We planned to visit the falls for a day on a recent road trip to Toronto. We arrived in the town of Niagara Falls the evening before and checked into our hotel, the Marriott On The Falls. There are several hotels on the Canadian side that face the falls. Ours was a little offset but we still had a room with an excellent view. Once we checked into our room, we could hardly stop staring at the sight of the falls from our window. There is a constant mist that billows up from the falls that somewhat blocks the view but you can still see the powerful falls.
Evening View from Marriott on the Falls
We decided dinner with a view would be the plan that evening so we could have maximum time enjoying the falls. We had dinner at The Keg Steakhouse and Bar in the Embassy Suites Fallsview. The restaurant has graduated seating so that everyone can see the falls while dining. We enjoyed our dinner while viewing the falls. When night fell, the falls were lit up in a stunning rainbow of colors, a spectacular sight.
After dinner, we ventured over to the falls park area, taking the incline railway down to the central viewing area at Table Rock Centre, the information center located closest to the falls with gift shops, food courts, restaurants and access to some of the activities around the falls. From here you can get a close-up view of Horseshoe Falls. We were a little surprised at how close you can actually get to the falls. From the ledge of the rock wall, the falls are right there, just a few feet away. The sound and the fury of the falls at night is extraordinary. You can stroll along the Niagara foot path to take in the view at various points along the way. You’ll find yourself standing at every viewing area taking in the amazing sight of the falls until you finally realize you have to break away to get some sleep before the next day’s action-packed activities.
So for our one-day tour of Niagara Falls we chose the Adventure Pass which included four activities and free bus service:
The Journey Behind the Falls: A walking tour through tunnels behind Horseshoe Falls with openings in several locations where you are looking at the falls from behind. There is a pictorial display of modern history and facts about the falls along the tunnel walls and also an outdoor observation deck at the foot of the falls where you can get an amazing view of the powerful falls. You will get somewhat wet on this tour so a rain slicker is provided.
Niagara’s Fury: Another wet activity, slickers provided, where you stand in a circular theater and watch a short movie about the ancient history of the falls formation. After the movie you walk into another room where you will get quite wet as you stand, holding onto bars while the floor rocks and tilts, the room gets chilly and water sprays down to give you an immersive experience of the earth’s ancient glacial activity and resulting calamity that created the falls.
The Hornblower Boat Ride: This is the ultimate falls activity - the boat ride that takes you up the river, past the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and right up to Horseshoe Falls for a truly thrilling and exhilarating experience. This is a must-do activity.
The White Water Walk deep in the Niagara gorge is the final activity that we did not experience due to time constraints.
There are many other activities offered around the falls. We were very satisfied with this tour as it gave us a good overall falls experience. We thought the Adventure Pass was the best value. You should buy the pass online in advance then you have the Go Pass for the buses. You simply show the bus driver the pass and then ride the bus down to Table Rock Centre to get your tickets and tour times. The entire tour took about 5 hours, including taking a break for lunch at the Grandview Restaurant at Table Rock Centre where you can enjoy a fantastic view of all of the falls. Afterward, we drove to the town of Niagara-on-the Lake, which is just a few minutes from Niagara Falls and is a quaint little town full of boutique shops and restaurants, surrounded by many wineries. It was a nice way to end our day in Niagara Falls.