Day 1: Canadian Side
I had seen pictures of the falls all over the Internet, Pinterest and Instagram. Still, nothing could’ve prepared me for what we experienced my husband and I went we visited a few ago. After a relatively short flight from Atlanta GA to Buffalo NY, and a pleasant drive through Grand Island, we arrived at the border control.
So this was funny. The Customs and Border Protection Agent at the Canadian Border Control asked my husband how long we’ve been married and he went silent for a few seconds then started mumbling some random dates… like dude, you forgot already?
Moving on! We made it past the border and drove to the falls area. My initial thoughts: how impressive!! I watched the entire area as we drove along River Rd/Niagara Pkwy trying to find parking and was so amazed by the magnitude of the falls. Absolutely breathtaking! I felt so incredibly insignificant in front of such natural wonder. Their strength, power, and beauty all can be felt at once.
In my humble opinion, to have the best experience of the falls, the boat ride is a must. We actually got swept into the entire touristy feel of the area and ended up doing more “falls related” activities than we anticipated. But in all honesty, it’s all part of the tourist trap and most of it is absolutely unnecessary. I would recommend either the boat ride or the Journey Behind the Falls.
The Falls consist of three equally beautiful waterfalls, the Canadian Horseshoe Fall, the American Fall, and the Bridal Veils Fall.
My impression of the waterfalls I must say, however majestic and beautiful, got soiled quickly once I noticed the big hotels and casino skyscrapers around.
Not to mention how everything is just extremely overpriced starting with a simple bottle of water ($4Ca) and centered around the falls. The Keg Steakhouse restaurant had a 2hr wait before you can be seated at a table with a “falls view”. Turned out to be a complete joke for a view in the end… 😏
Everything else was worth the experience however. So please dont let me discourage you from going the Niagara Falls from the Canada side.
Day 2: American Side
The following day we decided, after a quick visit of Toronto, to see the Niagara Falls on the US side. We had to drive back that way regardless in order to catch our flight to Atlanta. So why not?
I must say I was happy about our decision once we got there. In all objectivity, it felt more peaceful from that side. It’s just that, a State Park where families come and enjoy nature on a sunday afternoon. The views were to me just as magnificent. On the US side you see the beginning of the falls drop. On the Canadian side, you see the falling effect. That’s it.
So to me it’s all about perspective and what type of experience you are looking to have. If you want the touristy experience with the casinos and overpriced hotels and restaurants, go see the it from the Canadian side. For a more peaceful soak in nature, plan for a quiet picnic on the US side.
After all, it’s only a relatively short walk across the rainbow bridge.