As you stroll through one of the most historic settings in all of Ontario - tree-lined street quickly pivots into a lake-side golf course - and you realize that the Niagara region has everything you could want from a golf trip.
Whether it's golf, wine, food or fun, Niagara has it all.
One of the most beloved courses in the region, Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, is a full-length nine-hole facility on the shores of Lake Ontario. Established in 1875, the course has an established legacy - the oldest golf club in North America - it's located on the grounds involved in the War of 1812. Beyond its storied history, the club proudly boasts modern touches such as lakeside dining and live music on their sun-soaked patio in the summer.
Within walking distance from Niagara-on-the-Lake's magical downtown, the course is quick to play, but long on beauty and enjoyment.
"We're steeped in history," says John Wiens, the owner of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club. "We have the beauty, Lake Ontario, the vineyards... and the golf club is right in the middle of it all."
Endless golfing options
No matter your skill level, there are plenty of amazing places to tee it up in the Niagara region.
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club has an ideal location, with a fun factor that's off the charts. But Mike Zielski, the head golf professional at Whirlpool Golf Course - located so close to Niagara Falls that you can feel the mist, on occasion - says there are upwards of 50 places to play in the Niagara region.
Various layouts are at your fingertips (18, 36, and even 45-hole facilities exist in the area) with many that are just minutes from Niagara-on-the-Lake's centre.
Spots like Whirlpool - designed by the iconic Canadian architect Stanley Thompson - plus Legends on the Niagara Golf Centre, Thundering Waters, Sawmill Golf Course, and Royal Niagara Golf Club give plenty of options for those looking for new and interesting challenges.
Wine and dine
With all that great golf to choose from, the only thing you'll be more happily overwhelmed by is the choices of wine.
Niagara's wine region - with more than 150 vineyards all about an hour from Toronto - is the most robust in the province and is a big reason why so many people make the trip to Southwestern Ontario.
These wineries utilize both new and classic growing techniques. Southbrook Vineyards, for example, is a biodynamic vineyard (eliminating the use of chemicals), whereas Strewn Winery is taking the pride of France (Bordeaux reds) and improving on it thanks to the unique Canadian terroir. The rich, fertile soils along with unique microclimates of Niagara come together to create the ideal conditions for more complex and intense flavours than found in warmer climates. It's here where classic cool-climate varieties like Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive across the region's 13,600 acres.
And if it's great food you're after - with a laser-like focus on all things local - there's spots on all ends of the dining spectrum.
With dozens of fabulous golf courses that meander through some of Ontario's finest landscapes and with even more wineries and foodie hotspots ready to excite your tastebuds, a golf trip to the Niagara region makes for an idyllic adventure.