Thursday, July 11, 2013

Niagara Falls – Not Just for Honeymooners

Niagara Falls is certainly a romantic place, but it’s been a long time since it was known as “the” spot just for honeymoons.  Activities and accommodations now exist for everyone and I found it to be an especially good place for a getaway with my friend Lynn.

We arrived early afternoon from Buffalo, only a short half hour away. Our check-in at The Giacomo was quick and we soon learned that this restored U.S. Post Office building had a location was perfectly centered in the middle of everything.

Michelle Blackley of Niagara USA met us in front of the building and we took a short walk the Culinary Institute of Niagara, where we were eating at their Savor restaurant. I had the homemade gnocchi and it was quite good, slow cooked in Bolognese sauce with fresh burrata cheese. For dessert, I enjoyed the Apple Caramel Pie. Lynn decided to go for a dessert sampler of small bites so she didn’t have to make up her mind.

Before we left the Culinary Institute we stopped in their wine shop. It was filled with wines from New York, many from the Finger Lakes and Niagara. We had a few samples and I was really impressed with the McGregor Seyval Blanc, citrusy and refreshing on what turned out to be an especially hot day.

We then drove to Niagara Falls State Park to meet Angela Berti for our private golf cart tour of the oldest state park in the United States. I had no idea how big the park was and didn’t remember (it had been many years since I visited) that there are actually three different falls – American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe.

If you have never been to Niagara Falls, it’s hard to describe the beauty and uniqueness of each of the falls. The park offers a number of ways for guided tours if you don’t want to explore on your own. There’s the Cave of the Winds Tour, Maid of the Mist boat ride and the Niagara Scenic Trolley. You can also visit the Discovery Center to learn about the park and the falls, or hike Niagara Gorge.

Before we left we were actually able to see a rainbow over the falls by the Canadian bridge (yes, the park is that close to the border) that was quite spectacular.

After the park, I had the ultimate relaxation at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, where I spent an hour enjoying the spa facilities. I was able to indulge in their Mango-Passion Fruit Yogurt wrap, which made my skin soft and bright. Lynn, in the meantime, managed to win a few dollars at the casino.

We were hungry after a long day and headed straight to Wine on Third. The food and drink menus were both quite unique and I was glad it was small plates so we could try a few different things.

I couldn’t possibly say no to a Cheesecake Martini and it really did taste like my favorite cake, though it was made with vanilla vodka, cranberry and pineapple juices. The Havarti Macaroni and Cheese was also quite good, but the hit of the night was the Saganaki.

It was made right at the table where kasseri cheese is melted over hot lava rocks and flamed with cognac!  We ate the Saganaki with rosemary olive oil, basil pesto and tomato pesto sauces and it was excellent.

Michelle dropped us back at The Giacomo hotel. Since it wasn’t too late, we relaxed a bit in the bar and talked about what was still too come -- which included checking out the wines of Niagara -- over a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc.


5 comments:

Sarah Walton said...

Oh wow - that saganaki looks too good for words. I think I would have ended up with lava burns though, because I probably would have licked it all straight off the stones.

Sheibe Lakns said...

Great article! One of the things I also look for is the alcohol content. The way I evaluate it is when I exhale after I swallow. If I feel a bit of a “sting”, it’s usually due to higher than expected alcohol content. The sting may also be noticeable in your nose when you first smell the wine, as well. Something to watch for when you're at a winery drinking LOTS of different wines.

Cheers! For wine testing.

china visa said...

I am also planning to go there probably in next vacations. Very excited to see Niagara Falls live :)

Marcia Frost said...

Thanks, everyone. It's a beautiful place. Be sure to read part two!.

And, yes, the saganaki was great!
Marcia

caroline said...

Niagara Falls is such a romantic place to visit but yes besides this it is not meant only for wedding couple there is lot more excitement in Niagara Falls. It is such a beautiful place with nature's wonder and Maid of the Mist and wine farms. It was such a delight to visit there..

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