north america · travel

Tales from the Maid of the Mist

Gulls just want to have fun.

When I started drafting the itinerary for my trip to Toronto, one item topped my list — it was imperative that I get up close and personal with Niagara Falls.

Luckily, I just made it to this year’s last voyage for the Maid of the Mist (the ride retires at the start of fall). Niagara Falls, usually jampacked with tourists during summer, was virtually crowd-free today. Giddy like a kid going on her first ride in a roller-coaster, I put on the poncho provided by the crew (oh trust me, it was VERY useful).

Ponchos ready!

And there it was — the thunder behind the mist. Once near the American side of the falls, all the glitzy hotels and casinos fade into oblivion. All you can see and hear is the surge of the water and the carefree gulls perching on its bedrocks.

Maid of the Mist at the end of the rainbow.

While the American side was a picture of serenity, you can experience how furious nature can be over at the Canadian side of the falls. Gorgeous but most likely deadly, the Horseshoe Falls is sure to make you gawk. Never mind the slivers of water slapping against your face at 10k/hour. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Children were bawling in the top deck, but I was oblivious and shamefully in glee as I stood enthralled by the raging water.

The American side of the falls in the background.

After the boat ride, we looked at some more attractions that came with the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass, but I found that the Maid of the Mist experience would be enough. If you don’t want that much of a dent in your wallet, you can actually drive up to the falls and take in the sights for free. Tip: At night, they illuminate the falls with spotlights, making it even more majestic.

More pics? Check them out here.

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