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Niagara Falls Canada & USA {days 10-11}

by allison on July 12th, 2011

Days 10 and 11 of our trip took us from Toronto to Niagara, Canada and then over to Niagara, USA. We had heard the best way to see Niagara Falls is from the Canadian side, but we figured we may as well see it from all angles while we were actually there.

Niagara Falls has got to be one of the most amazing natural wonders of this world. It is absolutely breathtaking. If you can visit in your lifetime, I strongly urge you to do so. And spend the extra money getting a passport so you can see it from both sides. Totally hands-down worth the grilling from customs.

Niagara Falls is actually made up of several waterfalls. The most popular one, shown below is the Horseshoe Falls.

When we arrived at Niagara Falls we quickly checked out the falls and then headed straight for their version of a boardwalk, full of food, ice cream, games, and shops.

I totally blew it when it came to taking a picture of the whole street. Here’s the best one I have. Obviously Ben is telling me to hold on a minute.

We purchased a pass that gave us access to six different attractions that we thought the kids would like. Most were fun-house type attractions with crazy mirrors.


Here’s my favorite one. Once again, I’m taking a picture of myself while Ben checks into Gowala. Ben is obsessed with Gowala, I tell ya.

Black light rooms are always a hit, especially if you have on light colored clothes.

That night we went back to our hotel, the Marriott Gateway. Because Ben is a Platinum Marriott Member he was able to talk them into giving us a free room upgrade! They put us on the 8th floor in the Junior Presidential Suite! The floor to ceiling view of the Falls was so amazing it left us all totally speechless.

We planned our vacation so that our stay at Niagara Falls would fall on the 4th of July. Americans sure know how to throw a fireworks party! Fireworks light up the entire sky; an amazing show over the falls, but also the entire skyline in the distance was non stop explosions of color. It was the best 4th of July I’ve ever seen.

Once the explosions were finished and the finale had ended, the falls were light up with multi-colored lights for another hour or so. Ben and I sat on the couch staring out at the breathtaking falls for a few hours that evening while the kids slept.

The next morning we were eager to see what the falls look like in the day time (we checked into the room after dark). They were even more inspiring than at night! You could see the river for miles and miles.

And again, the Falls. The one on the far right is Horseshoe falls, and the one in the distance is American Falls. The bridge in the distance on the left is the bridge that connects Canada and New York.

Sadly, we had to check out of our hotel after this. However, we stayed almost the whole day in Canada before we headed over to New York. We said goodbye to the best hotel room we’ve ever had (and was free since we used our hotel points for it! Yippie!) and hopped on the shuttle for the quick trip down to the falls.

Ben is ‘da man! He’s our resident mule.

We did the Maid of the Mist boat tour. So amazing and 100% worth it. The earlier you go in the day, the shorter the wait. We got there at about noon on a Tuesday and had no wait at all. The afternoon before was over a 2 hour wait!

The token Maid of the Mist family photo taken at a bad angle by a stranger.

Almost there…

The water falls with such force that it is like being in a downpour. The water is freezing and everyone gets soaked. The free disposable rain ponchos are not optional.

After the boat ride we stepped aside for a few more quick snapshots with the American Falls as our backdrop.

From there, we went straight to the car and headed for New York to see the falls from the other side.

Here are the kids next to the American Falls.

Seeing the Falls from the American side was the perfect ending to our Niagara Falls trip. It was breathtaking to see them from the Canadian side, but from the American side you get so close to them you can practically stick your arm out and touch the water.

It was a huge rush to stand so close to the falls and take in the sheer force of the water. Seeing the water rush by, hearing its force, and feeling the spray gave us an even bigger appreciation for just how massive Niagara Falls really is.

Here’s Horseshoe falls as we were walking down to see it up close. Unless you go there in person, it’s impossible to experience the magnitude of them.

I had to throw this one in because the kids just look so darn cute in it. I love them!

Horseshoe Falls as it flows over the cliff.

Another view. This waterfall has such force that it creates a continuous spray so thick you cannot see through it. We were not able to see this side of the falls from the Canadian side.

It’s hard to say what has been the best part of our trip so far, but I’d rank this Natural Wonder of the World at the top. Niagara Falls is breathtaking and beautiful beyond words. I’m truly grateful that I’ve been able to experience this in my lifetime.

And in closing, I leave with you proof of my love for Diet Dr Pepper, which we’ve consumed by the caseload out of the cooler in the back of our SUV.

Next up, NEW YORK CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*every photo in this post, even the awesome ones that look like I stole them from a photography site, are mine that I took with the camera pictured in the above photo. Case in point: You do not need an expensive camera to take good photos.

From → Family

  1. Bec permalink

    My dad grew up about 5 blocks from the falls. I’ve been back to visit numerous times, but they still amaze me every time. I totally could have told you to eat at La Hacienda pizza. Best pizza in the world. Says so on the box 🙂

  2. Olga permalink

    The pics look amazing! And I have the same camera. I freaking LOVE it 🙂

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