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!
Maid of the Mist Boat Ride
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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 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.
Maid of the Mist
Cave of the Winds
Have you experienced either of these attractions at Niagara Falls? What did you think of them?