I think that it’s more than six years now, when my father sent me a picture of the Niagara Falls. It was a typical day for me, I was at school listening to some boring lesson and suddenly the day brightened up. Those falls and the rainbow on them seemed nothing more than magic. In that moment I said to myself “You’ll go there, one day you’ll see them too”. And here I am, in the United States with the great opportunity to see that beauty on myself. I hadn’t planned it, but things you don’t plan at the end come up as the best.
So, for the long weekend of Columbus Day, I booked a 13 hours train and I left Washington D.C. If you have the opportunity to rent a car with some friends do it. The trip Washington D.C. – Niagara Falls is way too long by train (with Amtrack), unfortunately there aren’t many cheap opportunities, both the train and the flight are a bit expensive and they require a lot of time. If you take the train from Washington you will arrive in New York and then you will change to another one that will bring you to Niagara Falls. It is said that the Canadian side it’s better than the American one and hey that’s absolutely true! I stayed in this fabulous Airbnb, so if you want to reach the Canadian side just for the day, I recommend you this beautiful house!
To enter Canada, you don’t need a visa or any special permission. You will need it only if you enter by flight, and it’s called eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization), which is just $7 and will last for 4 years. If you walk to Canada you will have to cross the Rainbow Bridge, and you will have to show your passport and visa (remember to have $1 for the way back, as you have to pay the toll!).
The Canadian side is way better, plenty of shops, people and better organized. If you want to do the boat tour, I suggest you do it on this side, as you will see the best part: the Horseshoe Falls! You can book a ticket with Hornblower Niagara Cruises. They also have a funicular that will bring you nearer to the falls. If you want to discover the falls from another point of view you can go up to the Skylon Tower, that’s a deck observation and a restaurant. On the other end, if the child inside you is still alive, explore the neighborhood of Clifton Hill. Among fast foods and amusement park for every age you will find the Niagara SkyWheel.
If you want to remain on the USA side, there is the Maid of the Mist with part of the park and the observation deck. In both cases, try to wear something that can cover you (a scarf and a heavy coat), because even though they will provide you some ponchos in order not to get wet, well you will end up as you just get out of the shower! But trust me, the experience you will live it’s far beyond this little inconvenient! The boat it’s safe, you won’t feel in danger (many asked me about this) and the immense beauty that will appear in front of you it’s unbelievable and inexplicable.
Remember to check the hour of the fireworks! Yes, at night, in my case it was 10 pm they will do fireworks! Even more sensational than ever, as the falls with take different colors!