Lewiston, NY is a real hidden gem in part because it is so hard to find. What Google Maps doesn’t tell you is that immediately after clearing US customs and immigration from Canada, you must take the first right up the hill to “104 Lewiston” and avoid the 190 south.
Further along, after the “Lewiston 2” sign, take the exit marked “Lewiston Art Park” – it’s the only exit for downtown Lewiston. At all costs, avoid the Robert Moses State Parkway.
What to Do:
A visit to the Old Fort Niagara, known locally as the French Fort is a good way to start the day. Be sure to join the lively guided tours by the excellent and very opinionated guides who also do live demonstrations of musket and cannon firings several times daily.
For lunch pick any of the Youngstown patios or join the locals at the riverside pavilion, The Silo down the hill from the Barton Hill Hotel and Spa.
Enjoy the baha fish tacos and beef on weck sandwiches (a local favourite) on the picnic tables around the pavilion for excellent river views. For dessert grab a low-fat, probiotic, dark chocolate cone – single scoop is more than enough – from the adjacent rail car/ice cream stand.
Where to Stay:
Stay at the Barton Hill Hotel and Spa and ask the friendly and helpful owner, Diane to suggest activities. Her winery recommendations are spot on and provide a good route to explore the countryside. Be warned though, they won’t check you in before 4 p.m. This small, family business offering personalized service doesn’t have the staff to warrant all day check-ins.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the local wineries – (A Gust of Sun was one of our favs) stop by Supermarket Liquors 15 minutes out-of-town on the 265. The best shopping can be found at the big box stores in Buffalo just off the 290 near Niagara Falls Boulevard and Maple Street.
Golf fans should try to score a tee time on Western New York’s best course, Seneca Hickory Stick, designed by Robert Trent Jones – minutes from downtown Lewiston and especially beautiful by twilight. If you’re short of time, play the front nine.
For dinner, the popular Casa Italia offers up tasty, meal -sized appetizers served with their satisfying homemade dips and breads. These combined with a salad means you can skip the super-sized mains.
The best beach is found at Beaver State Park on Grand Island. Here, the Niagara River sits on a wide swatch of sand with lifeguards – a good place for kids.
Continue south into Buffalo to take in the impressive collection of contemporary and modern art at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Nearby, Delaware Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is worth a visit.
The Blue Monk on Elmwood is perfect for a drink or dinner. Belgium beers are paired with mussels, lobster rolls and steak entrees. Across the street, stop by Watson’s for a dessert of handmade chocolates. Head downtown on Elm to North Street, turn right and you’re on the road to the Peace Bridge
Barton Hill Hotel & Spa
100 Center Street
Niagara Falls, Lewiston, New York, 14092
Old Fort Niagara
2 Scott Avenue, Fort Niagara State Park
Youngstown NY 14174
Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course
4560 Creek Road
Lewiston, NY 14092