Niagara Falls is an icon. It’s a bucket list item, which is why we added it to our places to visit when we hit the road full-time in our RV. We worked it in as a halfway point on our way to New England for the fall. Our thought was that we’d stay a few days to get a break from driving and surely, we’d just need one of those days to see the falls. Then, the other days we could just relax at the beautiful campground we’d discovered right on Lake Ontario. Boy, were we wrong!
First of all, we didn’t even know that Niagara Falls was a city too.
We anticipated the area being similar to the Grand Canyon. Expecting to just walk up to the edge, look down at the view, take hundreds of photos, then go on with our day. We were pleasantly surprised when we were presented with SO much more than that. We told the Canadian Border Patrol officer we were “just going to be there a couple hours to see the falls” and several hours later we were dragging ourselves back across the border and returning the following day for more! We even extended our entire stay at the campground.
Turns out, the actual waterfalls themselves are only a fraction of the experience. Sure, we spent a couple hours staring at the falls, watching what felt like a show. The water changes hues, the rainbow changes brightness, the sun sets behind it and then the moon becomes a backdrop for the night time light show. It’s unbelievably beautiful and so much more than photos can show. However, you could spend even more time exploring the surrounding streets that give off a subtle Vegas vibe. Once the night falls, the city lights nearly steal the spotlight from the waterfalls. With casinos, restaurants, and shopping, the energy is vibrant.
So many activities!
Many people recommended we do the boat ride that takes you nearly under the falls which does look pretty awesome. However, we chose to take the wet jet tour with Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours and are sure glad we did. If we were going to get soaked on a boat ride, we wanted it to be more thrilling than just a slow ride up to the falls. And that’s exactly what we got. The jet boat flies across the water and puts you face to face with some of the world’s largest whitewater rapids. We got absolutely drenched and were amazed by the power of both the rapids and the boat!
Watch this incredibly cool experience below and if you’re taking a trip to Niagara Falls, we hope you choose the wild side too:
I guess we were right when we compared Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon, in that it’s a huge intimidating piece of nature but is just waiting to be explored and “played” in. So if you’re looking for adventure, Niagara Falls is full of it. You can take a journey behind the falls to stand in the mist, ride a whirlpool aero car, take a walk along the boardwalk at the edge of the whitewater rapids, or feel and taste the falls while getting soaking wet on the deck of a boat just feet from the crashing falls. Oh wait, there’s more, like a zip line, an adventure ropes course, a butterfly conservatory, a floral showcase, and still more that we’re missing. You’ll have plenty to do, no matter what your interests are!
Considering we had no clue that Niagara Falls was also a city, it’s no surprise that we were also unaware of Niagara-on-the-Lake, a town further north up the Niagara River. Another bonus of taking the jet boat ride was that it departed from Niagara-on-the-Lake, and we may have otherwise missed this gem of a town. The first, and most important, appealing quality of the town is its wine. With over 88 wineries, its no wonder TripAdvisor voted it “Canada’s #1 Food & Wine Destination”. It literally felt as though every house had its own vineyard. But if you’re not a wine drinker, Niagara-on-the-Lake has a few great breweries as well!
Speaking of the houses, they’re beautiful. There are dream houses lining the Niagara River that we could only dream of owning. The entire town is so well maintained, it feels a little like Pleasantville. Is adorably perfect. You’ll definitely want to set some time aside during your Niagara Falls visit to tour wineries, walk or bike along the flower and tree lined streets of Old Town, taste all the goodness, and get on the water! If you’re not an adventure seeker like we were, there are plenty of slower, scenic cruises you can take instead. Or rent a kayak…but watch out for the whitewater rapids!
So if you plan on visiting Niagara Falls, be sure to plan enough time to do more than just see the falls. If you’ve visited the area before, what was your favorite part about Niagara Falls? Tell us in the comments below!