Day 12 - Day at Niagara
Trip Start Jun 30, 2012
13Trip End Jul 15, 2012
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Where I stayed
Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort Grand Island
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
We slept later than we initially thought we would since we had such a late night at the Falls. We made sure we had the passports and birth certificates and we headed back to the US side of the falls. After hours spent on line researching the different attractions available in the US and in Canada, I had a rough list in my head of the things I wanted us to do in the NY State Park before defecting to Canada. In talking to friends about our plans to visit Niagara, most people who had been there very passionately recommended visiting the Canadian side over the American side. I also took in to consideration the fact that for any of the “official” attractions we would be paying $40. Maid of the Mist, IMAX movie, Journey behind the Falls, Butterfly Gardens, Cave of the Winds....$40, $40, $40, $40, $40. Whatever the attraction was it generally was going to cost $15 each for adults, $10 for William and MC was free for pretty much all of it. In the US visitor’s center they show an IMAX movie called “Niagara -Legends of Adventure” that I thought would be the best movie to see
As we were leaving the state park we saw a couple getting married on the grass at the top of the American Falls which was fun to watch and then to cheer. After leaving we drove around in a very disorganized, tourista kind of way looking for somewhere to get lunch in the US before heading to Canada, since it was already pretty late and we had no clue how long it would take to go through customs and find a restaurant there. I’m pretty sure we found the “hood” in Niagara and drove through it for a while before emerging and eating at a chain restaurant called Tim Horton’s that only served doughnuts, coffee and some deli sandwiches all day long. We regretted that decision when we made it to Canada in 5 minutes and saw that wonderful looking restaurants were all over. It was clean and vast with gorgeous gardens and buildings. There were tons of people, but that didn’t seem to be any sort of problem. We parked the Tahoe for $20 (grrr) and walked over to the Table Rock visitor’s center. The primary reason I would recommend the Canadian Niagara over the US side is purely perspective. From the visitor’s center you have a completely unobstructed, clear and overwhelming view of the whole shebang. You can see all of American Falls and Horseshoe Falls and the spray is just coming up into your face as you stand and look over the side. The wind was blowing in our direction as we got there and we had to run with the camera through rain sized droplets, jumping over huge puddles in the sunshine to make it to the doors before we all (and the camera) got soaked. We bought tickets in the center (which is a HUGE building filled with restaurants, souvenir shops and ticket booths) for the “Journey Behind the Falls” for, yep, $40 and proceeded down some stairs where we got another disposable rain jacket and waited in line to get on an elevator that would take us 150 feet down to a tunnel that has two portals with views out from behind Horseshoe falls
We had a 5 pm reservation for dinner in the Skylon Tower revolving restaurant, and had to go ahead and make our way over there after coming up above ground. Skylon tower is a huge concrete structure that looks like a building from the Jetsons. The “stem” has three elevators that take you up to one of two restaurants or an observation deck
As we rotated around we had the opportunity to really study the other areas of Canadian Niagara. We (really, the kids) decided that we had to go explore. We walked about a half of a mile towards the craziness and passed a dinosaur putt-putt range that had huge replicas of different dinos and a 4 story volcano that erupted every once and a while.There was also a Ferris wheel, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, at least 4 haunted houses/vampire lairs, a Guinness Book of Records museum, an MGM store, multiple arcades, fast food restaurants, an upside down house and much more
We finally made our way back through US customs and to our campground where we all thankfully fell asleep quickly and quietly to Chanel’s lovely monster of an AC.