StarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1447 posts, RR: 3 Posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4065 times:
I'll be heading to Niagara Falls in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to figure out what to do before my Canadian relatives can pick me up. Here's my plan:
1) Take bus from BUF to Niagara Falls, NY
2) Go somewhere to take pics (tips?)
3) Take bus to somewhere nearby Rainbow Bridge
4) Walk to Canada
5) After passing through immigration, head to Clifton Hill (Great Canadian Midway and Niagara Skywheel)
6) Maid of the Mist
7) Skylon Tower
I definitely want to do 6 and 7 with my relatives when they pick me up. From what I see, everything in Niagara Falls, ON (except Skylon) is within walking distance from the Rainbow Bridge. Is this true?
I need advice on:
- Where to take great pictures of the Falls
- Procedure about walking across the Rainbow Bridge
- Taking pictures on Maid of the Mist (will the cam get wet?)
- The Great Canadian Midway
- Getting around Niagara Falls, NY and ON (besides walking)
The ON side looks like there's a lot of touristy things to do, and though I try to refrain from them, they look very interesting to do considering it's proximity to the Falls (the Midway just looks like plain fun )
photopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2978 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4034 times:
Ok, I'm Canadian so I'm a tad biased, but frankly, don't waste your time on the US side of Niagara Falls. The Falls face Canada, so at best from the US side you're looking at the side of the falls, both the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.
From the Canada side, you're looking directly face onwards to both sets of falls. Much better photo opportunities IMHO.
The Maid of the Mist is fun, but you WILL get wet. Great Photo opportunities though. Depending on what type of camera you have, you will benefit if you can get one of those photo "bags" that you zip your camera inside with a clear "window" to shoot through. Stuff some dry cloths or paper towels into your bag to keep wiping this window clear. Use a larger aperature so any water droplets don't show.
Besides the Maid, Skylon tower, also consider the tour that takes you in BEHIND the Horseshoe falls. From the Canadian side, Behind the Falls takes you by elevator to the bottom, where you can both walk out beside the bottom of the falls, and through galleries/tunnels behind the falls.
Here's a shot I took of the Maid of the Mist last summer.
Clifton Hill is a great "honkey-tonk" of fun things to do. Totally tacky, but that's what makes it fun. Wax museums, haunted houses, arcades, midway type food, etc. Great views from the Skywheel
Just about every picture of the falls that's worth anything is from the Canadian side. As photopilot pointed out, the falls face Canada. However, this doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself in Niagra Falls State Park on the US side. There, you can get almost right up on the falls and literally feel the rumble.
Niagra Falls State Park and Rainbow Bridge are easily within walking distance, assuming you are able bodied. We actually walked from the Doubletree in Canada, across Rainbow Bridge, over to the park and back.
Did it several times back and forth while there. Obviously, immigration for the country you are entering is on their side of the bridge. The Canadians couldn't be bothered when entering their country, however the US was a pain in the ass when we tried to reenter. We weren't detained or overly questioned, but they were just far more strict than the Canadians. Note: There is a nice sized duty free shop maybe a block or so from the Canadian side of the bridge if that's your thing.
Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter): 5) After passing through immigration, head to Clifton Hill (Great Canadian Midway and Niagara Skywheel)
Cheesy and tacky, but cute. We walked through it, but didn't bother stopping at anything.
In Canada, just about anywhere will work. I found the best spots to be Queen Victoria Park and anywhere on Niagra Parkway between the park and Rainbow Bridge. In the US, Niagra Falls State Park is really the only decent option other than the bridge of course.
I seem to remember there being a toll to cross the bridge, but don't quote me on that. Other than that, just make sure your passport is handy. The Canadian side spits you out in front of the Sheraton and a mall I believe. The US side spits you out into a parking lot where a Hard Rock Cafe is on the other side and the park will be to your right.
I was at the very front of the boat and was able to take several fantastic pictures without getting my camera wet. Obviously though, when we got right up on the falls I put it away, otherwise yes it would have gotten wet.
Boeing744 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 3937 times:
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 2): I seem to remember there being a toll to cross the bridge, but don't quote me on that
Yeah I believe it was either $0.25 or $0.50 and you only pay it one-way, while heading to the US side. It was just a coin operated turnstile.
Personally, I love the falls, but hate Niagara Falls, ON and NY. Both the areas that are within walking distance of the falls are dirty and horribly touristy. I guess you have to expect that, but I'd recommend spending most of your time along the viewing areas outside of the towns, especially on the Canadian side.
There is a ferris wheel on the Canadian side that is well-worth it for the view.
soups From Ghana, joined Jun 2004, 3438 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3837 times:
Quoting photopilot (Reply 1): Clifton Hill is a great "honkey-tonk" of fun things to do. Totally tacky, but that's what makes it fun. Wax museums, haunted houses, arcades, midway type food, etc. Great views from the Skywheel
Tacky and way too expensive for what it is.
Try the helicopter ride above niagara falls its well worthed. i was on it 2 days ago
Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
steeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9374 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3807 times:
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 2): Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
6) Maid of the Mist
An absolute must. You can board from either country and get the same tour.
Agree! When I was there in 2004 with my parents we went on the Maid of the Mist from the US side. It was a load of fun.
Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 6): here you can get really (REALLY) close to the American falls... Note: Hurricane Deck
That is freaking AWESOME!!!! You're 15 feet from the base of the Bridal Veil Falls (Why in the hell it's called that, I'll never know; it looks nothing like a bride's veil). It's just a continuous stream of water that crashes on a rock and sends spray all over the deck. I think there's a little knook that extends a few feet closer to that rock for ultimate soakage...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
Cadet985 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1893 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3802 times:
Quoting photopilot (Reply 1): Ok, I'm Canadian so I'm a tad biased, but frankly, don't waste your time on the US side of Niagara Falls
As others have stated, the Canadian side is MUCH better. I was up in the Skylon tower on the Canadian side, and you can see both sides of the falls at once (I very strongly suggest shelling out the money for this). You look at the Canadian side, it looks like a resort town, there are hotels, stores, casinos, restaurants, etc. Then you look over at the Americn side. There's nothing. So much so that it even looks boring. So I ask, what sounds more fun. A town in Canada where there's stuff to do, or a little park in the middle of nowheresville New York with nothing? And as others have said, the Canadian side of the falls themselves is the more attractive side, taking the parks out of the equation.
EDIT: Added links to pictures of each side of the falls.