When it comes to travel, I have to say I believe I live out of my suitcase more than I do my closet. As a family, we are off and traveling around the globe and each trip brings on an even better adventure.
I am all about planning but there are things we do that are not on the lists and that we never thought about doing until we get to our location. There is a lot to say for a well-traveled child and adult. Getting out and about sure does provide a perspective on your everyday life, exposes you to all different types of experiences(good and bad) and gets you out of your own state!
There are so many choices as to where to go, for a vacation, but if you have a few days to spare, my suggested travel destination is Niagara Falls, USA, New York where you can lavishly live travel out loud and take in what Mother Nature has made grand!
Niagara Falls, USA
We recently traveled to the falls for a quick family get away, and I have to tell you it was awe-inspiring even though on a whole the falls were frozen, it is nature at it’s best! Let’s take a quick look at where to park, what to see and why to go to Niagara Falls, USA.
Did you know that there are 2 sides to Niagara Falls both the U.S and Canadian? We did not bring our passports this time, so we were not crossing the border.
1) You don’t need a passport and honestly, you are going to see the falls close up and personal.
2) Next, if live in Pittsburgh(as we do), you are only about 4 hours to the falls, sorry for you if you are having to drive further, but so worth it!) The trek is nothing, it is pretty much a straight shot up 79 and the ride is easy with great signs along the way. Your GPS can get you there or Google map it.
Interestingly enough we found out while we were there that the last Maid of the Mist ride happened in October and during February there was a potential buyer, but there were no more rides until they had a new owner. Maid of the Mist had taken us right by the falls down in the water, you could feel the pounding sensation of the water, while you were standing in the boat. If it re-establishes is a must when visiting the Falls.
These were the walkway to the Falls when they were frozen in 2014, there was so much snow, the garbage cans were buried, it was insane. The depth of the snow against what used to be railing by the falls had me totally freaked out because there was no railing! This was me taking a photo from head-on, meaning that I was up over the place where the railing was and the falls were right there!
What you see here is my chicken self-taking photos from the observation walk out. I hate heights, dread them, and I can not walk out on ledges, planks, etc., so I was mortified that I was going to lose the camera, or just pass out. You are right above the falls on this walk out and you can see both Canada and the falls. Depending on the time of day, you can get great photos of the falls.
We were at a disadvantage because it was early morning and we were shooting right into the sun so my photos were not as ‘great’ as I would like them to be. During the summer season of tourism, you day pay a nominal fee to get on the observation tower, and you get up close and personal with the USA side of the falls. IN addition, the sun was blaring off all the white blazing snow that was gracing the ground, see behind my boys and all around them.
Now as far as the snow went, this was pretty unusual, from what we were told. We have been here several times before this season and had never experienced the falls iced over. I was surprised at how high the snow was on the rails. The snow was mounded up behind my boys and the falls are just right there! Total Excitement, what a rush!
Parking in Niagara Falls -USA
There are a lot of places to park, but we park in the same lot time and time again. There used to a food court in there, but it was being redone. I am glad it is being redone.
Here is where we park, you can’t miss it, and it is only $5. It never seems to increase. The parking gives you 24 hour in/out privileges, which means if you can find a spot again within 24 hours you can keep coming in and going out without paying again. The key to this parking lot: IF YOU CAN FIND A SPOT. The advantage to going earlier in the morning is big, so get up and get out to
The key to this parking lot: IF YOU CAN FIND A SPOT. The advantage to going earlier in the morning is big, so get up and get out to start early, because the early bird gets the parking spots, lol.
Once you get parked, you walk behind the building or around the building to begin your adventure, it is that easy. You can also troop all through town because you are parked right in the hub and there are a lot of great places to eat at while you are there. The time here is exciting and we could spend hours, or the better part of the day just enjoying this area. I think initially looking at the falls is overwhelming and almost unbelievable, but after about 20 minutes you ease into the environment.
The educational center by the falls has restrooms, and plenty of information about the awesome force known as Niagara Falls so you can get as educational with this trip as you like or you can just leave it as, “a wonder of the world for all to come and enjoy.” No matter what you do, you will find a great day waiting for you as you lavishly live travel out loud in Niagara Falls, USA!