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Poor view from the Skywheel
If you hop on the Skywheel expecting great views and great pictures, think again.
We tried it one night, and our view of the falls was not only inferior to what we could see by walking along the river, it was generally poor altogether. The only good views we had were of the Clifton Hill lights and dinosaur mini-golf -- which is OK if your vacation is focused on the attractions on Clifton Hill, but not so much if you want to see the falls from up high. Not only that, but the windows were very dirty (perhaps because we were there near the end of the day?), which made for bad photos, even when shooting the nearby attractions.
Unless you are a Ferris wheel enthusiast, I would recommend skipping the Skywheel altogether.
Fun Alternatives: We didn't go up the Skylon Tower, but I can't imagine the views there could be any worse than at the Skywheel.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Clifton Hill-the largest tourist trap on earth?
You can't miss Clifton Hill at night, neon signs scream out at you, the crowds shuffle at a frustratingly slow pace from the fireworks back up to Clifton Hill. Every shlocky tourist trap you can think of can be found here, fast food restaurants, Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum, Ripley's Believe it or Not, haunted houses, overpriced carnival rides, fudge shops, candy stores, ugh! I couldn't get out of this area fast enough, needless to say, my wallet wasn't opened once along this whole stretch
Unique Suggestions: If you feel you must join the throngs trudging up this street, there are a multitude of coupon booklets littering every hotel and attraction with discounts mostly on the places you will find here. At least you can save a couple of bucks while spending all your money.
Fun Alternatives: Niagara Falls, at least for me, should be about an amazing natural wonder. Spend your time and money enjoying what Mother Nature has provided
Clifton Hill-Expensive place for souvenirs!
Located a block from Casino Niagara and walking distance to the Falls, the strip, along with a stretch of Victoria Avenue, features such attractions as the Alien Encounter, Guinness World Of Records Museum, Adventure Dome, Louis Tussaud's Waxworks, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum.
Prices of t-shirts here cost 10 CAD (made in china!) , shot glass at 12 CAD (also mad in china), postcards at 2 CAD each, paperwieghts at 20 CAD, etc.
Unique Suggestions: rices of souvenirs here are fixed and they don't allow haggling hence it is better for you to buy the souvenirs in St. Catherines or in Niagara Falls City Proper or in the other side streets beside clifton hill since they tend to be cheaper.
Fun Alternatives: Buy at St Catherine's or Niagara City Proper!
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
- Theme Park Trips
The Street Of Fun
Let's face it.... Clifton Hill is your typical tourist trap. The prices are high, and the attractions are tacky. But for some reason we keep going back. What gives? The lights, sounds, excitement (especially the haunted houses and wax museums) and the energy are what make this street fun and worth the visit. You CAN enjoy Clifton Hill without spending alot of money.
Unique Suggestions: Pick your destinations ahead of time - research the prices on the internet. Don't visit the same ones year after year (that was my mistake). Skip the restaurants and souvenir shops. Go with a friend or two and take lots of goofy photos, especially in front of the wacky museums. Visit the Karoke Bar at the Beer Gardens for a good laugh.
Fun Alternatives: Eat at restaurants on Lundy's Lane. The same fast food joints like Burger King and Subway are twice the price on Clifton Hill. Shop at souvenir stores closer to the top of Clifton Hill and on Victoria Ave. Many of these shops have the same souvenirs ie. Maid Of The Mist as the actual attractions do, and for cheaper prices.
If you go with your significant other, enjoy the moment - Niagara Falls is a hot spot for romantic vacations! Check out some of the smaller bar and grills, sit back and have a drink while you people watch.
Take time to relax and unwind along the Niagara waters and parks. I found that after experiencing all of the hype on Clifton Hill, it was the best thing to journey on down to the waters and see what Niagara Falls is REALLY all about!
- Family Travel
Somehow when my family visited Niagara Falls we ended up wandering onto this busy street from hell on our walk back to the hotel. I was not expecting to see something like this at all, and for me it was out of place and ruined the atmosphere of the trip. Very tacky, carnival like... which is not bad in itself but not at all what I personally came to Niagara to see.
Since we were there and didn't know any better or have anything else planned for the day we decided to pick one thing to do. The street as a whole was extremely busy when I went. Places like the Ripley's museum had a line up so long there was no point in even looking in that direction.
I ended up picking the Guinness Book of Records Museum for us, out of personal interest and also because it wasn't very busy compared to some other places. The Guinness museum could have been a lot worse than it was, so I think I made a good choice compared to some of the other 'attractions' I peeked into there, however I would still not recommend spending money on anything on this street.
Unless of course cheap thrills and tolerating screaming, overstimulated children is your thing.
Half way through the 'museum' there was a hole in the wall where you could see into the next building. It was some kind of badly designed maze for children... I don't even think if I were a kid I would have enjoyed it. It looked pretty worn out and lame.
If I had children I would not even bring them here for fear of rotting their brains with the fumes of cheap plastic coming out of the gift shops and midway buildings. The gift shops have nothing to do with the 'museums'. It's basically stuff you could get from a dollar store. AVOID!
Unique Suggestions: Bring earplugs, and your own lunch.
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
What Isn't a Tourist Trap Here?
There's a lot of tackiness on the Canadian side, especially on Clifton Hill. You walk down the main street and your kids will be screaming at you because of the blinking lights, talking statues and general pandemonium.
Luckily, this garbage has been kept away from the main attraction, and it's very possible to just see and enjoy the falls and not have to deal with any of it, except when parking and walking to the car (so park close!).
Unique Suggestions: There was a Marvel Comics thing that didn't look too bad and might be good for kids interested in comics. Don't know the admission costs though.
Fun Alternatives: Just seeing the falls is great. Your kids may get bored, but I could have just stared at Horseshoe Falls for hours.
Can you say "Carnival"?
If you ask me, all of Clifton Hill is a tourist trap. It's full of tacky wax museums and TONS of gift shops that sell a bunch of cheap junk. Plan out what you'd really like to see, and spend more time on that.
Unique Suggestions: If you must go to Clifton Hill, limit your wax museum visits! Only go to one and try to steer clear of all of the gift shops! Also, I found that going in the morning, when things first open, is a good way to beat the crowds, which can get pretty crazy!
Fun Alternatives: Instead of spending all of your time on Clifton Hill, visit Niagara-on-the-Lake (very short, easy drive!) or go on the Maid of the Mist, which gives you an up-close view of the Falls. Don't forget to spend a little time in the casinos. Sic Bo (spelling?) was a very easy game to pick up if you're not a big gambler!
This area is in Niagara because it is too tacky for Las Vegas :)
It is the worst 'Tousist' area on earth.
All the beauty of nature, and slap in the middle of it we have wax museums, a 'believe it or not ' museum, junk souvenir shops etc. all with their gaudy neon signs.
I didn't stay long enough to take a photo.
Unique Suggestions: Have a burger and go.
Fun Alternatives: Look at what Niagara is famous for - the water.
Have no fear...you can fulfill your DVD dreams here! Pay top dollar for CDs, DVDs, clothes, and movie memorabilia. I suppose movie buffs spend a lifetime looking for Cowardly Lion shaped mugs..
Fun Alternatives: The internet is a great place to shop.....GO LOOK AT THE FALLS!!!!
House of Frankenstein
Step inside this house and be chased around by Frankenstein. That should work up an appetite. Then, when you're done...you can stop and get an $8 whopper at Burger King right next door!!
Unique Suggestions: When you get home, rent the movie!
If you are easily scared by the dark and 20-somethings with spooky makeup, DO NOT enter! I think the most terrifying thing about it is the entrance fee!!!
Fun Alternatives: If you want to be scared, go to the Rock Legends Wax Museum!
Rock Legends Wax Museum
In case you have seen enough horrifying wax renditions of your favorite actors and mass murderers, you can move on to see your favorite "rock" legends like Madonna and Britney Spears. Careful... the Marilyn Manson statue is likely to give you nightmares! You can't miss this place....it's the blue building with paintings of "rockers" that bear no resemblance to the real thing!
Unique Suggestions: OY VAY!
Want to go gamble at the casino, but have kids to contend with? Give 'em $20 and leave them here at this GIGANTIC gameroom/entertainment complex. Actually, give 'em $40 because most of the games cost 2 tokens or more. When they're done, they can exchange their tickets for Canadian Midway labeled prizes such as mugs, cooler cups, noisemakers...even INVISIBLE DOGS!
Unique Suggestions: Wear earplugs...
So, when you are on sensory overload from the sights and sounds of the natural beauty of the falls, you can come here and play mini golf with glow in the dark balls. Nothing says fun like 9 holes in a black lit room! Really fun if there's someone playing who happens to have a fake tooth or two (they glow in black light, you know!).
Unique Suggestions: Miniature golf in natural light kills me with boredom. I have no suggestions....
Guiness World Records
NOPE...I was surprised to learn Louis Tussaud was not in here as the worst wax figure carver maker person. I did, however, learn about the world's longest mustache and most tattooed woman. Oddities abound. Amazing.
Unique Suggestions: I'm sure you can find something better to do!
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Niagara Falls Travel Guide
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