Information On The Canadian Falls, Maid of the Mist, Daily Rainbows, Things To Do, Restaurants, Hotels And B&Bs
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
The rush on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is not just that of the water water rolling over the edge.
It’s from the people who are standing there to see it. And it’s a rush of adrenalin, of heartbeats and of excitement.
Niagara Falls is exhilarating and also fascinating. Heart-pumping and also captivating. As these pictures illustrate, it’s almost impossible to take anything but a spectacular photo of Niagara Falls.
Be there on a sunny day as afternoon creeps into early evening and see a rainbow. It’s a powerful emotional rush. In the summertime, there are weekly fireworks shows.
It’s little wonder that one of the Natural Wonders of the Worlds is one of the Top Honeymoon Destinations in the World. In the province of Ontario, Niagara Falls is two hours south of Toronto and across the bridge from Buffalo, N.Y., in the USA.
Seeing The Falls & The Maid Of The Mist Boat
The Falls are so close on the Canadian side they are almost close enough to touch. Certainly, close enough to view from very close proximity.
A walkway goes along the appropriately-named Falls Avenue and offers various viewpoints at the height of the Falls, including right smack dab overlooking the 170-foot (52m) ledge. This is where the Falls are at their most fascinating; the sheer volume of water continuously flowing over the edge is hard to comprehend even when seeing it from just a few precarious feet away.
This view and experience is free. And people feel free when they are looking at the Falls.
And to answer that question of whether or not to view the Falls on the American side or the Canadian side, the answer is clearly Canadian. The American side has a huge viewing platform and even a little park, but only on the Canadian side can people get right up to the edge of the rushing water. This is known as Horseshoe Falls, and 90% of the water of Niagara Falls flows over here.
After viewing the Falls from the railing, why not actually take a boat ride and actually go into the Falls? The Maid of the Mist does just that – well almost.
People are given plastic blue rain jackets – almost an icon in Niagara Falls – and the boat goes to the edge of the Falls. On calm days, passengers don’t get as wet as it may appear; it’s more like a mist. Thus the boat’s name.
Boats depart every half hour starting at 9 a.m., and run until 7:45 in the summer (June 19-Aug. 8). The price is $18.25 for adults, $10.65 for kids 6-12 and free for children under the age of 5.
There are also excursions that enable visitors to go practically to the wall of the Falls from a perch below the railing. This is the Journey Behind the Falls. There is also a speedboat into the Falls and helicopter rides over the Falls.
More Niagara Falls Attractions & Things To Do
There is no question that the Falls are the main attraction but it is not all there is to the area. After all, one can only view the majesty of the Falls for so long.
The town looks a little like Gatlinburg, TN, for anyone who has been to the Great Smokey Mountains, with arcades, haunted houses, an IMAX Theater and a Ripley’s Believe it or Not. And, believe it or not, a casino. Actually, two casinos. Plus an indoor water park (sure beats trying to over the falls in a barrel).
Clifton Hill has many of the tourist attractions. Hang a left on Victoria Avenue for more of them, one of the casinos and the restaurants mentioned below.
Despite several daredevils trying this through the years, there is no tourist activity to climb in a barrel and ride over the falls. One peek looking down at the steepness of the falls and the mad rush of the wall of water going over them will convince you that you don’t want this anyway.
Niagara Falls Rainbows
Here’s something I did not realize until I saw it happen right before my eyes – each evening just before sunset time, a gorgeous rainbow forms over the falls. Gathering to watch it is, as one might expect, a daily ritual.
Niagara Falls Restaurants
Any Canadian can certainly recognize The Keg, an outstanding and semi-casual steakhouse with ice cold beers on draught at the bar. And while PubClub.com is not much on chains, Macaroni Grill is an exception; this is a fine Italian restaurant with some of the best pizza to be found anywhere. For food or just drinks with a view, Edgewater’s Tap and Grille has a large patio overlooking the Falls.
And for any tourist who travels with their Phins Up, there is Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritavlle. The cheeseburgers are not exactly paradise but many other items on the emu are, such as the Volcano Nachos. Plus there are lots of margaritas and boat drinks.
Niagara Falls Wine Tasting Tours
Yes, you can go wine tasting in Niagara Falls. Book a tour and, if your timing is right, attend one of the area’s many wine festival. There are 35 wineries in nearby Niagara-On-The-Lake; click here for a complete guide to Niagara’s wineries.
Be sure and top along the way at the many scenic viewpoints on the Niagara Parkway, including the Floral Clock.
Niagara Falls Recommended Hotel; Motels & B&Bs
There are many accommodation choices in and around Niagara Falls, In fact, there are three Sheraton properties.
The Sheraton at the Falls (5875 Falls Ave., 905-374-4445) offers rooms with a spectacular view of the falls, plus a fireplace for the ultimate in romance. It is located next to Clifton Hill and is walkable to everything in the area. If you want THE place to stay in Niagara Falls, this is it for you.
This section of the Falls has the newer hotels. The older motels (available at cheaper rates) are in the “downtown” area a few miles east on Highway 420. And it is also along this road, which runs parallel to the Niagara River, that several houses have been converted into Bed and Breakfast spots.