THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FALLS - NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK
The first time I went to Niagara Falls, it was on the tail-end of a two-week long honeymoon across America. My husband and I took a detour through Canada to visit.
Niagara Falls! Ontario! Canada’s most iconic and kitschy honeymoon destination since the 1800s. I had no idea what I was in for. Along with this powerful mass of roaring water, there were restaurants, casinos, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, amusement park rides, hotels, gift shops upon gift shops. If you can think of it, it was there. We saw the falls, we took the tour behind the falls, ate a great dinner, bought a Niagara coffee mug, and moseyed happily on our way.
My second and very recent journey to Niagara Falls was a bit different; this time we were in Niagara Falls, New York — the other side, the American side, the tamer side (or, so I’ve been told). On the surface, the rumors are true. There are no bells and whistles here, no frills, no bright lights and flashy colors. You get the falls, a few shops, a small casino, and a Hard Rock Cafe.
At night (around midnight), we made our way down to the water, half expecting to be stopped by authorities, guards, or at the very least, closed gates. None of this happened. We were left alone in the empty streets leading up to the falls. Our small group sat right at the very side of the roaring, powerful water — with only a short bannister stopping us from dipping our feet in. At this hour, with no-one in sight, we were able to spend an intimate moment with this famous force of nature — a moment without other tourists hovering over our shoulders, without 100 cameras/phones in our vision, without screaming children, fighting couples, group photo sessions.
We had the falls all to ourselves.
Then, we looked over at the Canadian side and saw all the bright lights and possibilities. We didn’t mind that we weren’t part of it.
If you want to see the falls — and really see the falls for all its free natural beauty — go to Niagara Falls, New York, and wander down to the edge as we did that night.
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Brittany Marcoux is a Guide to Rhode Island and an At-Large Guide to New England for The American Guide. She’s a photographer and a native New Englander. Follow her work on Tumblr or via her website.