The hotels were less expensive on the American side too. Our hotel was two blocks from Niagara State Park, so everything was well within walking distance, including the Canadian side of the falls. Our full day spent at Niagara was unexpectedly busy. During our time in this beautiful twin-city area, we found the three best ways to soak up the fun at Niagara Falls!
Maid of the Mist
We decided to head to Maid of the Mist first thing in the morning. This was great because there were no lines and the boat wasn’t at all crowded. Usually you see pictures of people crammed in like sardines. Instead, we had plenty of room to move and walk around, capturing great views of the Falls as we floated closer. There was no shortage of water coming our way! The water crashes so fast, your poncho will fill up with rushing air.
Afterwards, we strolled up the walkway adjacent to the falls for a close up look. As we had already taken our ponchos off, this is where I unfortunately discovered that my rain jacket is merely water resistant, not fully waterproof. This was a surprise to me as I’ve had this jacket for years, and even experienced hurricanes in it, and never had an issue until now. I was sopping wet! I guess that just goes to show the power of Niagara Falls.
If you’re researching your options you may notice there is also a company called Hornblower Cruises. The only difference between the two is that Maid of the Mist operates on the American side while Hornblower operates on the Canadian side. Otherwise, it is the exact same experience.
Cave of the Winds
On a whim, we decided to experience the Cave of the Winds immediately after the Maid of the Mist. This is also accessed on the American Side. There is no doubt about it, you will get soaked doing this, but it is worth it! All visitors must watch the obligatory historic video session first, then everyone is given time to get ready. Staff supply visitors with a poncho, a plastic bag to store shoes and accessories, and a pair of souvenir sandals to switch into. Again, it is best to have a waterproof camera or case to capture this watery adventure!
After going down an elevator to the base of Bridal Veil falls, the sound of the roaring water is deafening. Be prepared to shout to your travel partner(s)! Walking around the area’s decks gets you so close to the cascading water that it oftentimes washes over your feet.
The highlight of this experience is backing into The Hurricane! The force of the water is so powerful, you cannot walk in face first. This is an area of the Falls where you can feel the incredible power of the water rushing over you. Seriously, if you are sore from traveling, the intensity of the water works much like a shoulder massage.
WildPlay Mist Rider Zip Line
Accessible only on the Canadian side, don’t miss the Mist Rider zip line adventure with WildPlay Niagara Falls. If you are on the American side, all you need to do is grab your passport, a handful of quarters to cross the bridge, and walk across to Canada! WildPlay’s facilities are beautiful and not far on the other side of the bridge. You can buy tickets in advance or at their office. You cannot miss the excitement of this spot!
Having been ziplining a few other times, I must say this was one of the most secure operations we’ve gone through. Their safety is top notch and the ride toward the Falls is incredibly smooth. Riders blast simultaneously toward the water on parallel lines. There is no bounce, no spin, no need to think about stopping yourself. It is truly effortless. With your arms out to the side, you truly get the feeling of flying! It is fun to soar over the onlookers below while blasting toward Horseshoe Falls. You will feel the powerful spray hit your face and smell the fresh churning water as you fly closer to the Falls!
These three activities are the best way to soak up the fun at one of the world’s most beautiful, powerful, and amazing natural wonders!
If you’re planning on doing these water-related activities, we recommend not spending your time getting ready prior to these things either. It is just a waste of time as you will get entirely too soaked!
After a great day of being wet and well entertained, it was time to dry off and eat. We ended our day in Niagara Falls with dinner and strolling around the area some more. By the time we returned to our hotel, we had walked over 27,000 steps, or 11.68 miles! What a great, and exhausting, way to cap off our trip to New England!