Niagara Falls, Toronto Canada and the Rogers Cup!
My Californian husband had never been to Niagara Falls, Canada. I couldn’t wait to share one of the wonders of the world with him. We planned our trip to coincide with the Masters 1000 tennis tournament, the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada. Many times the best plans get put aside. I’m very lucky to have a husband who rolls with the punches and makes things happen with me!
First stop: Niagara Falls, Canada
Our plans included a round trip flight from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo, New York, which is about a 30 minute drive from Niagara Falls, Canada (Tip: One of the perks for having a Ritz-Carlton JP Morgan Chase Visa credit card is the $100 discount on two or more domestic round trip airline tickets. This perk can be used as often as you have the credit card). We rented a car from the Buffalo airport and drove to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side (tips: renting a car from Buffalo, New York and driving to Canada is permitted. American Express Platinum card members are provided Hertz Gold Presidential Circle status which means your car will always be ready! check your credit card benefits! ).
Where to stay and play in Niagara Falls, Canada
We chose staying at the Marriott on the Falls, on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. The views were breathtaking. (Tip: spend a little more for the falls view. You will not be disappointed). Our room was on the 20th floor with an unobstructed awesome view of the falls (hotel tip: If you have status with the hotel, don’t forget to ask if there is an upgrade available. Even though we were at the hotel on a busy Canadian Holiday , we were upgraded, but we had to ask!). The hotel also provided us with WeGo cards, which allowed us to take a hop on hop off bus around the Niagara Falls area. We had lunch at the Embassy Suites, The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, on the 20th Floor, overlooking the beautiful Niagara Falls to start our trip. We noticed right outside the Embassy Suites, an incline railway on the side of the hill, below the resort that led directly to the walkway along the Niagara Falls.
As we walked to the Incline Railway, we had to cross over a lock bridge. We couldn’t resist adding our own heart padlock to the lock bridge (just like Paris, France!). We then rode down the Incline Railway ($2.75 Canadian each way/person), walked through Table Rock (restaurants, shops, tourist stop), and joined all the tourists watching the magnificent force of the Niagara Falls horseshoe falls flow. It was an incredible awesome sight. The refreshing mist from the waterfalls caught us occasionally as we walked along the waterfall pathway. In the evening, the waterfalls were lit up in different colors.
Tennis while staying in the Niagara Falls, Canada area
The next morning we drove to Niagara on the Lake, a thirty minute drive to check out some local tennis opportunities. The drive along Lake Ontario, took us past many local vineyards. When we arrived at the tennis facility, we realized there weren’t any courts available, as their members had just started their tennis matches for the morning. We checked out a couple of different public park facilities and then decided to play on a public tennis court close to our hotel, for a little tennis practice. We had a great time despite the fact that we didn’t get to play our ongoing tennis match. After tennis, we drove two hours to Toronto, to watch the Rogers Cup (each year the ATP and WTA take turns playing the Rogers Cup tournament in Montreal and Toronto, Canada. The men played in Toronto, in 2018).
Great tennis at the Rogers Cups, Toronto, Canada
On our drive to Toronto it started to rain. We were a little concerned; however, by the time we arrived to the tournament for the evening session, the rain had stopped. Fortunately, play had resumed for the day session. We were super excited to see a couple of extra day time matches before our evening tennis match began. It was quite the treat to see Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson play the young guns, Dennis Shapolov and Felix Auger Aliassimme. The Rogers Cup in Toronto was played at the Aviva Centre outside downtown Toronto. The tournament had many outdoor courts, as well as a main outdoor stadium. We noticed there really was not a bad seat in the intimate stadium.
After our whirlwind trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto, Canada, we headed back to Buffalo airport. The flight back to New Jersey was less than an hour. It was a quick trip, but so meaningful. Sometimes, you have to stop and smell the roses, in this case enjoy one of the wonders of the world and then watch some of your favorite tennis Pros do their thing. If you plan it right, you can see and do the things you love, even if your schedule is tight!
When travelling to see an outdoor tennis tournament, purchase tickets for more than one day, just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
When you are unable to book tennis courts in advance, be flexible with your time options. You may have to wait! We weren’t able to play at our targeted local tennis facility; so we found a local tennis court.
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