I’m here to tell you that Niagara Falls (on the Canadian side) is as stunning as ever: the majestic, savage fury of the Falls leaves me breathless. The never-ending roar of an equally never-ending onslaught of water is the stuff of heroic adventure. The surrounding greenery – the flowers and trees and parks are so superbly maintained that it serves only to create a stark contrast between the natural beauty in the area and the tourist trap atmosphere lying just beyond the Falls’ spraying mists.
All of the above and anywhere you can find grass and trees. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a particularly beautiful place to visit. Cool things to see:
Fireworks at night above the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara
Other observations: the AlMAC Buffett was pretty good but the beverages were extra and this I discovered was the norm no matter where we ate. Silly me thinking if I pay $15.00 for an all-you-can-eat buffet that I’ll get an iced tea or cup of coffee for free! No way! On the plus side ALMAC has great live music and the food selection was great.
I’m sure there are people that will tell you it is possible to visit Niagara Falls “on the cheap.” I just don’t happen to be one of them. Visiting Niagara Falls is one expensive habit.
Discounting the cost of your room and transportation to and from Niagara Falls – a lot of little things rubbed me the wrong way during a recent visit to Niagara Falls:
Parking – is there anywhere near the Falls where parking DOESN’T cost at least $15.00? And that’ not even necessarily per day! Let’s say I only wanted to park somewhere for an hour? Not happening baby! At least not in the vicinity of the Falls. The cheapest parking lot I found was at the IMAX theatre parking lot which – incredibly – was only $2.00 but it was also patrolled to insure you don’t leave your car parked there all day and then wander off.
Coffee – $2.50 minimum for a cup of java. It’s enough to make me stick to water, except that water runs about the same price! Unless of course you stay at the Marriot-at-the-Falls Hotel where a bottle of water (in your room) runs $6.50 a bottle.
Souvenirs – T-shirts at a minimum were running about $10.00 each, no matter where I went. Little magnetic Niagara Falls signs for your refrigerator were at least $5.00 each. There’s a “Dollar-rama” store about 2-3 miles outside of town where you can find some neat gadgets and things that could make cool gifts.
IMAX Theatre. I think as a cost-cutting move someone decided to make this a mini-IMAX theatre. In other words, the screen is about the size of a regular movie screen. So when – at the beginning of the movie – the announcer boasts that the IMAX screen is “…8 stories tall by 6 stories wide…” I know he isn’t referring to the IMAX at Niagara Falls. The IMAX in Berlin, Germany? Sure. The one in Amsterdam? You bet. But not this one at Niagara Falls.
And speaking of movies, the one advertised at the IMAX was supposed to be about men and women who took a plunge over the Falls for fame and fortune and survived…or didn’t. Only what we got was “Niagara Falls: Myths and Magic” which had very little to so with surviving a trip over the Falls. There was an exhibit in a cordoned off portion of the lobby devoted to Niagara Falls thrill-seekers and we had to pay to see as well!
I try not to complain too much. I think I’m more of a glass-half-full kind of guy. But Niagra Falls — apart from the stunning beauty of the Falls, parks and other flora is an unbelievable money-drain when it comes to support services like eating.
But like any place one visits there is always the good the bad and the ugly. At Niagara Falls there was more “good” to be sure but the prices overall were ugly!