While some New Englanders insist on 3-hour drives to the Cape, or overbooked ferries to the Vineyard, others opt to head north, just over the Canadian border to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. This town over the years has enjoyed prosperity as a naval centre, armed forces training base and a 19th-century summer resort.
Formerly a haven for British loyalists, during the War of 1812, Americans invaded the town and captured Fort George, destroying the town in the process. The British rebuilt it, still retaining much of its original historical charm.
Next year is the Bicentennial Celebration of the War of 1812, where the British tried to exact revenge for the Revolutionary War. Reenactments will be happening all throughout 2012, starting June 15-17, 2012 with the Bicentennial Grand Opening Celebrations.
Just like culture-seekers in Martha’s Vineyard can opt for a summer performance at the Vineyard Playhouse, Niagara-on-the-Lake proudly boasts of 4 theatres to choose from! The birth of the Shaw Festival in the 1960s injected the town with a cultural and economic vitality that continues today. The Shaw Theatre is the only theatre in the world specializing exclusively in plays by George Bernard Shaw and other works that question the status quo.
Royal George Theatre
The wooden false front of the Royal George Theatre suggests a modest classical interior but inside Edwardian gilt mouldings, red walls and golden lions remind me of Boston’s Wang Theatre. Fine acting with New York and Ontario actors showcase their talents classics like My Fair Lady & Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
The town’s first country inn overlooks Lake Ontario and the oldest golf course in Canada. This landmark property was built as a private home in 1824 by Captain Duncan Milloy of Oban, Scotland, who then converted it to the 4-diamond Inn and Spa that it is today.
While Europeans have known about vinotherapy for centuries, it has just recently been discovered in North America, available at the Shaw Spa in Niagara OTL. Vinotherapy is the infusion of residues from the wine making into various spa treatments. Wine pulps and pips are mixed with grapeseed oil, full of polyphenol antioxidants and rubbed into the skin.
One of Shaw Spa’s signature treatments is the Divine Red Wine Wrap. This luxurious relaxing treatment begins with a grape and wine scrub to exfoliate followed by a warmed red wine hydrating body mask. To finish, a delightful, nourishing, divine body balm. Enjoy a local Niagara wine while you relish in this invigorating treatment!
Copper Lane Inn
The Copper Lane Inn is one of only 210 recognized historic buildings that make up historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. The house was originally built circa 1871 for military officers when they were first allowed to live “off base” with their families. The layout has been kept the same as in 1871, with the original floors, front and interior doors and walls. Add the modern touches of a brand new kitchen, new ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning, wifi and LCD televisions bring you to the luxurious present.
Zoom Bike Tours
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy wine tasting at Niagara OTL, take a winery bike tour with Zoom Winery Tours. Enjoy an afternoon of Niagara-on-the-Lake history while you learn about the art of wine making and wine tasting. We will visit three local wineries, sampling their award winning wines. Their handlebar baskets are just big enough to bring home your favourite bottle of wine!