By Ivana Wibowo
Strolling by the lake, sipping some sweet wine, taking in exhilarating mist, hiking lush forest, enjoying beautiful scenery. We are absolutely in love with Niagara!
Just this past week, my family and I visited Niagara Falls. This was my third time in Niagara but every time I go, I always do something different! Niagara Falls is about an hour and a half drive from Toronto (where we live) so we visited the Canadian side. If you are coming from the US, make sure to come across to see the falls from Canada as you will get front view of the falls instead of side view.
There are many hotels and bed and breakfast around the area. We stayed at the Oakes hotel. It is only a short walk from the falls. We booked the package accommodation which includes some wine tasting and meal coupons, and CAD50 voucher to Fallsview Casino! Play a couple of blackjack games, and viola, I came home with the free $50 plus $25 extra from winning.
In Niagara, you will see two waterfalls. One is the American falls called the Bridal Veil Falls, and one is the Canadian falls called the Horseshoe falls as it’s shaped like a horseshoe. Both falls are beautiful but the Canadian falls is magnificent. The falls is so powerful that you can feel the mist spraying on you as you get closer.
There are so much more to see beyond the falls in Niagara. We only had 2 days so we had to choose and pick what we want to do. Here are my top 8 things must do in Niagara Falls:
White Water Walk
About 10 minutes ride from the falls, you can go down to the edge of the river of Niagara’s whitewater. Witness the powerful rapids and its beautiful surrounding as you walk along the wooden broadwalk. The sound of the waves and the serene nature will take your breathe away! It’s my absolute favorite thing in Niagara! Cost: CAD 14.75/ adult. Click here for more information.
2. Whirpool Aero Car
If you want more out Niagara river, why not ride the Whirpool Aero Car. You can see the stunning Niagara whirlpool and its surrounding from the top as you ride this suspended gondola-like car. Cost: CAD16.40/adult. Click here for more information.
3. Walk By The Horseshoe Falls
Feel the Mist as the water drop! Because the force is so powerful, you may get soaked just by standing by the water at the top just before it falls to the bottom. It is an exhilarating feeling, and the view is gorgeous! Also check out the falls at night as they put on a light show. Cost: FREE. Click here for more information.
4. Hornblower Niagara Cruises
If you want to get up close to the bottom of the falls, join the Hornblower Niagara Cruises. If you are in the American side, you can join a similar cruise called Maid Of The Mist. Make sure to bring an extra pair of clothes as you will get soaked! Cost: CAD 26 and up (depending on the package you select). Ponchos included. Click here for more information.
5. Hike At Niagara Glen
Immerse yourself in nature as you follow a hiking trail that pass through the Carolinian forest and overlook the Niagara river. Cost: FREE. Click here for more information.
6. Wine Tasting At Niagara On The Lake
About 20 minutes drive from the falls, you will pass through beautiful vineyards at Ontario’s wine country! There are many wineries to choose from. You can even do a bike tour visiting some of the best wineries in Niagara. But if you don’t have all day to spend, visit at least one! We went to Konzellman Estate Winery. Mainly because its wine tour plus tasting only cost $7/person! Because this winery is located by the lake, you will see gorgeous views of Ontario lake by the vineyards. Budget friendly, beautiful view, and delicious wine. What else could be better! Click here for more information.
7. Stroll And Have A Picnic At Niagara On The Lake
The clear blue water of Lake Ontario and the sound of the water is so calming. Perfect for a stroll along the lake and a picnic! Pack some sandwiches and fruits, and have lunch by the lake. There are a few picnic tables you can use. Or bring a blanket to sit on the ground. Cost: FREE. Click here for more information,
8. Play At Clifton Hill
After a day full of adventure, head over to Clifton Hill for some fun. This is a strip in Niagara Falls with many attractions including mini golf, Ripley’s Museum, wax museum, sky wheel, bowling, mini coaster, and more! You can easily spend the whole day here as well. There are also many restaurants around the area. Cost: FREE although entry to attractions cost extra. Click here for more information.
If you are interested in doing a few attractions, you can also purchase the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass for CAD 57 and up. Click here for more information.
If you are on a budget and only have a short period to spend at Niagara, skip the following:
If you have experienced zip lining through the jungle of Costa Rica, zip lining here will disappoint you. It is still a super cool experience as you slide facing the falls! However, the cost is more on the pricier side. Cost: CAD 50/person. Click here for more information.
Journey Behind The Falls
This attraction would make it to our number 9 must do. However, if you have done the Hornblower Cruise, Journey Behind The Falls is not so special anymore. If you visit, you will get access to 2 observation decks located directly behind the falls. Cost $17.30/person. Click here for more information.
Niagara Whirlpool Jet
If you didn’t get enough of being soaked, join the Niagara Whirlpool Jet. Many people have claimed that it is thrilling and a lot of fun. You will basically get into a jet boat, and the boat will take you and bump you around the rapids. Make sure to put your glasses/sunglasses away or you will lose them! We chose to skip this one for 3 reasons: 1. We have had enough of being soaked, 2. We were on a tight schedule, 3. The price is over our budget. Cost: CAD 63/person. Click here for more information.
This is an animated 360 degree theater. You will learn the history of Niagara Falls. Its multi-sensory technology which includes a moving platform and temperature will make you feel as if you are standing at the bottom of the falls. They will even give you a poncho. But I mean, why not just experience the real thing! Cost: CAD 14.55/adult. Click here for more information.