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Suburban Tourist Tours Niagara Falls

The (Sub)urban Tourist is a travel blog enjoying the outdoor lifestyle and exploring good food and dining experiences.  This summer Margaret Antkowski, who pens the (Sub)urban tourist, took a Niagara Falls tour with her finacé Frank Bourne.  She rated the tour 4.5/5.  Read her review here:

Niagara by bus: sit back, relax and enjoy the tour

The Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls – part of the tour with King Tours. Photo by Frank Bourne

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to Niagara Falls, Ontario. It must be at least six or seven times since I was a small kid. With each visit over the years, I’ve noticed that traffic has become increasingly insane in the Niagara region. Driving with stop-and-go traffic and trying to find a parking spot in Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake can leave you drained, stressed out and definitely not enjoying the visit.

This past weekend Frank and I had the pleasure of trying out a King Tours bus tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls.  And it certainly was a stress-free way to enjoy a day away from Toronto.

The $79 per person ticket included the following:

  • Transportation in a comfortable, air conditioned tour bus from downtown Toronto to Niagara Falls
  • Entry into the Maid of the Mist, without having to wait in line for a ticket
  • About two hours to ourselves to explore Niagara Falls and have lunch
  • A drive along the Niagara River to stop at spots such as the Whirlpool (10 minute stop); the Sir Adam Beck Power Generation plant (a few minutes to take photos); and the Floral Clock (more photos).
  • A 45 minute visit in Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Wine-tasting at Pillitteri Estates Winery

 

People lining up for the Maid of the Mist. We didn’t have to wait to get tickets but went straight to the line-up for the tour itself. Photo by Frank Bourne

more…

Our Favourite 2011 Canada Day Photo

Canada Day - July First
Niagara Blog’s favorite Canada Day 2011 photo.

Top 5 Niagara Falls Summer Adventures

Here are Niagara Blog’s Top 5 Niagara Falls Summer Adventures.

1. Whirlpool Jet Boat

Warning! You will get wet. Since 1992, traversing the rapids of the Niagara River Gorge with Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has become the world’s single most popular whitewater tour. With safety as our premise, millions of Niagara visitors embark on our specialized jet boats to witness first hand the truly world-class whitewater rapids on the Niagara River. Our team of whitewater professionals thanks you for your patronage and trusts your memories of Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, the Devil’s Hole Rapids, and the Niagara Whirlpool will be with you forever as they will be with me

2. Maid of the Mist

For a thrilling 30 minutes you’ll experience the magnitude and magnificence of the Falls thundering down from the water below. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to rock your boat!

Debuting in 1846, the Maid of the Mist is North America’s oldest tourist attraction. Ridden by dignitaries and celebrities such as Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbechev and Brad Pitt, a visit to the base of the falls is a priority for all who visit the region.

All passengers are given a recyclable poncho to keep clothing dry, as they are exposed you to a extraordinary experience that can only be described as awe-inspiring.

3. Winery Tour

See the rows of grapevines, sprouting buds, heavy with fruit or in hibernation, create a tranquil countyside view-and hint at the marvellous wines that await you, crafted with care and passion by our renowned winemakers. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend escape, a summer winery tour will capture your heart for Niagara.  Here, the wines, the food, the scenery and the personal stories conspire to engage your senses in every way.  You can visit Niagara Winery on your own by following the Wine Route or simply join a tour.

4. Journey Behind the Falls

At Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll experience the awesome spectacle of one-fifth of the world’s fresh water crashing down to the basin below. During summer daylight hours, over 2,800 cubic meters of water thunders over the brink every second, traveling 65 km per hour!  Yes, you will get wet.

5. Butterfly Conservatory

Do you have young children? This is an excellent adventure for you. This magical attraction features over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Paths wind through the rainforest setting, past a pond and waterfall and the Emergence window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight!

 

 

Harry Houdini 137th Birthday

Today is Harry Houdini’s birthday.  He was born Erich Weiss on March 24, 1874 and lived to age 52.

On This Day in Niagara Falls History – November 13

lifeLIFE magazine published November 1966 for $0.35, had a great article and pictures about the first time the American Falls was “turned off” by man.  The bulldozer in one of the pictures was supposedly used to clear  a pontoon float which had become grounded in 1959.

niagara1966pg1niagara1966pg2

Oldest Photo of Niagara Falls

The image above, taken by Hugh Pattinson in 1840, is the oldest photograph of Niagara Falls. It was discovered just a few years ago at the Newcastle University in England in a box, marked “Daguerrotypes”.  The picture will be on display at the original location where the picture was taken.   Do you notice something wrong with the photo? The photo is laterally reversed. Table Rock can be seen on the left when it should be on the right.

Video of Tightrope Walker in Niagara Falls

Video of tightrope walker Didier Pasquette in Niagara Falls NY.

Rivers Seen From Space

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2010/03/rivers_10c.jpg

Though a satellite’s view of a vertical feature on Earth may not be the most flattering angle, this image of Niagara Falls is impressive. The Niagara River drops nearly 170 feet to form one of the world’s largest waterfall, shown above in an image taken by GeoEye’s Ikonos satellite in August 2004. More than 1.7 million gallons of water runs over the edge every second, constantly eating away at the rock below and pushing it back as much as 20 feet in a year. more…

RSM Queen Mary to replace the Maid of the Mist

queen maid of the mist

The famous ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary, has been brought our of retirement to replace the Maid of the Mist. It docked early this morning and welcomed its first passengers.

No More Line-ups

The 81 ton Queen Mary has the capacity to accommodate 90,000 passengers per hour.  That’s 30 times more than the Maid of the Mist.

Niagara Falls paintings by Frederic Edwin Church

NG 799This painting, based on a drawing Church made at Niagara in July 1856 and on a sepia photograph touched with colour, was commissioned by the New York art dealer Michael Knoedler in 1866. It may originally have been destined for the Universal Exhibition in Paris, as Church was selected to represent America there. It was bought in 1887 by John S. Kennedy who presented it to his native Scotland. It is the only major example of Church’s work in a European public collection.  The painting is currently on display at the National Gallery of Scotland. more…

Giant snow rooster

rooster giant

This picture of a giant snow rooster was taken just outside of St. Catharines Ontario by@thirteen_31 . more…

Is that a Pothole or Niagara Falls?

chennai-niagara-falls-pot-holes-2 A picture of a pothole in India that has a resemblance to the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls.

Doors Open Niagara pics

Last week’s Doors Open Niagara event was a great success. Hopefully some of you had a chance to participate.  Check out some of these amazing pics and video from Flickr.

A Nice Collection of Old Photos

A nice collection of old photos from the Niagara area presented by ImaxNiagara.com.

Family Vacation Photos in Niagara Falls 1974

A Vicious Act of Violence in St. Catharines

On January 16th 2009 a 39 year old man was driving with his 11 year old daughter on York Street (near Beech Street) in St. Catharines. The victim encountered 4 youths on the roadway who approached his vehicle and opened the driver’s side door. They pulled the driver out of the vehicle and began to repeatedly punch and kick him. Although several people tried to assist they were held off as one suspect held out a knife. The suspects then fled north on York St. As a result of this vicious attack the victim sustained several deep lacerations to his face and head along with multiple contusions throughout his body. The victim was transported to the St. Catharines hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The 11 year old daughter was not injured and remained in the vehicle during the attack. The descriptions of two outstanding suspects are: 1) white male, approximately 18 years, wearing white sweatshirt, possibly armed with a knife. 2) white male, approximately 18 years, wearing long shorts. If you have any information, please contact the Niagara Regional Police Service at (905) 688-4111, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be sent via text messaging to TIP309, followed by the message @ CRIMES (274637)

Beating Suspects #1
Beating Suspects #2
Beating Suspects #3

Closed Motel Sign

This motel is a little confused on whether they are opened or closed. Sent to us by Mary of Niagara Falls.

If you have found a funny sign in the Niagara Region, email it to admin@niagarablog.com and it just might end up on here. Be sure to include your name and the location of the sign.

Other signs in Niagara:
Marineland Sign in Niagara Falls
Girlfriend Wanted Sign
Modern Cleaners Not So Modern
Not the Maid of the Mist
New and Used Pet Sign from Lewiston

Falls Mist Motel is Closed but Open

New and Used Pet Sign from Lewiston

This funny sign has been sent to us from Derek in Lewiston NY. He says this sign is at the back of a closed carpet store.

If you have found a funny sign in the Niagara Region, email it to admin@niagarablog.com and it just might end up on here. Be sure to include your name and the location of the sign.

Other signs in Niagara:
Marineland Sign in Niagara Falls
Girlfriend Wanted Sign
Modern Cleaners Not So Modern
Not the Maid of the Mist

Used Pets Sign

Quality Inn Clifton Hill Comes Down

Graham posted some excellent photos from the demolition of the Quality Inn Clifton Hill on the Access Niagara blog.

“At some point last week (I was there on Friday), the demolition of the Quality Inn on Clifton Hill started. Also, there is a lot of work happening behind the Sports Zone area of Boston Pizza.”

Girlfriend Wanted Sign

Here’s a funny sign sent to us from Joe in Welland.

If you have found a funny sign in the Niagara Region, email it to admin@niagarablog.com and it just might end up on here.

Other signs in Niagara:
Marineland Sign in Niagara Falls
Modern Cleaners Not So Modern
Not the Maid of the Mist

Girlfriend Wanted Sign