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Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

Chicago, IL
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Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

My (all adult) family and I will be making the drive from Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake to enjoy some winery visiting.

I've searched the forums and reviews for the area, but haven't really come up with much.

Are there any cute/interesting/unusual/not-to-be missed towns, sights and/or activities along the way for which we should plan a detour along our route?

Any input you might offer would be sincerely appreciated.

London, Canada
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1. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

If you wanted to do a very slow route along the shoreline of Lake Erie for part of the way via Port Stanley and Port Dover then that can be lovely, but it would also take at least 6.5 hrs. vs the direct highway route of 4.5.

For me, I'd rather spend the extra 2 hrs. in the Niagara region. The one place you could stop off very close to Niagara on the Lake is Jordan.....Get off the QEW at Vineland and take the quiet King St. (or #81) to Jordan.

After that you can drive in along Lakeshore Rd. and Port Dalhousie if you like, or directly into Niagara on the Lake.

http://www.jordanvillage.com

http://www.portdalhousie.com/

Edited: 09 April 2012, 18:56
detroit
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2. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

I would and most often cross over to Canada from Port Huron-the Blue Water Bridge. Over in Windsor its a good long slow drive to pick up the 401 expressway.

Look at the map, I might go I-94 to I-69 and take I-69 right to the Blue Water Bridge, be sure to fill up the gas tank before, gas is a good $1 a gallon less vs Canada.

Then in Canada its the 402 to the 401 to QWE Niagara Falls.

I think it be quicker and a better drive then going in to the inter city. Canada never made the freeway in to Windsor to go to either crossing in Windsor and now they want a new bridge to run the freeway to. Its hopeless, lol. Maybe in 10 years it be done, till then cross over in Port Huron if you can

Edited: 09 April 2012, 23:10
detroit
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3. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

If you take I-94 in to Michigan you be near lake Michigan and there is some nice beaches around if you go mid summer. Farther in off I-69 is

Lansing and is the state Capital so you could tour the Capital building and there is also an Oldsmobile car museum, the car was once built in Lansing.

Lansing could make a nice stop for lunch break if you leave early in the day.

It be about 4 1/2 hours from Lansing Michigan to NOTL, I believe. Its about 3 1/2 hours once in Canada by Blue Water Bridge

Edited: 09 April 2012, 23:20
Chicago, IL
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4. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

stillsmoking--Thank you for your replies.

I was actually born and raised in MI, and take frequent weekend trips there, so I'm pretty well acclimated to the MI piece of it.

I had considered going through Port Huron, but I have to make a few stops along the way to pick up MI family, the last of which being just a few miles outside of Detroit, so going through Windsor seemed like the most obvious route.

I do know that going that route adds about a half hour to the drive, however, it just seems like the most logical route given my stops etc.

Thank you sincerely for the response.

Tobie--Thank you for the 'detour' suggestions. I will definitely check them out!

gxp
Niagara
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5. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

I'm with Tobie. I have done Highway #3 from Sarnia and it is slow and not much to see, just flat farmland and some small towns.

If you want to get off the 4-lane highways, take 401 to 403. In Hamilton you could take the Lincoln Alexander from the 403 and exit onto Queenston Road (Hwy #8 and Regional Road 81) and follow it to St. Catharines. It follows the bottom of the escarpment through fruit orchards and grape vineyards. If you get tired of it, it's easy to get back on the QEW.

Route from 401 http://g.co/maps/86wwj

Edited: 10 April 2012, 02:16
Burlington, Canada
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6. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

I've always wanted to visit Lucan, Ontario located about 40 minutes north of London Ontario. This is where the infamous Black Donnelly's were murdered one February night back in 1880. You can visit the homestead where the murders occured and there is also a museum located in town. This suggestion is totally off the wall...and I'm not sure if it's something that interests you but you can check the link below for more info....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Donnellys

detroit
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7. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

There is a small drag strip in St. Thomas if that interest you. Mostly just on weekends stuff is going on.

http://www.stthomasracewaypark.com/

Yes the Lincoln Alexander parkway will take you to the QEW Niagara and saves 10--15 mins, last I knew the freeway signs say to go pass it and take the longer way.

St Catharine's sounds like a neat town which I always wanted to checkout but so far have not. They have a music festival in the summer but it might be mostly for the younger crowd ?

There really isn't much but there is a few things along the way, just depends what interest you.

Burlington, Canada
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8. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

Hi stillsmoking.

If you do make it to St. Catharines you have to check out Port Dalhousie. It's very nice with a beach (Lakeside Park - the song by Rush is about this Lakeside Park as Neil Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie), a pier, boat slips, shops, restaurants and bars. It's a really cool little spot definitely worth visiting.

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

Thank you all for your helpful replies.

We decided to enter Canada through Port Huron--good advice. Thank you!

We also decided to just head straight to the region, getting off at the very beginning of the wine trail in Winona, with stops here and there for tastings. Over the course of the weekend, we made it all the way down to Niagara-on-the-Lake and did indeed drive through Port Dalhousie and stopped in Jordan for shopping, tasting and dinner.

We had a great time despite a few unexpected things...but we're really good at making the best of a bad situation! Several of the wineries along the route were top notch--we ended up bringing back the absolute maximum allowable bottles to the state and have loved pairing them with our own cooking at home. We even found a bottle from one of the wineries which we really enjoyed at our little local restaurant! What luck!

Thank you all again for you helpful suggestions. We will most definitely be back!

London, Canada
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10. Re: Windsor to Niagara-on-the-Lake, interesting stops?

Hi BT~ Thanks so much for letting us know that the trip was overall a huge success and enjoyable for everyone, despite the glitches. I was hoping that was the case. The wine trail is fabulous and driving in from Winona on the 81 does give you easy access to all of the fabulous Twenty Valley wineries.

I'd be interested in knowing which winery made it to one of your local restaurants......good for them, and you! :)