The Road Explorer - Summer 2010 - (Page 21)

destination The Road To Wonder Niagara Falls by Annette Redican B e it the first visit or the umpteenth, Niagara Falls, Ontario, is one destination that never fails to engage. World-famous home to the renowned natural wonder, this bustling centre also offers the Niagara Parks Commission’s manicured parks and unrivaled tourist sites as well as a plethora of diverse attractions ranging from the Bird Kingdom, the world’s largest indoor, freeflying aviary featuring more than 400 exotic birds, to the soaring excitement of an entirely different sort liberally dispensed at Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino. And if this intriguing mix of nature’s bounty and totally slick man-made offerings isn’t quite enough of a lure, a few revolutions of the wheels is all that’s required for an instant immersion in the world-class theatre, exceptional dining scene, exquisite specialty shopping, meandering wineries, luxurious spas and captivating historical sites that can be found at the charming Niagara-on-theLake. For an entirely different take on this perennial favourite, groups will totally get into the revitalization of Queen Street Downtown Niagara Falls. The city’s newest attraction, equal parts urban renaissance and evolving artist colony, this once crumbling area is completely reinventing itself as the Arts & Entertainment District. Still a bit of a work in progress, nonetheless, groups can ramp up their street cred at the numerous specialty galleries, kitschy little shops and incredible eateries. Taking it up another notch, groups can sample a little freewheeling adventure at the new Niagara Freefall and Interactive Centre. Niagara Freefall offers access to one of the most exciting new sports in all of Canada. Open to and safe for all ages, visitors can experience the thrill of skydiving in a safe, environmentallycontrolled indoor vertical wind-tunnel while “flying” in a column of air at speeds reaching almost 200 kph (120 mph). Participants are given 25 minutes of pre-flight training and safety orientation and flight suits and safety equipment is provided. To gu guarantee this activity really flies, packages that incorporate o other facility activities such a Lazerball (indoor paintless as p paintball) and the Mechanical Bull Ride can be arranged. B For a really “moving” experience, groups can catch e Mystery on the Lake’s new M adventures in an interactive theater, the Niagara FallsThe Road Explorer based The Illusionist or The Secret of Butlersburg! which ich unfolds in Niagara on a the Lake. This totally innovative concept in entertainment is equal parts live theater, scavenger hunt, historical adventure and walking tour. Groups of 12 participants, who actually become part of the show, are dispatched to search for clues while interacting with character actors on an engaging adventure. There’s many a place that can lay claim to a storied history, but few have made the telling of them quite so fundamental to its raison d’être as has Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is home to the internationally-acclaimed Shaw Festival. In production through the end of October, the Shaw has an enviable reputation for its provocative and subtle ensemble acting as well as its dazzlingly innovative theatrical designs. Setting the stage for the ultimate Shaw immersion, groups can take advantage of the fabulous meals that are created by the Green Room chefs – the skilled team that prepares food for the amazing acting ensemble – who offer everything from an affordable picnic lunch to a plated lunch or dinner served at a table setting on the beautiful grounds of The Shaw. The fabulous repast can be enjoyed before or after a performance. Nestled below the picturesque Niagara Escarpment, amidst the verdant vineyards and expansive orchards that stretch from the scenic Niagara River Parkway and the shores of Lake Ontario, are the 22 wineries that form the Wineries of Niagara on the Lake. As individual as the wines they each produce, these large estates, medium-size operations and small boutique wineries are artfully crafting some of the world’s best vintages. Like a grown-up, considerably more upscale version of show and tell, groups can tour, sample rare vintages, new releases and small batch specialties and catch an illuminating glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at a winery. Natural wonders plus man-made ingenuity equals a lot to fall for in Niagara! ■ 21 Summer 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Road Explorer - Summer 2010

The Road Explorer - Summer 2010
Industry Voice
Issues Update
The Road to Gold
Vancouver: The City that Reviews Itself
The Road to Wonder - Niagra Falls
Seaside Rendezvous
Jonview Canada Takes You There
List of Advertisers

The Road Explorer - Summer 2010