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Getting Soaked At Niagara Falls

Getting Soaked At Niagara Falls

A visit to Niagara Falls was never on our original USA itinerary.

However when planning our way from Chicago to New York, we discovered that the best way to get to New York State was on the overnight Amtrak train ending in nearby Buffalo.

We didn’t need to think twice about booking that ticket.

The two of us arrived in Buffalo on a beautiful sunny morning and made the short drive north to Niagara Falls, New York. As soon as we got out of our car and set foot in the Niagara Falls State Park, we could hear the thundering water and were soon treated to a sight of the awe-inspiring water wonder. Wowwww!

Our first sight of Niagara Falls

Our first sight of Niagara Falls

The next day we were determined to get as close to Niagara Falls as possible and made time in our day for the Maid of the Mist Boat Ride and the Cave of the Winds trip.

Maid of the Mist Boat Ride

Maid of the Mist Boat

Maid of the Mist VII Boat

The Maid of the Mist was launched in 1946 and is a boat tour of Niagara Falls, taking you past the American and Bridal Veil Falls and then into the Horseshoe Falls (also known as the Canadian Falls). After buying our tickets, we were given access to the Niagara Falls Observation Tower which provided some spectacular views of the American Falls.

Views of the American Falls from the Observation Tower

Views of the American Falls from the Observation Tower

We then stepped into the elevators and made our way down to the Maid of the Mist entry point, armed with our blue ponchos in hand. After boarding the boat and getting a good position, we put on our attractive blue raincoats to protect ourselves from the misty waters.

Us passengers look like we’re in some kind of weird cult, right?

Passengers in their ponchos

Passengers in their Ponchos

The Maid of the Mist took us to the base of the American Falls and then to the basin of the Horseshoe Falls where you can experience the epic force behind these two massive waterfalls up-close.

With the mist spraying you almost the entire time you’re on the boat, taking a good photograph was tough but we did manage to get a couple of decent shots.

Up close with Niagara Falls

Up close with Niagara Falls

The boat ride lasts 30 minutes and is great value for money – probably the number one thing about our visit to Niagara Falls.

Price: Adults – $13.50 USD ($16.50 CAD), Children (6-12) – $7.85 USD ($10.10 CAD), Children 5 and Under – Free.
Soaked Rating:
3/10. You won’t get soaked here and the poncho does a great job of protecting you from the spray coming from the Niagara Falls.

Cave of the Winds

Cave of the Winds

Cave of the Winds Poncho

Our second encounter with Niagara Falls was at Cave of the Winds, an experience that brings you to the front of Bridal Veil Falls (the smallest of the three falls at Niagara) on a series of decks and walkways.

After purchasing our tickets, we were again given a poncho (this time a stylish yellow one!) along with souvenir sandals that allow you to keep your grip on the slippery ground beneath. We then boarded an elevator into Niagara Gorge and commenced our journey towards the waterfall along the redwood decks.

Pretty Rainbow at the base of Bridal Veil Falls

Pretty Rainbow at the base of Bridal Veil Falls

Along the way we spotted a pretty rainbow forming at the base of the waterfall and were sure to take as many photographs as we could. The two of us were fascinated to learn that the decking is removed each fall and re-installed each spring to avoid being damaged by the unforgiving winter weather.

The two of us at Cave of the Winds

The two of us at Cave of the Winds

The highlight of this tour was the Hurricane Deck at the Cave of the Winds where we experienced tropical storm-like conditions and got absolutely soaked by the spray from the rushing waters. If you want to get as close as possible to Niagara Falls and get doused by water, this is the tour for you!

Probably best to do it on a warm day, though!

Price: Adults – $11.00, Children (6-12) – $8.00, Children 5 and Under – Free.
Soaked Rating:
8/10. You’re going to get seriously wet at the Cave of the Winds, even if you don’t stand directly underneath the water (see Kieron in the video below). Do NOT wear denim here – Amy learned this lesson the hard way.

The Videos

Maid of the Mist

Cave of the Winds

Have you experienced either of these attractions at Niagara Falls? What did you think of them?

17 Comments

  1. Posted January 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a great trip. I would love to go there sometime. Thanks for sharing

  2. Posted January 23, 2012 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    If you ever want to see something really spectacular go to Niagara Falls in the winter when everything is frozen!
    Jim @NeverStopTravel recently posted..New York’s 9/11 Memorial

    • Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      That would be quite the sight to see! Hopefully one day we’ll be able to check that out.

  3. Posted January 23, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    You should have come to the Canadian side! Haha, although I always thought the Cave of the Winds thing looked pretty cool. Great post, love the photos :D
    Seattle Dredge recently posted..Dog Sledding in Algonquin Park

    • Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Haha Amy went over to the Canadian side for an afternoon and got an awesome panorama of Niagara Falls. The Cave of the Winds was pretty cool – definitely a fun way to get up close with the water.

  4. Posted January 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I was completely fascinated with Niagra Falls in general; the boat ride, the Canandian side and the power of the gushing water.

    Looks like you had a blast…as always ;)
    Annette recently posted..Annette’s ABCs of Travel

    • Posted January 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      It really is an amazing place that makes you feel so small. We sure did have a blast! :D

  5. Posted January 24, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I love Niagara Falls! My family and I went when I was a kid and I remember it being really fun and exciting. I loved the poncho!

    Glad you guys had a great time too!
    Rebecca recently posted..Random Weekend: Book: Lost on Planet China

    • Posted January 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      The blue ponchos were great, the yellow ones had a really strong odor to them! We could’ve kept them as souvenirs but decided that we would never use them again and opted for a little Christmas tree decoration instead. Do you still have yours?

    • Posted January 26, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

      My poncho is long gone, though I actually did keep it for a long time because I needed a rain coat and since it rarely rains in LA, I thought it would be good. It lasted like maybe one season and then it tore:-(.
      Rebecca recently posted..Random Weekend: Book: Lost on Planet China

  6. Posted January 24, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Looks like so much fun!! The Cave of the Winds looks insane! Probably not something you want to do on a chilly day…

    I went to the Canadian side of the falls when I was in middle school, but I don’t remember much about it. I clearly need to go back!
    Amanda recently posted..Photo Essay: Queenstown to Christchurch

    • Posted January 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Even with the ponchos we both got soaked at the Cave of the Winds – definitely choose a sunny day to visit that! Yes – you should go back – the Amtrak train passes through your home state and on to Buffalo or you could always make another road trip out of it. :)

  7. Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Wow that looks immense and definitely something I’d want to do! Ok, adding that to the bucket list =)
    Toni recently posted..It’s ok NOT to travel the world

  8. Posted January 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a great time, hope to make a pit stop there on our way to Chicago this summer :) will definitely bookmark this post for reference.

  9. Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    It’s been many years since I did the Maid of the Mist. You definitely need the poncho. I will have to see if I can find my photos for this. It’s awe-inspiring when you get that close to the Falls. They look so much different looking up!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Can your best travel experience really change your life?

    • Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      The Maid of the Mist is the one thing that can’t be missed at Niagara Falls – an excellent experience that lets you feel the true power of the Falls.

One Trackback

  • [...] Don’t Ever Look Back: Getting Soaked at Niagara Falls When I visited Niagara Falls, I didn’t bother to take one of the boat tours or to stand at the bottom on a tour where you can get splashed by the falls. It looks like I missed out! Amy and Kieron did both and had a great time – and snagged some sweet pics and video. [...]

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