For as long as I remember, visiting Niagara Falls has been top of my bucket list. Ever since my dad went with his work when I was little I was stare for hours at the photos he had taken at Niagara Falls dreaming of one day visiting this magnificent natural wonder. When I travel I also love to see the local side of a place, and visiting Niagara Falls is no different.
There are many ways to explore this wonderful region, but one of the best ways is to go vintage! If you are anything like me, when you go on holiday you still like to indulge your love of all things vintage. Fortunately, the vintage movement is gaining momentum, which means that, in many parts of the world, you can do exactly that. I’ve listed some of my favourite ways to explore the more alternative Niagara Falls!
WHEN TO VISIT
It’s no secret that if you’re going to the falls, you’re going to get wet, right? Naturally, because of that, people tend to go during the summer. We actually ended up going mid September. Labor Day Weekend is over, kids are back in school, people are traveling less, but the weather is still decently warm. Fewer people AND still warm-ish weather. Yes please!
WHAT SIDE TO VISIT
American vs Canadian. Who’s it gonna be? Everyone always says the Canadian side, but why? Basically the views are much better from the Canadian side, but its Niagara Falls so either side is still going to be amazing! Plus, I’m guessing if you’re visiting the Falls you’re going to want to go on a boat tour. If you’re on the Canadian side, you’ll take the Hornblower (the Hornblower boats are bigger and newer than Maid of the Mist on the US side). The Hornblower takes you on a 20 minute tour literally into the falls. You’ll also see American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
WHERE TO STAY
There is one thing I must tell you about….. I discovered that some of the five-star hotels in the area offer guests with rooms that have panoramic views of the waterfalls themselves. Of course, staying in these hotels tend to be expensive, however staying in a room like that with a stunning view is a once in a lifetime experience. So it really is worth treating yourself to at least one night in this type of hotel room. For this reason alone I’d recommend staying at the Niagara Falls Marriott for the best views in the region. If you don’t have the budget to stay longer you could always book yourself into one of the area’s vintage hotels or bed and breakfast for the rest of your stay.
See the Falls the old-fashioned way
There are lots of ways to enjoy the Niagara Falls and it is worth trying them all. Take a boat trip to the very foot of the waterfalls, follow the whitewater trail, and take the Behind the Falls tour. Do it all, and enjoy lunch in the Skylon tower with its spectacular view of this glorious landmark. But, if you are after a vintage experience, I suggest that you head straight to the Whirlpool Aero Car ride. This cable car opened in 1916, so there is a genuine retro feel going on. It is a big thrill too and you get to see the whirlpool which is a sight a lot of visitors miss out on.
Retro dining in Niagara Falls
It is always nice to eat and drink in retro surroundings. Again, there is plenty of choice available, on both sides of the Falls. Examples include the revolving Skylon Tower restaurant, The Pillar and Post bar and restaurant, the Vintage Sports Lounge and Queen’s Landing. The last suggestion would be perfect for a romantic meal.
Vintage tourist attractions
Quite a lot of the attractions in and around the waterfalls have been open for decades. In some cases more than a hundred years and some have not changed
greatly over that time, so they have a real vintage feel. Here are just a few examples.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
It is hard to describe this zany place. It is something like a cross between a circus attraction and a museum. There are some fascinating exhibits, some dating back decades. This place is an amazing mix of the old and the new with a surprisingly strong vintage feel.
This area has long been a tourist attraction street. There are numerous shops and attractions that date back a long time. Much of the signage has a real retro feel something you will really enjoy if you go there after dark.
Shop for vintage clothes
Once you have had your fill of the Falls, you can always do some vintage shopping. Shopping trips abroad always uncovers unusual items that you would never find at home. That Vintage and Out of the Past are just two of the shops on the Canadian side. On the American side there is Stella’s Vintage Finds, they sell mainly goods for the home, but you can still pick up some nice accessories too.
*This is a collaborative post.