Historic Boutique Inn Near Niagara Falls
The Stone Mill Inn is a relative newcomer, but the building that houses it is much older. It was originally built in 1860 as a cotton mill—the structure was one of the first of its kind in Canada. Today, the architectural beauty of the historic structure has been restored; as you stroll through the halls of the Stone Mill Inn, you’ll notice wrought-iron gates, original stonework, and a grand staircase modeled after those on the Titanic. The inn is also just 15 miles west of Niagara Falls, so it’s a comfortable central location for exploring the Niagara Region.
You can put your $30 dining credit to use at Johnny Rocco’s Italian Grill. The onsite eatery serves tapas, gooey paninis, handcrafted pizzas, hearty pastas, and sizzling entrees fresh from the grill including cedar salmon, chicken, veal, and New York steak. Across the street, Keg Steakhouse Bar & Grill offers prime rib, seafood, and sirloin.
Each of the inn’s 34 suites is unique and contemporary; some units feature exposed brick walls and dark leather furniture. King suites are decked out with a flat-screen TV, iPod clock radio, mini fridge, and Keurig coffeemaker. Downstairs, you can get a snip, style, or hair coloring at the Salon at Stone Mill; the New Stone Mill Spa is the place to go for massages, facials, body wraps, and mani-pedis.
St. Catharines, Ontario: Historic Port City on Lake Ontario near Niagara Falls
The city of St. Catharines sits along a harbor located between Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls. There are galleries, restaurants, and boutiques along the pier, which is bookended by two lighthouses that date back to the late 1800s. At Lakeside Park, you can ride the famous antique Lakeside Park Carousel, which has offered five-cent rides for more than a century. Less than four miles (6 km) north is the Lock 3 Museum & Viewing Deck for the Welland canals system of locks that extend all the way from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie.
The area around St. Catharines is a globally recognized cool-climate region for winemaking. Nutrient-rich sediment from the surrounding Great Lakes helps winemakers produce top-notch rieslings, chardonnays, and pinot noirs. There are several nearby wineries that host tastings and tours.
Located about 15 miles east of St. Catharines, Niagara Falls straddles the border between Canada and the United States. There are segments of the falls located in both New York and Ontario, but the Canadian side of the Niagara River is universally hailed as the finest vantage point to take in all three of Niagara Falls' photogenic brinks: American, Bridal Veil, and Horseshoe Falls. Niagara Boat Tours ferry raincoat-clad passengers around the base of the falls from April through October, depending on the river's ice conditions