By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Iím planning a three or four day trip to the Niagara area this summer. Weíll be meeting up with some friends from Sweden and they will be staying in Niagara Falls for a couple of weeks. Since they arenít very familiar with Niagara, I have taken up the task on making some trip suggestions for them. Iíd really like to hear some of your ideas. You always seem to offer interesting things.

A: The fruits of Niagara are plentiful and the pickings are big when it comes to itinerary suggestions. In my must-see and do list, I highly recommend the Maid of the Mist boat ride for up close and awesome views of both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls.

Venture behind the scenes in the Journey Behind the Falls, tour the tropical foliage collection at the Botanical Gardens (itís free), and stop by the Floral Clock to hear the chimes sound at the top of the hour.

The Niagara Parks Commission offers a variety of admission prices and packages to their many attractions which you can purchase from them. Visit or call toll-free 1-877-642-7275 for details. You can spend hours in the park.

For a journey into the region, drive along the Niagara Parkway until you get to Queenston Heights. Itís about a 20 minute ride depending on parkway traffic from the famous brink. This historic site is the setting of Brockís Monument.

You can dine at the Queenston Heights Restaurant, and ascend the 235 steps for a commanding view of the river and of the lovely village Queenston.

In Queenston, the original Laura Secord Homestead is open for tours. For details visit

Depending on your friendsí fitness level, the Niagara Glen has a wonderful 4km marked trail system which takes you down the Gorge overlooking the Niagara River. Here you will see some indigenous flora and fauna along the way. Itís pretty spectacular. Picnic tables are set up at the Glen, making it a perfect pit stop anytime.

Of course, Niagara-on-the-Lake needs to be added to your must-see list. Walk through the historic town, see period-style carriage rides which are available for tours, and drop by the many galleries, boutiques and eateries. NOTL is for wine lovers, theatre lovers, history buffs and shoppers.

The Shaw Festival recently released its latest brochure ďShaw Festival 07,Ē a 72-page booklet which is a terrific resource for trip planning. In addition to the theatre listings, the brochure has a fountain of ideas and lists Day Getaways, short breaks, Niagara Region delights, directions and a section titled, Unexpected Pleasures. Youíll find a list of B&Bs, inns, hotels, wineries, along with a variety of web site address worth bookmarking.

Some site examples include,,, and

For a free copy of Shaw Festival 07, phone the Shaw Festival toll-free 1-800-511-7429 or visit and order a copy online.


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