Well we are getting back to our normal weekly routine after an amazing sunny anniversary weekend. As promised here are some great pictures and details from our anniversary trip to Niagara Falls:
We left on Thursday around 5:00pm and drove the three hours north to Niagara Falls avoiding toll roads as much as possible. By around 8:00pm we were at the boarder crossing with our new passports and for the first time together crossed over to Canada. We checked in at the Best Western, dropped off our bags then went in search of a late dinner.
Since we bought two separate Groupon Getaways we had several vouchers for food and activities, plus the hotels threw-in several extras with our room keys. For the most part this made planning our weekend and where would eat very easy. We walked to TGIF with our $20 voucher and got a good quick dinner. Then we went on a brisk cold walk to get a partial view of the Canadian side of the falls at night.
Friday we switched into outdoor mode. Gearing up with tennis shoes, hats, and sunglasses we packed a picnic lunch and crossed back over to America to check out the Niagara Falls State Park. For a Friday the place was pretty quiet. Unfortunately, the park has been doing some re-construction of lookouts, hikes, and walkways which ended up limiting our exploring. But the view was beautiful and so was the weather. Following the rapids away from the falls we walked toward the trail to visit the Islands. For a virtual map of all that I am describing click here.
The first Island has had several names over the years but the one that has stuck is Goat Island. Crossing the rapids on a pedestrian bridge you come to a picnic area and parking lot. Walking to the waterfront you can look back on the American Falls and get close to Bridal Veil Fall the mist of which was creating a rainbow.
Again because of construction Luna island, a closer viewing point to the falls, was closed for construction so the above picture was as close as we could get. Rounding the viewpoint is the ticket-booth and elevator for the Cave of the Winds tour which takes you to the base of the American Falls along wet walkways. Continuing along the trail we came up to Terrapin point, the lookout for the American view of the Horseshoe falls. This was Luke’s first time to see these monstrous falls in daylight.
Next we continued past the Fallsview Restaurant and on to the Three Sisters Islands. This area had already been remodeled and looked beautiful with many trees, drops in the rapids, and from the bridges you could see mist from where the rapids end and the falls begin.
After all this walking, we headed back to the car for our picnic lunch. Then we headed over to the Maid of the Midst for our boat tour. We first took in the view at the observation deck, then we went down the elevator and climbed the stairs to the crows nest.
As we waited in line for the Maid of the Mist tour, we put on our blue plastic ponchos. Luke was skeptical he really needed to wear it as he sweated waiting to get on the boat-I knowingly smiled. We crowded as close as we could to the front of the boat and off we went. First we took in a great view of the American falls as we rounded the last of the falls the wind and midst began to hit us and we were grateful for our hats and glasses.
We then turned toward the massive HorseShoe falls. As we got closer the thundering of the falls roared louder than the boat’s engine. We inched closer and closer and got hit with a windy down-pour of rain (aka Mist). Taking in the view from both sides of the boat as it turned around we saw the rainbow once again over the American falls.
We got off the boat, up the elevator, and tried to dry off. Driving back to the Canadians side over the Rainbow Bridge turned out to take awhile in the rush-hour afternoon traffic. But with a great view and the windows down it didn’t feel too long before we were back at the Best Western getting ready for dinner. All the hotels and restaurants are so close to each other that we once again walked to The Keg located in the Embassy Suites. Grateful we made reservations, we were brought right to our table with a partial view of the falls. (I’m sure you have to specifically ask or come early for seats right by the window).
We watched the sunset and had an amazing prime rib dinner of which we only paid for tip outside of groupon vouchers!! We then went on a walk to explore a little more of the Canadian side tourism central with Starbuck in hand. On our route back we stopped by the Skylon tower to view a wonderful fireworks display over the falls around 9:45pm.
On our way to our room we heard another whole set of fireworks go off. We hurried up the stairs to watched them from our balcony around 10:00pm. This was the last night of fireworks for the season and we think they may have been celebrating both Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day all at once! It was a great end to a wonderful day.
Next up: Niagara Falls: Anniversary Part 1: Canadian Side