It had been 24 years since I had been to “Niagara Falls”:http://www.infoniagara.com/ so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard it had changed a lot and it has. However, there were still some things there that I remembered from when I first went there as a teenager, many more years ago.
Of course, the falls are still there and I was looking forward to seeing them again. My sister and I took a coach with “Your Casino Express”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review?id=176626 to Niagara Falls for the day from London, Ontario. It was 1:00 pm by the time we arrived and we had six hours to explore before having to catch the coach back home. After a quick lunch at the “Grand Buffet”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review?id=176618 at the Falls View Casino, we headed out into the extreme heat as we were experiencing a heat wave. It was 39 degrees Celsius with the humidity. Thankfully we started out with a walk down the steep hill from the casino to the falls. At the bottom of the hill we turned right to the Horseshoe Falls. As school had started earlier this month, there were not huge crowds, which was nice. We were able to get right up to the edge of the pavement along the river. We had a good view of the boats (American in blue raincoats and Canadian in red raincoats) going back and forth to the base of the Horseshoe Falls. Another bonus is getting sprayed with refreshing water as you walk towards the Horseshoe Falls; there is always spray coming off the water. On such a hot day it was a nice relief. We were also treated to a number of rainbows in the mist.
It was good to see the old building across the road now housing the Queen Victoria Restaurant and gift shop had not been replaced with a more modern version. It reminds me of the old CN railway hotels across the country which were all built around the turn of the 20th century with green copper rooves and local stone walls.
The new tourist information centre by the Horseshoe Falls provides great views upstairs from the floor to ceiling windows where you can watch the force of the water going over the falls. Rather than replace the old building, they have added onto it and kept the old character. This building is also the entrance for the Journey Behind the Falls – something that is very impressive to do as I remember from long ago.
One new thing along the river is a zipline. It runs pretty much at street level so you have a good view of the people as they zip by 2,200 feet above the river. They basically run from one end of the American falls to the edge of the Horseshoe Falls.
I remember a lot of tacky tourist spots on Clifton Hill and they are still there though updated. However, one new thing amongst them is the “SkyWheel”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/176603. I got my first glimpse of it from down by the falls. It is well worth the fee to get a bird’s eye view of the area. There are lovely gardens (Queen Victoria Gardens) along the Niagara Parkway on the other side of the road from the falls. One recent addition here is a Nikola Tesla statue – the father of hydroelectric power who designed the first such power plant in Niagara Falls, New York in 1895. We could have walked back down Clifton Hill, through the gardens and then back up the hill to the casino to catch our coach home. However, we opted to stay up the hill and walk along the top to Skylon Tower and across the road to the casino. You still have to climb a bit at the end but not all the way!
Walking around Niagara Falls can be challenging due to the hills. However, there is a funicular (Niagara Parks Falls Incline Railway) behind the Horseshoe Falls to help with getting up and down the hill. There are also buses that run along the river.
I look forward to going back again in winter to see the frozen falls and experience another attraction – maybe the Hornblower Niagara Cruise. That’s if it ever cools down! It is still extremely hot. Where is fall?