Thursday, July 7, 2011

Niagara Falls

Jeff and I are travellers at heart (Ive got the travelling bug more than him, he just gets swept up in the adventure) and we were pretty stationnary for a long time. School and work got in the way of getting to know the world, and that's ok. But we came to the point of feeling a bit caged in, and wedding planning takes an incredible toll on you, everything needing this or that, people calling you, and really I just needed to get away where noone would know me or call me and ask me every little detail about every little thing. So I randomly said we should go away, not meaning it, and Jeff looked at me and said 'Why not?' And so about 48hrs later, we left for Niagara Falls.

I must admit, we defiently made many mistakes on the trip. We got a little crazy with seeing things and made mistakes as to where and what we saw and paid for, we unfortunately went the Type A tourist rather than the traveller way. So I figured I would recount  my dos and donts for anyone out there who is wondering what the heck to do and not do in Niagara Falls:

- Get the adventure pass. All those things included are absolutely worth it and it is defintely worth the money!
- Go visit the Butterfly Conservatory and the Botanical Gardens. That's a must and it does not cost much, especially compared to everything else. We took a horse carriage ride around the Gardens and it was great to be told history and facts by the very knowledgeable driver.
- Visit the Bird and Reptile Atrium. They have bats and insects too.
- Hit up Clifton Hill at nighttime, and visit the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, the Wax Museum, and the House of Mirrors.
-Take a ride on the SkyWheel. I would even say do it twice, once at night and once during the day.
-Watch the fireworks over the falls every Friday and Sunday during the summer. Stunning.
- Take a walk down the boardwalk right beside the Falls and take your time watching and listening.
- Go visit the Niagara Nature Centre, they have maps of beautiful trails which is absolutely free and so beautiful to see!
- For the history buffs, there is a historical tour given which includes Fort Erie and the Laura Secord Homestead.
- If you like getting scared, hit up the Nightmare Fear Factory. Probably the scariest 'haunted' house.
-If your budget allows, you can go horseback riding at sunset on the shores, or jet-boating on the river.
-Go visit Niagara on the Lake.
-Go visit a winery. They have so many wineries that make wines on the location, and there are good tours also, many of them free of charge with sampling at the end.

-Eat at the restaurants around the Falls, ridiculously expensive for average food. If you must do it, then I would suggest the Hard Rock Cafe, alot of cool things inside as well as a good variety of food.
-Take any alcoholic beverages in a restaurant, they charge a VERY hefty alcohol tax, and it hurts. Case in point, my strawberry daiquiri ended up costing me 18$. I ahd a heart attack.
-Fall in to all those attractions on Clifton Hill, really not worth it.
-Buy any souvenirs until you have seen everything!
-Buy any of those pictures that the places take for you (like on the boat). You will take much better ones yourself and you will not have paid 30$ + for them.
-Pay full price for anything. They have a coupon booklet for just about everything and they give them out just about everywhere.

I am iffy about Marineland because although it was really awesome to see the whales and other sea creatures, I dont know if it was worth 50$ a person.

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