Last weekend, Eden and I decided to venture (safely) out of the city to stretch our legs and have a bit of change of scenery. There are so many great day trip ideas from Toronto but I specifically wanted to visit the White Water Walk in Niagara Falls & enjoy the views of Westcott Vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake! The photos I’ve taken of the boardwalk & the vineyard really don’t do justice to the beauty of these destinations.
WHITE WATER WALK
The White Water Walk is approximately 2 hours from Toronto and is a pretty popular attraction. You can visit the White Water Walk attraction on its own or buy a “Niagara Falls Adventure Pass Classic” that includes other attractions around the Falls.
The riverside boardwalk is a quarter mile walk with stunning views. This self guided tour starts by taking you down a 70 meter elevator ride to the base of the gorge. Once you exit the tunnel, you will witness some of the largest standing waves in North America. There are a few viewing platforms that branch off of the boardwalk that provide some of the best photo ops!
WHAT TIME SHOULD YOU ARRIVE?
The White Water Walk opens 10AM on weekends. We arrived at around 10:20AM and it was pretty quiet. By the time we left around 11AM, there was quite a line forming outside of the ticket booth. Your safest bet is to arrive within the first hour of opening if you want to take photos without any traffic. Be sure to check out the hours of operations.
DID IT FEEL SAFE?
Yes, there were staff there guiding people to the ticket booth and also operating the elevators. They had socially distanced stickers on the floor telling you where to stand and ropes to guide you in the right direction. Masks were mandatory in the waiting areas & elevators. Eden and I kept our masks on at the boardwalk but took off our masks briefly to take pictures on the platform.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD YOU ALLOT HERE?
We were told you would only need to spend around 30 minutes at this attraction. I would say that is fairly true. The boardwalk is very short so it ultimately depends how many people are there and if you want to wait for to take photos on the platforms.
HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS?
Adults are $16.50 + tax and children tickets are $10.75 + tax (6-12 years). If you arrive early enough, they have a few parking spots outside of the attraction that are eligible for validation – which is what we did. The parking validation isn’t mentioned on their website but there was a sign near the parking meter that indicated the validation. Speak to their staff for more details & visit the website for the most up to date ticket pricing.
After an easy 30 minute drive from White Water Walk, we arrived at Westcott Vineyard which is located in the heart of Jordan, ON. I’m a farm-to-table girl at heart and the patio restaurant is what sold me on visiting Westcott Vineyard in the first place. That and their wine flight which I wanted to sample as well. Upon arrival, you’ll notice their restaurant is located outside to the side of the building under a huge Bedoiun tent. Their kitchen is outside as well so you can watch everything happening! The tables were fairly spaced out and we felt fairly safe during our entire 2 hour stay.
A LITTLE BACK (LOVE) STORY…
The second we were shown to our tables, I immediately recognized Chefs Ricky and Olivia. A few years back, Eden and I had one of our first dates at Hawthorne – a restaurant located in downtown Toronto. At the time of our visit, Chefs Ricky & Olivia were both running the restaurant and helping train people in need. The restaurant acted as a social enterprise providing training and career development for people in need such as new immigrants, at-risk youths, people with disabilities etc.
Fast forward almost 4 years later(!!), here we are, back at a different restaurant that they are running. I obviously shared this story with them and enjoyed our “2nd date” with the duo chefs. It felt really special in a cheesy way haha. WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!
CHEFS RICKY & OLIVIA
Chefs Ricky & Olivia are a chef duo that do events and pop ups around Ontario. This is currently their second summer at Westcott Vineyards. And given that Westcott Vineyard runs a seasonal patio, you can find the duo doing other events and pop ups in other months. Olivia mentioned to us that they previously did pop ups in the Leslieville area in the winter months so be sure to check out their website!
HOW DOES THE WINE FLIGHT WORK & CAN YOU PURCHASE WINE AFTER?
You can order a sample flight of wine for only $10! With the flight you get to try 4 different wines: Sparkling, Rose, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir. I think its totally worth the $10. Although you cannot go inside their wine store, their wines are still available for purchase at the hostess table. We picked up a bottle of their Rose & Pinot Noir to take home.
WHAT SHOULD YOU ORDER?
So as you know by now, I’m a huge farm-to-table gal so everything we ordered really did hit the spot. You cannot go wrong with any of the items we tried:
- Ontario Hawaiian Pizza ($18.00) – cheese curds, ham, Niagara peach, brown butter *vegetarian option available
- R+O Burger ($16.00) – Double 4oz beef patties, pickle aioli, house cheese whiz
- Steak ($27.00) – 12oz Ontario hanger steak, cold pressed oil, Vancouver Island sea salt
- Smoked Trout Brunch Frittata ($17.00) – Wood oven smoked Lake Erie Trout, borage pesto frittata, local ricotta
- Dessert Platter – we ordered all their desserts of the day
SHOULD YOU MAKE RESERVATIONS?
I’m not sure if they accept walk ins so I do recommend making reservations via their website. You will be asked to leave a credit card number in case there is a no show. The good thing is, you have up until the reservation time to cancel your reservation. Cancellation fee is $30/person.
ANYTHING ELSE WE NEED TO KNOW?
Washrooms – They have rented portable washrooms off to the back. The portapotties are actually really boujee and spacious. Grace approved haha!
Muskoka Chair Tasting – You can book a 30 minute or 60 minute Muskoka Chair tasting. The chairs face the vineyard as the sun is setting. It looks pretty romantic – it’s definitely something I would consider if I’m having dinner there. A tasting for 2 people is $20 which includes a flight board of 4 wines for EACH guest or you can choose to have a glass of wine instead.
THAT’S IT FROM ME! HOPE YOU GET A CHANCE TO VISIT NIAGARA WHITE WATER WALK & WESTCOTT VINEYARDS 🙂 IT WAS HONESTLY A LOT OF FUN!
Written by Grace Yeung
Edited by Eden Yeung
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