Niagara Falls was a definite ‘must-see’ on our list and we excitedly flew into Buffalo, New York, hired a car and drove for 1.5 hours across the border into Canada.
Customs was super easy to get through and took no more than about 10 seconds. Once you cross the border it’s heavily sign-posted so really easy to navigate. And DON’T WORRY, you still drive on the right side of the road (American-style) when you arrive on the Canadian side of the falls. This induced a near panic attack for me as we were approaching the border! We found our hotel with no problem and were delighted to be welcomed with a warm choc chip walnut cookie and pillows wishing us ‘Sweet Dreams’. I had booked a room with full view of the falls and it was definitely worth it. Being able to look out your hotel room window and watch the falls is pretty special.
That night we drove to the falls after dinner but didn’t stay long as the spray coming off the falls is pretty intense and there were puddles everywhere (NOT good when your boots have a hole in them) and the spray almost felt like rain. It was also pretty dark so you couldn’t see much despite the heavy duty lights being shone on them.
It was very special to wake up the next morning to the spectacular view of the falls. We decided to take a reasonably leisurely day and went to visit the falls again since, what else is there to do in Niagara? To get the best view I suggest walking along the water’s edge which is a few kilometres and takes quite a while. Both Horseshoe Falls and American Falls are pretty spectacular. We drove onto Goat Island but there wasn’t much to see there.
Kay’s tips for Niagara Falls:
- The closest airport is Niagara Falls International Airport but flights there are few and far between. I’d advise flying into Buffalo NY or Toronto. Niagara is about the same distance from Buffalo as it is from Toronto so it’s a matter of preference really
- Might be a bit confusing (well it was confusing for me) but there is a Niagara Falls, New York, USA, and a Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Most hotels are on the Canadian side, and allegedly the view of the falls is much nicer from the Canadian side
- All places we went to accepted USD so don’t worry if you don’t have Canadian dollars
- After doing some research I found it cheaper to hire a car than catch a shuttle bus from Buffalo airport to the falls area, plus the added bonus of having car so you can drive around the falls area is it’s pretty spread out
- Most tourist attractions are closed in winter
- Because of most things were closed, could have easily cut our trip from 2 days and 1 night down to 1 day