Niagara’s South Coast
The Niagara region attracts over 14 million visitors annually, and is known around the world not only for the impressive Niagara Falls, but also for its acclaimed vineyards.
However, waterfalls and wineries are not the only highlights of Niagara, Canada. The Niagara region is also home to quaint little beach towns, a vibrant arts scene, and the beautiful sandy Great Lake beaches of Niagara’s South Coast.
Whether you’re first visiting the Falls and vineyards of the Northern Niagara region or are looking to swap chardonnay for shoreline, Niagara’s South Coast is a must-visit destination for a unique spin on Ontario.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Niagara's South Coast, scroll down or visit the region's tourism website.
Where is Niagara’s South Coast?
Niagara's South Coast is on the southernmost region of the Niagara peninsula. It borders Lake Erie, the United States’ Buffalo border, Niagara Falls, St Catherines and Twenty Valley.
To get here, you can opt to take a car, fly into one of the international airports nearby, or climb on a tour bus. Do you live in the Greater Toronto Area? Both day trips and weekend excursions are made possible with the short, 90-minute drive from the city.
If you’re not from Ontario, the closest airport to fly into is the Toronto Hamilton International Airport (IATA: YHM, ICAO: CYHM), which is about a 1-hour drive away. If you want to explore Canada’s largest city prior to visiting the South Coast, you can fly into Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ, ICAO: CYYZ) and do some sight-seeing before renting a car.
Since Niagara’s South Coast shares a border with Buffalo, New York, flying into Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) is an option for our American visitors. When you land, cross the border at the Peace Bridge border crossing for a 50-minute drive from the airport.
Things to Do in Niagara's South Coast
Canada’s Niagara is home to famous wineries, and thousands of acres of vineyards, orchards, farms. But more than a haven for wine-lovers, Niagara also offers diversity with the South Coast, boasting top-notch restaurants, a glittering arts and culture scene, and beautiful sandy beaches along the coastline of Lake Erie.
Niagara’s South Coast is known for its laid back, beachy vibes, reminiscent of island life, though here we swap the seaside out for the shores of Lake Erie, the fourth largest Great Lake in North America.
When you’re in Niagara’s South Coast, exploring those shores is a must. Spend the day making sandcastles and catching some sun at the sandy beaches of the South Coast, including Wainfleet’s Long Beach, Fort Erie’s Crystal Beach or one of Port Colborne’s many beautiful beaches, like Centennial-Cedar Bay, Crescent or Waverly.
After your day of fun on the water, drop in at one of the South Coast’s own craft breweries on the Niagara Ale Trail and taste their seasonal brews, craft beers and ciders.
Off the water, history buffs will appreciate the rich historical significance the area has to offer. Learn about the War of 1812 with a visit to Old Fort Erie, the site of the deadliest battle in Canadian History.
You might want to time your visit to Niagara's South Coast in favour of attending one of the popular local festivals: The Marshville Heritage Festival and Wainfleet Fall Fair.
Niagara’s South Coast Neighbourhoods & Districts
Niagara’s South Coast is the largest geographic region in Niagara, spanning from the US border at Buffalo north to St Catharines, and includes the municipalities of Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Pelham, Welland, and Wainfleet.
Full of historical landmarks from the War of 1812, the Town of Fort Erie on the Niagara river borders Buffalo, New York. One of Fort Erie’s most unique attractions is Safari Niagara, an exotic animal zoological facility.
Home to the Comfort Maple Conservation Area, Short Hills Provincial Park and the Swayze Falls Trail, the Town of Pelham shares a border with Welland, separated by the Welland River.
A fisher’s paradise, Port Colborne is a city on Lake Erie where you can enjoy a long walk at the port. Discover shops along Old Humberstone, take a scenic drive and observe the Incredible Shrinking Mill.
The Township of Wainfleet is a small, rural town in Niagara’s South Coast that features the Wainfleet Wetlands, a conservation area best known for its fossils from species that lived 380-450 million years ago.
In the center of Niagara, the City of Welland features the Welland Canal and Bridge 13, plus Mud Lake Conservation Area.
Things to Know About Visiting Niagara’s South Coast
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Niagara's South Coast, you'll appreciate what the locals recommend around the area.
Where to watch the sunrise or sunset
Where to find great street art
The Welland Murals. In 1986, artists were commissioned all across Canada to paint the Welland murals on the sides of buildings. The murals depict historical images of the Niagara Region.
Where to go for a hike
The Talbot Trail, by the North shore of Lake Erie, stretches nearly 200 km. Enjoy scenic views of the forest while hiking.
Where to shop
Favourite local beach
Last updated: December 1, 2022