One of the best parts of traveling is experiencing something for the very first time. I had always heard that the Niagara Falls was big but it wasn’t until I stood before it that its actual size became apparent. Seeing the Falls for the very first time was astonishing. A great wonder that I stood lifelessly staring at for hours. Snapping photos while absorbing its natural beauty. Watching the water plummet into the gorge and erupt into a white cloud of mist. It leaves you questioning just how powerful the Niagara Falls is.
American and Bridal Veil Falls
Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls that lies between Canada and the United States border. The Horseshoe Falls, which is located primary in Canada, is the largest and the most majestic of all three falls. The American and Bridal Veil Falls are located on the American side. If you’re driving in from the U.S., like I did, I highly recommend you cross the border and see the beautiful Horseshoe Falls. It’s the granddaddy of them all. And guess what? It really does look like a horseshoe. It’s just a short 40 minute drive from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. You will need a passport to get across the border. It’s worth it! You’ll be able to experience everything that the Niagara Falls has to offer. In my opinion, all the great adventures are on the Canadian side. I listed a few of them below.
Journey Behind the Falls
After seeing the view from the top of the Horseshoe Falls, it was now time to take a journey behind the falls. To go deep into the heart of this majestic beast to hear it roar. As I walked through several scenic tunnels, I got a different perspective of the Horseshoe Falls then I did from the view above. Standing behind the massive sheets of water offered a special kind of peace. It was a unique experience that had my mind completely at rest. A feeling that I experience quiet often when traveling solo. It’s almost unexplainable – you really have to experience it to completely understand the feeling.
Table Rock Scenic Tunnel
As you journey out to the observation deck you’re now looking up at the waterfall as it comes cascading down the side. At this level, you almost feel like you’re in the belly of the beast as you hear the water thundering and roaring as it plunges into the gorge below. This was one of my favorite and most treasured viewpoints of the Horseshoe Falls. Witnessing such a marvelous creation of nature is a privilege. It humbles you.
Another way to experience the Falls is on the Hornblower Cruise. The cruise is a thrilling way to get you as close as possible to the breathtaking views of all three waterfalls. You will journey past the two falls on the American side and then into the heart of the majestic Horseshoe Falls. Be prepared to get wet even with your poncho on! You may want to pack an extra pair of shoes to slip on after the ride. Oh and don’t worry too much about where you stand on the boat. You will get a close view of all three falls no matter where you are. After experiencing so much excitement I had worked up a good appetite. Luckily, food was just a short distance away.
Table Rock Welcome Centre
View from the Falls Incline Railway
The Table Rock Welcome Centre is located in Canada. It reminds me of a mini mall. It has retail stores, souvenir shops and several fast-food restaurants. You can purchase just about anything here. Like your Adventure Pass or pick up the one you ordered online in advance. An adventure pass gives you access to all of the top attractions for one low price. If you’re wanting to get the bang for your bucks this is the way to go! It’s also a great guide for places you hadn’t thought about seeing or wouldn’t have seen if it wasn’t part of the pass. One being the beautiful Floral Showhouse. If I didn’t have this pass I would have missed out on seeing this place… The Welcome Centre also has an observation area and a restaurant overlooking the falls. If you stroll across the skywalk it offers some pretty great views of the botanical gardens that lies along the Niagara Parkway. The Welcome Centre is also where you take the tour to the Journey Behind the Falls and Niagara’s Fury whitewater simulation ride. You’ll get wet on this ride but not too wet. Don’t worry, you get poncho before stepping on the ride.
Whirlpool Aero Car
With my belly nice and full, I was ready to take on a little more adventure and the Whirlpool Aero Car was just what I needed. It’s an antique aerial cable car that travels approximately 250 feet above a section of the Niagara River at around 4 mph. This is not for the weak at heart. I have to be honest with you, this ride was very frightening. But I would do it again in a heartbeat! The Niagara Whirlpool is unforgettable. A mesmerizing natural phenomenon that abruptly changes directions right before your eyes. The aero car offers a great opportunity to look the gigantic whirlpool directly in the eye. See why this frightening ride was worth a possible heart attack? YOLO!
White Water Walk
If you want to take a walk like no other and get close to this phenomenon, you can. Hop in your car or on the WEGO bus and head north a few miles on the Scenic Niagara Parkway to the White Water Walk. Take a short ride down the elevator to the tunnel that leads you out to the boardwalk and an upper and lower observation deck. I was able to enjoy a long stroll right on the water’s edge. This is where you can experience the twist and turns of the raging rapids whitewater’s. There’s several observations areas that are perfect for stopping at to marvel at one of the world’s wildest stretches of whitewater. And to snap a few selfies for your scrapbook. There’s nothing like capturing the relentless power and beauty of nature to enjoy over and over again. Watching the waves crash against the rock literally took my breath away!
Rainbow Bridge and Whitewater Rapids
What’s a WEGO bus, Tiffany? It’s a transportation system that connects you to all the attractions, tourist areas and your hotel. There’s four different bus lines that conveniently connect at the Table Rock Centre which is right on the brink of the Horseshoe Falls. If you purchased the Adventure Pass it comes with a two-day WEGO access. For the enjoyment, I parked my car and hopped on the WEGO bus. I was able to capture a lot of video that I wouldn’t have otherwise if I was driving. And I did enjoy riding the bus. It was very clean, it had comfy seats and extra-large windows which was perfect for snapping wide-angle photos.
The Floral Showhouse is just a short walk from the Niagara Falls. I am so grateful that I visited this place. It’s beautiful! I spent two wonderful hours marveling at all the different species of tropical plants. At one point, I stood and listened to the tropical birds serenading high in the ceiling. Where the beautiful gigantic ferns hang. When you stepped out back, the spectacular gardens line the walking paths so perfectly. My favorite was the hostas garden that stood over 3 feet tall and wide. Hostas are one of my favorite plants. I was in paradise. I had to take a rest on one of the benches just to take everything in. I was not expecting to see so many beautifully maintained gardens in Canada. From the Floral Showhouse, along the Scenic Niagara Parkway to the Floral Clock which is approximately 8 miles north of Niagara Falls. The Floral clock is made up of over 15,000 carpet bedding plants. It’s something to see and worth the short drive or ride on the WEGO. And it’s totally free including the parking!
If you’re looking for a little Vegas style action without the casinos then the Clifton Hills is the place for you. It’s a great spot for families and teenagers because of its major amusement area. Some of the top attractions are miniature golf, wax museums, haunted houses, video arcades and the famous Niagara Skywheel that sits right in the middle of it all. It stands 175 feet tall and offers a bird eye views of the Falls. This is a great way to catch the colorful illuminating lights and spectacular display of fireworks over the Falls. Just sit back in your private gondolas and take in this unique sightseeing experience. I have to say this was a great way to end my last night in Canada.
Where will you travel to next to taking in some astonishing views? If you haven’t been to the Niagara Falls, you should go. Start saving and planning now. It a very beautiful place with lasting memories. And a very inexpensive place to travel too. It will not break your bank. I have to say that this was the cheapest solo trip that I’ve taken so far. There are so many free things to do at Niagara Falls, listen to live music, stroll through botanical gardens or visit the Butterfly Conservatory. Something else worth mentioning, one of my favorite parts of visiting the Falls was being surround by people from all over the world. It was a great experience to have had. I felt very safe and right at home at the Niagara Falls.
“It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”