How to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake (5 Easy Ways!)

Planning a trip to Niagara Falls and wondering how to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara on the Lake? Fortunately, there are quite a few easy options to pick from!

If you are visiting Niagara Falls, you should also plan a trip to the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake! Niagara-on-the-Lake is a perfect day trip option from Niagara Falls if you are planning a long weekend or longer vacation at one of Canada’s most iconic areas.

If you’re figuring out how to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake, you have a variety of choices to best suit your needs. Let’s check them out!

how to get from niagara falls to niagara on the lake

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Why visit Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Niagara-on-the-Lake is Niagara’s most adored town. Its Victorian-esque architecture, flower-lined streets, an abundance of unique shops, restaurants, and wineries draw crowds in the thousands during the summer. It really feels as though you’ve transported yourself to Europe!

There are a number of free things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake, amazing Niagara wine tours, as well as plenty of things to do that don’t include wineries (if you’re visiting with kids or want to experience what else Niagara-on-the-Lake has to offer). Plus there are numerous places to enjoy a scenic and quiet picnic during your visit!

Visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a quiet break from the business of Niagara Falls. Niagara-on-the-Lake is also known for its art and culture, with many people attending shows at the world-renowned Shaw Festival Theatre!

Scenic Queen St in Niagara-on-the-Lake

How do you get to Niagara on the lake from Niagara Falls?

It’s actually quite simple to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake, as these two popular places are only about 20-25 minutes from one another by car (20 km).

1. Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake by car

The best way to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake is undoubtedly by car. This would be the easiest and most cost-effective way to travel between the two towns.

It’s also the best way to really soak in the views. The Niagara Parkway offers a scenic drive throughout all seasons!

How long is the drive from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls?

Driving routes that are the most direct range from 25-30 minutes, but if you are driving, I highly recommend hugging the Niagara Parkway for its entirety. 

It’s an easy drive out of Niagara Falls and there is plenty of signage to let you know you’re travelling in the right direction. It’s one road with beautiful scenery, and you can’t get lost – just stay on the Niagara River Parkway! The scenic route is only a few minutes longer than taking the QEW, clocking in at 27 minutes.

A worthy stop along the way includes Queenston Heights, and during the summer months, Niagara-on-the-Lake offers plenty of places to pick-your-own peaches!

If you want to get to Niagara-on-the-Lake as quickly as possible, your best bet is to take the QEW for a portion of your drive. This route should take 24 minutes on a regular-traffic day. You’ll exit at Mountain Rd and follow Concession 6 until you reach Niagara Stone Road, which will take you directly into historic Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Greaves Jams & Preserves

2. Shuttle from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake

You can easily get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake with the WEGO shuttle! This convenient bus service makes stops at numerous sights and attractions throughout Niagara Falls. It’s easy to use and makes frequent stops.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake shuttle connects to the WEGO bus shuttle, which extends past the usual Green Line’s Floral Clock stop.

You can purchase tickets at the Floral Clock in Niagara Falls (or from Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake). However, if you have the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass, all-day access to the shuttle service is included!

The Niagara-on-the-Lake shuttle is offered from May – October.

Adults 13+: $10 one way, $16 round trip
Children 3-12: $5 one way, $10 round trip
Children 2 and under: free

3. Taxi from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake

Another way to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake is by taxi. However, this is also going to be  your most expensive option. You can expect to pay anywhere from $60-$80 each way

There are other economical ways to travel between these two places, so I wouldn’t suggest taking a taxi.

Uber is another choice, but you will be looking at a similar price as a taxi.

Things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake that aren’t wineries Situated only 20 minutes from Niagara Falls and sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario and the mouth of the Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) is well known for its wineries and makes for a popular tourist destination. This historic little town will transport you back to the Victorian era and its 19th century charm with its quaint buildings, horse-drawn carriages, and flower-filled, tree-lined streets. This small town is packed full of character and offers much more than wineries. Don’t get me wrong, I live in wine country and LOVE wineries, but they’re not for everyone and there’s more to explore than just them! See a play at the Shaw Festival Theatre Niagara-on-the-Lake is well known for the Shaw Festival Theatre. Inspired by George Bernard Shaw, there are more than 10 plays every year, hosting upwards of 250,000 audience members! It’s become a major Canadian cultural icon and features a diverse collection of plays from past and present brought to you by a talented team of actors, directors, and designers, and is sure to leave a lasting impression. I’ve seen a few shows here; Alice in Wonderland and Sweeney Todd - both great plays! There are numerous showtimes during the year and the theatre is on Queen St itself, so within walking distance to shops and restaurants! Stroll down Queen Street We came recently and all we did was wander the streets and that alone was really enjoyable. There’s always something to admire while walking down this street - from the unique shops, historic buildings, and gardens. Olive Oil Tasting Yes - that’s right - you can actually go olive oil sampling here, which is actually something I have enjoyed doing and would recommend the same! It sounds weird, but you can sample the different flavoured oils and balsamic vinegars at Oliv, right on Queen Street. My favourite one is the Basil oil! Chimney Cake One of their signs at Budapest Bake Shop caught my eye while we were walking down the street. I saw “Budapest” and I was sold - if I can’t get to Hungary this year then at least I can try one of the traditional foods from there! Kürtőskalács are the official dessert of Hungary! It’s essentially one long piece of dough that’s twirled around a spit and baked to perfection. They’re cylindrical and hollow, and are served fresh, hence the name “chimney cake”. I ended up getting the walnut one, but there are many sweet and savory flavours, surely to appeal to all palates! Voices of Freedom Park I’ve visited NOTL numerous times in my life but I had no idea the Voices of Freedom Park was here! We stumbled upon it while wandering through some streets a block back from Queen Street. Opened in November of 2018, this area is dedicated to commemorating the town’s Black history and to mark the anniversary (now 227 years) of the Act to limit slavery in upper Canada. On one of their plaques, it states that Voices of Freedom gives expression to the silence and forgotten stories of people of Africa descent, enslaved, freed, and free, whose sacrifices, labour, skills and talents contributed to the development of Niagara-on-the-Lake. NOTL was the capital of Upper Canada from 1792-1796 and has had Black residents since the 1780s. This is also where the first anti-slvary legislation was introduced in the British Empire. I didn’t know this! Following the American Revolution during the 1780s, United Empire Loyalists settled here and many brought enslaved Africans with them. The post-revolution also included Black Loyalists who fought in “Butler’s Rangers” and were granted their freedom and land, yet, racism and discrimination was a reality and they struggled with becoming equal and truly “free”. There is actually a really beautiful metaphorical message to the design of the Park, which contains four elements. The first of which represents “handcuffs” which symbolizes slavery and captiviy. Next there is a path which represents the journey North of those escaping the USA. Ahead, there are two curved steel designs, marking a passage that symbolizes the struggles and barriers to passage. Historical dates and names are inscribed here. At the end of this path, there are steel forms of people in the shape of a circle which is the focal point of the park. It represents community, support, kinship and unity. It points towards the North Star as the Beacon of Hope - the same star that guided freedom seekers towards Canada. Truthfully I didn’t know any of this, so I’m really glad we found this spot, and think it’s an important spot to see while visiting here. Fort George I was lucky to see this place completely empty not too long ago - while their grounds were open but nothing else was! This is a popular day trip for schools, and a great place to explore with your family! Fort George National Historic Site was one of the most important times in Canada’s history, with the War of 1812. Fort George served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army and Major-General Sir Isaac Brock (if you’re travelling to Niagara Falls, be sure to stop by and visit his monument LINK TO FREE POST). Control of the river supply route was essential to the survival of forts west of the Niagara Region, and protected Navy Hall, a vital warehouse and wharf facility. This place was destroyed by artillery before Americans invaded and took over for 7 months in 1813. Outnumbers 5-1, the British defenders fought desperately while under fire from the U.S., after which the British reclaimed it for the duration of the war. Today, you’ll see musket demonstrations, take part in tours to learn about the lifestyle of those who lived there, and listen to 18th and 19th century music. Living Wayside This adorable chapel is only a few minutes’s drive from downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake, right next to Walker’s Country Market, and is worth a stop for a photo! This tiny chapel only seats 6 people - and yes - you can get married here too! Local guides claim this Living Water Wayside Chapel holds the title for the Guinness Book of World Records for smallest chapel, but I couldn’t find anything official for that. But at 78 square feet, it definitely seems plausible! Built in 1964, it was meant to serve as a place of worship for passing tourists. There are two bibles and a guest book inside! Bike Ride This little town is the perfect place for a bike ride. There are endless streets to explore and our favourite area is XXXX by turning left instead right on to Queen Street, you’ll end up in narrow lanes and charming houses. I wouldn’t advise driving for a few reasons - the roads are very narrow, and you’ll very likely get lost (oops!). Navigating your way through these streets is much easier with a bike, and there are many stops along the water to sit and enjoy the view. There isn’t a lot of available parking down at this end since it is residential, so that’s something to keep in mind too! Visit an Art Gallery This tiny historic town offers the perfect setting for artists! We are really fortunate in Niagara to have an abundance of talent- be sure to visit the numerous galleries for inspiration! With 5 art galleries on Queen Street alone, you’ll be sure to get your fill of inspiration. Each summer, an event and market takes place called “Artistry by the Lake” (postponed from summer to fall 2020 TBD), which features 80 artists displaying their work - from painting, sculptures, wood carvings, jewelry, pottery and more. It’s a juried event, and it’s FREE to go! Browse the Shops Each shop is unique in its own way - no two are alike. From preserves to handmade goods, antiques, artisanal foods, and even an entire Christmas store, there is something to please everyone. McFarland House Tucked away in a picturesque park-like setting, McFarland house was built in the 1800s by John McFarland and his sons, on the land granted to him by King George III, and is one of few buildings in Niagara-on-the-Lake that predates the War of 1812. It was used as a hospital and headquarters for the British and American armies during the war, and was also home to a cannon battery aimed to protect the Niagara River. $7 entry for Adults, Children 5-12, $5. High Tea at Prince of Wales Hotel Want to feel fancy? Check out Afternoon Tea at Prince of Wales Hotel! (INC PIC OF HOTEL) Treat yourself to Victorian elegance with ornate tea sets, decor, sweet and savoury treats, and royal treatment. Add on mimosas or champagne for some added fun. A perfect addition to a spa day, or girls’ day out. Check out their menu here! Be sure to make a reservation in advance - this is a popular place!
Enjoying a chimney cake from Budapest Bake Shop

4. Bike to Niagara-on-the-Lake from Niagara Falls

The Niagara Region is well known for its abundance of cycling trails, and the cycling between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake is no exception!

The 56 km long Niagara River Recreation Trail parallels the Niagara River and is a non-motorized bike path that spans all the way from Fort Erie, through Niagara Falls, and ends in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

Biking to Niagara-on-the-Lake from Niagara Falls will offer you the chance to see all sorts of historic sites, incredible views, attractions, and even wineries to stop at along the way.

Follow the Niagara Parkway out of Niagara Falls and eventually the Niagara River Recreation Trail splits off into its own separate trail just for cyclists, joggers, and walkers!

5. Hike to Niagara-on-the-Lake

An honourable mention for those seeking adventure (and have lots of time!) is to hike from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Hear me out, it’s an actual thing!

Part of the Bruce Trail’s side trails and known as the General Brock Side Trail, the trail that leads from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake is a scenic and leisurely walk along the Niagara River. 

It’s roughly a 22 km hike from Clifton Hill, but the best way to hike to Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the way most people walk, is from Queenston Heights, which takes 1.5-2.5 hours to complete 12 km.

If you want to spend a peaceful couple of hours (one way) to walk and stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake, this could be an option for you. Just follow the blue markers to guide your way!

Fun fact: The southern terminus for the Bruce Trail is actually located at Queenston Heights!

Living Wayside Chapel

FAQS about how to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake

How long does it take to get to Niagara on the Lake from Niagara Falls on the WEGO Bus?

Depending on where you board the WEGO bus, it could take up to an hour with the various stops. However, it’s a great way to soak in the scenery and have a quick look at some other sights and attractions you may have missed or want to stop by at a later time.

How do I get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake without a car?

You can take the Niagara-on-the-Lake shuttle (the WEGO bus), taxi, uber, cycle, or hike. The best option for those wanting to get to Niagara-on-the-Lake without a car is to take the WEGO bus.

Is there a bus between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Yes, there is a bus between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. The WEGO bus connects at many popular sights around Niagara Falls and offers an economical option for visitors.

How long does it take to get to Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls?

It takes between 25-30 minutes by car to get to Niagara-on-the-Lake from Niagara Falls. The shuttle could take an hour or longer depending on where you board from. 

What is the cheapest way to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake?

The cheapest way to get from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake is by car. If you do not have a car, the cheapest option is to take the WEGO shuttle, which costs $16 round trip for adults and $10 round trip for children.

things to see in niagara on the lake

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