It’s no secret that we love summer and try to make the most out of it. We also love road trips! So on Father’s Day, my husband and I impulsively decided to go on a road trip to Niagara and Toronto. Since my parents are in town, they joined us on this trip. Here I’ll be sharing a gazillion photos from our weekend! 🙂 We departed on Friday afternoon and came back on Monday. My husband had to leave earlier (on Sunday) due to work commitments. The road trip was long, but we took turns driving on our way back and made a few rest stops along the way. This was our first time in both, Niagara and Toronto. One of my best friends knows both cities and gave us great suggestions of things to do.
After having breakfast at our hotel, which was conveniently located near all the main attractions, we went to see the famous Niagara Falls! We also purchased tickets to do the boat tour of the Falls. I was a bit concerned that we were going to get soaking wet, because when I did “La Gran Aventura” excursion in the Iguazú Falls (Argentina), we were much more exposed and got soaking wet. But in this tour they provide disposable rain ponchos and the boat is much bigger and equipped with glass walls to hide behind if you don’t want to get wet. This boat ride is a must if you want to experience the beauty and force of the Falls up-close. I do recommend to purchase tickets for the boat excursion in advance to save time. 😉 The tour was fun and very enjoyable for the whole family.
After we finished our tour we walked by a park nearby and had lunch at Rainforest Cafe. It was my son’s first time in this restaurant. He was really excited and impressed to see all the jungle animals inside the restaurant and asked a few times if they were real or not. Then he transformed himself into a robot and started acting like the animals in the restaurant. 😆 Nigara reminded me of the “International Drive” in Orlando, Florida. It is very commercial and has many attractions, entertainment, restaurants and stores for the entire family. Definitely very different from my experience in Iguazú, Argentina, which is more natural and authentic, definitely not commercial. The experience in Niagara was very entertaining and would still recommend visiting them. In all honesty Niagara is beautiful but Iguazú is jaw-dropping. 😉
To my surprise, there is a region called Niagara on the Lake, which is known for its wineries; we visited a couple on that afternoon. Since there were so many things that we wanted to do in a day, we completely forgot to visit the charming old town. 🙁 Instead we went back to Clifton Hill (where all the attractions are) to get a ride in the Niagara SkyWheel with our son. I recommend this attraction since you get a spectacular view of the falls.
That night we drove to Toronto!
Toronto was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know what to expect. The city is massive, neat and modern. We stayed at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel , which was literally attached to the Rogers Centre (home of the Blue Jays) and next to the CN Tower. You could see the baseball field from the hotel’s lobby bar.
That morning we visited the CN Tower and enjoyed the panoramic view of the city (from the 114th floor!), then went down to the 113rd floor to walk on glass floor. My fearless 3-year-old son walked all over it with my fearless mom, while I was looking at them from the carpeted floors 😆 After a while I decided to conquer my fear of heights and walk over the glass. 😉
Then we spent most of the afternoon at the Harbour. There we had lunch at Boxcar Social.
Our little guy spotted a paddle boat at Harbourfront and we rented one for him, he felt confident that he could manage alone in a paddle boat. So we let him go for it and he had lots of fun. We were so impressed to see how quickly he learned to maneuver the boat by himself. Finally, after almost an hour and an ice cream offer, he decided it was time to get out of the boat. 😆
We walked around the harbor to get our tickets for a boat tour of the harbour and islands. This part of the trip got a little emotional since my son got really sad to say goodbye to his dad. He kept crying and asking his daddy to stay. 🙁 My husband was heartbroken as well, but we carry on with the plan.
That afternoon we walked towards the Distillery District, but never made it there. Instead, we stopped at a park, had gelato and pastries at a local Beaver Tail, and walked by the famous St. Lawrence Market… but it was also closed. However, we found a cozy Spanish Restaurant: Barsa Taberna, next to the market and had a lovely dinner. Our server, Anghelina, went above and beyond with her attentions, especially with our son.
On our way back to the hotel, we walked down the lovely Front St. and stopped by the giant whimsical dog fountain and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Since this was our last day of our weekend getaway, we didn’t want to leave the city without a proper city tour. Therefore, we toured the city on a hop on – hop off double-decker bus. In retrospective, we should have bought the tickets for this tour on Sunday because it included a FREE boat ride and the ticket is good for 48 hrs.
All in all, it was a great weekend! We definitely left looking forward to spend more time in this beautiful multicultural city!