Me and three of my girlfriends recently had a girls trip to Niagara, we ate great food, we drank a lot of wine, and we had sore stomachs from laughing so much! It was the perfect girls weekend so I wanted to share our itinerary!
Head down to Niagara early on the Saturday to get the most of our your day. There are obviously numerous ways to get there, but we chose the GO train as we didn’t want anyone to drive so they could also enjoy the wineries. Make sure to check the GO schedule because there aren’t many direct trains to Niagara on the weekend. So, after almost missing the train, we were on our way! We arrived in Niagara at about 11am and headed straight to the hotel. We were staying at The Old Stone Inn Boutique Hotel, and I highly recommend it. It is beautiful, luxurious and the absolute perfect place to stay for a girls trip. It has a lovely indoor pool so make sure to pack your swim suit! We got settled into our room and then it was lunch time, we were all starving.
We decided to eat in the hotel restaurant – The Flour Mill Restaurant, and I’m so glad we made that the decision as the food was delicious. On your way to the lunch area, take a look around the dining room, because it is really beautiful, especially at this time of year. We all ordered lemonade mimosas with our lunch to get our girls weekend really started! We ordered from the brunch menu and if you are having brunch there, I highly recommend the Eggs Benny, I’m still dreaming about the biscuit that came with the eggs. I know the girls had the pancakes and the quiche and they also thoroughly enjoyed those dishes.
After eating, it was time to get your winery tour started. Most of the wineries are located in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the hotel is in Niagara Falls – about a 20 minute drive away. There are so many options for wine tours, you can decide to do an actual winery tour with a company and they will pick you up and bring you around to different wineries (I’ve previously used this one and loved it), you can rent bikes and cycle to whichever wineries you prefer (maybe not at this time of year), or you can do what we did, and Uber between the wineries. The most expensive Uber we took was to our first winery, and that was $40 between the four of us.
We decided to hit up 4 wineries and we got to our first one at 3pm. First on the list was Peller Estates Winery. It was surprisingly busy for a November weekend, but the crowds were nothing compared to a summer’s day there. Peller has some different options to chose from, you can do a winery tour, a hike through the vineyard, a wine and chocolate pairing, or you can just do wine tastings, which is what we did. We tasted three wines each, there is a nominal fee for this, but as a Peller Wine Club member, I get free tastings for myself and up to 5 guests, so our tastings were complimentary. The Sauvignon Blanc was a winner here. I tried the Ice Cuvee Sparkling Rose and really enjoyed that.
Next up was Trius. We had a reservation in The Loft to do some tastings. It was my first time in The Loft and I absolutely loved it. It’s usually $15 per guest, but again, my wine club membership allows me and my guests complementary tastings. If you’re doing a tasting at The loft, you get to taste small lot wines only available at the winery, alongside a selection of vintage wines. The Wine Consultant that was helping us was fantastic, he was really friendly and bubbly and was so knowledgeable about all the wines, you could really tell he had a passion for what he was doing. We had three tastings here and I ended up buying a bottle of the 2017 Clark Farm Pinot Noir – it was so good and I’m looking forward to opening that bottle over Christmas!
Our third stop was Small Talk Vineyards. I needed to get there before they closed at 5pm to get a couple of cans of their cider for my wine calendar, otherwise it would have made more sense to go to Wayne Gretzgy Estates next as it is right beside Trius. It was my first time at Small Talk Winery and I’m so glad we went there as we all loved it. It’s a really small and intimate place and the decor is just so cute, especially in their tasting bar. They do wine and cider so we mixed it up here. You can do 5 tastings for $5 here, which is great value. They did a whisky cider that was a big hit with our group. I also loved the cherry sour cider.
Our last winery of the day was Wayne Gretzgy Estates. This is both a winery and a distillery, but we stuck to the wine! There is also a skating rink out the back, which hadn’t yet opened when we were there, but it is opened now so you can go for a skate and a drink! The skating rink costs $5 per person and they rent skates and helmets for $10. We did 3 more tastings here, once again my wine club membership allowed us complimentary tastings here 🙂
For dinner that evening, we headed to Antica, and ladies, I highly recommend this place. It’s very reasonably priced and the food is so tasty. I had the Gnocchi Alla Vodka, and it was just delicious. Antica doesn’t take reservations so just be mindful of that if you are going there. We went at about 8pm and it was busy we we got a table immediately. After our dinner (and more wine), we decided to be kids for a while! There is an arcade right across from the restaurant so myself and Lynsey went in there and payed some games, while Fiona and Steph went go-karting! The arcade was so much fun and made me feel like a kid again, and the girls loved the go-karts! Because we were having so much fun being kids, we then decided to hit up a haunted house! Keep in mind that we had been drinking all day, so maybe not the wisest decision but it sure was fun. Steph sat this one out and the 3 of us headed in. We went to the Dracula Haunted House, and, if you’re like me, and love all things scary and horror related, then this isn’t the haunted house for you. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it because Lynsey and Fiona were walking behind me clinging onto me for dear life the whole way through. It was hilarious! There were people in there jumping out at us so I did get a few scares!
After our kiddy activities, we reverted back to being adults and headed to the casino to try our luck. The casino is open 24 hours a day and it’s a really fun place. Out of the 4 of us, Fiona got lucky and won some money, I think Steph broke even, and I unfortunately lost money. Oh well! We fell into our beautiful comfortable beds back at the hotel at about 2.30am and slept soundly until the next morning!
When we awoke the next morning (with a few groggy heads), we were all starving. We packed up our bags and checked out and then headed for brunch. We had reservations at Doc MacGilligans Irish pub, and I have to say, I didn’t really know what to expect from the place, but ended up absolutely loving it. It has a real “pub vibe” and is definitely somewhere I would go back to for brunch, or for a few night time drinks. I think they also do live music there so I would definitely go and check that out. We were given the brunch and lunch menus but we all ended up ordering from the brunch menu, and my god, we were not disappointed. The food was really good and really reminded me of home I went for the “Taste of Ireland” which was 3 mini dishes; shepherds pie, a beef pie and chicken curry. We also ordered some grilled Irish soda bread and it was delicious. We all had a couple of mimosas to wake us up, and they went down very well! I’d highly recommend Doc McGilligans for some cozy evening drinks, or for brunch.
After your spread, grab coffees and then hit Clifton Hill for some more Haunted houses, some mini putt, or go and actually look at the Falls! If you are travelling by GO train, remember to check the schedule. There is only one direct train on a Sunday and it leaves pretty early in the morning.
I hope you enjoy my “Ultimate Girls Weekend in Niagara” itinerary, and if you end up trying any of my recommendations – let me know!
I mentioned my Wine Club membership with Peller quite a few times in this post because we got free tastings at 3 of the wineries because of it. If you’re interested in learning more about the wine club membership, read my review of it here.
Disclaimer: My stay at the Old Stone Boutique Hotel was comped, but all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.
Until next time 🙂