Sunday, October 4, 2015

Niagara Falls (Slowly I Turned)

We spent the day at Niagara Falls, Ontario today. I've always wanted to see Niagara Falls, especially being a fan of both the famous Three Stooges Niagara Falls skit as well as a huge fan of Superman II, part of which was filmed here. I had thought that all of the touristy stuff was located on the American side, but, as we pulled up onto Clifton Hill, I realized that I was grossly mistaken. There's so many touristy things to do on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. And I say that in a good way. It's like Las Vegas, but more densely packed. And with less people.

Of course, you can view The Falls from just about anywhere in the area. You'll have to pay for some of the of the more in-depth stuff, though. Here's what we did so far:

Hornblower Niagara Cruise:  It's sort-of a rite of passage for Niagara goers. It's a boat that will take you right up to the Mist of the Horseshoe Falls. You'll want to wear the free rain slicker they provide because you're definitely going to get wet. There are also lots of opportunities for them to upsell you stuff like protective tote bags, flip-flops, rain coats, etc. They're not worth it. Just be careful with your electronics if they're not water resistant. This is an absolute MUST and it's totally worth it, especially if you go during a time when it's not too terribly crowded.

Journey Behind The Falls: You go through a bunch of tunnels under the Table Rock Welcome Center to go behind part of the Horseshoe Falls. The information kiosks that they have along the way make for great reading and the thundering sound of being close to the Falls is awe-inspiring. Ultimately, it's an interesting concept, but there's not a great deal to see once you're actually behind the Falls. You could probably pass this by.

White Water Walk: You ride an elevator down to the river level and you get to take a walk along a boardwalk along the edge of the Niagara River between The Falls and The Whirlpool. Being that close up will really let you see just how the deep and narrow Great Gorge was created. As the water travels through the Whirlpool Rapids at White Water Walk, it is traveling at about 30 mph, creating the Class 6 Whirlpool Rapids. This is very cool and was well worth the price of admission.

Whirlpool Aero Car: Take an old-fashioned aero car across the Great Gorge to overlook the Niagara Whirlpool. It's a short trip, perfect for a sunny day. I'm a bit leery of heights, but this didn't bother me too much.

Niagara's Fury: From the looks of it, it's a 4D Movie Experience starring some cartoon beaver. It might be something fun for the kids, but, since we are kidless on this vacation, we skipped it.

The best way to see all the Niagara attractions is to get an Adventure Pass. The Adventure Pass will get you access to all of the attractions, will also make appointments for you at specified times and is usable throughout your stay in the Niagara Area. So, you don't have to see everything in one day (which is impossible anyway).

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