Carousel in Port Dalhousie Photo by Michal Pasco 180 Marketing and courtesy of Tourism St. Catharines.

Carousel in Port Dalhousie Photo by Michal Pasco 180 Marketing and courtesy of Tourism St. Catharines.

Chances are you’ve heard of the wonderful things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake – including the wineries and world-class theatre – and know that just a short drive away is one of the wonders of the world, Niagara Falls. If you have driven to either destination, you have driven right by the next city in our Travelling Canada series: St. Catharines. Although often overshadowed by the offerings of its neighbours, St. Catharines is an exciting destination in its own right. Here are our top picks for what to do in St. Catharines.

Visit the Wineries

Although Niagara-on-the-Lake is often in the spotlight as a wine destination, St. Catharines and neighboring towns of Jordan and Beamsville, are also part of Ontario’s Wine Country. Leave the main roads for a trip to gems like Hernder Estate Wines and Henry of Pelham. Be sure to arrive hungry; the Coach House Cafe at Henry of Pelham features food and wine pairings.

Hike the Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail follows the Niagara escarpment for almost 900km, 20km of which are located in St. Catharines. A public footpath, and a world-class hiking trail, catching any part of the Bruce Trail is an opportunity to experience the raw beauty of Niagara, including waterfalls and streams. Of particular note along the way is Morningstar Mill and Short Hills Provincial Park. There are many more opportunities to hike in St. Catharines – learn more here.

Learn more about the Bruce Trail.

Have Lunch at Harvest Barn

Although St. Catharines boasts many wonderful restaurants, sometimes you just need a light lunch and nothing hits the spot quite like build-your-own-salad. Known to those who live in the region as a delightful place to buy fresh and usually local produce, Harvest Barn also has a delicious salad bar perfect for a casual lunch.  Harvest Barn has two locations – in St. Catharines and one in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Learn more.

Cool Off at Pearson Park Splash Pad

The kids will love a stop at this large splash pad in St. Catharines – it’s a perfect way to cool off in the heat. The splash pad is located inside a huge piece of greenspace, Pearson Park. Make a day of it and pack a picnic!

Learn more.

Relax in Port Dalhousie

Head to the beach in historic Port Dalhousie, a part of St. Catharines that features Lakeside Park on the shores of Lake Ontario, a marina and the famous Lakeside Park Carousel. Step back in time when you watch the kids ride the carousel, which has been in this location since 1921. Rides are just a nickel!

After your ride, walk to the beach to dip your toes in or admire the boats.

Learn more.

To learn more about things to do in St. Catharines (there’s more than just what’s on our list), visit the Tourism St. Catharines website.

Take a look at the other cities we’ve featured in our Travelling Canada virtual tour series:

Central Ontario

Miramichi New Brunswick