A Sherkston Shores Vacation – Part 5
In part four of my series on Sherkston Shores I brought you to Niagara-on-the-Lake and told you about the winery tours you can take there. In this part I’m going to tell you about the village itself and about an amazing festival they hold there each year.
If you’re into live theater, you’re going to love the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Shaw Festival offers performances on three different stages daily except for Monday. The Festival Theater is the centerpiece theater. It seats up to 856 people and has a cafe and a gift shop. The historic Court House is home to the 327 seat Court House Theater. The theater is in the upper level of the building that dates back to the 1840s. This theater was the original home of the Shaw. Other productions are presented at the 176 seat Studio Theatre and the 326 seat Royal George Theatre.
If wineries and theater aren’t your things, there is still plenty for you to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Queen Street in the Center of town has many small shops that sell everything from pottery to souvenirs to clothing. I bought a miniature violin at one of the shops and have it on display in my living room. There were several other musically themed pieces I wish I had bought because I haven’t seen anything like them since. The Queen Street area also has several restaurants ranging from ice cream to fine dining bistros. You can even enjoy the elaborate ritual of English High Tea at The Drawing Room.
I always prefer a picnic lunch to a restaurant meal any time. My favorite place to picnic in Niagara-on-the-Lake is at Queen’s Royal Park at the end of King Street. As you stand at the shore, look to your left and on a clear day you can see Toronto which is about 65 miles away by car but much closer as the crow flies. Look to your right and you will see Old Fort Niagara which is just across the Niagara River in The United States. The fort was a very important British stronghold during the Revolutionary War because it controlled access to the Great Lakes.
Along with everything else, Niagara-on-the-Lake has numerous museums and galleries, beautiful old architecture and an abundance of great gardens. Parking in town can be quite difficult to find, so once you find a sport, plan on seeing the town on foot. Everything is close together so you shouldn’t have any problem. You also have the option of turning heads by riding through town in a beautiful horse drawn carriage.
In part six of my series on a Sherkston Shores Vacation, we’ll finally get to Niagara Falls. I don’t know how many articles it will take to share my Niagara Falls with you but it will be fun. Stay tuned!
A Sherkston Shores Vacation – Part 4
In the first three articles in this series on Sherkston Shores I’ve talked about things you can do without leaving the resort or within 15 minutes of the resort. I’ve described the great amenities in the resort and discussed the amazing smallmouth bass fishing. I also told you about Old Fort Erie and some of the other attractions close to Sherkston. Now it’s time to head a little farther away with the first of two articles about Niagara-on-the-Lake.
I had been vacationing at Sherkston Shores for over 20 years before I ever knew about Niagara-on-the-Lake. Now I never make a trip to the Niagara region without making a stop there. I always plan on spending half a day there if I’m not going to tour any wineries or see a play; and a whole day if I am doing wineries or drama. Niagara-on-the-Lake is about a 45 minute drive from Sherkson but it’s worth every minute.
Unless you’re a student of wine, you probably don’t know that the Niagara region is home to many top quality wineries. Due to the perfect climate, Niagara’s specialty of the house is ice wine. Ice wine is made from grapes that are allowed to freeze on the vine. The pressing process removes the frozen water and yields a very concentrated juice that ferments into a very sweet wine. Because of the difficulty of producing ice wine, it can be very expensive.
If you’re interested in a winery tour, you have many choices. As you travel from Sherkston Shores to Niagara-on-the-Lake, much of your route will be on highway 55 (Niagara Stone Road). As you approach Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’ll pass several wineries including my favorite, Hillebrand Winery. Hellebrand has a restaurant that serves both lunch and dinner and a beautiful Wine and Cheese Garden that overlooks the vineyards. Winery tours and tastings cost $ 7.00 and are available throughout the day. Since Hillebrand accommodates over 200,000 visitors per year, i suggest you call ahead for reservations at 1-800-582-8412.
If you’d like to visit and taste at several wineries in one day, I’d suggest you take a guided wine tour. There are several tours available that will take you to three or four wineries for private tastings. Some will also include lunch or dinner stops either at a winery or at another fine restaurant. These wine tours start at about $ 60 Canadian and go up from there. These tours are worth it because you can enjoy the wine without having to get behind the wheel. You can find these wine tours by searching on the internet.
In part five of this series on Sherkston Shores, I’ll talk about the Shaw Festival and several other attractions that await you in Niagara-on-the-Lake. In parts six and beyond, I’ll take you to Niagara Falls and tell you about some ways to see the falls area that you might not know about. I’ll talk to you soon!
Alan Kassirer has been vacationing at Sherkston Shores for over 40 years. His family still owns a summer home there today.
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