Niagara Falls — it’s not a destination that many people associate with peaceful vistas and quiet countryside. Instead, you might be thinking of crowds of tourists and cheesy attractions in the Clifton Hill District. But a road trip to Niagara Falls brings the opportunity to take in breathtaking country scenery, quaint lakeside towns, local wineries and historic sites.
This is a continuation of my “Best of Access Niagara” series. This series looks back on popular posts, highly commented posts, my favourite places, etc.
I have to admit… I’m not much of a thrill seeker. I don’t mind a roller coaster every now and then, but I’m definitely not an adrenaline junkie. That’s why prior to my visit to Niagara Helicopters in the Fall of 2012, I was kind of afraid to go up. I wasn’t really worried about safety, but it was still kind of unnerving. My wife was even more afraid than I was, as she is afraid of heights.
Anyway, the 5 of us arranged to go up, and it was an amazing experience. My wife was still uncomfortable, and squeezed my thigh pretty tight as we were flying, but the rest of us loved it. It was a beautiful clear day, and so the view was tremendous. It seemed obvious to me at that point why people would spend the money on such a trip. It really was a memory that has stuck with me.
I won’t get into all of the details again, but you can read about our visit in the post I put up about our trip. It includes pictures as well as a video.
You may recall that I recently went to the Bird Kingdom (be sure to check out the pictures and videos). When we went, we decided to walk there. We were in the main tourist area around Clifton Hill, so we walked down the hill and under the Rainbow Bridge. I took a few pictures of the scenery around there.
As always, you can see some of the thumbnails below. Visit the Rainbow Bridge in Summer 2012 gallery to see the rest of the images along with the larger sizes.
Note: There are now 3,509 images in 269 galleries.
(as you can tell, I’m trying to get caught up on some posting before the busy summer season)
For several years we had Marineland passes each year. Then we went a couple of years without passes. Last year we got them again, and went half a dozen times. If you’ve been to Marineland any time in the last 5-10 years, not much has changed. They have added a couple of smaller rides, but nothing major. So if you like it, it’s still great. If you are hoping for more, then you still have to wait. We go for the nice scenery, and the kids like the rides. If you are local and can go a few times, then the $35 or so price is well worth it.
I always take my trusty camera along. As always you can see some of the thumbnails below, and you can visit the Marineland in June 2011 gallery to see the rest of the thumbnails and the larger images.
I also took an HD video of some Beluga whales being fed. You can view it on YouTube or below:
Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz has a new book out with photos of scenery rather than celebrities. I haven’t seen the book, but an article in The Atlantic says that the cover of the book has Niagara Falls on it.
Stopping in front the book’s cover image—a breathtaking vision of Niagara Falls—she explained that this was the picture that led to all the rest. She took in the view on a trip with her children, and watched them stare out at the water, mesmerized. “I stood behind them, they were actually in front of me, and I took this picture. It’s a photograph that anyone can take. It’s an American snapshot,” she said. “Actually, we were in Canada. A Canadian snapshot.”
So I went to Niagara Falls this weekend, and came home with a fairly wicked sunburn.
This — for those of the readership not au fait with So. Ontario springs — is, to put it mildly, odd. The wind- and rainstorm that’s now blowing up in the sun’s wake is more typical… assuming this were mid-July, that is.
That said, I had a pretty good time at the Falls. Not that I’m unfamiliar with the wet’n’wild marvels themselves; Shoemom is native to the area, meaning they were routine scenery on weekly Sunday family drives, and later a mandatory timekiller for the grandkids’ visits.
The thing is, the surrounding area has… developed… a bit, since Shoemom was a little sneaker.