As Niagara’s winemakers turn their attention to harvesting grapes that will become 2012 vintage, it’s the perfect time to plan a visit to a vineyard in the Niagara Peninsula.
The 2012 vintage promises to be a good one, the latest in a run of several strong years that have produced some award-winning Ontario wines.
Anthony Annunziata of Marriott Gateway on the Falls and Marriott Fallsview Hotel and Spa says Niagara’s wineries are special places, offering excellent wines that are difficult to find anywhere else but at the winery.
“Wine tours take you right to the source, hearing directly from the winemaker how to best enjoy particular wines,” he said.
Winery tour packages not only take you to several different wineries to sample some of the wide variety offered in Niagara but also save the worry of having to drive.
Bicycle tours are also a unique way to travel Niagara’s rural roads between wineries.
Niagara Falls, one of Canada’s leading tourism destinations, is only a short drive from the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and is the base for many winery tour packages offered by area hotels.
WATERLOO A CORNUCOPIA OF FALL FUN
The Waterloo region in Ontario is a a cornucopia of fall activities.
The Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival is scheduled for Sept. 29.
The one-day festival celebrates the two prides of Wellesley, located west of Kitchener – apples and cheese.
Attendees can walk around the village enjoying the many cheese and apple products, including Wellesley’s famous apple cider and apple butter.
The day is filled with visiting various vendors, musical performances, stagecoach rides and a boat regatta.
If you’re in the Waterloo Region, make it a point to visit St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, considered one of the best in Canada.
The one event that has put the Waterloo Region on the map is North America’s largest Oktoberfest.
As the largest Bavarian festival in North America, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest sees thousands of visitors celebrate annually.
This year’s event will take place Oct. 5-13 and feature concerts, a Thanksgiving parade, a 5K fun run, food drive and, of course, delicious food and drink.
The yearly event raises funds for more than 70 charities and not-for-profit organizations while celebrating the family-friendly event.
For those looking to connect back to nature and enjoy the fall colours, the Waterloo Region is home to a robust trail system for walkers, hikers, mountain bikers, motorcyclists and drivers.
Trails weave through the region offering different experiences and scenery from pristine natural landscapes to urban city strolls to plotted motorcycle travel routes.
FALL EVENTS LURE VISITORS TO T.O.
A great place to spend a weekend is Toronto.
Take advantage of great availability and rates with a spontaneous October or November jaunt to Toronto, as there is always plenty to do in the big city.
The One of a Kind Christmas Show and the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair are just two good reasons to include Toronto in your travel plans.
Another reason is the annual Gourmet Food and Wine Expo where you can sample over 1,500 wines, spirits and beers from all over the world.
VANCOUVER A HOT SPOT IN THE FALL
Vancouver is also a great destination in October and November.
For film buffs who just didn’t get enough of a fix at TIFF this year, don’t fret.
Find unbeatable deals and availability at Vancouver hotels just in time to catch the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Those lucky enough to score their tickets in time will be privy to the largest showcase of Canadian films worldwide.
Stanley Park comes alive in late November with Bright Nights, a spectacle that has been illuminating the autumn nights with millions of glittering lights in the park since the early 1990s.
FOUR POINTS EXPANDS TO NEW BRUNSWICK
Four Points by Sheraton will open its first hotel in New Brunswick in Edmundston next July.
The former Clarion hotel will undergo an extensive $2.5 million renovation prior to flying the Four Points flag.
With 160 hotels open worldwide and the second largest pipeline among all Starwood brands, Four Points offers a “best for business” proposition for travellers seeking great hotels at great rates.
Four Points by Sheraton Edmundston will offer 102 guest rooms, a heated indoor pool, 24-hour fitness centre and full-service dining.
FALL IN THE FALLS
There’s plenty to do and see in Niagara Falls this autumn before Old Man Winter comes knocking.
Even though summer is fading quickly, Niagara’s jet boat tours will continue running daily trips on the Niagara River until the end of October.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has teamed up with Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries Jackson Triggs and Inniskillin to offer visitors a great cost savings water-to-wine package.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has a fleet of eight 54-passenger boats and has taken more than 1.5 million visitors for rides through the turbulent white water of the Niagara River.
There are three departure locations – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and Lewiston, NY.