2023 Vacation Report: Niagara Falls

The last time we headed to Niagara Falls, ten years ago or so, Denisa and I were decidedly unimpressed. Not with the falls themselves, mind you. They’re stunning. Rather, we weren’t fans of the stuff around the falls. It felt like you had to drive through a whole lot of tourist-trappy places before you got there. There was a real disconnect between the natural beauty of the falls, and the commercialization of them that we didn’t care for, so much so that I even debated going back.

Still, when you’re headed west, there are only so many places to see along certain routes. We’d gone to Palmyra to see the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove (where Joseph Smith’s vision took place), and Niagara is only a relatively short drive away from there, so off we went.

In the end, we were all very glad we did. I don’t know if we took a bad route in last time, or if COVID did in a whole bunch of the businesses that were hawking the cheap stuff, but this time around, it felt like a completely different place. Last time, we basically drove in, parked, looked around for a bit, and then left. This time. we spent three or four hours.

It helped that there was much more to the place than the one overlook we saw last time. Between the Maid of the Mist and the Cavern of Winds (or whatever it was called), I could easily see how people spend multiple days at the park. Everyone enjoyed themselves, though it was much hotter that day than it had been for the last while.

As a sidenote, we had dinner at a place called Zaika. An Indian buffet that I thought was fantastic. My family wasn’t as big of fans, simply because it was super spicy. The one drawback to the place was that they had a rule where if you didn’t eat more than a half pound of food (leaving it on your plate), then you had to pay $10/pound for everything that was wasted. Honestly, I think that’s a good policy and would help to reduce waste at buffets everywhere. However, when your family is all excited to eat the food, and then they discover that much of what they put on their plate is too spicy for them . . .

Let’s just say I ate a lot of Indian food.

Anyway. I now officially give Niagara Falls a thumbs up. I know my opinion has a lot of weight in the world, and I’m sure Niagara is breathing easier now, knowing they’ve passed my examination.


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