This might sound a little kooky, but I’d driven through Niagara Falls USA dozens of times on the way to other destinations. And while I’m not proud of the fact, I do own up to it. Truth be told, I’d never really thought of it as a vacation destination- until I began researching just how many activities it has to offer families. There’s a luxurious side that I never knew existed and an adventurous side that will have you high-fiving folks over your accomplishments. But here’s the question: can you enjoy both and adventurous AND luxurious vacation in Niagara Falls USA?
I was hosted by Visit Niagara Falls USA to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes this family-friendly destination so fun for everyone! I was not asked to state a particular opinion and all are my own!
The Luxury Side of Niagara Falls USA
Once again, I put those preconceived notions about Niagara Falls out of my head and checked into The Giacomo, a beautifully historical hotel in the heart of Downtown proper. It’s hard to believe that only six years ago the hotel was just re-opened for business after a long lull kept it abandoned and in severe disarray. So, we took a quick look around the lobby, handed our car keys to the front desk to valet, and headed to our room.
Our King room had plenty of space to move about and The Kid loved her roll-away bed. The room had a fun and hip vibe to match the rest of the hotel and we love the jazz-style music playing when we opened the door.
As for the bathroom, it was super spacious. The Kid and I loved the spa robes and slippers and Mr. Locke dug the stone and glass shower with a large seat.
We also adored the fact that the hotel offer complimentary breakfast each morning! Eggs, sausages,bacon, pastries, juice, coffee, and made-to-order waffles (The Kid loved adding strawberry and chocolate drizzles on hers) kept us full and filled with energy to face the daily adventure. And speaking of adventure…
Adventure in Niagara Falls USA
After a quick pit stop in the Niagara USA Visitors Center to say hello, grab our Discovery Passes (thank you, Niagara USA CVB!) and take this silly pic, we headed out for some fun family adventure. Each Discovery Pass has five attraction passes that can be redeemed in any order you like for:
- Niagara Adventure Theater
- Aquarium of Niagara
- Cave of the Winds Trip
- Niagara Gorge Discovery Center
- Maid of the Mist ®
First stop? The Cave of the Winds. Technically a path with different levels of viewing decks, we got a super up close view of the American Falls.
The closer you walk, the more intense the water spray and wind gets. We were provided with sandals and rain ponchos to spare our street clothes and shoes, but I was ready to get wet!
One quick selfie and we were headed to the Hurricane deck- the most intense of the viewing platforms.
Compliments of a waterproof case on Mr. Locke’s iPhone, he snapped this photo, and it’s one of my favorites from the entire trip. look close enough and you’ll see a rainbow. Even better, it looks like we’re holding it up! We had no idea that the rainbow was in the photo until we got back to The Giacomo Hotel. If you’re not into wind and water heavily spraying into your eyes you can spare yourself with a bypass, but what fun is in that?
Rolling on a (Niagara) River
Since we were already soaked, we took a trip on the Niagara Falls Trolley and hit The Maid of the Mist next. Swapping out yellow ponchos for blue ones, it was the first time on the ferry boat for all three of us. The boats dock near the American Falls and leave right around every 30 minutes or less. Scoring a spot in the front of the boat, we got ready for more water fun.
The views of both the American and horseshoe Falls are spectacular on the ride and, of course, there was another rainbow that we had to snap a pic of.
Once the boat heads toward both falls, the view diminishes more and more compliments of the mist, so all of our pics look like we’re inside of a cloud except you can’t see us because of the surrounding cloud. It was beautiful, though.
After a good night’s sleep, we headed to the quaint town of Lockport just outside of Niagara Falls. Clean and cute, the city has a major draw with its cave tour and we were all about it as it includes an underground boat ride.
The Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride tour includes a overview of the cave’s history, how it was used to pump up industrialism in the town, and tons of “cave kisses”- drops of water that hits you from the cave’s ceiling. Told they were good luck and each kiss is worth an entire year of it, it looks like I’m good to go for about 60 more years.
Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting Niagara Falls USA? What was your favorite attraction? Please let me know in the comment section below!