24 Hours in Breathtaking Niagara Falls

No matter how many times you have been to Niagara Falls, it still takes your breath away. As we walked towards the falls, I caught a glimpse of the falls and gasped at its majesty – then I realised that I was looking at the smaller falls – let alone the bigger falls upstream!

horseshoe-falls

I could stand there for hours and watch the thunderous power of the water and the beautiful rainbows that form in the mist.

rainbow-at-horseshoe-falls

This was a much desired second visit; the first one being many years ago on our first Round the World trip. We went on the Maid of the Mist boat and Journey behind the Falls last time, so we didn’t feel the need to do them again. We were content with just watching from the side. I spotted a photogenic seagull and an otter scampering round on the grass beside the river.

seagull

boat-at-niagara

It was freezing cold on the day we visited so I was wrapped up in all the layers I owned – including thermals and ski gloves! We also stopped into trusty Tim Horton’s for a cup of my favourite French Vanilla coffee to warm us up.  All bundled up, we walked downstream to see Bridal Falls and American Falls close up.

rainbow-at-bridal-falls

We crossed the rainbow bridge into the USA. The border between Canada and USA is in the middle of this bridge, so you need a passport as you are crossing an international border. The crossing was uneventful, which is what we like!

bridal-falls

We crossed the bridge onto Goat Island, which was one of my favourite things to do from our last trip, as the fall leaves are beautiful here. We were sprayed at American Falls, and admired the pink glow of the sunset reflected on the mist at Horseshoe Falls. After a good amount of photos and taking photos for other people (including an interesting photo for a Mum and Son where they posed for the photo by facing each other and pretending to be deep in an animated conversation – that’s a new one!), we headed back, getting a good look at the falls which were lit up for nighttime by this stage.

bridal-falls-at-night

We crossed back into Canada and enjoyed a yummy meal, which we were very ready for by this stage. We then explored Clifton Hill – all neon lights, tourist attractions, casinos, gift shops, and restaurants. Luckily this is open late so we were glad we had spent the daylight hours on the Falls, and left this until nightfall.

We had been told by various sources that the fireworks were on that night, and we rushed down to the falls to see them, but nothing happened. We (and other confused people) were left standing around. Very strange…

In the morning we explored the new Niagara Fallsview Casino. This was very plush and felt just like a Vegas casino. From the small terrace at the far end of the casino outside the food court, there is a nice view over the falls.

We then hit the road, headed north for Niagara on the Lake.

Travel Tips:

  • If you cross the Rainbow bridge (from Canada to the US), don’t forget your passport and money for the fee – I think this is 25 cents on foot, but just ensure you have cash. Not sure of the fee for cars as only drove one-way and we had already paid a $6 each fee to enter the USA in a car previously, which was still valid.
  • There are public toilets on Goat Island.
  • There is also free wifi near Bridal Falls, run by Niagara Falls State Parks.
  • You can see Niagara Falls on a day trip – technically it takes 5 minutes to “tick it off the list”, but we really enjoyed spending more time there – at least a day to see all the falls from all angles and enjoy a spot of dinner and nightlife afterwards.
  • You can save Clifton Hill until the evening as it’s all lit up and open until late (I think 10pm but probably depends on the season), leaving the daylight hours for seeing the Falls itself.

next blog: Niagara on the Lake, Canada

previous blog: Favourite Travel Photos

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