Niagara Falls is high up there on many a bucket list for visiting and checking out the surrounding beautiful area. When you finally decide to partake in that memory-making adventure, make sure you’re aware of the best things to take with you and when the best time to visit is, to ensure your trip isn’t a complete washout.
1. How Best to Get There
Driving is by far the easiest method of seeing Niagara Falls. Whether you’re coming in from the American or Canadian direction, it is a very clearly signposted journey from Toronto or Buffalo. For those that decide to drive, give yourself plenty of time to cross the toll bridges (queues can get long) and setting off early means you might beat the rush as well as secure a decent parking spot. Remember to bring cash for both the toll bridge and the parking once you get there. For those that want a more laid back approach, there are plenty of bus trips heading out from various nearby locations, New York being a popular location.
2. Two Countries in a Day
With Niagara Falls straddling the international borders of America and Canada, it is possible for you to journey to both countries on your visit. That way you’ll be able to get amazing views from every possible angle. Two bridges give you access across the borders, though if this is something you fancy doing then remember to pack your passport, and remember that children will need a birth certificate.
3. Travelling in the Spring/Summer
Spring is a wonderful time to visit as the botanical park bursts into life across 99 hectares and over 19,000 flowers. There is a free music festival in May called Springlicious, as well as plenty of events around the area for Easter holidays. Be sure to allow plenty of time to travel in these busier days. Summer brings with it the opportunity to picnic and try out the local fruit and vegetables stands that pop up along the roadside. In June, Honeymooners can pick up a 2 for 1 offer on various Niagara attractions too!
4. Travelling in Autumn/Winter
As seasons change and summer heads into fall, the landscape erupts into spectacular autumnal color. Plenty of fairs and festivals for harvest take place in the area, including pumpkin carving and Halloween ghost attractions. Winter hosts the hauntingly beautiful festival of light, which is displayed amazingly with the backdrops of the icy frozen mists of Niagara. Remember to wrap up warm as the temperature drops and bring a camera for the brilliant scenery on offer.
5. Bring Your Waterproofs
No matter what time of year you’ll be travelling, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get wet. After all, when 6 million cubic feet of water descends over the crest every minute, there’s bound to be a little splashback. Make sure you’re prepared to get wet, especially in the colder months. It could turn an experience of a lifetime into something entirely less so if you are not adequately prepared.
6. Don’t Bother to Bring a Barrel
Everyone knows the story of Annie Edson Taylor who went over the edge of the waterfall in a barrel and survived with minimal injury – there have been repeated occurrences of it since, albeit by and large less successful. So don’t try this one out folks – if you survive you’ll be faced with stiff penalties as it is illegal on both sides of the Falls. We certainly don’t recommend tightrope walking either. If you do though, make sure to get permission and bring your ID. In 2012, after 116 years, the feat was exploited once again, and Nik Wallenda had to present his passport after successfully crossing.
7. Get Your Walking Boots On
If you are intending to get the most out of your experience (and why wouldn’t you be?) then expect to put in a few miles of walking to see and partake in what the area has to offer. With the various activities available, and parks to visit, you’ll be uncovering the different aspects of the region by foot. If you are planning to do a boat tour such as Cave of the Winds or Maid of the Mist, then perhaps take a spare pair of socks to go with your boots (wrapped in a plastic bag!) to ensure you can get comfy again post-waterfall shower. Or, perhaps plan to do the boat tour at the end of the day so you’ve less time to stand in squelchy shoes.