Niagara Falls is such a wonderful experience that you will find yourself trying to capture the moments with your digital camera in all possible angles but still you come back with feeling that you missed to capture the RIGHT moment.I drove close to six hundred miles from Chicago to Niagara falls in one day to let my parents experience these water fall moments. I have visited it four times already in the brief span of seven years.But first time is the only time I wanted to see them by myself but all the other remaining times either it is for a friend or got married so got to take wife to show her my long patient testing driving skills.But almost on every occasion I enjoyed Niagara falls trip.Why is it that visiting Niagara Falls tops desi’s (probably mostly Indian community) list of must see attractions ? Probably a status thing to show off that they did visit US of A by checking off Niagara in their itinerary list.Tell your friend that your Parents are with you in US for a visit.The next immediate question they ask is when are you taking them to Niagara falls and they give you all kinds of advises and their experiences.It is fact that the common scene at Niagara falls is saris and smell of Indian spices from the groups of people picinicing in the park areas.Also you see parents posing for their techie son’s/daughter’s camera in order to boast the travel experience with their relatives back home that they have seen the world’s most talked viewed water falls.
Niagara falls – Attractions
The most viewed attractions at Niagara falls are Maid of the mist and Cave of the winds.
Maid of the Mist – The Maid of the Mist boat tour is must-see-feel experience tour at Niagara Falls. Along with 300 other people you get on to one of the several boats on either the American or Canadian side of the falls and push up closer than you care to get to the base of the Horseshoe Falls or american falls. At the base of the falls, your boat gets closer to falls for few moments fighting the strong falls current and the mist.This soaking opputunity lasts longer and then boat moves away from the falls for the quick ride downstream back to the dock.
Cave of the Winds – One magnificent unique view that lets you get up close and personal with the falls is from the Cave of the Wind tour. After first acquiring yellow rain coats and special foot wear to give you better traction on the wet walkways, you descend to the tunnels via an elevator. Leaving the tunnels, you wind your way along walkways built on the rocks below the American part of the falls looking up at the falls. You are within a few feet of the water falling from such a height creating a hurricane effect and hence a name Hurricane deck. It’s like walking into a hurricane, with the wind and mist from the falls and time to soak as yellow rain coats cannot with stand that many gallons of pressured water fall. I had to hide my expensive DSLR, but I was happy that I got some up close wanted shots.
Other Misc. travel tips:
Hotel – We stayed at Hampton Inn which is like half a mile from the falls.A bit expensive compared to other hotels but we got double queen bed non smoking clean livable room.With the baby we don’t want to compromise on the hotel quality.Be sure to check entertainment.com [I’ve been their member since 2005 and they do have good deals locally and nation wide].Use their latest coupons for nationwide hotel chains.I was able to save few dollars this way.Also if you have time check the bidding process like at priceline.com or some other sites that help you to bid on your hotel: betterbidding.com , flyertalk and biddingfortravel
Note : Some hotels are strict in cancellation policies so be cautious if you have any travel plan changes in order to avoid any penalties.
Car Rental – I don’t want to put miles on my own vehicle so we ended up renting a mini van from AVIS using coupon codes which gave us a decent discount.Here are some of rental car coupon codes – check out Fatwallet’s thread – for ‘Codes for Car Rental Company Discounts’.Spend some time with the coupon codes and I’m sure you will save tons of money on car rentals.