This blog post highlights our adventures for September 9, 2015. Follow us on Instagram to find out where we are currently!
While staying at the Branches of Niagara Campground we took a day trip to see Niagara Falls! Just a short 20 minute drive from our campground it was a very quick drive into town. Our truck is huge, so we just parked in the main parking lot of the visitor’s center, it was $10 but worth skipping the headache of trying to park a massive truck on busy city streets.
Just a short walk from our parking spot and there it was, Niagara Falls in all her glory. . .breathtaking!
You can see photos and hear people describe it – but until you actually see the size and power. . . and you hear the roar, and feel the rumble, you don’t get the full experience. Wow, just wow.
There is a very popular tour called the Maid of the Mist that takes you on a boat to the base of the falls. Adults are $17, children 6-12 years are $9.90 and children under 5 are FREE (with an accompanying adult). We think it was well worth the ticket price!
As you head down to the boat you’re given a signature blue poncho. The kids thought this was pretty cool. Yes, this poncho is to protect you from getting wet, which you will.
We board the boat and the fun begins . . .
As you near the base of the falls the roar becomes even more intense. . .
It’s 600,000 gallons of rushing water come over the edges of the fall every second! And the mist and spray is intense. I wish it was a sunny day – if it had been, we would have seen rainbows. . . .but it was still amazing.
During the tour the captain gives a narrative about the falls. We learned that it’s actually a collection of water falls, each with their own names — the Horseshoe Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls.
The kids were in awe – especially my son who has always been drawn to water. It was so fun to see them get excited as we got closer and closer to the falls. I put the camera away as we got closer – I didn’t want it to get wet. Guess this gives you more reason to come check it out for yourself. 🙂
After the boat tour you get dropped off by an elevator that will take you up to the observation deck – amazing view from up there! You can also hike up along the side of the falls.
After doing the Maid of the Mist tour we wanted to head over to Canada. We had heard from many of you that the Canadian view of the falls is different and worth seeing. We all have current passports so why not!? To go from Niagara Falls over to Canada it’s just a short walk through the park on the New York side and over this bridge.
You have customs on either side. It was a little intimidating – I’ve never walked into another country before, I’ve always gone through customs in a car. But it took a short 10 minutes to wait in line and have our passports scanned before we walking across to Canada. . .
The bridge has a great pedestrian bridge (barriers on both sides), so I felt safe walking with the kids across the bridge.
We stopped often because it was a great view of the falls from the bridge. The kids thought it was especially cool to be standing on the international boundary line – between Canada and the United States – in this photo, I have a kid in each country.
When you get to the other side of the bridge, there are a lot of businesses to explore and some beautiful parks. It was lunchtime so we went straight to lunch, we ended up eating at Planet Hollywood because it was close and convenient.
Then we went to the nearby Hershey’s store – which the kids loved. . .
What’s not to love when they give you a free piece of candy as soon as you walk in!?! They also got cupcakes for dessert. This is field research you know, we have to know what Canadian cupcakes tastes like. 😉
Then we walked through the parks on the Canadian side and watched the falls from across the way. I think I prefer the view from the Canadian side – you get more of a head-on view of the falls.
The Canadian version of the Maid in the Mist tour can be seen here. They have RED ponchos (American tour has the blue ponchos) – that’s how you can tell them apart.
Niagara Falls is just spectacular. It is.
On the way back over the bridge, as we headed back to the United States, the kids each wanted photos with a foot in each country, right on the International Border. Look at these world travelers – I love that they love this stuff!
We had a wonderful day exploring Niagara Falls – both the American and Canadian sides of the falls. We are so glad that we decided to include this place along our route.
Have you toured Niagara Falls? Have you walked across to Canada by the falls? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
And don’t forget. . .if you are looking for a campground near Niagara Falls you should check out Branches of Niagara Campground – you won’t be disappointed!