Niagara Falls, Ontario
What To See and Doby Michelle Kosloff, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 8/30/2007
Growing up within a couple of hours of Niagara Falls meant we visited whenever relatives came to visit from the UK. It's a Wonder of the World and what visit to Canada would be complete without it? But as I grew older Niagara Falls grew dingier and it seemed to lose some of its luster. The falls were still there but the Skylon sort of emptied out and the tourist area just seemed to be dying off.
After I got married, we moved away from Ontario but just about two years ago we moved back. It was time for a visit because unlike us, our kids had only seen the falls once or twice.
Niagara Falls has changed significantly. I am not a big gambling fan, but I have to say, the two Casinos that have opened since I left Ontario have made a significant difference in the overall feel of the city. It is more vibrant, more alive than it had been the last time I visited.
Over the past year, we have visited Niagara Falls four times and have barely scratched the surface and we have seen and done different things each time.
Our first visit was to our relatives. We stayed at their house and took a quick trip down to the falls one day. We did the touristy walk by the falls and then took a trip under the falls.
My second visit was with my mother and sister for a ‘girls' weekend. We stayed at the Skyline Inn because it probably has the best location for your buck. We weren't there to lounge in our room so we weren't worried about luxury accommodations. The beds were comfy though and it was nice inside. It is a very short walk to the American Falls and right across the street from the Casino which was our destination both evenings we were there. One night we went to the closer old Casino (which I liked better because it seemed brighter and was on two floors) and the second night we took a free shuttle over to the newer casino.
During the day, our goal was shopping. We visited the Outlet malls in Niagara Falls, NY and found many bargains. We also visited the Outlet mall on the Canadian side and bought some things there as well. Before our trip to the Casino in the evening we also saw the Festival of Lights which takes place November through January. It was quite spectacular!
My third visit was with my husband for our anniversary. Our anniversary is the end of November which in hindsight is a rather good date. Hotel occupancy is very low so we usually can find something dirt cheap and Christmas decorations and sales are starting to come out.
Since this was our anniversary we decided to go for a bit more luxury. Since we didn't really care where we stayed, we tried bidding for a room on Priceline. That was fun in itself. We ended up with the Sheraton on the Falls for less than a cheap hotel would go for in the summer. When we arrived we asked about upgrading and for $10 more we got a suite with fireplace and Jacuzzi tub on the 21st floor with a fabulous view of the American Falls. We could even hear them with our window closed. Instead of the surf to go to sleep by we heard the faint roar of the falls. That $10 extra was so well worth it! It was a very romantic weekend.
Our last visit was with our children for our son's hockey tournament. We spent a lot of time in hockey arenas but we also did a bit of shopping with the kids, a bit of sight seeing and a bit of playing around. This time we stayed with the team at Michael's Inn. This hotel must have once been very nice but seemed a bit bedraggled now. It still had a very nice pool but the whole feel of the place was that it was a bit run down. The beds were very uncomfortable and none of us slept well all weekend. The location however was amazing! Again we were in walking distance of the falls and all the attractions on Clifton Hill. We didn't do a lot there more than look. You could spend a ton of time on the street what with all the wax museums, rides, and attractions. Next time, next time…
We will be back again to Niagara Falls in the fall when the prices decline dramatically. We have promised the kids a trip to the Fallsview Water Park which is a water park built on top of the Casino parking lot with a direct view of the falls. There is still so much more to see!
Updated 8/30/2007 - Article #234
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