Our family took road trip just a few weeks ago to one of the wonders of the world: Niagara Falls. I’ve lived close (within driving distance) to the falls for most of my life, but never had a chance to see them. It’s even more beautiful than people described to me, and I recommend a weekend trip there. It’s an easy trip and an affordable way to have an “international” vacation.

With that in mind, here are some tips:

  1. Stay on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It’s no secret that the Canadian side is the more scenic side of this attraction. The Canadian side offers a better view of Horseshoe Falls, the main event when it comes to Niagara. Also, the Canadian side offers a large public park (free), more restaurant options, more hotels, and more casinos.
  2. Make sure to do Journey to the Center of the Falls. Many visitors take a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist or The Hornblower when the visit Niagara, but fewer stop to take the Journey to the Center of the Falls. It’s a small walking tour that takes you behind Horseshoe Falls, and that allows you to see the power of Niagara from the inside. Along with the boat ride, our family felt like we really got a chance to see the beauty of this natural wonder.
  3. Set aside a day for Niagara-on-the-Lake. Located just fifteen minutes north of Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake really shines as a quaint gem in Ontario. This 19th century city is full of history about the War of 1812, and its downtown offers shopping, dining, and gardens. The community also sits on a gorgeous section of Lake Ontario.
  4. Don’t leave without a wine tasting. This area of Ontario is known for its wines, and the valley around Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake sports about 40 major vineyards, each offering tours, wine tastings, food, and shopping. The Niagara region is often called Canada’s “wine country” and seeing is believing on this one. If you like wines (especially whites) this not a place to be missed!
  5. Grab a deal on Hotels.com or other sites for “off-peak” seasons. Just before Memorial Day and right after Labor Day are fantastic times to visit this region. It will still be crowded, but not as much as the summer season. We grabbed a great hotel for about $110 a night in a safe region.

Now–all you have to do is, get traveling!

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