today. However, while traditional stories may involve gods and magic, the truth behind Niagara Falls’ creation is just as amazing. Learn more about the origin of the region so when you visit Niagara Falls this year you’ll fully comprehend their majesty and power.

Precambrian Niagara

More than 600 million years ago, the area we recognize as the Great Lakes region, including Niagara, was buried beneath a vast, shallow sea. For more than 100 million years, the forces of nature churned the waters of this North American sea until the hard rocks below became fine, soft sediment resting on top of hard bedrock. The sea held all types of life, including vast tropical reefs filled with fish, but the violent commotion of waves caused by storms often destroyed the beautiful marine communities and left their limestone skeletons at the bottom of the waters.

During this time, the rest of the North American continent underwent extreme topographical shifts. The Appalachian Mountains shot up out of the ground, new rivers wound their way around the landscape, and different types of geology appeared all over.

Phanerozoic Niagara

NFHblog.jpegAfter 300 million years, the great sea dried up, leaving layer upon layer of various sediments. While animals all over the world started to grow and develop — and the first dinosaurs started stretching their legs — the fledgling rivers from the Precambrian Era grew to massive sizes and carved their names into the ground. The machinations of these rivers eventually formed the basins later inhabited by four of the Great Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.

Meanwhile, the landmass migrated farther and farther northward, so temperatures dropped and the environment changed. In quick succession, four major ice ages cut into the continent, their glaciers leaving huge scars upon the landscape. The final ice age, at its peak around 25,000 years ago, was particularly rough on the Niagara region, as the Wisconsin glaciation covered most of Canada in dense ice more than a mile thick. This ice mercilessly crushed everything in its path, from forests to mountains.

Then, roughly 12,000 years later, the glacier reversed its movement. Melt from the retreating glacier was channeled through the deep cuts carved in the earth, and the rivers we recognize today — the Hudson, the Ohio, and the great Niagara — were formed.

Eventually, the last ice age ended and the water levels dropped, revealing the freshly cut Niagara Escarpment. Originally, the Niagara River appeared to be a series of massive lakes spilling into one another. Indeed, Lake Erie fell from the top of the escarpment into the small Lake Tanawanda, which in turn spilled into Lake Iroquois. However, as the water tapered off, the ancient lakes took the shape of a river, and the spillways transformed into Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls has been in formation for thousands and thousands of years, and the landscape continues to change and move with complete disregard to the majesty and wonder it currently inspires. In fact, the
Falls themselves are working to fundamentally alter the scenery, as the rushing waters carve inches off the escarpment every year. Still, all humankind can do is sit back and take note of the incredible power and beauty of nature.


A Very Niagara New Year’s Eve

nfh10.jpegThe holidays are here, which means it won’t be long until it’s 2015. However, just before January sets in, there’s one last holiday more romantic than all the rest to enjoy: New Year’s Eve. There is absolutely no better way to ring in the New Year than next to your partner, and there’s no better place to be than Niagara Falls. To celebrate the end of 2014, surprise your sweetheart with a vacation package to one of the world’s capitols of love. There are plenty of New Year’s packages to choose from, so explore your options and find one that suits your tastes.

World-Class Accommodations

We offer all manner of rooms for a variety of visitors, but for New Year’s Eve, we understand couples want something special. The Sheraton on the Falls is one of the highest class hotels in the area, and it offers stunning views of the falls as well as close proximity to all the best Niagara attractions. The Sheraton has a rich history of rich and famous individuals who have enjoyed its luxurious rooms and amenities. If you want to shower your loved one with the finest this New Year’s choose the Fallsview Gala Package to book one or two nights in the Sheraton and experience the best of the best.

With this package, you’ll also enjoy New Year’s dining at the fabulous Fallsview Resort and access to the hotel’s amazing party, replete with dancing, Champagne, music, and party favors. The next day, you’ll be able to recover in the Sheraton’s amazing Christienne Spa with a couple’s massage, facial, bath, and more.

World-Class Dining

nfh11.jpegNiagara Falls is a verdant and fertile region where chefs enjoy direct access to the freshest and tastiest ingredients, so it is no wonder that renowned chef Massimo Capra has opened an award-winning restaurant deep in the hustle and bustle of Niagara’s tourist district, The Rainbow Room. In addition to any accommodation package you select, you can purchase a three- or four-course dinner at the Rainbow Room and treat you and your partner to some of the best dining around.

However, if you’d like the most exclusive meal in Niagara, you can elect to participate in the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra Package, which includes one- or two-night accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview Hotel and a table d’hote dinner in the Rainbow Room.

World-Class Party

If the lavish lifestyle isn’t exactly for you, you can always select the Party in the Park Package where you’ll be mere minutes from the biggest New Year’s party north of the border. You can book any number of nights in the Falls Avenue Resort — adjacent to all sorts of attractions, like the Fallsview Casino and Fallsview Indoor Water Park. Then on the big night, walk directly to Queen Victoria Park for a night filled with the year’s best fireworks displays, the world’s best names in music, and the country’s best celebration — until next year rolls around, that is.


Gear Up for the Holiday Season in Niagara Falls

nfhblog3.jpegIt’s November, which means it’s almost December, which means the holidays are rapidly approaching. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend the next month and a half knee-deep in stress worrying about the gifts you haven’t bought and the parties you aren’t prepared for. The holidays should be a time of relaxation and reveling. So, before you bite your nails to the quick about how your neighbor’s decorations are more lavish than yours, come to Niagara Falls and experience the beginnings of the holiday season with these thrilling activities.

Swingin’ Little Sleigh Ride! Holiday Dinner and Musical Comedy

From the people who bring you the award winning “Oh, Canda Eh? Dinner Theatre” comes this year’s wintery production full of holiday good cheer — and accompanied by a tasty meal, too. “Swingin’ Little Sleight Ride! Holiday Dinner and Musical Comedy” is a raucous show filled with songs you can easily sing along to and family friendly jokes worth more than a chuckle. This production is a must-see high energy affair, and it only comes around once a year.

With the show, you’ll receive a five-course meal paired perfectly with the season. Festive soups and salads come with feasts of roast turkey, baked ham, and fried haddock. And, we promise, they didn’t forget about the holiday-themed dessert. Served family style to accommodate all appetites and tastes, you’ll be able to take as much or as little as you’d like — though we always take thirds, at least.

Come for the lunch matinee, or experience it all with a full dinner, but the show only runs between November 14 and December 20, so get your tickets soon.

Santa Claus Parade

Much like the American Thanksgiving Day Parade, Canadians celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with their own parade ringing in the magical season; additionally, like the iconic Macy’s Parade, this one in Niagara Falls ends with welcome and thanks to the man who makes it all happen: Santa Claus.

Beginning at 11 a.m. on November 15, the parade will pass through all parts of downtown Niagara Falls. Filled with marching bands and dazzling floats to charm even the grumpiest of Scrooges, this parade is perfect for children who can’t get enough Christmas spirit. It is easy to fill the day watching the parade, eating delicious Canadian street food, and reveling in the joys of the upcoming holidays.

Fallsview Casino’s Christmas on Ice

nfhblog4.jpegStarting November 20, Fallsview Casino is putting on a show to remember. Canada may be full of skating rinks, but the feats performed on this icy stage rival those at the Winter Olympics. In fact, nationally ranked figure skaters grace the stage with grace and poise, telling the story of Christmas in a way you’ve never seen before. This show is fast-paced and full of energy, and you won’t be able to leave without feeling touched by the magic of the season.

The event runs from November 20 to December 7, and tickets have been on sale since August, so you might want to act fast if you want to catch a seat at this once in a lifetime show.


The Sweetest Deal in Niagara Falls

nfhblog1.jpegNiagara Falls offers a bargain vacation for any group of travelers. What other destination combines unparalleled natural beauty, world-class food and beverage, and entertainment for all ages? Still, there’s one attraction much sweeter than anything else in Niagara Falls: Hershey’s Chocolate World. This chocolate and candy paradise is a sight to behold, and even those travelers who try to suppress their sweet teeth will cave under the veritable mountain of temptation in Niagara Falls.

A Chocolate Factory to Rival Wonka’s

Hershey’s Chocolate World boasts a jaw dropping 7,000 square feet of chocolates and sweets travelers can sample and take home. Mouths begin to water as soon as travelers step through the doors, as waves of flavor from freshly made sweets and treats scent the air.

Every day, experienced chocolatiers hand dip fresh strawberries, bananas, pretzels, and more, and bakers create delectable cookies and cakes. Samples of the expertly-made gourmet fudge are always available, and visitors will find their favorite flavors mixed among custom and exotic fudges you will never find anywhere else. There’s also an old fashioned creamery, where weary travelers can refresh their spirits with a thick and creamy milkshake.

Hershey’s Chocolate World is perfect for kids (of all ages, but particularly the little ones) as they’ll be able to meet and interact with their favorite Hershey’s characters as they roam the store. Hershey’s Kiss is a crowd pleaser, as he regularly risks life and limb by walking the tight rope slung across a miniature version of the falls, but the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and Hershey’s Chocolate Bar are just as friendly and engaging. Additionally, an educational feature explaining how chocolate is made (spoiler: It’s not via waterfall and river) and distributed all across the world will provide some value to a day filled with sweets.

nfhblog2.jpegWilly Wonka may have had a river of chocolate (as well as cotton-candy sheep and a team of trained nut-cracking squirrels) but his factory wasn’t exactly consumer-friendly. Any of the delicious treats around Hershey’s Chocolate World are available for purchase, so you can bring the magic of the Chocolate World all the way home — if you can last that long without eating it.

There are also non-edible items for purchase, including plushies and clothing to bring home to friends and family. You can choose to pair them with some iconic Hershey’s treats for some unforgettable gifts, or you can eat the sweets for yourself like you want to.

How to Get There

Niagara Falls’ very own Hershey’s Chocolate World is centrally located on Falls Avenue, in the middle of the action. The shop and its attractions are well within walking distance of a plethora of worthy hotels, and visitors can easily incorporate a tour and a taste into their other Niagara Falls explorations, including the wonderland of Clifton Hill and amazing views of the falls themselves. As the front door to Hershey’s Chocolate World is a four-story-tall chocolate bar, you definitely won’t miss it while you’re out and about.


3 Reasons to Bring Your Next Conference to Niagara Falls

nfhblog1.jpegWhen you have a conference to plan, it’s tempting to pick a location closest to you. It’s convenient — for you at least — and easy enough to scout out venues. Or, some conference planners stick to a rotation of America’s biggest cities —New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and repeat — simply for the assured hotel space and attraction density. Admittedly, there are benefits to these planning strategies, but by choosing old standbys for conference locations, you’re robbing your attendees and yourself of a fantastic vacation experience.

There are three major tenants of conference location selection:

  • The location must have enough space, including a convention center and sufficient accommodation
  • The location must provide entertainment outside of the conference
  • The location must be affordable

For these three reasons alone, Niagara Falls is an ideal location for any conference.

Space Requirements

While it effectively maintains its small-town feel, Niagara Falls is a major city. While a mere 83,000 year-round residents call Niagara Falls home, an astounding 13 million travelers come to the area every year. As a result, the city has a bevy of excellent hotels, each with its own set of amenities to delight and enchant any visitor. Many of these hotels are equipped with large conference spaces perfect for any size event — from a knitting club meet-up to a multi-thousand attendee convention. It doesn’t take long to find the perfect venue for whatever conference you’re planning.

Outside Entertainment

Above all else, Niagara Falls is a vacation destination. Travelers of all stripes come to Niagara Falls to indulge in the unique sights and sounds of the rushing river. The falls themselves offer hours of adventure, from thrilling tours below and behind the falls to trails winding around the nearby wilderness areas that offer fantastic scenery. The outdoor nut has plenty to explore in the lush forests of the region.

While people may come for the falls, they stay for the city. Niagara Falls is chock full of entertainment and activities to excite everyone in your party. Clifton Hill is a veritable wonderland of excitement, filled with games, music, bars, and more. Encourage your attendees to ride the Ferris wheel or dare them to take a walk through the city’s perennial haunted factory. There’s so much to see, we guarantee one visit won’t be enough.

If you can believe it, that’s not all. The Niagara region provides prime land and climate for growing grapes, and thus world-class vineyards have sprung up offering visitors tastes of delicious, unique wines. Organized winery tours are a popular escape for many travelers to sample award winning wines and taste expertly paired foods.

Affordability

nfhblog2.jpegNiagara Falls is most famously a destination for families and newlyweds — a strong indication that the vacation destination is highly wallet-friendly. Groups of any size can certainly find packages that fit well with their budgets but still contain a plethora of dining options and hotel amenities to make a conference trip feel like a well-earned vacation.

This isn’t to say that Niagara Falls is cheap. Travelers certainly have the opportunity to spring for high-class meals or lavish activities. However, in Niagara Falls there are plenty of delicious five-star restaurants that fall well within the average traveler’s means.

If your conference planning is at a standstill while you choose the next location, make your conference a vacation to remember by organizing it in Niagara Falls.


Niagara Falls October Events

Baby in pumpkin patchOctober is a beautiful month for Niagara Falls. The very middle of autumn sees Niagara’s trees turning gorgeous shades of red, orange, and brown, and temperatures are perfect for activities of all sorts, including snuggling up with your loved ones. If you’re considering visiting us for October, learn about what festivities await you. You’re sure to find an event for everyone.

Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival

Canadian Thanksgiving, unlike its American cousin, occurs at the beginning of October, so if you’re a fan of Thanksgiving foods, you can’t miss Niagara in October. The Ball’s Falls Festival is a local and tourist favorite for its plethora of arts, crafts, and wares for sale. There are also plenty of shows and demonstrations, including magical acts and musical performances. Plus, the Niagara Falls Thanksgiving Festival is turning 40 this year, which means even more excitement to be had by all. The festival takes place between October 10-13, and Canadian Thanksgiving occurs on the last day.

Boo at the Zoo

Let your kids enjoy Halloween twice! On October 11, Safari Niagara is inviting families to trick or treat in the safe and fun environment of the zoo. The zoo will be done up with all the scary decorations you love on Halloween, and when the sun sets, you’ll get to see the zoo in a whole new spooky light. Walk around in full costume and see everyone dressed up for the occasion — and don’t forget to bring your treat bags, for local businesses will be supplying candy to trick-or-treating kids.

Niagara Falls International Marathon

people runningIf someone in your family loves to run, give him or her something to strive for by signing up for Niagara’s own marathon. This marathon is one of only a handful to span two different countries, starting in Buffalo, New York, and quickly crossing the border to end in Niagara Falls, Ontario. On October 26, you can walk, jog, or run 26.2 miles through the most beautiful scenery that Canada has to offer.

Before you register for the race, know that marathons are grueling physical feats, and they require extensive training in runners who hope to remain healthy during and after their run. For those not in pique physical condition, the 2K, 5K, 10K, or half marathon also occurring at this event might be more your speed. For anyone who finishes a race, there will be a plethora of prizes, including a finisher medal, a recovery jacket, snacks, and an electrolyte-filled drink.

Rock & Soul

Classic music–lovers will rejoice in this music festival that brings together the sounds of Memphis, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Rock music and soul have a long and storied relationship, and there is no better way to honor it than by hearing the two genres played from the same stage. At Fallsview Casino Resort between October 23-30, you can settle into the musical stylings of The Temptations, The Supremes, Hall & Oates, Bob Segar, and more. Tickets are only $20 per person — well worth the run and relaxation of a night of great music.


6 Quintessentially Canadian Foods to Try in Niagara Falls

French Fries with sauceFor many, traveling is all about getting out of the house and trying something new — specifically, trying some new foods. When you think of Canada, you might not think of unique cuisine, but you’d be surprised at the amount and quality of Canada-specific foods available to interested travelers. Canada is a land rich in delicious and fascinating foods, so on your next trip to Niagara Falls, you can seek out some of these famous Canadian eats to satisfy your cravings for culinary adventure.

Poutine

Americans might think of French Fries as the most patriotic dish we’ve got, but the Canadians have added some flavors to make it truly their own. An ample serving of fries is layered with savory gravy and chewy cheese curds to give this dish a satisfying amount of flavor and texture. Gourmet chefs have experimented with poutine and added ingredients like fois gras or black truffles, though we’re partial to the regular standby.

Butter Tart

This no-fuss dessert has been around almost as long as Canada itself. It is comprised of a flaky, buttery pastry shell filled with a type of custard made of butter, eggs, sugar, and syrup, usually of the maple variety. The tarts can be runny or firm, depending on the pastry chef’s inclinations, and they often are topped with raisins or nuts.

Beavertail

This pastry concoction is decadent and delicious, and it’s a wonder that it’s barely heard of below the border. Beavertails are essentially dough shaped into the shape of a beaver tail (hence the name) and fried. Then the dough is topped with anything your heart desires. The most common toppings are chocolate and fruits, though various other candies, like Twix or Heath, are popular as well.

Maple Syrup

You’ve surely heard the phrase “as Canadian as maple syrup,” and with the iconic maple leaf front-and-center on our flag, it’s no wonder that everything maple-flavored is closely tied with Canada. You’ll get the purest and freshest maple syrup north of the border for you to pour on pancakes or waffles, plus you can get any number of baked goods maple flavored, from beavertails to doughnuts. Maple candy is also particularly popular, so be sure to sample a maple toffee or two while you’re here.

Game Meat

Plate of foodThe forests in Canada are extensive, with almost 90 percent of Canada uninhabited. This means the wild animal populations are allowed to flourish, giving Canadians access to the choicest game meats anywhere in North America. If you identify as a carnivore, here are some of the meats you mind like to try while visiting the Great White North:

  • Boar
  • Bison
  • Reindeer
  • Moose
  • Elk
  • Deer
  • Rabbit

Ketchup Chips

When you just need something to nibble on in your comfortable hotel suite, pick up a bag of Canada’s favorite ketchup-flavored potato chips. Canadians swear by the salty, non-tomato flavor of their ketchup chips, even if Americans have never caught onto the fad. We know you’ll fall in love as much as we have, though one piece of advice: Keep a napkin handy to wipe the extra flavoring off your fingers, or you might see little red fingerprints all over your clothes.