Still an important industrial center, Hamilton, one of Canada's largest cities, cleaned up its steely exterior and now plays host to a number of cultural sites. Some claim that there are nearly 70 waterfalls within city limits. None are as spectacular as the granddaddy of them all, Niagara Falls a bit to the east, but Hamilton, along with adjacent city, Burlington, has a fair share of picturesque cataracts.
One end of the 400-mile-plus Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail winds past town, offering walkers and bikers a serene way to do some lakeside exploring away from the bright city lights.
For those after an afternoon or two in urban areas, take the time to stop at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Museum if you're a sports fan, or tour Dundurn Castle ? a 19th-century estate now housing museums ? and according to some, a ghost or two. There are several art museums in Hamilton but if you really want to go wild, head out of town to the African Lion Safari, keeping hands and feet well inside your vehicle. If you're hunting for carefully groomed flora and fauna at its best, don't miss a visit to the sweeping grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens an easy drive from the city.
Hamilton is 45 miles west of Niagara Falls, and about the same distance from Toronto to the northeast.