We left my dad’s house Friday afternoon around 12pm. It took us just a little over 7 hours to get to the border in Buffalo. The lines weren’t too bad and we were asked about everyone’s residency status (more on that later). I can’t help but to always notice the amount of bugs that are killed on these trips. Sorry about the dirty windshield picture!
After seamlessly crossing the border we headed to our Airbnb. We quickly checked in and dropped off our things. It was 8:00pm and we were hungry. Not too far from us there was a Quesada Burritos and Tacos. This vendor was one of many I noticed on that trip that sold meat alternatives. Thank you Canada for getting with the program and giving me options! Burritos in bellies and it was time to go to the falls.
We parked in a lot across the street from the falls. It converts to $14.87 USD. With my Amex I don’t pay an exchange fee either. Learn more about that here. It was easy to get to Horseshoe Falls where we planned on watching the fireworks from. There was a full moon out that night too.
We planned our day specifically for that Friday as it was the first fireworks show of the summer 2019 season. It started at 10pm sharp and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it. It normally last a few minutes but being the first of the season it was about 15 minutes long. There was music accompanying the fireworks which seemed to dance along to the rythym. Below you’ll see my dad and stepmom watching the fireworks. It was 46 degrees that night so we were all wearing hats and hoodies.
The next morning my dad and I picked up donuts and coffee for breakfast at a Tim Horton’s. They are the equivalent of Dunkin Donuts in New York and have just as many. They open early so we were out the door by 8am while everyone else finished getting ready. Once we ate and all headed out, we parked in the same lot as the night before.
We purchased bundled tickets at the Niagara Parks ticket office. Our bundle is called “The Classic” and it included the following attractions:
We walked along the water for 20 minutes to reach the Hornblower cruise. The line seemed long but almost everyone in front of us got on the next boat. Leaving us to be the first ones on when it came back. We ended up in the edge of the top deck with unobstructed views. Can you see the excitement in our faces for having scored great seats to the waterfall show?
The boat goes past the base of the American Falls as it heads to the base of Horseshoe Falls. The total travel time on the boat is about 30 minutes. I kept my phone out as long as I could. Not wanting to damage it I put it away when we were at the base of Horseshoe. You get to a point where you think the boat it going to go right into the water because it gets so close. And thank God for water proof boots and ponchos. You get soaked on this boat standing on those decks. It would not have been fun to squish around the rest of the day!
Next on the list was Niagara’s Fury. We walked 20 minutes back to where we started. The WeGo buses can also take you from one site to the next if the walking gets to be too much. Thank you to the hot dog vendor outside because that was lunch lol.
They don’t allow people to film or take pictures once inside so I’ll quickly describe this attraction. It’s a family friendly cartoon introduction to the Falls and then a 4D experience with snow, thunder, rain, etc. It’s definitely a more entertaining way to learn how the falls were formed.
Afterwards we went to Journey Behind the Falls. These tunnels are 130 years old and located 125 feet below the building. There are two windows directly behind the waterfall and the observation platform at the base of the waterfall. The sound of the water crashing down is intense. You can hear it’s power rumbling through the tunnels. It was a steady reminder that water is a force to be reckoned with.
After removing the last of the ponchos we headed to the car. It was time to switch out of our boots and into dryer footwear.
We walked over to the WeGo bus terminal and waited for the green line that would take us to White Water Walk. Remember, the bundles we purchased included access to these buses. The bus makes several stops at other listed attractions and the total ride lasted about 20 minutes.
There’s an elevator that takes you to the base of the gorge closest to the water on the Canadian side. White Water Walk is a half mile round trip walk on a boardwalk. There are plaques and viewpoints along the way to lear about the area you’re walking in. These rapids are class VI. Meaning: “runs of this classification are rarely attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are severe and rescue may be impossible.” Standing there watching the water go by you can see why it’s classified as such.
We took the green line back to the parking lot and stopped at an A&W for dinner. We then drove back to the AirBnB to watch a movie. My feet had done enough walking for the day and I wanted to rest up before tomorrow’s drive.
The next morning it was Tim Horton’s coffees and pastries again. YUM! We left the airbnb and headed south. Ahh yes, I mentioned the residency status: We were informed at the border that it’s not suffice to travel with just a passport if you’re a green card holder. You have to have your resident card with you as well. Otherwise it’s a hefty fine. We didn’t have that problem because my dad made sure to bring them. But it could have really ruined an otherwise awesome trip. So if you plan on crossing the border, remember to carry all your proper identification!
And that ladies and gentlemen is how we spent a quick weekend in Niagara, Canada. It’s a shame the long drive deters so many people I know personally from visiting. If you’re willing to take the drive though, it’s worth it!
“I wish that road trips could pay my bills.”