Escape the city and recharge with these picturesque locations to visit on a girl’s trip to Niagara this Fall.
As the changing leaves usher in the fall, it creates an ideal time to plan a girl’s getaway from Toronto to Niagara. With the promise of stunning foliage at every turn, an abundance of locally grown food and wine, and an array of activities, Niagara is a coveted destination.
I invited my good friend and Influencer Karina Vee to join me for a fun-filled journey ahead. Karina and I are avid travelers and wanted this girl’s trip to focus on unique locations and experiences that would reconnect us with nature while giving us some quality time. We spent a whole day in Niagara relishing the natural landscape, soaking up art, drinking delicious wine, and eating healthy, local cuisine.
Here are the four places that we visited and highly recommend for an Instagram-worthy girls trip!
2540 Rosedene Rd, Saint Anns, ON L0R 1Y0
As one of our goals for this girl’s trip was to reconnect with nature, we couldn’t think of a better place to start than On the Brink Alpacas. While this farm is home to several animals, from horses to chickens and a donkey, they most notably have over 25 Alpacas on the property. Alpacas are gentle and sweet-natured animals, so getting up close and personal with them was a truly rejuvenating experience. With their large round eyes, soft fluffy fur, and quirky personalities, you’ll be in for plenty of laughs.
We also learned that alpacas are used as therapy animals in some places due to their calming effects on people. So if you’re looking to escape the city in search of a little more zen, this is the place for you.
Up first on our Alpaca experience was a trail walk with a couple of the handsome fellas. While on the trail walk, you walk your very own alpaca on a lead. Due to the alpaca’s confident and curious nature, they love going for walks and meeting new people.
Up next was a meet and greet with all the female and baby Alpacas. We entered the enclosure with them to learn more about the species, feed them apples, and offer gentle pats. Some of the babies we met, also known as a cria, were as young as 13-weeks-old and we’re eager to get close to us. As a bonus, if you’re trying to capture some original content, this is a great place to visit; these animals love their on-screen time.
Tip: to visit On the Brink Alpacas, you have to call ahead or book a visit on their website here.
1776 Fourth Ave, St. Catharines, ON L2R 6P9
We all know Niagara is known for its stellar wine, but we didn’t realize that you can also find the best butter tarts in Canada here. Naturally, we worked up an appetite on the farm, so we made our next stop at 13th street winery. This winery caught our eye because outside of the promise of butter tarts, great wine, and a delicious menu, they also have an art gallery and sculpture garden on the grounds. What better way to spend a day with your girlfriend than appreciating some unique Canadian art with a wine glass in hand?
Upon arrival at 13th Street Winery, we were blown away by the property and felt like we were having our very own Alice in Wonderland moment. The sculpture garden was the first thing we noticed, extending from the entrance to the vineyard across a sprawling green lawn. Before exploring further, we partook in a wine tasting and a meal to indulge in the winery’s whole experience.
During the wine tasting, we discovered two new favourites; the Gamay and the Cuvée Rosé NV. Since 13th Street winery started making wine in 1998, they have particularly excelled at their sparkling wines. The Cuvée Rosé NV effortlessly blends Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a hint of Gamay Noir, producing a dry wine (my personal favourite).
After sharing some fresh bread with a Caprese salad, we ventured through the sculpture garden and the 13th Street Art Gallery. We were blown away by the talented artists’ work on display. The gallery features a pretty extensive and unique Collection by Canadian artists. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by so much talent, all while sipping on some wine.
Last but definitely not least, we indulged in a box of their famous butter tarts. I don’t think I can even put into words how delicious these butter tarts are. They’re caramelized on the outside, sweet on the inside, and paired perfectly with the Cuvée Rosé NV. It’s no wonder these butter tarts were voted the best in Canada because weeks later, I am still thinking about them.
Learn more about visiting 13th Street Winery here.
3930 Cherry Ave, Vineland, ON L0R 2C0
We set out on this girl’s trip to seek out unique and photogenic locations, and Megalomaniac was a must-stop on our list. We’ve had friends that visited here in the summer and gushed about the scenery, but you have to experience it first hand to appreciate the beauty of this winery. Megalomaniac is located at the highest altitude point in Niagara and offers unparalleled views of the Niagara Escarpment.
The scenic views were surreal and made us feel like we were worlds away. Niagara may have plenty of hidden gems tucked away within the region, and this is a definite one in our books.
Up first was a wine tasting, where we learned about the process and complexities. While given an opportunity to select our favourite to take on our tour of the property. There were plenty of delicious options to choose from, and because we couldn’t pick just one, we landed on the Megalomaniac Local Squeeze Red- a Cabernet Franc blend.
As we walked the grounds, we were amazed at the expansive nature and savoured all of the fresh air we were breathing in. After a quick pit stop by the vineyard to learn more about the grapes they harvest, we returned to the restaurant.
The view outside is incredible, but enjoying it from the inside, with some food, was pretty special. We ordered another bottle of wine and a cheese plate, as I made a mental note to pick up some bottles for our bars at home. All the bottles have some pretty creative names and labels and would be a definite talking piece. Of course, it helps that the wine is delicious too.
With bellies full and our faces hurting from smiling so much, we definitely had a love at first sight moment with Megalomaniac. We would highly recommend it for a date with your girlfriends or your significant other; the backdrop here is hard to beat.
Learn more about visiting Megalomaniac Wines here.
4060 Jordan Rd, Jordan Station, ON L0R 1S0
We purposely chose Honsberger as our last stop as it offered all of our favourite elements of the day in one. A farm with alpacas and other animals, a great selection of wine, a menu curated from the vegetables growing on the land, and scenic views.
The menu had many options to choose from, but I’d suggest the Risotto if I can recommend one. It’s the perfect medley of fresh farm veggies and creaminess that compliments the crisp fall weather. They have a selection of wines they produce on the land, which are unique and can only be purchased from Honsberger directly. As you enjoy the tasting in the garden, it blissfully melts all that city-living baggage away.
Honsberger also frequently has live music playing outside to set the tone for a fun day out. The property is also so picturesque that it would be a stunning wedding venue. After dinner, we took a stroll along the vineyard, basking in the warmth of the setting sun. With one last cheers and a quick hello to the resident alpacas, we reminisced on the fun and rejuvenating day that we had.
Learn more about visiting Honsberger Estate Winery here.
Visiting Niagara is always a great idea, but to do so in the fall and with a close friend, is a truly special and fulfilling experience. We feel fortunate that this one-of-a-kind region is in such close proximity to Toronto. If you’re looking to spend some time in Niagara to recharge, uncover unique local cuisine and wine, or just to create some new memories with a friend or loved ones, check out visitniagaracanada.com to learn more.