Niagara Falls, New York
Niagara Falls has two sides to view. The American side and the Canadian. We flew into Buffalo and rented a car from Costco and drove to the American side first. It is two totally different views in all sense. When we arrived her my son said this is it. This is our trip? We flew all the way here for this? When we went to the Canadian side it was mouth dropped and this is what I thought it would be like only better!
Here is info on flying into Buffalo.
Here is about the Candian Side
When we first pulled in, there was a nice Niagara Falls State Park on the left side where you could walk and see the rapids. We enjoyed this spot.
Then we drove a little farther in and stopped at the visitor center. This is also where you would get the Maid of the Mist, the American boat that goes into the falls. It seems this one is more well known and has been around longer, but we did the Canadian version and feel it went farther into the falls, held more people and had more outdoor spots to stand on the bottom floor.
You pull in and pay $10 to park. You can use $10 or a charge card in a machine to park. You then get out and walk to the building. Inside they have a snack area, a movie you can buy tickets to watch, a gift shop, bathrooms, and information. Walk downstairs and walk out the back door. This will take you to a viewing area and Maid of the Mist. We did see a trolley looking bus here that you could ride but never found any information on it.
Many had told us the view on the American side was ok. We agree. I think it has to do with the angle of what you can see compared to the Canadian side. They have a nice area to go and look, a tall tower bridge you can walk on to see more of he Horseshoe Falls part. The Maid of the Mist is here and the have a nice sized gift shop and restrooms around the back of it. There are snack carts here too. It began to rain here so we did not spend long here. We did not get to go out on the Tower walk to get that view either.
Looking at Hornblower on Candian Side
Looking at Canada side
We got tickets for the movie back in the visitor center and it gave a little history of the falls. At one point they told a story of two kids who fell in the rapids. The story lasted a few minutes and my son was so worried the children would die during that part. FYI they do live. It also told of the man who walked over it on the type rope, and a teacher who went down it in a barrel. It lasted maybe 10/15 mins.
Maid of the Mist American Side.
There is also the Cave Winds which we did not get to do on the American side. They have steps you can walk up and be under the falls. The will give you special shoes here too. I do believe you need to drive to another spot to get here. We also saw they have a restaurant over looking the falls here too. “The Cave of the Winds trip takes you closer to the waters of Niagara Falls than you thought possible. You ride an elevator 175 feet (53 meters) deep into the Niagara Gorge. Then, clad in a bright yellow poncho and wearing the special footwear provided, you follow a tour guide over a series of wooden walkways to the famous “Hurricane Deck”. As you stand at the railing, you are a mere 20 feet (6 meters) from the billowing torrents of Bridal Veil Falls. The rushing waters loom above you, dousing you with a generous spray as you face the thundering Falls head-on. Rainbows are usually visible day and night. Everyone can experience the sights of Niagara Falls. A deck has been built 150 feet from the base of the Falls especially designed for handicapped and adults with children in arms.” From their website Click here for more info:
There are a few things around the area to look at but we chose to go to Canada next. This area looks a little run down, but I have seen they are trying to change it and make it nicer.
If you don’t want to go to Canada or have your passport with you, it is still worth the trip to this part, but defiantly go to the Canadian side if you can.