The advantage that Hamilton has over other cities in the Niagara area (or close to it, anyway) is the fact that the western half of the city borders Lake Ontario. This gives it the best of both worlds in regard to nature areas and waterfront entertainment, dining, and even shopping. It's also about an hour outside the city of Toronto so, if visitors did want to spend a day scoping around this northern city, it takes no more than a day trip.
Hamilton is also just under an hour from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. So, in short, it's the perfect midway destination for anyone who doesn't necessarily want to stay in Toronto, but wants to be in close range to the area's most popular attractions. And the best part? Hamilton is a straight shot from either one - making it the perfect city for a road trip or in which to rent a car.
Easily Accessible Is The Name Of The Game
There's so much to do within the city of Hamilton, but the fact that it's near so many other great features is truly what catches people's attention. Getting to Niagara Falls is a straight trip all the way down Queen Elizabeth Way, straight to Queen Victoria Park. This drive couldn't be easier, and visitors probably won't even require the use of a GPS when driving there.
Getting to Toronto is as simple as Highway 403 to 407, before getting back on 403 and taking it to - you guessed it - Queen Elizabeth Way. These major highways make travel to and from Hamilton one of the easiest and quickest, and it's a far more affordable option than staying in the larger surrounding cities. Just north of Hamilton is the city of Burlington, and just southeast is the city of St. Catherines, which offers Niagara-style waterfront views.
Major Attractions Worth Seeing In Hamilton
Travelers looking for some things to see in the immediate city of Hamilton will be happy to know there's plenty to do. While not as big as Toronto, Hamilton is no modest city, and these are some of the top-rated attractions within its city limits.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens are the botanical gardens of Ontario, and this intricate layout of stunning flora and fauna is not to be missed during any stay. There's enough to see within these gardens to spend the better part of a weekend walking through its winding pathways, and the visitor's center offers an in-depth education about the things guests can find. Visitors will also find a teahouse and a café on the botanical garden grounds, so there's no need to go far for breakfast or lunch.
- Hours: Daily, 10 AM - 8 PM
- Admission: $19.50CAD for adults, $11.50CAD for children ages 4 - 12
While this waterfall hike does require reservations, it's definitely worth booking well in advance. Those interested can make reservations through the website here, which will guarantee them a parking spot. The reservation provides access to both Tew Falls, which is only slightly shorter than Niagara Falls and hikers can take in the views from two different viewing platforms. Beneath the falls is a gorge, and just past that is Dundas Peak, also referred to as 'the mountain' by locals. Hikers can follow the entire 1.8 km loop trail to see both of these incredible sights.
- Reservation: This can be done in advance online.
- Admission: $10/reservation, $10.50/vehicle, $5/person
Best Hotels To Book In Hamilton
In order of guest rating, these are the best hotels that visitors can book in the city of Hamilton.
The Barracks Inn
- Rating: 4.8/5 stars
- Price/night: $152USD
- Amenities: Heated floors, chic furniture, free WiFi, mini-fridges, Nespresso machines, sitting areas, and flat-screen TVs with Netflix
- Features: Historic 1812 hotel located in Ancestor Heritage Village, close to the Sherman Falls waterfall & Alexander Graham Bell Parkway.
Best Western Premier C Hotel By Carmen's
- Rating: 4.5/5 stars
- Price/night: $124USD
- Amenities: Simple yet tastefully decorated rooms with microwaves, mini-fridges, wet bars, coffee makers, flat-screen TVs, and free WiFi
- Features: Inside an office park, 10 minutes walk from Albion Falls, near the Warplane Heritage Museum, and nearby Highway 403.
Homewood Suites By Hilton Hamilton
- Rating: 4.3/5 stars
- Price/night: $100-$114USD
- Amenities: Modern studio-style rooms with fully equipped kitchens, dining tables, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, pull-out sofas, free hot breakfast, light dinner, grocery delivery, a convenience store that's open 24/7, a fitness room, an indoor pool, a business center, and coin-operated laundry center
- Features: Five minutes walk from the Art Gallery of Hamilton, a short distance from Bayfront Park.