Jet Lag Journal: Niagara Falls
The following Jet Lag Journal was a very quick trip, but an interesting one indeed to Niagara Falls! I was pretty goal-set to visit Niagara this year as a “must do” while living on this East Coast and being such a short flight away. It is after all, the oldest National Park in the country! So using a Living Social deal for a Sheraton hotel and some airline points to get us there, I was content that a weekend in Niagara was going to be cheap but still memorable! We opted to 1) fly into Buffalo, and 2) not rent a car. So that was the big differentiating factor from our visit versus others I know of. Had we a car for our second day, we would have ventured out to some of the wineries or anywhere to be honest. So if you’re going, you need to know you really only need on full day at Niagara (for both sides of the Falls).
We started off the first day with a walk around the New York/American side. While it was a sunny and bright blue sky day–it was windy as all could be! (All those buildings are the hotels on the Canadian side that charge you an arm and a leg for their view, but you shouldn’t fall into their trap).
We decided to pay for one of the tourist activities: Maid of the Mist.
I will say the views from the tour boat were quite spectacular, and you get as close as you’ll get to The Falls with this ticket, but it is a short 20 min. ride and don’t expect an overflow of history or facts to accompany you on this ride. They blast a handful of facts out over a loudspeaker which you can’t really hear all too well over the noise of The Falls.
Here we are in our oh, so cool blue ponchos they give you for the ride–at certain parts if you’re not careful you definitely can get drenched and if not that, heavily misted, hence the name. I think our day of touring was extra “misty” because of the high winds.
After having our fill of fun on the U.S. side, we stepped over, or rather walked the quick walk over the Rainbow Bridge to Canada. Now, the Canadians have really taken advantage of the tourism opportunities on their side, shall we say. You will find every possible chain of restaurant within a 5 min. walking distance from the border. Other than these tourist rides, arcades, haunted houses, and restaurants, the only other thing to do besides see The Falls from this new vantage is to go to casinos. Since we’re not really into wasting money and gambling away what we’ve worked hard to earn, our time spent on the Canadian side was short but sweet.
They did have a lovely little park though where we took a quick break and stroll through. Should you go, obviously don’t forget your passport. And know, it’s definitely cheaper to stay on the U.S. side and just walk over to see The Falls from the other side instead of paying a more premium hotel price. Oh, and walking back to the U.S., you pay an entry fee: 50 cents (quarters only).
After a botched attempt to eat Indian fare on our first night and settling for more American touristy junk food, the next day was spent with a quick trip to the Aquarium (very small and retro, so that it feels kind of depressing, but we had too much time on our hands this second day. . .) and visiting the Horseshoe Falls in one last part of The Park that we hadn’t made it to the first day. And what popped up? But a rainbow to close out our trip! (Now I understand the nomenclature of the bridge).
So, a quick trip it was, but could have been even quicker, had we left first thing on the second day, but c’est la vie! I’m just glad we had sunny weather and blue skies and saw a national treasure.
Do go if you’re looking for a quick getaway from the city or wanting to take a longer trip upstate and into Canada, now’s the perfect time and season to get there!