Where do we take relatives who come to visit Toronto? Well, Niagara Falls of course! And that’s exactly what we did for cousin Mel – again! If you live in this part of the world, we often take Niagara Falls for granted. But millions of tourists visit every year and with good reason! The falls are pretty incredible and lots of other activities to do as well. So, although cousin Mel has seen Niagara Falls, it is quite different in the winter. It’s truly a winter wonderland with the railings all covered in ice. But, at the time we went, most of the ice had already melted. There was a little portion closer to the water where you could see ice formation. Cousin Mel was fascinated with this – something new for someone who lives in a tropical country.
The largest of the falls is Horsehoe Falls which is the first photo below – it is 2,600 feet (790 m) wide with a 173 feet (53 m) drop. When you come to see the falls, be prepared to get wet. The closer you get to the falls, the spray from the falls reaches the boardwalk. It’s a nice way to cool off from the heat of summer. If you want to get even closer to the falls, you could go down to the observation rooms below or take the Maid of the Mist boat.
Here’s cousin Mel with a view of Horsehoe Falls in the background. It was still fairly dry on this part. Can you see the ice formation at the bottom of the falls on the lower left?
Here’s the ice formation I was referring to earlier. Now imagine the railings (from the photo above) covered in ice. I’ve only been to Niagara Falls once in the winter, again touring a visiting relative who wanted to experience winter in Canada. When you’re this close to the falls, expect to get wet.
This is American Falls – it is 1,060 feet (320 m) wide with a drop that varies from 70-100 feet (21-30 m) depending on the boulders located at the base. That city in the background is Niagara Falls, New York.
You should definitely try to see the falls at night. It’s nicely lit up in the evening until midnight. Photo below courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Skylon Tower in the background on the photo below. You can go up and have a bite to eat up there. You can park at the base of Skylon Tower and walk down towards the falls. We found their parking rates a bit more reasonable. It is not a far walk.
It was grey and overcast on the day we were at Niagara Falls. But we walked along the boardwalk all the way to Clifton Hill for something a little different. There are rides, a wax museum, haunted house, Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum and lots of other interesting places to explore.
This guy looks a little scary…
I couldn’t get the whole Ripley’s museum in my own photo (or I would have had to go on the street and risk my life!) so here’s one from the clifftonhill.com site.
A ride on the Skywheel or bowling or food? Take your pick!
This concludes our weekend getaway to the Niagara Region. There’s lots to see and do in the area – from visiting wineries, catching a show at the Shaw Festival and taking in a little bit of history in the loveliest town in Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake, to sightseeing at Niagara Falls, maybe try your luck at the casinos, catch a show and have a little fun at Clifton Hills.
The next long weekend getaway takes us to Montreal and Ottawa – stay tuned.