Whether you’re planning an overnight getaway or a week-long trip, there’s plenty to do in the charming towns of Niagara County, including Lewiston, Lockport, Wilson, Olcott and Newfane, just to name a few.
When visiting Niagara Falls, make room on your itinerary to explore Niagara County’s other amazing towns. Find everything from the picturesque shops and eateries of Lewiston to the storied caves of Lockport, outdoor adventure of Wilson and historic sites and charm of Olcott and Newfane.
Lewiston: Festivals, Culture & Quaint Streets
A little north of the Falls, find Lewiston — a historic town home to a bounty of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. GardenFest kicks off in June, jazz and peach festivals are late summer and a harvest and hops festival happens in fall. While you’re in town, don’t miss fun stops like the Lewiston Museum — set in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church built in 1835 — and certainly, a walk through picturesque Historic Lewiston.
If the summer is in full swing, check the events calendar at Artpark, the unique park overlooking the Niagara Gorge that hosts concerts, orchestra performances, Broadway musicals, bands and other performers — all with a world-class view as the backdrop. Oenophiles and novices alike will love the charming wineries just outside town, including Bella Rose Vineyard & Winery and Honeymoon Trail Winery — both on the way to Lockport.
Lockport: Wineries, Museums & Cruises
The Erie Canal provides plenty of opportunity for recreation and historical exploration in Lockport, located just 22 miles east of the Falls. Stop by a handful of wineries for a taste of the region’s best reds and whites on your way to the Erie Canal, where you can board a sightseeing canal cruise and see the historic locks — the engineering marvel that dates back to the 19th century.
Nearby, in a stately stone church that dates back to 1842, the Erie Canal Discovery Center houses a collection of photographs, maps and antique machinery that offer a unique perspective on the canal’s history. Adventurous visitors can tour the town’s underground caves by boat on the Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride, and everyone should plan a pit stop at Lake Effect Ice Cream for a taste of standout frozen treats in classic and offbeat flavors (Whiskey Brown Sugar or Frozen Hot Chocolate, anyone?) made with locally sourced ingredients.
Wilson: Fishing, Boating & Hiking
This little town perched on Lake Ontario is home to some of the area’s best fishing. Find a quiet spot in Wilson Harbor and wait for fresh bass, trout, and salmon. Boaters can visit Sunset Island, located on the northern border of Wilson Harbor just five minutes away, for a quiet walk around the shore lined with tiny cottages.
On a sunny summer day, the 475-acre Wilson Tuscarora State Park is perfect for a picnic lunch while taking in views of the boat launch and lake. Or, lace up your hiking boots and set out for a hike on the park’s four-mile nature trail. In winter, it’s also a popular trail for cross-country skiers and snowshoers.
Newfane & Olcott: Carousels, History & Haunts
Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and comprised of six quaint hamlets, Newfane is the perfect place to escape the bustling Falls during busy tourist season. Olcott Beach Carousel Park is a tiny retro amusement park, home to just one carousel and a few vintage rides for tots, but the nostalgia it inspires is alone worth a visit.
Tour the Van Horn Mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dating back to 1823. The site of Newfane’s first town meeting, the mansion is also said to be haunted. (In the fall, go for the eerie candlelit tour.) There are also plenty of wineries on the Niagara Wine Trail, USA in town, including Chateau Niagara Winery. Owners Jim and Kathy Baker are usually on hand to pour one of their excellent varieties, including pinot noir, chardonnay and Riesling.
The best of Niagara, right to your inbox