Niagara Falls Was Not What I Thought It Would Be.

“Amazing”, “Breath-taking”, “awe-inspiring”, are just a few of the words people use to describe the beauty and majesty of Niagara Falls. It is a place high on many people’s “Travel Bucket List,” and luckily for me, Niagara Falls was high on my mom’s list, otherwise, I don’t think I would have seen these iconic waterfalls the same, if at all.

I am guilty of being one of those people that forgets the amazing things to see in their own “back yard” so to speak, and I thought of Niagara Falls as a place to visit “someday;” after I visit far off fairy tale castles, or ancient wonders abroad. I think that in my mind, seeing the many photos, travel channel specials, and blogs featuring Niagara Falls made me believe that I’d “seen it” and therefore might be underwhelmed if I spent all that money to actually see it in person.

I was utterly and completely wrong because Niagara Falls in person is anything but “underwhelming.” Even being crammed among the throngs of tourists on the Hornblower did not diminish how incredible it was to get soaked by the mists of Horseshoe Falls (the biggest of the three waterfalls in Niagara). Descending 150 feet below and viewing the Falls through 130 year-old tunnels was what made Journey Behind the Falls so memorable and fun. However, nothing compares to my favorite: Cave of the Winds where you can get up close and personal with the two waterfalls on the American side all while donning an appropriately stylish outfit consisting of specially designed sandals and a bright poncho.

Autumn Aquarius Niagara Cave Wind

But the best thing about this trip to Niagara falls for me was serving as a tour guide/ photographer/driver for my mom and aunties. Searching for and booking affordable flights and hotels, researching the “must-dos,” finding good places to eat, capturing good photos, making sure everyone was getting the most out of their trip, and navigating through border checks and unfamiliar roads while still trying to be a tourist myself was A LOT, and quite challenging at times, but it made for great memories and an unforgettable trip to a wonderful place. I’m so glad we went, and that I was wrong about my initial (and very naive) thoughts on seeing such a truly magnificent force of nature.

Autumn Aquarius Adventures niagara boat

Check out a video of our trip here.

If Niagara Falls is on your list here are some tips:

  1. Allow your self time to see both sides.

I thought 5 days would be too much time but there is a lot to see and do on both the Canadian and American sides as both are very different. Many people prefer the Canadian side because you get a full panoramic view of all three waterfalls. I personally prefer the American side because I feel closer to the Falls, and it’s more scenic and natural.  Crossing the borders is relatively quick and easy so long as you have your passport handy.

 

Autumn Aquarius Niagara NY
View from New York side
Autumn Aquarius Niagara Canada
View from Canadian side.

 

      2. Stay in a hotel close to the Falls.

Lots of walking, lots of people, lots to do. It was so nice to have a room so close that I could take a quick nap in. I scored great deal on hotels.com and booked a room overlooking the Falls at the Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel and Suites for $109 a night. This was one of the most inspiring views I have ever woken up to:

Autumn Aquarius Hotel View Niagara

3. Don’t miss Niagara Falls light up at night. 

During the day, there are swarms of people going to and fro trying to get that perfect photo by the Falls. This photo below was taken at around 11pm on the Canadian side when the bulk of tourists were either sleeping or enjoying the nearby shops and casino. The Falls are just as captivating by night with less people. Also, the colors change! So pretty.

Autumn Aquarius Niagara Night time

4. Make a reservation for dinner at the Skylon Tower.

There are tons of good, decently priced restaurants around the Falls area to choose from for a quick bite or hearty meal, but don’t miss out on dining at the Skylon Tower. In addition to either delicious fine dining in their famous Revolving Dining room or an array of yummy dishes to choose from at their Summit Suite Buffet, guests are treated to an amazing aerial view of the Niagara waterfalls.

Autumn Aquarius Skylon Tower
SO CUTE! My Coke came in a mini Skylon Tower !

 

5. Consider purchasing The Discovery Pass (American side) and/or Adventure Pass (Canadian Side). 

If you are spending an entire day on either side, purchasing a pass that groups together multiple attractions is a good option. The prices are not too bad considering you get a few popular attractions as well as transportation. It saved us a ton of time, and after all time is money!

Niagara Falls Autumn Aquarius Family

 

 

 

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Jamie is a writer with a passion for adventure, history, and more. When she’s not out exploring the world, Jamie is at home in sunny San Diego, CA chasing sunsets and carne asada fries, preoccupied with research, or invested in a good book and a cup of tea.

21 thoughts on “Niagara Falls Was Not What I Thought It Would Be.

  1. Great blog.
    We’re lucky to have you as a tour guide. We got to see a lot in 4 days bcz you planned the trip well.

  2. Your photos are gorgeous!!! What a review! It’s definitely on my Travel Bucket List. Can’t wait to swap travel stories when you’re in NOLA next!!

  3. Ooh I didn’t even know it was right between NY and Canada! Love the recs plus your hotel view was so awesome! Looks memorable! See you around in SD 🙂

  4. So well written. It is good to know that it is worth seeing it both from the US side as well as Canada. I know some people who have seen it only from one side. The photos really show the adventure and fun you guys had. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I haven’t been to Niagara Falls in forever! Amazing photos – I would defiantly take your tips under consideration the next time I visit!

    Would you mind checking out my photography blog at Rafia Tasneem and possibly give it a follow? Can’t wait to check out more of your posts!

    – Rafia ❤︎

  6. I’m so happy you were able to experience both sides of the Falls, and ecstatic that you like the natural style of the American side. There’s actually a lot of work being done here to improve the natural landscaping along the gorge, so I really do hope you come back to visit us in a few years. There’s even a rumor that they’re gonna shut off the American Falls to repair a bridge (and that’ll be something crazy to look at).

    1. Thank you Sheepie Niagara! It was definitely one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.

      Wow, I can’t believe they can “shut off” Niagara like that! That’s so crazy to think about. What a sight that would be!

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