Welcome to the second part of my family holiday to Niagara on the Lake. A review of what the town has to offer on a vacation with kids. If you missed the first part, you can catch up here.
Day 3: A family friendly cycle tour of local food and drink.
After another delightful breakfast, we spent our second day at Niagara on the Lake cycling and exploring the local vineyards along the Niagara Parkway. The Niagara Parkway is a scenic route that runs parallel to the Niagara River, and is well serviced by a separate wide cycle path. Our first stop was Inniskillen winery. This was about 7km from our BnB, and the furthest point we travelled to. The path was easy to cycle with lots of shade from the trees, which was very welcomed in the July heat.
We were definitely ready for a cool drink when we got there, and of course they have a selection of drinks available for thirsty travellers: not just wine!
To be honest we had been a little intimidated at the thought of touring vineyards with the children. The hubby and I are not wine connoisseurs, and we wondered if the children would be welcomed. At this stage we had now visited three winery’s but had not yet had the courage to undertake a wine tasting, fearing we would be caught out as the amateur wine drinkers we really are! We decided we would definitely try a wine tasting at our next stop, which was Reif Estate. It wasn’t at all scary, and the staff were very accommodating, even offering grape juice for the children to try. The kids were totally sucked in and we ended up buying the grape juice for the kids!
By this stage it was time for lunch. Caroline Cellars had been recommended to us, but we were uncertain. It would mean cycling on the road, and it required a 2km detour – not something to be sniffed at. It turned out it was actually a 7km detour, but also one of my favourite cycle routes and vineyards.
I had been worried about traffic on the road, but there was no need to worry. I think we passed one tractor and one quad, and this was in July. There were more cyclists than powered vehicles. I really felt like I was in the middle of wine country as we cycled along here. It was beautiful, authentic and I loved it so much I did not take a single photo of Caroline Cellars when I was there! I do know that the food was good, however it was very busy, and we were lucky to get a table. The building is more like an old barn, and feels more family orientated that some of the more up-market winery’s. We had vouchers for a free wine tasting here, so we did that. It was really enjoyable. The server was really approachable and friendly. He also gave us so many samples that it had the desired effect of loosening our purse strings and we purchased a couple of bottles of wine.
We returned to the Niagara Parkway and following the same route as we had the day before, we turned off at John St. East to follow the cycle path back to the BnB. We were pretty hot and sweaty by this stage, and we wanted to re-group and freshen up. We got a puncture on the trailer whilst on the way home, so I just want to mention that Zoom Leisure cycles had a replacement with us in no time! After a chill out in the BnB we decided that we would head out on the bikes again, since this was our last day of rental. I really wanted to try Oast Brewery for dinner, but the menu was not suitable for our kids, so we headed to McDonalds first, which was a bit further along the road. It was about 3km from the Tea Cosy BnB to McDonalds, and although it was along a busy road, there was a separate cycle path. After feeding the kids we headed back to Oast Brewery.
I was glad we made the effort to visit. It was a busy Friday evening, and although there were no other children there, we were made feel welcome. The adults enjoyed strawberry beer, while the kids had a second dinner of barbecued sweetcorn. It was all delicious, and reasonably priced.
We headed back to the BnB, satisfied and tired, figuring we had cycled somewhere in the region of 30km that day. It sounds like a lot, but if we could do it, I reckon most families could. As we returned to the BnB the owner suggested we head down to Ryerson Park to catch the sunset. Having had enough cycling for one day we decided to walk there, which took about 20 minutes.
We passed some amazing properties on our walk…
Though as promised, it was the sunset that really blew us away. In the distance we could just make out the Toronto skyline, and this was simply the most beautiful ending to our holiday to Niagara on the Lake.
Day 4: Niagara on the Lake to Niagara Falls.
We regretfully had to check out of our BnB today. We had booked a taxi to collect us, and transfer us to our hotel in Niagara Falls. Hopefully I will share the rest of our trip with you over the next few weeks.