Before I traveled to Niagara Falls, my only exposure to the the falls was through elementary school textbooks, nature films, and the wedding episode of The Office.
I always imagined that the 3,160 tons of water flowing effortlessly from New York to Canada would be a truly stunning sight, but seeing it in person was absolutely breathtaking.
We stayed at The Giacomo, a former office building turned hotel and apartment building, constructed in 1929. It is a gorgeous depiction of the art deco architecture of the time, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Since reopening in 2010, it has become the premiere luxury boutique hotel in Niagara Falls. It is located within walking distance from the brink of the Falls and other major attractions, and offers clean and comfortable guestrooms.
Seeing the falls, of course, should be your first priority, so a walk to the observation area is a must. After that, there are so many other activities to choose but here are some of our favorites from the trip:
Bring your passport, because not only are the views better on the Canadian side (sorry, New York!), but the walk over the Rainbow Bridge is a stunning attraction in itself.
When you return to the American side, purchase a Niagara Discovery Pass for $45 for access to several fun and informative activities including the famous Maid of the Mist boat tour (a must for first timers), the Cave of the Winds, a thrilling walk in the Niagara Gorge and into a tropical storm-like mist zone, just a few feet from the torrents of the falls, the Niagara Adventure Theater, 45 minute film about the history of Niagara and, my favorite of all, the Aquarium Of Niagara, where you can see sea lions, harbor seals, the rare Humboldt penguins, as well as a host of other marine mammals. Tor a truly amazing experinece, book the “Meet at Seal” package where you’ll get a behind the scenes look at the care and training of all our marine mammals and an opportunity to touch, feed and play with one of the aquarium’s seals.
When the Niagara concession food won’t do, head to Savor, a contemporary American restaurant run by the Niagara Culinary Institute, and located within walking distance.
And, once you’ve had your fill food and the crowds (they are unavoidable, unfortunately), head over to the much more relaxing Lockport Cave. Located 30 minutes from Niagara, this walking tour – where Sharknado 3 was filmed – takes you underground to explore the historic “Flight of Five” Erie Canal Locks 67-71, constructed in 1838.
End your stay with the Erie Canal & Lock Cruise, a calm 90 minute narrated cruise along the canal. You’ll experience traveling through five locks from the 1800s, and pass under Lockport’s “Upside Down Bridge”.
Have you experienced the falls? What was your favorite activity? Let me know, below! And for more information about planning your trip to Niagara, NY, visit niagarafallsusa.org.