Friday, July 25, 2014

Niagara Falls, NY

Maid of the Mist
Niagara Falls State Park in New York and Canada is one of the hot spots for newlyweds.  On our honeymoon travels out east, my husband and I became one of those statistics as we stopped to take in the sights at Niagara Falls. 

When I think of New York I don't think of a state park, but once there we realized just how popular it was for tourists. If you have time you could even head over to the Canadian side and hit up the shopping and dining offered.

If I were to sum up Niagara Falls I'd have to say, it's just a whole bunch of water. What makes it impressive is just the amount of water. When you learn that millions of gallons of water rocket over the falls every minute it can be hard to register that in our brain.  It seems so overwhelming. Just think that 750,000 gallons go over the falls every second, Yikes that's a whole lot of buckets! 
Cave of the Winds

Other FUN facts:
*There are 3 Falls at Niagara Falls State Park: The American Falls, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls
*The water falls at 32 feet per second over the falls, hitting the base of the falls with 280 tons of force at the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 2,509 tons of force at the Horseshoe Falls.  
*Oldest park in the USA, started in 1885
*Four of the five Great Lakes drain into Niagara River

The two popular activities that enhance the experience at the park are:
1) "Maid of the Mist" boat ride that takes you near the set of falls.
2) "Cave of the Winds" walking tour which takes you almost directly below the churning water.

We opted for the Cave of the Winds, and boy was that fun. Again the force of the water is crazy, and the amount of water flooding the decking makes it an exciting, but safe adventure. Loved the sandals you get to keep as souvenirs and the snazzy rain ponchos too! Note: You'll still get wet :)

Cave of the Winds
If you're close to the area it's worth a slight detour, but I wouldn't suggest making this a primary vacation destination.  The actual city of Niagara Falls was underwhelming, and totally a tourist trap, but not the good kind.  Also, bring some food for a picnic, or snacks to tide you over.  Based on our experience we wouldn't suggest doing a sit down dinner in the State Park. The only reasons those restaurants stay in business (at least on the U.S. side) is because everyone likes the idea of sitting down to dinner and observing the falls (which you really can't), so the waitstaff and food can continue to be sub par. Might seem like I'm ragging a bit on the park, so don't get me wrong we enjoyed the adventure, but if we got a 2nd chance we'd definitely do somethings differently and would prefer others learn from our own experience.

Niagara Falls might not be as majestic as the mountains, but it's hard not to be in awe of this natural wonder! It's a great State Park to make a pit stop and mix things up, instead of just hitting the vacation spots near mountains or beaches.  If you time it correctly you might even catch the lighting that they use to illuminate the falls in the evenings!  Interested in seeing more or visiting the falls?  Check out the State Park website.

Horseshoe Falls

American Falls

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