Hi badgers! I’m sure every Brock student thinks that the Niagara Region is one of a kind! I have to admit, when I first came to Canada, I was struck by the beauty of nature, especially in the Niagara Region. I was previously only used to living in a big city, surrounded by tons of traffic and skyscrapers. But after living in St. Catharines and getting to visit other areas in Niagara, my appreciation for natural beauty and serenity has definitely increased.
Here are five top things to do while in the Niagara region:
1. See the Falls!
This is clearly a no-brainer but if you go to Brock and live in the Niagara area, you are just 20 minutes away from this natural wonder! The Niagara Falls is known worldwide for its breathtaking view. One of the first touristic things my family and I did was go to see the Falls and enjoy the Hornblower Cruise right by the falls. I would recommend taking your best camera when you head there; there are some beautiful spots on the way and at the Falls for some Instagram-worthy photos. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, ziplining by the Falls and flying over the Falls in a helicopter can be an adrenaline rush for many!
2. Spend a day at Niagara-on-the-Lake
One of my favourite places in the Niagara region is Niagara-on-the-Lake. This historic town, dating back to War of 1812, is about 30 minutes away from the university and makes the perfect spot for a great day trip! The city feels frozen in time, with most of the town maintaining its historic architecture. There are many unique shopping stores set up, along with great restaurants and ice-cream parlours. Some of my personal favourite ice cream stores are Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and COWS. The town even has several beaches that provide a fun, relaxing space away from the busyness of the city.
3. Go on a hiking/ cycling trail
As some of you know, the university sits on the Niagara Escarpment, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This translates into pristine cycling and hiking trails around the campus to explore. The Bruce trail, for example, is an 890 km hiking trail from Niagara to Tobermory. Additionally, there are hiking trails right behind Decew residence and up the hill near Quarry View. Close by areas like Short Hills and the Heritage Trail are great hiking experiences as well.
4. Visit a winery and go wine-tasting
For those of you that are 19 and older (sorry first-years), visiting a winery is a great experience! Niagara is known for its wineries and is a world leader in viticulture. Living in the area, it is quite convenient to book a wine-tasting and winery visit. Learning the art and science of winemaking is very interesting and makes you appreciate wine so much more. Who knows, maybe you might want to switch into the Oenology and Viticulture program at Brock after visiting a winery! Some notable wineries in the area are the Colaneri Wine Estate, Inniskillin Wines and the Ice House Winery. Visit winecountryontario.ca to learn more.
5. Visit Port Dalhousie
Port Dalhousie is about 30 minutes away from Brock. It is a smaller community in St. Catharines that attracts a lot of people because of its beaches and trails. It also has a carousel that is over 100 years old, and is a delight to the young and old alike. With lots of restaurants, and scenic lookouts Port Dalhousie is another great spot for a day trip.
I hope that you will take advantage of your time here at Brock to explore all that Niagara has to offer. Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy all this when these spots are just a quick drive away!