What an incredible experience this has all been. As I woke from a deep sleep (inspired by a crazy busy Day 2 of Niagara USA #TasteNiagara) at the lovely Sheraton at the Falls, I looked around the room at my collection of Cave of the Winds sandals (yes you get to keep them!) and multi coloured ponchos from various adventures in Niagara Falls, New York. What an incredible two days this has been.. a whirlwind of laughter, food, wine & new friends. If you haven’t seen my Day 1 adventures (and troubles) yet, make sure to check it out here before you continue. I’d say that my first press trip for DoTheDaniel.com has been a success and that if you didn’t see my #DoTheDanielUSA hashtag one SOME fort of social media then I didn’t do my job whilst here. But seriously, if you haven’t, check out the hashtag to see all my adventures and some fun behind the scenes…
As Day 2 drew to a close there was still no Catherine, No Amanda, No Julio. But now I have made so many new friends and I am still laughing at all of our experiences together. Thanks to our friends at Niagara USA & their amazing #TasteNiagara tour, I am ending this weekend a richer person for the experiences and people I have met. Let me tell you how Niagara Falls, USA has got the magical ability to create one of a kind memories for you too!
Day 2 had an early start and I was ready to take on everything that Niagara Falls, New York had to offer. The iconic Maid of the Midst is synonymous with Niagara Falls and I found out while travelling to experience this legendary boat ride that we Canadians recently let it slip away. The original Maid of the Midst has actually been running since the 1800’s and now is exclusively American. No hard feelings I told myself as I anxiously arrived at Niagara Falls State Park to get a chance to experience one of the world wonders! I MAY or may not have been more excited then the majority of the children that surrounded me.
Although I would have loved to photograph and chronicle the experience from start to VERY wet end, I don’t think that my friends at Samsung Canada would have been too pleased with me since the beautiful Samsung Canada GALAXY Camera 2 has unfortunately run its course with us at DoTheDaniel.com. This is alas my last hoorah with the camera and we must say goodbye. For those of you looking for a camera with the capabilities to keep up with my hectic team and their demanding lives, this is the camera for you. Make sure to click the link above to check out why we loved it and stay tuned as we venture with new brands of exciting products, cameras and cellphones!
But back to my adventurous weekend!
I managed to capture a selfie overlooking the falls at the lookout point (it wasn’t a first shot. More like a twelfth) which Julio would have hated due to its height over the water. But my goodness, the view was breathtaking. Once we descended into the elevator amongst the throngs of tourists I was handed yet another beautiful poncho to add to my collection. This time coloured blue, it was ofcourse the most unflattering of all garments but man oh man, was I grateful for it to keep me dry! The Maid of the Midst is truly awe inspiring. The sheer power and beauty of the Falls is something that you must experience in this way, and is totally worth the soaking!
Off the boat and back on the bus, we were onto our next stop. Lockport, New York was the destination for several reasons and might just be the cutest town I have visited in a very long time. Built along the Erie Canal, one of the most quintessential pieces of American history, the town bolsters a fresh vendors market every Saturday. We had the chance to actually experience the annual Sweet Chalk Festival where local artists come together to create incredible works of art and celebrate their city. The locks themselves along the canal reminded me of Ottawa & The Rideau Canal locks and made me smile while I thought of my family back in Canada.
One of my favourite things about my visit to Lockport is that the next time you are there, look for my #DoTheDanielUSA lock under the Erie Canal sign on the bridge over the locks. Sweet Ride Rentals offers the ability to customize a lock and lock it to the city forever. You essentially fall in love with Lockport and become a part of it both physically and emotionally and I adore that I left a little piece of me there.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I love how the fact remains that Niagara Falls, New York has quite literally MILLIONS of tourists a year and yet still manages to maintain its small town charm and feeling. I felt as if I was one of the locals while I toured around Lockport and learned of its food, local wineries and history. Be it from Sweet Ride Rentals (the main organizer behind the artistic event and purveyor of delicious food) to the Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride.
Speaking of…. that might be the most fascinating / intense tour I have ever taken! Not only did we learn about the integral history of Lockport, but we quite literally toured the caves underneath it by foot and boat. Family oriented tours have been created to take you right into the source of major American History and the process from start to finish is fascinating!
After our treck and underground boat rides we clearly had to take a boat ride above ground. Thanks to our friends at Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises we got the chance to ride the Erie Canal AND experience going up and down through this historic lock system. The cruises offered not only have drinks and food (depending upon what you’re looking for ofcourse) but also have great captains who know their history. Our group was quite inquisitive and the captain and crew were perfect hosts and teachers of their fine town. I love the sense that I got from every vendor to every local of Lockport. They all love where they live and appreciate the integral workings of their home in the making of America as we know it today. A must for those of you planning a trip down to Niagara Falls, USA.
But were we finished for the day after a busy morning of tours? NOPE!
Back on the bus we went for our next adventure with #TasteNiagara. Make sure to follow the hashtag via all social medias for our groups behind the scenes adventures. Now, the next part on the bus does get slightly fuzzy for me since I MAY or may not have taken a nap. I can admit that I was slightly tired and thought it best to do so since we still had so much to see and do.
Once we arrived at Old Fort Niagara, we toured this beautiful historic site and learnt about the integral part of Niagara Falls history. We toured the grounds and learnt about what life was like during the times (the staff themselves dress in historical garb) when it was still used as a military stronghold. Ending a busy Day 2 with dinner, we feasted alongside a menu which brought together Camelo’s Restaurant, BlackBird Cider Works, Dispenza’s, Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, Village Bake Shop & Black Willow Winery.
The food and wine of Niagara Falls, USA is some of the best I have had the pleasure of enjoying and though I could write a post on each brand, I will leave it to you to explore all their delicious products upon your next visit. From regions near and far surrounding the area, I am left knowing that this area is not only famous for is stunning scenery and attractions but also for its culinary delights.
As Day 2 ended we said goodbye to our incredible tour guides, I knew that this first trip to Niagara Falls, New York would certainly not be my last. Upon return to our home away from home at the Sheraton at the Falls, I began the process of gathering together all my memories into this post.
Once I woke up on Day 3 refreshed and rejuvenated I visited the lobby Starbucks (best. idea. ever.) and gathered my belongings. With new friends and lasting memories, I came to realize how much I had fallen in love with the area. For families, couples and tourists alike Niagara Falls, New York truly is a destination that you have to see to believe. My adventures on Day 1 & 2 were only a taste of what this region has to offer and I can’t wait to return with Julio to show him around.
Once I retrieved my beautiful Buick Regal GS that my friends at Buick Canada so graciously let me use for the weekend, I packed the car and headed home to Canada. I ofcourse got my OnStar turn by turn directions and set off the border. I couldn’t NOT stop on the Canadian side of the falls on my way home to say that I experienced Niagara Falls from both sides of the water and took in the beauty before hitting the road back to Toronto.
I am still left amazed at the fuel economy of this vehicle. I was able to drive down and back from Niagara Falls, New York on a tank of gas. The stop & go traffic that greeted me upon my return to Toronto was ofcourse no shock to anyone stuck in the gridlock but had no affect on the smile that was left on my face after my #TasteNiagara experiences. I even ran some errands with Julio back in the city and we realized that be it for tours and vacations, to running around in our city, The Buick Regal GS is a great car for any type of occasion. Make sure to click on the link above to see how this affordable car is a great fit for YOUR lifestyle and upcoming vacations!
Please make sure to follow @NiagaraFallsUSA on Twitter & Instagram to be inspired for your next trip. As mentioned in my Day 1 post, be it for the delicious food, the famous wine, the stunning scenery… I LOVED Niagara Falls, New York and can’t wait to get back there soon. Follow along for my perspectives from start to finish with the #DoTheDanielUSA hashtag and tweet us both to let you know what your thoughts are!
For more information on how to plan your next visit to Niagara USA make sure to head to www.niagara-usa.com