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Feel the rush at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic landmarks in the country. I mean, we all went there on our eigth grade field trip, right? Well, visiting again as an adult and with my family was definitely an awe-inspiring trip.

We were in upstate New York exploring and definitely made a point to stop at Niagara for a couple days. We researched RV parks to stay at in the Niagara area and many people were saying the Four Mile Creek State Park was a good one. We made our reservations and it was a fantastic choice.

Right on the shores of Lake Ontario, the park was clean, spacious and offered quite a bit to do. The park was electric only, but since we were only there for a couple of days, we didn’t need any other amenities.

Four Mile Creek State Park is also located right on the Robert Moses Parkway, which offers quick and easy access into the city of Niagara. Niagara Falls State Park is only about 20 minutes from the campground. We love easy navigation!

Check out Four Mile Creek’s website to learn more or to book your stay by visiting nysparks.com/parks/6/details.aspx.

Our trip to Niagara Falls started as most of our trips usually do, with a stop to the visitor center. We like to get our bearings at the visitor center and make a plan on what to see.

We learned about the Niagara USA Discovery Pass which offered a pretty significant discount to five Niagara Falls attractions. It also offered unlimited transportation on the trolley for a day, which was a bonus and meant the kids could rest their feet.

We bought the pass and I think it was a pretty good deal and would recommend looking into if you visit.

The pass included admission to the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour, Cave of the Winds, Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, Aquarium of Niagara and Niagara: Legends of Adventure Movie. For more information on the visitor center and the Discovery Pass, visit www.niagarafallsstatepark.com.

Our arrival day was cut a bit short since we had to check in to the campground and get set up, so we planned on doing the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour, a stop at Prospect Point, a walk out on the observation tower then finding some dinner in downtown.

We drove into Niagara and parked in the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center parking lot. I believe it was free parking and not a bad walk to the rest of the attractions. The walk along the cliffs of the Niagara River offered some great views.

The Maid of the Mist departs from the base of the Observation Tower, so that’s where we headed first. We got some great pictures from tower and took a few minutes to look all around this magnificent landmark. It was also very interesting to see the big American flags flying next to us with the big Canadian flags flying just across the river.

We headed down to the base of the tower in an elevator and before boarding the boat, they gave out rain ponchos to everyone. I understood why it was called Maid of the Mist once we got near Horseshoe Falls.

maid-of-the-mist
You can go up to the top deck of the boat, where you’ll be up close and personal with the falls, or you can opt for the lower deck, which is covered, but people down there still looked pretty wet when leaving.

We went upper deck and had fun getting splashed and soaked by the mist. I had my glasses on and couldn’t see much at all. They take you very close to the bottom of the falls, so you’re in a thick haze of mist for a while.

Take caution if you have your phone or camera along with you. They will get wet!

craig-cannon-prospect-point
After the Maid of the Mist tour, we headed to Prospect Point which offers a great photo opportunity with the American falls in the background. We took advantage and captured some great memories.

At this point it was late in the day and we were hungry. We took the short walk across the street from the state park and there were tons of restaurants, hotels and shops. We chose Hard Rock Cafe for a nice sit down meal.

The day was picturesque. The sun was out and it was just the right temperature that made the mist feel pretty refreshing. The one regret we have is that we didn’t have passports for the kids at the time and we heard the views from the Canadian side are much better. We’re all legal for international travel now, so that will be a stop for next time.

Our second day in Niagara wasn’t so picturesque. It was cold and rainy. Luckily, the only outdoor activity we had left to do was the Cave Of The Winds and since you basically stand under the American falls for this one, we were going to be wet no matter what.

discovery-center
We started the second day off by visiting the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. This is a small museum that tells about Niagara Falls’ history. Just outside the center there are several hiking and biking trails.

Unfortunately, due to the weather, we could not participate. There are some age restrictions on the hikes due to the level of difficulty. So, visit their website to find out more at www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/discovery-center.

discovery-center-gorge

After the Discovery Center, we walked over the bridge to the Aquarium of Niagara. This aquarium is on the smaller side, but did offer some pretty neat exhibits and shows. For more information, check out their website at www.aquariumofniagara.org.

Next, we walked back across the bridge to the Discovery Center and boarded the trolley to head toward the visitor center. That’s where we watched Niagara: Legends of Adventure Movie. This is a 30-minute movie that tells the story of Niagara Falls history including stunts performed at the falls, a child that fell down the falls and how different groups in history used the falls.

It was pretty interesting. For more information on the movie, check out niagaramovie.com.

Our last attraction to visit was the Cave of the Winds, so we again boarded the trolley at the visitor center and took it across the pedestrian bridge to the Cave of the Winds Complex.

cave-of-the-winds-shoes
Upon visiting, you get some stellar looking sandals and you leave your shoes inside the building. You also get a poncho that does it’s best to keep you dry, but never really stood a chance.

After getting geared up, you take the elevator down the cave and walk out to the deck. You know, the one featured in the Thompson’s WaterSeal commercials. As you get closer to the American falls base, you can’t really hear much at all. The rushing water is so loud you have to shout to the person next to you.

cave-of-the-winds
You then continue toward the falls and end up pretty much right underneath them. We got totally drenched. Some of my kids loved it, others hated it. We tried to get a couple of pictures before my phone got soaked and ruined, and they turned out okay.

It was a pretty fun experience and got us really close to the falls. For more information on the Cave of the Winds, check out their website at www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/cave-of-the-winds.

After all that fun, we dried off and headed back toward the camp. On the way we saw several signs for wineries in the area. After a quick Google search, it turns out this area is a great place for grapes to grow, so we made a few stops on the way back.

winery
We stopped at Midnight Run Wine Cellars (www.midnightrunwines.com) as well as A Gust of Sun Winery & Vineyard www.agustofsun.com).

Both of these wineries were very family friendly. They offered grape juice for the kids and free samples for mom and dad. After tasting a few, we made our selection and headed back to the RV to enjoy. I’d definitely recommend stopping at a winery or two while visiting.

We really enjoyed our trip to Niagara Falls. Experiencing the falls up close and personal with my family was a memory I’ll cherish forever!

About Bryanna Royal

Bryanna Royal and her family of six, plus two dogs, have given up normal life to live and travel in a RV full-time. They want to live a simpler life where they focus on each other, share experiences, and see the world together. You can follow their adventures at: Web: www.crazyfamilyadventure.com | Twitter: www.twitter.com/cfadventure | Instagram: instagram.com/crazyfamilyadventure | YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/crazyfamilyadventure

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