Beyond Buffalo: Travel Across The Border For Fun in Canada

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Before moving to Buffalo, many people don’t realize just how close our Canadian neighbors are — or how many fun attractions lie just over the border.

Especially in the summer months, people in Buffalo love going to Canada to take advantage of the beautiful beaches, cute villages and cultural attractions.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite places to visit in Canada, all within a two-hour drive of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The exchange rate is favorable to Americans right now, so it’s a great time to visit, shop and take advantage of everything Canada has to offer.

So don’t be a hoser — grab your passport and hop across the border, eh?

The Best Nearby Canadian Attractions Near Buffalo

Crystal Beach – Just over the border in Fort Erie, Ontario, Crystal Beach is one of the best places for Buffalonians to spend a summer day. The calm Lake Erie waters are perfect for swimming and playing water sports, and the sandy beach offers beachside dining options, as well as plenty of space for outdoor activities, cookouts and more.

Crystal Beach Ontario Canada

Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada offers clear waters and a beautiful sandy beach just 13 miles from Buffalo. [Wikimedia Commons]

Port Colborne – Located on Lake Erie at the Southern end of the Welland Canal, Port Colborne offers small-town charm with plenty of shopping, outdoor activities and a unique marine heritage. Nothing screams summer like eating at the Canalside Restaurant on West Street, where patrons can watch the ships entering and exiting the canal as they dine. Be sure to check out nearby Nickel Beach for swimming, ride your bike along the Greater Niagara Circle Route, and visit the beautiful local golf courses and conservation areas.

Niagara-On-The-Lake – Niagara-On-The-Lake is an adorable village in southern Ontario sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Niagara River. With its quaint buildings, shops, and farm-to-table restaurants, it’s an extremely popular tourist destination. When the weather warms up, the city hosts the popular Shaw Festival, a large festival featuring many live theatrical performances running from April to October.

Niagara Falls – No visit to Canada is complete without stopping at Niagara Falls, one of the most unique geologic wonders on the planet. While the Falls are visible from Niagara Falls, NY, we’d recommend traveling across the border to witness everything the Canadian side has to offer–the falls lit up at night, fireworks during the summer, and plenty of restaurants, hotels with views of the falls and attractions. Just about 8 miles from our Niagara Apartments in Niagara Falls, NY, there’s no excuse not to check out this natural wonder that tourists come all around the world to see.

Niagara Falls ON near Buffalo NY

The majestic Niagara Falls are located just a half-hour from Buffalo and should be on everyone’s bucket list. [Wikimedia Commons]

Niagara Parks – With 15 km of hiking trails through six different nature areas, a paved walking and biking trail along Niagara Parkway, a beautiful Butterfly Conservatory featuring over 2,000 butterflies, amazing golf courses, and outdoor adventures, Niagara Parks is definitely worth exploring. Located in Niagara Falls, ON, the nature, culinary and sporting activities can’t be beat. Take advantage of some of the experiences available, such as the Falls cruises and the “Journey Behind the Falls,” or get the thrill of a lifetime when you zipline down the gorge of the Falls, traveling down 2,200 feet to the observation deck at the base of the Horseshoe Falls.

St. Catharine’s – Located in Southern Ontario, St. Catharine’s is the largest city in the Niagara Region. It’s home to Short Hills Provincial Park, which features a wide variety of plant and animal species, as well as excellent pathways and stunning scenery. St. Catharine’s is also the site of the popular Niagara Wine Festival, which runs in June and September and is a great way to sample the many wine varieties the Niagara region has to offer. And there’s plenty to do in winter too: the Niagara Icedogs, a popular team in the Ontario Hockey League, play in St. Catharine’s, offering hockey fans a chance to see future NHL stars at a family-friendly arena.

Hamilton – Featuring many outdoor attractions, culinary options and historical attractions, this Canadian city has plenty to offer just 70 miles from Buffalo. The Royal Botanical Gardens one of the major tourist attractions between Niagara Falls and Toronto and expands from nearby Burlington to feature extensive natural areas and gardens lands in Hamilton. The Hamilton airport is also worth a visit for aviation buffs–the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is located at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and features 40 military jets, propeller-driven aircraft and helicopters on display.

Downtown Toronto

Just a two-hour drive from Buffalo, Toronto offers a wealth of nightlife, dining options and attractions. [Wikimedia Commons]

Toronto – Located only about 100 miles from Buffalo, Canada’s largest city is home to a wealth of entertainment, fine dining, sports and cultural activities. Head up to the CN Tower for incredible views of Toronto–it’s third tallest tower in the world at 553 meters (1,815 ft) high. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a must-visit for hockey buffs, featuring a robust museum with 15 exhibit areas covering 60,000 square feet. Also downtown is the the Art Gallery of Ontario, with 80,000 works spanning the first century to the present day, as well as Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, an expansive, modern aquarium with over 13,500 exotic sea and freshwater specimens from more than 450 species on display.

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