Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
School’s out! And I bet the kids are already looking at you saying “I’m bored…”
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, that while I do love to travel, I also love hitting the summer hot spots in our own backyard. Why leave the Niagara Region when there’s so much to do so close to home?
So, I thought I’d help you out with things to do this summer with a list of some of my favourite summer hangouts. Enjoy!
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably already read about the Vanderkuip family’s love for Municipal Beach — or as we call it (and hope soon everyone calls it), #SunsetBeachSTC.
Located at the end of Arthur Street in North End St. Catharines, Sunset Beach is a hidden gem that many families are finding out about. Once deserted and dirty, the beach has been revitalized with efforts from both the City and a great group of locals, The Friends of Municipal Beach. Now, the beach is a beautiful span of clean, groomed sand with a playground, picnic area with barbecues, washrooms and a public boat launch ramp
And of course, the best sunsets in Ontario, if you ask me! (Read more about Sunset Beach here!)
Cave Springs Conservation Area
Often overlooked, Cave Springs Conservation is an awesome spot to take in some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful wildflowers and check out some cultural folklore.
Many Niagara residents will remember heading to Cave Springs on school trips to learn about the history of the area from the late Margaret Reed (also known as the White Witch of Cave Springs). She would tell stories of the spring’s reputation as a fountain of youth, talk about the underground lake, showcase the wartime hideouts and the mysterious rock carvings.
This is a great place to explore with the kiddos and make up your own stories about what has happened in the past at Cave Springs!
St. Johns Conservation Area
Sticking to the theme of the great outdoors here in Niagara, St. Johns is another can’t-miss spot to spend a summer day hiking and taking in the natural beauty of our region.
Tucked into the Niagara Escarpment and Twelve Mile Creek Valley, St. Johns is known for its seasonal trout fishing — they stock the Twelve Mile Creek Pond twice a year. They even have 2 wheelchair accessible fishing piers and an accessible boardwalk that circles around the little lake. And remember to get your fishing license before you go!
The Niagara Parkway
More of a cyclist than a hiker? This is an oldie but a goodie — bike the Niagara Parkway! We have some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, if you ask me and the best way to see it is by bike on the Niagara River Recreation Trail.
Starting at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake and stretching almost the full length of the peninsula (it ends in Fort Erie!), pack a picnic, strap on your helmet and pick a place to start. Use the whole summer to explore different portions of the trail until you’ve seen it all!
Ridgeway & Crystal Beach
Whether you’re looking for a taste of our region’s history, a day of shopping or a relaxing afternoon on the beach, Ridgeway and Crystal Beach have what you’re looking for. I would even say Ridgeway is working hard to become Fort Erie’s “cultural capital” with bands, art exhibitions and performance going on all the time.
And of course, make sure you don’t miss their Summer Festival street party!
These are just a few things to do in Niagara in the summer. I could go on for days about the awesome things to do here, but I have to stop sometime! What do you like to do in Niagara when summer hits?