Niagara Falls: Our Great(ish) Canadian Adventure!

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Tell anyone you’re planning a visit to Niagara Falls, and the very next question will be, “Which side, Canadian or American”- we can almost guarantee it.

The thing about “us” is if there’s two ways to do/see something, we’re going to do everything we can to get to experience it in every possible way.  If you caught our video on our Canadian Border Crossing, then you’ve already gotten to see our adventures on that side of the falls. The other thing everyone will quickly tell you about Niagara is that, “The Canadian side is better”, I’m here to tell you they’re right. While we enjoyed the US side of things the view of Horseshoe Falls from Canada is spectacular!

From double rainbows, sipping Canadian craft brews, and wandering behind the falls we did it all! Check out the video of our adventures:

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We squeezed in an awful lot in the one day we spent here, from taking a million snaps of the falls, strolling along the Great Canadian Midway, sipping some local suds, to getting an up close and personal feel for the power of the falls- we did it all!

The truth about Niagara Falls that you have to accept before visiting is that it is without a doubt 110% a tourism hot spot. This means, bright lights, souvenirs shops galore, and of course the one thing any mega touristy location wouldn’t be complete without- a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.

At first glance, the sheer amount of people and the insanity that comes with them kind of terrified us. We like serene, we like authentic, and Niagara is none of those things. But we also believe in being up  for anything, and accepting things as they are and traditionally Niagara is touristy- that makes the crowds, and the tacky tourist traps it’s version of authentic, right? Don’t knock it try we always say, so we embraced the crowds and the crazy, and had a damn good time in Niagara!

Stay:

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Like any good tourism Mecca there is an overabundance of hotel rooms you can call home here. Google it- you’ll find dozens. If you’re looking for a room with a fantastic view the Sheraton Niagara is the place, although be prepared to pay a premium!

We called Jellystone Niagara home for two nights, and it was fantastic! We had some concerns, before making our reservations since it comes across on the website as a very, very kid friendly locale- not that we have issues with the littles but being the only childless adults at a campground full of families can be a bit odd. We were so pleasantly surprised by Jellystone. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and the campground was clean, quiet and an awesome place to park it!

Not a camper? No worries, the great news in Jellystone’s accommodations work for even non-campers, they’ve got cabins and yurts for rent as well- we had a chance to take a quick peek inside a few of these and man they looked cozy!

The absolute BEST part of Jellystone was the shuttle service they offered to and from the Falls.

For just $7 Canadian a person we could come and go to and from the falls as many times as we wanted throughout the day. No moving the van, no searching or paying for parking. It sounds like a small thing, but it made us insanely happy!

We booked a “basic” site, which included 30amp power and water hook-up. We had a great little spot tucked away in the trees, with a tidy little fire pit and picnic table. It was pretty perfect! The site cost us a little less than $64 Canadian a night since they honored our Good Sam Discount.

*Travelers Tip: If you’re coming in a big RV or tow behind, the sites for these larger rigs  are not near the “forested” area of the campground, and def. have a more typical RV park vibe. 

Play:

There is no shortage of things to do in Niagara, and 90% of all of them are focused around the falls. Makes sense.

A word of caution, unless it has been your lifelong dream to see and experience Niagara Falls, don’t get sucked into the “do it all” vacuum. There are “adventure” passes that range from $57-$90 per person to check off a list of Niagara to do’s, this includes things like taking a ride on the Hornblower ( the Canadian Maid of the Mist), a journey behind the falls, White Water Walk along the edge of the falls, the Butterfly Conservatory, Zip lining, and much much more.

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We weren’t really into the idea of trying to squeeze one touristy falls activity after another into one day, or the cost involved with the pass- especially when you get spectacular views of the falls for free! So we opted to pick one “falls” activity. We narrowed down our choices to the Hornblower, White Water Walk, and the Journey Behind The Falls. In the end we chose to Journey Behind The Falls.

Was it worth it? Without a doubt. But a lot of it had to do with how we did it. Knowing we wanted to stay at the falls into the evening so we could catch the illumination, we saved our “journey” for the end of the day. When we bought our tickets at 3pm the line for the elevator to behind the falls was so long that it mixed and mingled with the line to the nearby Tim Hortons. We were really hoping that by our 7:40 ticket time that line would be smaller- you can breathe a sigh of relief it was! Wooho!

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One of the reasons we opted for this activity was becuase it was unrestricted by “time”- you could essentially spend as long as you wanted wandering the passageways behind the falls. We liked knowing we could take as many photos as we wanted or read as many signs as our hearts desired (serial sign reader here). And although there was practically no line at all when we entered for our 7:40 time slot ( you can check out the empty passageway on the trip video here) we still found ourselves from time to time stuck behind people- sometimes we had to wait a whole 3 minutes to see something (gasp!) could you imagine how long that would have taken with a huge line to boot! No thanks! So here’s our advice, if you go, go late in the day! It’s worth the wait, we promise!

Eat:

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Niagara Brewing Company. If the name of this place isn’t enough to convince you it’s worth it well, then I don’t know what will! Aside from offering amazing locally brewed craft beers, and serving up some tasty, tasty bites, their location is also not to be beat! Located on Clifton Hill and nestled among the throngs of touristy souvenir shops, and chain stores a visit to Niagara Brewing Company gives you the chance to experience this end of Niagara without actually having to be a part of it!

Had your own Canadian Adventure, eh? Share it with us! We’re always looking for great new destination ideas! Drop us a comment, give us a like, and follow the blog! We’re happy to have you to share this adventure with!

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