Thursday, December 17, 2015

1 day in Niagara Falls State Park

After exploring so many SPLENDID National Parks in Utah, Arizona and California, we were excited to meet all the excitements awaiting in the Niagara Falls State Park. From red rock canyons, towering orange natural-bridges and miles of sand dunes, it took a drastic change the moment we were greeted by the roaring waterfalls in view!

Niagara Falls USA Official Visitor Center

Our bus brought us to the Niagara Falls USA Official Visitor Center on Rainbow Boulevard, what a brilliant first stop! We were greeted politely by the helpful staffs in the visitor center, oh those happy faces made our day! They provided us with plenty of information about the state park, tips on delicious affordable food stops, the bus schedule and also, the center provided complimentary luggage storage, just what we were looking for!

Observation Tower

We decided to do the Maid of the midst boat tour in the morning, as the crowd will tend to grow later during the day. The ticket to board the boat also includes an admission to the Observation Tower. The view from the tower was spectacular, as it provide an all-inclusive view at a higher level. My recommendation, is to ascend to the top at night to watch the "fireworks and illumination show", however, get there earlier to save a nice spot.

Maid of the Midst

"Maid of the Midst" is the favorite park attraction for more than 150 years for a good reason! It brings you pass the base of the American Falls, and go as close as you can get to the roaring Horseshoe Falls. It was certainly the highlight of the day. All guests get a souvenir rain poncho (which is cool, I still have it with me.)

Somewhere below the rainbow, siblings stood.

State Park Trolley

We bought our all-day-unlimited-ride trolley pass from a kiosk at the base of the observation tour. For only $3, it was a great value. It stops at all 8 attractions in the park as the your guide tells you interesting stories and facts about the Niagara Falls.

Goat Island

This is truly a gem of the state park! If you are exploring on foot, simply walk to the other side through a pedestrian bridge.

Luna Island

From the pedestrian bridge you can walk to the Luna Island for an amazing bird-eye eye of the Bridal Veil Falls. Yes, you are standing on a platform right on top of it! Although the Bridal Veil Falls is the smallest falls of all (a part of American Falls), it is still I-M-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E! We had a chance to get some close up photos of the falls. (if you dare, look down to the base of the falls to get an idea of the magnitude.)

Terrapin point

The next stop was the Top of the Falls restaurant. After a quick picnic-style lunch, we proceed to the Terrapin point. An amazing place to view the Horseshoe falls, although I found it way too crowded to even take a descent photo without everyone around photo-bombing you. A smart move is to walk up the slope and you will find an elevated part of land where you can take good photos of the falls. During my visit, there was a photo-shooting session going on for a beauty pageant competition.

Three Sister Island

This 3 tiny island connected by pedestrian bridge is the peaceful portion of the state park, away from the crowd. I enjoyed photographing birds and have some alone time watching the rapids.

Fireworks and Illumination Show

If you think the vistas of the falls are spectacular enough, wait until you see them lightened up after dark in rainbow colours. The illuminating show started at 9pm in July (when I visited), changing hues every few minutes. This followed by a fireworks spectacle from the Canadian side. The views was out of this world, literally, OUT of this world! Check the schedule for fireworks show before visiting the Niagara Falls and try to visit on a Friday/ Sunday (May through August).

1. If you are interested with the Cave of the Winds ride too, check out the "Discovery Pass" for maximum saving!
Italian Buffet, $5.
2. Quality cheap food can be found outside of the State Park, and it is fun strolling around looking for cheap souvenirs.
3. If you collect postcards like me, the Niagara State Park official stamp can be found in the visitor center on Rainbow Boulevard.
4. Apply for a Canada Visa too and walk across the border. You won't regret it! The view from the Skylon tower is said to be the best.

The rapids.

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based on my personal experience. 
Feel free to share your Niagara Falls Experience with me by commenting below!

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