Wow! Niagara Falls , a spectacular natural wonder, lived up to our lofty expectations.
Niagara Falls has served as power for electrical experiments, a sacred place to the Iroquois, the nemesis of daredevils, inspiration for artists, and of course, a vacation destination for millions of people from all over the world.We started on the American side with the visitor's center and prospect point followed by the Maid of the Mist. This boat ride should not be missed; it was a wet and wild way to experience the power of the falls. Aboard this famous boat, you cruise upriver toward the deafening roar of both the American and Horseshoe Falls . You'll navigate right up the base of both, with the mist spraying up in your face. The associated trail up the side of the American falls and great views from the observation tower were a plus.
Even better, in my opinion was the Cave of the Winds tour. This tour, via a series of walkways beneath the American and Bridal Veil Falls , was something to behold. You'll take an elevator down 175 feet and emerge onto boardwalks to walk around the base of the falls. You can't get any closer. Do not miss it when visiting the falls.
Using the Trolley, we explored a good deal of what this 400-acre preserve designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Niagara Falls State Park , has to offer. The Geological Museum offered a great overview of the 12,000-year history of the Niagara Gorge and falls. Luna Island takes you between the Bridal and American Falls. Terrapin point allows a close up vista of the Horseshoe Falls. There are almost 2000 species of marine life at the Aquarium of Niagara. Footbridges allow access to the natural beauty of the three sisters inslands. Other pedestrian bridges allow visitors great views of the American rapids. The park atmosphere was great on American side of the Niagara area highlighted by flowering displays.
Lunch was a short walk from the parks visitor's center at Misty Dog Grill & Twist o the Mist. Quirky building, but scrumptious food. The Beef on Weck was great. The ice cream was a great finisher on a hot day.
In the afternoon, we visited Whirlpool State Park . Located about 2.5 miles north of the Falls, this park offers spectacular views of both the Niagara Whirlpool and the ferocious rapids at the bend in the Niagara River . This area has a great deal of wildlife including many birds and curious looking Charcoal black squirrels.
Whirlpool Rapids Adventure Hike: Don't miss this exhilarating journey to the effervescent emerald green waters edge! This is a great hike if you want to see a part of Niagara which missed by the tourists. From the Whirlpool State Park Shelter, follow path for about 1/2 mile to Whirlpool stairs. Take the 340 steps down to the base of the Niagara Gorge. Once at the bottom of the stairs, you may want to rest at some of the picnic tables before proceeding left to Whirlpool Flats Viewing Area.
The natural beauty of this area is majestic. The trail follows the along the remnants of the Great Gorge Railway (1895-1935). Continuing on the little rugged trail and across a few rock falls upstream to view Whirlpool Rapids, one of the most turbulent rapids in the world, provides a good workout. Stone stairs and an old platform, once used as an observation area for the rail line, is the terminus of the trail and provides a great view. Overall, this is a challenging three-hour hike is about 4 miles roundtrip, including some boulder bounding, but the majestic view of the mighty type VI (Extreme) rapids makes the trek worthwhile.
After recovering from the hike, we crossed into Canada without incident and visited the beautiful Floral Clock which is a few kilometers north of the Falls. This stunning clock presents an ever-changing floral display as well as keeping time. Touring along on the Canadian side, we then visited other areas of the Niagara Park system of Canada including Queen Victoria Park.
This park along the falls has close great views of the horseshoe falls. When close up, the falls seems to have an atmosphere of its own. The mist generated creates a perpetual drizzle all around the area.As the sunset we trekked to the Capri Restaurant on Ferry Street voted Niagara s Favorite Restaurant for 40 years. The Italian cuisine served was really good.
After our meal, we traveled to look at the beautiful Nightly Illumination of what has been called one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Niagara Falls . Beautiful.
We stayed the night a few minutes from the falls in Welland , ON .