Less than a five hour drive from New York City, the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is the place to go this summer. My wife and I just went there for the forth time and it just keeps on getting better. The attractions are wonderful and the Falls itself is one of the natural wonders of the World.
If you go there make sure to visit Marine Land at Niagara. While slightly smaller than the San Diego Marine Land, there are still many great exhibits and shows. I loved the Killer Whale show the best. These magnificent mammals jump and spin around and put on a great show. I was totally drenched when a large male flapped his tail and sent hundreds of gallons of water over the edge right in my direction. The kids all loved getting wet. To be honest so did I.
They have a great seal and porpoise show which is very funny and a petting area where you can hand feed their large herd of deer. The food cost $2 but it is well worth the money to have them eat right out of your hands. I was a little worried that they might bite but they seem to be very well trained not to bite the hand that feeds them.
When in Niagara, you really should take a winery tour. They have a special type of desert wine called Ice Wine that is very crisp and sweet. Try their other varieties of wine as well. The tour costs $5 per person but you get to sample 5 varieties of wine. You can buy bottles there to take back or wait to buy them at the Duty Free Shop. Each person is allowed to bring back 1 liter of wine or liquor or one case (24 bottles or cans) of beer. Of course you can bring back more and pay the duty on the excess over the limit.
Meals at Niagara Falls are often expensive but the restaurants usually accept US money which gives you a much better price. Even though the official exchange rate is about equal these days, the restaurants will often give you a 15% to 20% discount for American dollars. I suggest at least eating one diner at The Grand Buffet in the new Fallsview Casino. For less than $30 per person you can get as much prime rib roast beef and shrimp as you can eat. The deserts are to kill for. If you play the slots you can get a card which gives you either discounts or even free meals at the buffet.
Smoke a Cuban cigar there if you like them or try absinthe both of which are legal in Canada but are not legal in the US. I am not a cigar smoker but some people feel that Cuban cigars are the best in the World.
One additional attraction will make you trip a great one. Follow the signs to the Maid Of The Mist boat ride which goes right up to the very foot of Niagara Falls. They provide waterproof plastic, hooded ponchos so the mist doesn’t soak you. It is like riding through a rain cloud. This is one boat ride you will never forget. You can even keep the poncho which will come in handy if you do the tour under the Falls.
I know that I will go back there again because they always change the attractions. The Casinos sponsor great entertainment with the same Stars that appear in Las Vegas. Of course the prices are just as high as Las Vegas but you will have a great time.
If you go there don’t be surprised if you see me in my AC tee-shirt. Just say hello and maybe we can go to diner together.