After seeing the breathtaking Niagara Falls, take a bite out of downtown and stay until sunset.
The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (28 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls, NY 14303) is a five-star experience in a state-of-the art facility. Part of Niagara County Community College, students and experienced faculty are dishing up unique meals in a beautiful environment. Enjoy fine dining in an open, yet intimate setting at Savor or grab a fresh sandwich at the Old Falls Street Deli. Try something sweet at La Patisserie, which offers fresh baked goods and gourmet coffee. Before heading out of the door taste what the Niagara Wine Trail has to offer at The Wine Boutique, and be sure to stop by the only culinary-themed Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Walk or drive over to a Niagara Falls institution, just around the corner. For 45 years the Aquarium of Niagara (701 Whirlpool St., Niagara Falls, NY 14301) has been welcoming schools of visitors to watch penguin feedings, be entertained by the sea lions, and feed the rescued harbor seals or sharks. The Aquarium also has a new outdoor deck (open year-round) where guests can enjoy a wonderful Niagara sunset.
The Niagara Wine Trail may have fast growing vines but this year the grapes made room for two new additions that have nothing to do with wine. Enjoy original craft beers at Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company (638 Lake St., Wilson, NY 14172) in its handsome restaurant with views of an open hearth oven and brand new brewing facilities on the lower level. Evidence of the building's previous purpose, a cold storage facility for apples from nearby orchards, is apparent. Eating a brick oven pizza and a sampling a flight of beers – on the old freight elevator turned table – is the perfect way to lunch or spend an evening in the charming Lake Region.
Just next door to Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company is the new Lakefront Olive Orchard (638 Lake St., Wilson, NY 14172). Specializing in gourmet olive oils, vinegars, spices and more, visitors can sample various concoctions of oils and spices before purchasing.
Also new to the wine trail is BlackBird Cider Works (8503 Lower Lake Rd., Barker, NY 14012) nestled in Donovan Orchards, on the shores of picturesque Lake Ontario. This cideria produces hard apple ciders made from apples grown in owner Scott Donovan's orchard. BlackBird offers a range of styles including ciders from certified organic apples, classic wood aged, English style and more. For tours of the orchard and tasting room hours visit www.blackbirdciders.com.
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