Although early May isn’t the best time to go to Niagara Falls since it is still pretty cold, Andy and I were already in the general area attending a reunion at his college campus. We figured that we would journey over to see the falls. It was my first time but Andy had been to Niagara Falls several times since he grew up not too far away.
What to expect at Niagara Falls in May
The winter of 2013 was extremely harsh and even though it was early May, there was still a ton of ice by the falls. With the wind and the cold air blowing off the ice by the falls, it was very cold.
We were hoping to go on the Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls and Cave of the Winds but due to the icy and cold weather nothing was open for the season.
Cave of the Winds actually removes the staircase by the falls every November and re-builds the staircase every spring. This means that there is no set date that the attraction will be open. We were there in early May and were told that it was still likely going to be another month before it opened.
Which side has the better view – US or Canada?
The US side has 2 of the 3 waterfalls which make up Niagara Falls. This includes the American Falls and Bridal Veil. Both of these falls are smaller and less impressive than the horseshoe falls of the Canadian side, but still pretty large on their own.
Goat Island is located in the US and offers great views of all 3 of the falls. Unfortunately for us, there was still too much ice from the winter and it was not yet open. We were really upset about this as Andy’s grandmother had a great picture by Niagara Falls which I really loved. We were going to re-create it as the scenery is still the same some 50 years later.
It has been argued that Canada has the better view as you see the horseshoe falls. I do agree that the horseshoe falls is pretty awesome, but the Canadian side is missing the attractions the US side offers like Journey Behind the Falls and Cave of the Winds.
There are some attractions that are exclusive to Canada. To get a great aerial view of both the US and Canadian side, consider a visit to Skylon Tower. The Hornblower is similar to the Maid of the Mist and is the only boat tour departing from the Canadian side.
If your goal is to get as close to the falls as possible, consider a visit to the Canadian side. From the sidewalk, I felt like I could almost touch the falls right as the water went over the horseshoe falls.
If you plan to journey over to the Canadian side, don’t forget to bring your passport. You won’t be allowed into Canada with only your US driver’s license.
Would I go back to Niagara Falls?
I would make another trip to Niagara Falls, probably when I have a family as I think that it would be a fun trip for children. I would not go before June or July to make sure that it was warmer and that all of the attractions were open.
I feel like it is something that everyone should see once in their lifetime, but many people probably don’t want to go more than once unless they live close to the area.