Tourist for a Day - a Local's Perspective

by Heather Craig
(Niagara Falls, Ontario)

Heather and Scott

Heather and Scott

Years back my best friend and I decided to actually look into the many attractions that Niagara held. As locals, we often avoided the Downtown area and Clifton Hill as it was often busy and we had always figured we would visit these locations 'at some point'.

Then, one day, we decided to venture into the wax museum, (Ripley's Believe it or Not), and take a stroll through the gardens along the Niagara Parkway and 'the Falls' (as we call it).

We payed the fees, donned our blue 'raincoats'(courtesy of the Maid-of-the-Mist boat tours) amidst the roaring falls. We took the tour in the caves behind the falls. We had our picture taken beside the tallest man in the world - well, his replica in wood.

We spent the day viewing our city through the eyes of a tourist. And, do you know what? We had a blast! We snapped pictures just as quickly as our visitors. We laughed as we got soaked on the Maid-of-the-Mist. We raced to the next location on our map of Niagara to soak in as much as we could in one day. We were 18 at the time, and I'm 35 now - it is still one of my favourite memories.

A lot has changed in Niagara since that time - the gardens are more beautiful than ever. Clifton Hill has expanded to include events for the whole family. Downtown Niagara Falls is our newest and in my opinion best feature. From French crepes, microbreweries, coffee shops selling Fair Trade and Organic/local products to local grocers selling items only from Ontario and mostly local producers, yoga studios and 'ice-free' skating in front of the City of Niagara Falls' City Hall.

So jump on a bus or train and head right into the downtown core where both of these stations are located. If you're coming from a distance further than 'next door', check out the Niagara Falls Hostel or one of the B&Bs along the parkway.

Don't wait to discover what we already know - this place is beautiful.

Heather Craig
Niagara Falls resident

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