A Canadian B&B (and no wax museums)

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

Only 22 miles from the thunderous sprays of the falls lies Niagara-on-the-Lake, a town blessedly free of wax museums and chain restaurants. Here, bed-and-breakfasts are more plentiful than the one-size-fits-all blue slickers you'll find at the falls. On the drive up, you'll pass miles of orchards and vineyards, so be sure to roll down your windows and inhale the fruit-scented air. At the quaint, pre-Victorian Burns House, request a room that opens onto the front balcony. Call early for tickets to a Friday performance at the Shaw Festival Theatre, which offers plays by George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. Spend Saturday sipping aromatic Rieslings at Hillebrand Estates Winery (lunch on the terrace is a must). And round out the weekend with some shopping along Queen Street, with its specialty shops and galleries—be sure to buy some cherry jam at Greaves Jams and Marmalades.

Burns House, 905-468-4865 (rooms start at $78 for summer season); Shaw Festival, 800-511-7429 (tickets, $16 to $49); Hillebrand Estates Winery, 800-582-8412; Greaves Jams and Marmalades, 905-468-7831; Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce, 905-468-4263.