Earth : North America : Canada : Ontario : Golden Horseshoe : Niagara Peninsula
The main geographical feature of the region is the Niagara Escarpment, running in an east-west direction. The best known portion of the escarpment is where it meets the Niagara River, creating the beautiful Niagara Falls. Elsewhere in the region in the vicinity of the escarpent, there are many parks and conservation areas to be explored, many smaller waterfalls to be seen, and many great views to be found.
The Niagara Region is home to some of the best farmland in Canada (although the area's proximity to Toronto also attracts human settlement, and farmland has been devoured by urban sprawl in certain areas over the past few decades). The climate makes grape-growing possible, and there are over 60 wineries in the area, most of which are in the towns of Lincoln and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The area is quite historic, having been the first area in Southern Ontario to be settled as well as a main battleground during the War of 1812. This heritage is especially celebrated in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Tourism is a large part of the economy, and the region attracts over 12 million visitors per year from all over the world.
The closest major airport to the Niagara Region is actually in the United States. Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (BUF) in Buffalo, New York is about a 20-30 minute drive from the Falls and is served by most major American carriers. Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG) is the closest airport to the Falls, but it is only for chartered and private flights.
It's possible to see the city of Niagara Falls without a car, as the transit system is well-developed and most of the attractions are close together.
To explore the surrounding area, including Niagara on the Lake and the wineries, a car is recommended. Biking is also popular.
Niagara is famous within Ontario for its (especially historical, soft fruit) agriculture. Around August is peach season. There are also locally grown grapes (eating grapes, that is, Niagara isn´t just wine!). Plums too. Visit a local farm in Beamsville, which also sells cider, apple fritters, and the usual simple summer barbeque foods (hot dogs, etc.). You can pick your own fruit there, or buy some from their stall. You can drop by, but it´s normally best to call ahead with these family farms.
The city of Niagara Falls is well-equipped to handle the huge numbers of visitors it receives, with a large number of hotels, motels, and inns in all price ranges. Nonetheless, during the height of tourist season (in particular weekends in July and August), it can be hard to find rooms in the budget to mid-range categories. During these times it's best to book in advance.
Lodging in downtown Niagara Falls means you'll be close to the attractions and have a wide choice of accommodations and restaurants, however, the area can seem very busy, 'touristy,' and noisy. Staying at a hotel or bed & breakfast in Niagara on the Lake or in the smaller towns of wine country can be a more relaxing experience.
There are a number of campgrounds in Niagara Falls, and at the Ball's Falls, Chippewa Creek and Long Beach Conservation Areas.
The Niagara Region is quite safe.
Provincial guidelines limit tasting more than 4 one-ounce samples at each winery. Be aware of your limits and don't drink and drive.
When hiking, take adequate supplies (water, food, safety equipment), wear sturdy hiking footwear and dress with the weather in mind. For safety, don't hike alone. Most trails are not maintained in the winter months.
There are several bridges to the United States across the Niagara River. Other options for further travel include: