Solo Trip to Toronto/Niagara Falls – Part 3

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 of my solo trip, check them out here to learn about my trip so far.

On day 3, I had purchased a tour to Niagara Falls through Kings Tours. They picked me up at my hotel and took me to the bus stop where we would meet everyone else from the tour. The drive to the falls was about 90 minutes, and we got to see great views of Lake Ontario and Canadian sites on the trip. I loved our tour guide, he was hilarious and it was great getting to know everyone on the tour. We all came from different countries and backgrounds – I spend most of the time chatting with a man from London, one from Poland, and one from Australia. Talking with these people about their countries and backgrounds and sharing my own experiences was one of the most enriching experiences of the whole trip.

Once we got to the falls, there was an option within the ticket to pay for a boat ride around the falls. I didn’t buy that part of the package, so I had 3 hours of free times. I originally thought that I was going to hit the Niagara Falls Casino and explore the town to pass the time, but I ended up being so enthralled by the falls that I just walked up and down taking them in the majority of the day. Again, we had an extremely cloudy day but the falls were absolutely unreal. I have never seen anything in my life that was so amazing – and this was where I got the inspiration for this blog. I definitely understand why this was one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

I popped into the gift shop for lunch and tried the Niagara Falls Lager, a light and refreshing lager. After that, I walked up and down the falls, in awe, until it was time to get back on the bus.

Once back on the bus, the driver took us to Niagara on the Lake, a quaint little town right on Lake Ontario. The group and I walked up and down the shops and down to the lake. There’s tons of small boutique shops, little cafes, and clothing stores. Then, we all went to the Eastdell Estates Winery for a complimentary wine tasting and a relaxing way to end the day. We tried a red and a white, along with two iced wines. The iced wines are super sweet wines which I didn’t care for me because I don’t love sweet wines, but it was definitely interesting to try and learn about how they are made. All the wines are sold in Canada and I was so bummed I couldn’t take home the white I tried, one of the driest most amazing whites I ever had, from Lakeview Cellars.

Then, we headed home. I wanted to go out that night so went to a few different bars in Queens West, but was pretty tired from the day so called it a night early. The next morning, on my last day, I went back to Tim Horton’s for breakfast,  packed my stuff and checked out of the hotel.

I had time to kill before my flight so walked down to Kensington Market, a trendy bohemian neighborhood with tons of grocers, vendors, and boutique shops. This is where I bought some souvenirs for myself and my family members.

On my way back, I walked into the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). If I had had more time, I definitely would have bought the ticket and walked around the gallery, but because I was short on time I just walked around the gift shop. It was a really cute store with all sorts of cool art and items made by local makers. Then, I headed over to Eaton Centre for my last stop before heading to the airport.

Right by Eaton Centre is Yonge-Dundas, a popular public square that hosts music, film and community events. When I walked by, they were having a poutine eating contest. Man, I love Canada. I stopped into Eaton Centre which was a local mall and I decided I wasn’t in the mood to shop – and, I definitely had zero room in my suitcase for anything else! The bartender from the first night had recommended 3 Brewers, a micro-brewery within a restaurant and with about a half hour left before I needed to go get my luggage, I went for one last IPA. With that final beer, it was time to go home.

I definitely recommend Toronto for anyone looking to go on a quick trip. I want to go back – ideally during baseball season to catch a Blue Jay’s Game to Roger’s Stadium, hit the hockey hall of fame, and check out some more local sights. Most of all – I recommend the hell out of solo travel. It was truly one of the best vacations I have ever been on and I became so comfortable with my own company.

Have you been Toronto? Is there anything else you would recommend? If you have any questions on solo travel, let me know in the comments below.


Solo Trip to Toronto: Part 2

If you haven’t read Part  1 of my solo trip check it out here to learn about my trip so far. Now we’re on Day 2 of my Canadian adventure, and up to this point, I was having an absolutely wonderful time walking around, taking in this beautiful new city, and meeting new people. I was a little tired the night before and threw my initial plans of hitting the hotel gym out the window, and started on my day.

I kicked things off with a stroll to Tim Horton’s because #Canada. My first experience at Tim Horton’s really just taught me that they won’t give you coffee black unless you ask for it. I got my iced coffee loaded with cream and sugar which in New York, I would have sent back in exchange for a black coffee, but I wanted to do things the Canada way. I got it with their breakfast sandwich biscuit which was delicious. Canada was surprisingly warm that day so I ventured on a long walk to the Royal Ontario Museum.

I definitely got lost a few times on this walk which ended up taking the 25 minute walk over an hour. I didn’t mind the detours at all because I saw so many beautiful parts of the city during this walk – leaving downtown and headed towards the cute neighborhood of Queen West I saw amazing architecture and stunning buildings like the Legislature Buildings, I saw the beautiful Queens Park and the University of Toronto. When I finally got inside the museum, I bought a general admission ticket (which was $20CA.)

As soon as I walked into the museum, I had to smile at the huge dinosaur sculpture you see right there – it’s just like the one at the American Museum of Natural History back in New York. This ROM is one of the largest museums in North America and has a huge range of nature and culture exhibits. I easily could have stayed all day, but I spend around 4 hours there. Highlights for me definitely included the room of minerals and rocks – I’m a sucker for minerals – I think they are just so fascinating! Another highlight for me definitely included the third floor which was full of decked out rooms from victorian eras – living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms all set in beautiful old fashioned decor.

After a break for lunch and a little decompression (and resting my feet after walking around for hours), I ventured to the CN tower, only about a 15 minute walk from the DoubleTree. Before I headed to the tower, I stopped by the Steam Whistle Brewery right by the tower. The outside decor of this was definitely a highlight – right by the train museum, there are train tracks and trains surrounded the area. I went into the Steam Whistle Brewery and they had a special that if you follow them on Instagram they would give you a free Pilsner.  I’m not a big fan of Pilsner’s (more of an IPA girl) but the beer was pretty good and the brewery had a really cool, rustic vibe.

Then, I went to the CN Tower and paid the $40 to go up to the top. I debated paying so much money for the experience and I am SO glad I did. It was a super cloudy and dim evening so I can only imagine how amazing the view would be if it was a clear night. I also didn’t stay for sunset, but would definitely recommend doing so. The views from the top are absolutely unreal – overlooking the entire city of Toronto at  553.3 meters high, you see the Toronto islands, all of the city and I of course enjoyed it with a glass of wine. They do have a restaurant up there which I have heard great things about.

I ended the night with dinner and a glass of wine at the hotel restaurant, and went to bed early with a face mask to get ready for the next day – I had to be up early for a trip to Niagara falls.

Stay tuned for the third – and final – post of my Toronto adventure!