There is a lot to do in Niagara Falls, New York but there are nearby towns that are worth checking out. The best option is to rent a car so that it is easier to get around rather than using public transportation. I decided to visit Lockport and North Tonawanda, you can fit a visit to both towns in a single day and then you don’t have to spend much time from Niagara. They are only about 40 minutes away and incredibly easy to get to. Here is a simple itinerary that you can use, that will enable you to fit in main attractions and great food!
Start off with a delicious lunch at Merciana. Since they are known for their Mac & Cheese, my friend Melissa and I both ordered from that section of the menu. It also came with the option of a field green or wedge salad. I have no idea what the dressing was on my wedge salad, but it was amazing! Our waitress was also extremely friendly, writing down directions that she had googled for us since our GPS wasn’t working properly. You can’t go wrong with great food and amazing service!
Top: Mac & Cheese with pesto and sundried tomatoes
Bottom: Mac & Cheese with aged white cheddar, goat cheese and breadcrumbs
For dessert, indulge yourself at Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream. The flavors are certainly one of a kind. It seems like they have basically taken every food and treat you love, and made it into delicious ice cream. I stood in the shop for a while trying to figure out what to get. Luckily, they have an option that allows you to get a tray of five scoops, so Melissa and I each got a tray with five different flavors and made sure we didn’t get the same ones, this way we could try as many flavors as possible!
This town is filled with history, as it is where the Erie Canal was built. The Erie Canal is particularly interesting to me as a New Yorker, as it’s development was one of the reasons why New York grew to be such an important part of America. The Cave and Underground Boat Ride is an absolute must. Walk through man-made underground caves that were used to pump water into the Erie Canal. Make sure that you have time later to take a boat ride as it is a great way to learn historic facts about the Erie Canal, while taking in the sights.
Enjoy wine tasting at the Flight of Five Winery. Sticking to the historic theme of the town, this winery was named after the engineering of the series of locks that were used to lift and lower boats from one level to another. The building was constructed in the 1820’s and was used for multiple things ranging from the towns court-house to a night club. Melissa had the Semi-Sweet & Dessert Flight which had the perfect mix of rich and fruity wines. I ordered the Signature Flight which starts dry and finishes sweet. The wines in my flight were named after each of the five historic locks.
If you have time after, drive North along Wilson road for about 25 minutes and check out Lake Ontario. As soon as you get to the end of the road, there is a scenic point where you can sit on a bench and take in the views. There is also a stone plank that goes out into the water. Of course, we did a mini photo shoot here 😛 We couldn’t resist! It is opposite of North Tonawanda, but if you have the time, why not?
Since the town is known as “The Home Of The Carousel”, you have to go to the Carousel Factory Museum. Great for adults and kids as you can check out the windmill shop, carvers stations and unique carousel animals made by the owner, Allan Herschell. Later you can ride on one of the first made carousels the factory assembled, which was way back in 1916. There is also a few outdoor rides for kids to enjoy.
Afterwards, have a delicious dinner at Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange. Before you order your main meal, you have to get the lobster bisque!! Not only was it the most mouth-watering lobster bisque I have ever tasted, but it actually had really sizable chunks of lobster in it. For my entrée, I had the swordfish which was topped with crab and hollandaise sauce. Melissa had the pork chop with peach chutney on top, which truly added to the flavor. You must also save a little room for dessert. We had Nutella cheesecake and creme brûlée, it did not disappoint!! This dinner was the perfect ending to the day, leaving us full and satisfied.
Top Left: Swordfish with Crab, Hollandaise & Asparagus / Top Right: Nutella Cheesecake
Bottom Left: Creme Brûlée / Bottom Right: Double Cut Pork Chop with Peach Chutney