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TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Niagara Falls

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

I didn’t expect to be so excited about living on West Campus this year, but boy, am I enjoying its perks! This past Saturday, August 27, two charter bus-fulls of us West Campus students went to Niagara Falls for a ridiculously low price of $15 each(price of transportation, boat tickets and breakfast included). Now, I don’t know how much all of this would usually cost, but here are the ticket prices:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Yes, people, the boat tickets alone were worth $18.25 per adult…which means this trip isn’t going to be that affordable for most of you unless you have your own car or live on West Campus next year and sign up for this steal. And yes, that brochure is sticking out from the back pocket of a stranger’s pair of jeans under a poncho. Hehe.

However, if you’re still interested in going to Niagara Falls, let me tell you – you’re gonna need the entire day because it takes about three hours each way if you’re leaving from Cornell. Here is the schedule my group followed:

  • 8:45 A.M. Meet at Baker Flagpole, pick up breakfast, board buses and depart.
  • 12:00 P.M. Arrive at Niagara Falls, debark bus and wait in line for tickets.
  • Once we received our tickets, we went on the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour, after which we had time for ourselves to eat lunch, buy souvenirs and wander around the area.
  • 3:45 P.M. Meet as designated spot, board buses and head back to West Campus.
  • 7:00 P.M. Debark buses at Baker Flagpole.

Our group ended up being on time for every part of this schedule, so it’s completely doable, especially considering that there were over 100 of us on Saturday.

There are actually a lot of things you can do at Niagara Falls, but we didn’t have time to do all of them, like go over to the Canadian side (which I hear is even more breathtaking), join the Cave of the Winds tour (going beneath Niagara Falls) or see the giant whirlpool. This was just due to the fact that we were a big group and only had one day to do everything we wanted, but if you’re going with a few friends or family and pay for the tours, then I believe you can do the boat tour and all three of the aforementioned activities in a day.

And now, onto the fun stuff:

BOAT TOUR

Included in the ticket price is a poncho because you are going to get so freaking wet. If you’re on the American side, you’ll get a blue one (like we did), but if you’re on the Canadian side, you’ll get a red one. Here’s what I look like in a poncho:

Photo Courtesy of Veronica Perez

Photo Courtesy of Veronica Perez

This photo was oh-so-lovingly taken by Veronica Perez, who was my companion for this trip. Tip: Make sure you bring along a bestie who will tolerate you telling him/her to retake photos because your hair is all over the place or your feet have been cut out of the photo. Another tip: Bring waterproof everything. Waterproof watch. Waterproof shoes (or sandals). Waterproof bag to put your phone in. DO IT.

The boat tour brings you really close to two sets of waterfalls. Here’s what the first one looks like:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

You don’t really need the poncho for this first set, but when you get to the second one, you better make sure your hood is up and tightly fastened because this is what everything will look like—CHAOS.

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Now because of this chaos and the ungodly amount of water everywhere, I wasn’t able to take as high a quality of photos as I wanted to, but here’s the best one I got (please excuse the man’s deformed head):

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

OBSERVATION DECK

After the boat tour (and this is included in the ticket price), you can go up to the observation deck.The view up there is spectacular:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

SOUVENIRS

There are plenty of places you can buy tacky touristy things from, including the Made in America Store and the Maid of the Mist Store. I’ve kept a small pin collection ever since I was a kid and recently decided to expand it, so I got the beautiful green pin from a gift shop inside the Made in America Store. It cost $2.99, which is pretty cheap. Veronica got a Maid of the Mist t-shirt from the official store for $15, and the design was actually super classy (unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of it).

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Whether or not you end up on going on the West Campus Niagara Falls trip (next year…or whenever you live on West), I highly recommend visiting Niagara Falls. In fact, it might be better just to go with a small group of friends or family over Fall Break because you can spend your time however you’d like. If or when you do go, you’re going to be taken aback by the view; I wasn’t expecting Niagara Falls to be so beautiful, even though I had heard that all the time. Ultimately, what makes Niagara Falls such an exciting destination is the variety of activities you can partake in and how interactive you get with nature. (And the insane amount of pins the Made in America Store sells.)

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