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HELP N falls, NOTL, theatre, for 2 day getaway from Philly

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HELP N falls, NOTL, theatre, for 2 day getaway from Philly

My husband and I have a few free days in October and NEED to "get away"from Philly. Since I picked Italy this spring for 2 weeks I agreed to his choice of Niagara Falls( Canada side) for 2 days.

We'll drive on Mon. Oct 12 to the Falls, planning on staying in Niagara on the Lake for 2 nights at the Charles Inn. Think I'd like to go to a winery, and /or a show at the Shaw Theatre Festival. Any advice on a winery and anyone experience the theatre? Have you stayed at the Charles Inn? Any recommendations of where to eat? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

London, Canada
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1. Re: HELP N falls, NOTL, theatre, for 2 day getaway from Philly

Monday October 12 is our Canadian Thanksgiving so it will be best to book as soon as possible since Niagara on the Lake is likely to be quite busy. Long weekends generally you can expect longer lineups and more traffic but hopefully with family gatherings it won't be too bad.

The Charles Inn gets good reviews so try there first. If you don't mind being on the outskirts of town (but on the gorgeous Niagara Parkway) then try Riverbend Inn which we really like too.

A review was just posted from a recent trip which might help you with ideas as well.......


The choice in wineries is amazing with some within the town limits of Niagara on the Lake and others in the Twenty Valley area.


For scenery, dining and wine there are lots of choices but one of our favourites is Vineland Estates. You can also just plan on driving to a few, stopping for lunch at one with a restaurant.....like Hillebrand.


Start with your accommodations and the rest will start to fall into place. :)

Cleveland, Ohio
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2. Re: HELP N falls, NOTL, theatre, for 2 day getaway from Philly

I have not stayed at the Charles Inn either, but have heard only good things about it. We stayed at the Shaw Club which was right in town. It was nice but more modern than most places in NOTL. Prince of Wales is also in town and looked very nice. We drove by the Riverbend Inn and it is GORGEOUS. It is very close to Peller Winery.

We ate at a few very nice restaurants while there. Hillebrand was awesome for lunch. The dining room is bright and modern with nice views of the vineyards. Food was delish!! They have great wines too. We went to Stone Road Grill for dinner. It is a very popular restaurant (especially with the locals)and reservations are a must. It is pretty small and definitely not quiet, but has a nice vibe. Great menu & wine list. We also tried Zees which was pretty good. Dining room can be VERY loud when full. Great service, good food.

Winery recs: I'd do a wine tour if you have time. See recent post and my comments about Crush Tours. If you don't want to do a tour, I'd recommend going to at least one large and one small winery. Hillebrand or Peller are good options for big wineries. They both offer hourly tours. A really nice small winery we visited was Reif, another was Ravine. For a very little winery with wonderful staff, visit Caroline Cellars. Sharon was a blast there!

Have fun!

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: HELP N falls, NOTL, theatre, for 2 day getaway from Philly

Hi Rathke,


With regards to your Questions you'll find a ton of similar ones here on the TRAVEL FORUM (you can browse thru the topics, or even SEARCH out specific info). Wineries, Wine Tastings and Wine Tours have been discussed at great length. Here is a good spot to get you started my recent reply to the topic entirled "Best Vineyard for Wine Novices" tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154999-i270-k3051…

As already laid out, the Niagara Wine Region (aka the Niagara Peninsula) spans about 50 Kms in length from Winona thru to NOTL. NOTL is the most famous spot partly because of the Historic Old Town (one of Canada's few towns where the whole town is listed as a National Historic Site) but also because this is where Canada's wine story begins.

Unfotunately (??? depends on one's point of view) the lands surrounding NOTL is now dominated by the BIG wine corps, many of them international, and not Canadian owned any more. To truly get the flavour of what wine means to the region and community as a whole, you'll want to seek out the smaller or family run wineries... or the more innovative wine producers farther along the Niagara Escarpment (Jordan - Vineland - Beamsville areas)... aka as "The Bench" (Apelations known as St David's, 20 Valley, Thirty Bench).

On the TRAVEL FORUMS you'll also find topics on the Shaw Theatre, I personally saw "Born Yesterday" back in June... and it was delightful. The Shaw is one of Canada's premier theatre companies (them and Stratford are the most famous).

I haven't personally stayed at the Charles Inn, but it is a member of Ontario's Finest Inns, and as such must maintain a very high level of service etc. Check them out online at www.ontariosfinestinns.com there are several NOTL Country Inns & B&Bs that are members. I am a VIP Member of their organization, because I have stayed at a variety of properties.

When it comes to food... fine dining rocks in NOTL... this is Canadian Foodie Heaven, with the greatest concentration of CAA/AAA 4 and 5 Diamond Restaurants per capita. caasco.com/travel/…

There is also a decent assortment of midrange and more casual dining spots in the NOTL area as well.

You'll also want to check them out in the TA NOTL RESTAURANT REVIEWS Section... as most of them have been Reviewed there, or discussed here on the TRAVEL FORUM (again searchable).

And lastly... you might want to have dinner in nearby Niagara Falls (20 Kms away) one evening, there are quite a few restaurants that offer dining rooms that overlook The Falls. I personally recommend The Keg, because it isn't super expensive, is a Canadian Steakhouse Chain, is predictable in its food and service, and of course has amazing views. For more info on NIAGARA FALLS ONTARIO CANADA TRAVEL FORUM (remembering that there is also one for NF NY USA).

Hope this is helpful, and gets you started... if you have any further Questions, just ask.



Chicago, IL
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4. Re: HELP N falls, NOTL, theatre, for 2 day getaway from Philly

We stayed at the Charles Inn in August and loved it. Very charming. The lounge has a bar if you enjoy wine or other beverages. Since it was so nice and after 10 PM when we got back from a play, we had bought a bottle of wine earlier in the day to enjoy on the verandah later in the eveing. So keep it in mind if you enjoy a drink or two after the lounge closes.

We ate there too one night and yes, it was expensive but it was worth it for what we wanted - romantic, different atmosphere from a regular restaurant and excellent food. We also did the Shaw and saw "A Moon for the Misbegotten". It was very good. The front desk will call the Shaw for you. We were able to get tickets directly at the box office the day she called for that evening.

Like the rest said there are plenty of wineries so plenty of choices. We did the Reif Winery and enjoyed it. There is also the MacFarland house that offers lunch and tea and Fort George. It was very enjoyable.

Can't recommend any other wineries or restaurants because our stay was too short.

Have fun.

5. Re: HELP N falls, NOTL, theatre, for 2 day getaway from Philly

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