Trip Diary: Niagara Falls

This past summer, we drove to New York to visit the University of Rochester. At the time, I was interested in pursuing medicine and toured the campus to see what it had to offer. The drive to the University of Rochester was close to 5 hours; Niagara Falls was an additional 1 hour and 45 minute drive. We decided to stay at Great Wolf Lodge in Canada. This trip was only two-days, but it was nice to explore Niagara Falls for the first time.

July 17, 2018

Morning: We quickly grabbed something to eat for breakfast, and ate in the car. Our drive started around 7:30 AM and we headed straight for the University of Rochester.

Afternoon: Around lunch time, we grabbed a bite to eat from a fast food restaurant. The tour started at 1:00 PM, and we arrived with a few extra minutes to spare. The only difficult part was finding a parking spot at the University of Rochester with the parking permit I printed out beforehand; the directions were not very clear, but eventually we found a place to park. The tour was about 2 hours in length, and included many of the traditional presentations, walking tours, and introductions usually found in campus tours. It was a beautiful campus that my parents absolutely adored, but nothing stood out to me that made me fall in love with it. At the conclusion of the tour, we drove to check-in at Great Wolf Lodge. As you may know, Great Wolf Lodge is known for the indoor waterpark it houses. Most of our late afternoon was spent riding the slides, and hanging out in lazy river of the waterpark.

Evening: After we were finished at the waterpark area of the lodge, we showered and went for dinner. We decided to park at a nearby lot, and then walked over to Rainforest Cafe. Niagara Falls was lit up in the distance, and it was beautiful. The area of Rainforest Cafe reminded us of the boardwalk at the beach. It seemed to gain energy as the night progressed.

July 18, 2018

Morning: We ate breakfast at a small cafe within Great Wolf Lodge. This was my first time at Niagara Falls, so the plan for the day was to go to both sides (USA and Canada). Great Wolf Lodge was in Canada, so we started on the Canadian side of the falls. When we parked the car, there was a pavilion of excursions and packages for Niagara Falls. The view was absolutely breathtaking, and the weather was perfect for touring. We went on the Hornblower Cruise, which took us very close to the falls. It was a great experience for anyone who hasn’t seen Niagara Falls yet; we were all really glad we chose this activity. While we were on the Hornblower, I noticed people zip-lining parallel to the falls. This immediately caught my attention, so I got in the queue to zip-line as soon as we got off. There were three lines that were operating simultaneously, but the wait time grew increasingly longer as wind speeds fluctuated. There were only about 35 people in line, but the wind and forecast caused the lines to shut down for 10 minutes at a time. This happened quite a bit, which caused the wait time to rise to around 120 minutes. Needless to say, it was definitely worth it. At the end of the line, a shuttle was ready to transport you back to the top. I met my parents once I was finished; they were watching and waiting along the railing at the top of Niagara Falls. I LOVED zip-lining!

Afternoon: After I was done zip-lining, we drove over to the USA side of the falls. We signed-up for the “Journey Behind the Falls”; you descend to the base of the falls, and then walk on an observatory deck. The power of the water was mind-blowing. We were drenched by the end of the walk, even with the water shoes and poncho they provided for us. The sight, sound, and even the smell were all indescribable.

Evening: We were finished touring Niagara Falls, and headed home. After experiencing both sides, we definitely enjoyed our time on the Canadian side more. While both were beautiful, we found the Canadian side of Niagara Falls to be most worthwhile.


julia grace

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