Sitting on the border, Niagara Falls is accessible from both the USA and Canada, it is visited by some 30 million people every year and when you see it in person you can understand why its so popular!
The town of Niagara is a 3 hour drive from Ryan’s house and home to Kyle, one of Ryan’s college friends and one of our hiking buddies from our trek in Nepal earlier in the year. Niagara is a funny town, catering almost exclusively to tourists its got every fast food joint that you could think of, accommodation options around every corner and a tonne of tacky tourist attractions. But none of this subtracts from the grandeur of the falls and lets be honest who can resist a Ripley’s believe it or not museum?!
Our first stop upon arrival was of course the falls themselves. Being a self confessed waterfall fanatic, I was beyond excited to set my eyes on this natural beauty and I can safely say she did not disappoint. Thinking about it, this is the biggest waterfall I’ve ever visited and I couldn’t get enough of it!
On our first night we had dinner at the top of Skylorn Tower, where you get an incredible birds eye view of the falls, the best spot for sunset if you ask me! And the buffets alright too, ok its more than alright and my complete lack of self control when it comes to buffets took over and I definitely ate way too much! We hung around at the top of the tower until the falls got lit up, AMAZING and then we headed into the heart of town to catch up with Kyle for a few drinks.
The main strip of Niagara town reminds me of a mini Las Vegas strip, tacky during the day but when its lit up at night you can’t help but be drawn into all of the crazy attractions. We took on a game of Wizards mini golf, it was calling our name and we couldn’t say no. The boys might have a different story of how things played out but from where I was standing I kicked their butts and I was clearly the winner!
After an early morning sunrise over the falls Ryan and I were adventuring into the falls on Hornblower cruises. We donned our red ponchos, positioned ourselves at the front of the boat and prepared ourselves for a soaking! And soaked is the only way to describe how we looked when we walked away, this really is the best way to experience the full force of the falls and its just a whole tonne of fun as well!!
We escaped out of the crazy tourist area of the falls for the rest of the day and went for a delightful hike in the Niagara Glen Nature reserve. The trails take you right down into the canyon where you can watch the crazy speedboats whizz by on the Niagara River or find yourself a quiet spot to sit back and relax . This is definitely a hidden gem of the Niagara region and apart from the stairs back to the top the hikes are a walk in the park.
We caught up with Kyle again for a bite to eat and some beers at the brewery and then we headed down to the falls to watch the Sunday night fireworks. I think if you want a good spot for the fireworks you probably have to arrive about 3 hours early and claim your ground and don’t budge for anyone. We didn’t know about this rule so we couldn’t really get much of a view of the falls but the fireworks were still good. After we found ourselves back on the main strip again, this time we took on a game of dino mini golf because DINOSAURS! Pretty sure I won this game too!
Today would be the last day I’d get to gaze upon the beautiful falls and knowing this hurt me a little bit but we were making our way to New York City so I couldn’t really be all that sad. We were up early to cross the border and check out the falls from the US side. I’d heard that the Canadian side had by far the best view of the falls but I’m not one to discriminate and found the US side just as exciting! I enjoyed my final moments with the falls and then bid a sad farewell before jumping in the car and heading for the town of Watkins Glen via the outlet shops of course.