Niagara Falls a Destination for any Time of Year
A Canadian Delight!
The key aspect about Niagara Falls is that there is so much to see that any article can only unpeel a small amount of what this destination has to offer: Outstanding natural beauty; shopping; amusements for the kids; vineyards and so much more await your visit and if your interests lie elsewhere we can still probably keep you amused.
The First Visit?
I can remember the first time I saw Niagara Falls. It was a hot summers day, just over 36 degrees Celsius and the we were glad to stand under the spray generated by the falls. Several years later I find myself living in the vicinity and seeing the falls every few weeks. The best view of this beauty spot is from the Canadian side of the river because you can see both falls clearly and take panoramic views if you wish.
It is not the greatest distance that water plunges over a rock lip into a valley below, but it is arguably the most awesome display of sheer water power found anywhere in the world. Look up from the Niagara Cruises boat to the top of the falls you can feel this power as the boat inches forward as close as it can get. At its closest point everything is wet, the decks, the sky, you. Try to take a picture and the camera lens is instantly wet. Yet the boat is full with people who do not care about being wet - they are transfixed as they stare at the wall of water before them. This is perhaps the most intense moment of looking at the falls because it is here that the watcher feels perhaps closest to death, one small slip by the crew and the boat is lost with all hands going under.
The crew, however are supremely precise with their navigational skills and at exactly the right moment they turn to the left - it is then another boat's turn to head in and fight the raging torrent and give their passengers a thrill of a lifetime.
The Horseshoe Falls
All of the attractions offer waterproof capes to stop you from getting too wet. With the presence of so much water though there is plenty of opportunity to get wet.
The next stop on the tour is to view the scenery from the top of the falls. The Canadian, or horseshoe falls, are by far the most expressive. Photographs rarely do justice to the awesome power on display here, yet there are good shots to be found by looking around. The best time of year for photographs is winter, with snow as the backdrop on the Parkway.
The best view of the American falls can be found from Murray Street. Take a walk up the hill. The higher you are prepared to climb the better the view and its worth the climb. Of course this is the view shared by many of the top hotels like the Sheraton, Marriott, Embassy Suites, Hilton, and The Oakes. Each of these hotels also offer a great view and the majority of the rooms face the view. The incline railway also provides a great view as it moves up the hill, stopping behind the Embassy Suites hotel. This is only a short ride, but well worth taking.
The Niagara Parkway is a park that forms part of a road that travels along the Niagara River from Fort Erie to the old Canadian Capital of Niagara on the Lake. In Niagara Falls, the parkway is normally pristine all year around with an ever changing floral display giving the visitor a great park whatever time they are visiting. The Skylon Tower is another location that provides a panoramic view of the falls. Some of these high vantage points like the Skylon and the hotels above the Horseshoe Falls can give the impression of seeing the scene from the air, especially from the upper floors.
The Table Rock Welcome Centre is the start point for most visitors. It is an important location and central to enjoying your visit to Niagara falls. From here you should visit the Journey under the Falls which gives the visitor the closest view of the underside of the falls. After viewing both the top of the falls and the Journey Under the Falls many visitors find it convenient to eat at Table Rock's restaurants there are foods for most tastes and budgets here.
One of the most enjoyable areas are the parks on the Parkway which are plush and green in the summer. A good place to sit and rest for a while. There is seating, but finding empty spaces can be a challenge during the height if the summer season. Most people simply enjoy sitting on the grass and soaking up the scenery.
Dufferin Island in winter has a full display of lights at Christmas time. These leave a lasting impression to all visitors.. In the summer this island makes a great place to relax. There is no parking here so it is necessary to walk a short distance to get here.
The rapids and the whirlpool downstream offer additional displays of the power of the river. These rapids are accessible to the visitor who is able to view them at water level. They are the strongest rapids in the world and there are stories available of people who have tried to navigate this treacherous waterway at this point.
Niagara Falls - a Place for you?
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What to pack
What to bring
solid walking shoes
Not needed in summer! Summer days can get hot.
parhaps a light jacket
Yes there are waterparks on Falls Ave, at Great Wolf Lodge, and the Americana
pools open late in summer
A change of clothes
When visitng the Jetboat ride
When viewing the falls by helicopter.
...continues in the evening.
Niagara on the Lake Shopping
You should know before coming to the Niagara Falls area that we are proud of our local wine industry and it is perhaps our best kept secret. While you are here do plan a wine tour to Niagara on the Lake which has a lot to offer. We have some local vineyards that have won prestigious European wine awards. Vineyards and Wineries to see:
- Peller Estates on John St
- Château des Charmes in St Davids
- Jackson-Triggs on Niagara Stone Road
- Stratus on Niagara Stone Road
- Hillibrand on Niagara Stone Road
- Stewn, a boutique winery.
- Inneskillin on East-West Line (part of a large corporation)
We don't wish to say Goodbye to you
Come to Niagara Falls and the local people will welcome you with open arms, support our local economy, check out the night life, but don't get tempted to drink and drive.
When leaving - remember this - When using buses, taxis, or limos to depart the city it is not legal to use transport services from other locations to pick you up in Niagara Falls. Local buses, taxis and limos can take you to Toronto, Hamilton, or Buffalo airports