Mark at the American side of Niagara Falls. (Click to see larger image).
This past Labor day weekend (Sunday, specifically), I did a roadtrip with some family members to Niagara Falls. Living here in Northeast Ohio is a bit of an advantage in that we’re only three hours away by automobile. So, we can make the trip all in one day. It makes for a long day, but well worth it!
Our primary reason for making the trip was to take the Jet Boat tour. I detailed this in my previous blog post. Check it out here. But we also took advantage of good timing and boarded the Maid of The Mist.
The Maid of The Mist is simply awesome! Make sure you take this boat ride for sure! You’ll certainly see the Falls in an entirely new way! Wet!
I have to say, the American side of the Falls is absolutely beautiful! The state park which is adjacent to, and a part of, The Maid of The Mist gift shop and center is glorious! You can walk right next to the Falls and river in a scenic, natural setting devoid of all the commercialization, crowds and traffic congestion often seen on the Canadian side during peak hours.
And from what others tell me, the addition of a hotel and casino make it a great place to get a room and stay the night. If you choose, you can grab your passport and walk across the Rainbow Bridge into Canada. But expect long lines going through customs, especially during busy holidays.
Frankly, the Canadian side has always been quite nice. But the over-crowded sidewalks and crush of tourists can make it less appealing. Granted, we went on Labor Day Weekend which certainly added to the already large throngs of visitors. But still, There is a LOT to do on the Canadian side. Yes, it can be a bit noisy and “touristy.” But this is also part of it’s charm. Because woven in-between many of these “tourist traps” are some exceptional restaurants and shops. And if you happen to visit during an off-peak time, the paths along the Falls are open and spacious.
If you want to visit the Canadian side, many recommend that you get a room on the American side, leave early in the morning to walk across the Rainbow bridge, and plan a day for walking and sight-seeing. (Make sure you have a valid Passport.) Then, try to make a beeline back to America, again, during off-peak crossing times. And remember, when visiting Niagara Falls, good walking shoes are essential!
Me with my brother Jim at Niagara Falls. (Click to see larger image).
If you live within a two, three, or four hour drive, then make it a point to jump in your car and get to Niagara Falls!
So, you’ve decided to visit Niagara Falls? Get a great deal on a camera!