The second day in Ontario seemed a bit more promising. The grey skies had lifted and the sun was trying its hardest to peak through the clouds. First on the list was the heavily advertised “Journey behind the Falls“. Located in the Table Rock Centre next to Horseshoe Falls. A set of elevators will take you 151 feet behind the waterfalls. Once you exit the elevators and walk down a bleak tunnel you can feel the magnitude of what is happening all around you. Suddenly there is a crowded clearing that allows you to see first hand how powerful these falls truly are. For myself, I quickly realized how small I was in this world when I saw and felt the weight of these falls rushing past me.
Unfortunately due to weather we weren’t able to go to the lower observation deck to get an outdoor view of the falls. Although if you continue following the tunnels you will reach Cataract Portal (176 feet), this small hallway puts you directly behind the Falls. It’s then you realize what these falls really are capable of. Trying to take a quick video was like standing alongside the wettest, windstorm imaginable. Makes me wonder how crazy some people had to be to think riding down in a barrel was a good idea.
After this experience it was time to make our way out of the tourist scene that is Niagara. With a car, a quick 15 minute ride will put you smack dab in the middle of wine country. Now this is where I could get down if ya know what I mean. First stop was South Brook Winery. As soon as we walked in we saw a group of girls doing yoga. Hold the phone, you’re telling me that this winery offered a yoga class that incorporates drinking wine into the exercises!!? I thought these kinds of places only existed in my dreams. Sign me up, take my money, yes yes yes! Private functions are whisked away into a beautiful room that is surrounded by wooden barrels and greeted with a glass wall that provides a front row view of the vineyards.
South Brook is prided on being an organic vineyard and winery. The pairings are well thought out and complimented each flavor of the wines perfectly. It is certainly worth the extra money to have the cheese platter put together for you (see above picture) because everything is organic and local (I could have eaten that goat cheese with the Riesling for days). After our tasting is was only right to venture down the road to our next winery, Diamond Estate.
Upon arrival our tour guide Nick filled a tote bag with 6 different bottles of wine and took us to the fermenting station of the winery. There he provided us with a ton of information that ranged from how ice wine is produced, where the nightlife is in Canada and about Dan Aykroyd (who happens to be one of their investors). While I secretly waited for Dan Aykroyd to appear in full Ghostbusters’ garb we sipped on some yummy ice wine and had our fill for the meager $9 we had to pay.
After working up a solid buzz it was time to get dolled up and make our way to the revolving dining room in the Skylon Tower. Sitting 775 feet above the falls it was easy to see why this dining area should not be missed. Aside from the Filet Mignon being one of the best I’ve ever had, the views of the falls and surrounding areas made the 5 star prices worth it. If your wallet does not appeal to that last sentence, rest assure. Most hotels offer a voucher that will take half off of a second meal. With my belly full and tons of dazzling pictures I felt that I had seen all this area really had to offer.
But then on the morning of our departure I saw it only fitting to wake up super early and catch sunrise at the falls. My word of advice is DO THE SAME. Aside from being super romantic with my honey, something about the sun peaking it’s brilliant head over these powerful falls refreshes a person deep down within them. I’m not one for waking up really early but that view made my whole trip worth it. I cannot recommend enough that you should do the same.