While visiting Niagara Falls, NY for the day in late October, my husband and I and our 18 yr old daughter decided to take the Maid of the Mist boat tour of the Falls and WOW! We are so glad we did! It was an amazing experience! To be so close to all that roaring, pounding water and see it's majesty up close is an experience that will be indelibly etched in our memories! Breathtaking!!!!
The cost of the ride is moderate, and each tour takes only about 25-30 minutes, with boats leaving about every 15 minutes. They provide you with blue plastic bag type rain ponchos with the Maid of the Mist logo on them that you can opt to take as a souvenir when the tour is over. I highly recommend taking a waterproof camera if you want to snap pictures, tucking all things you don't want to get wet into plastic baggies before getting on the boat, and staying on the bottom deck under the roof if you don't want to get drenched as you DO get wet on this tour! But to really see the Falls in all their glory, try to get to the bow of the bottom deck or to the top deck as soon as you get on (remember, you DO get wet!!).
There are no benches to sit on and only 2 small ledges to sit on on the bottom deck, so if you cannot stand for about 35 minutes or so and do not have a wheelchair you can sit in, I would not recommend this tour for you. They are handicapped accessible and wheelchair accessible I believe. Make sure you go the restroom before getting on board as there are no bathrooms on the boats (there are bathrooms near the entrance to the ramps). Once at the bottom of the observation tower, also try to take some time if you can (and make sure you have good tread on your shoes as it is slippery because it is wet!) to walk along the walkways that take you close to the falls on the far side of the restroom facilities for another really cool experience.
Tours are only operational April-October, so if you want to take advantage of this attraction, make your visit during on of those times. Visit the Maid of the Mist web site for more info on pricing and seasonal operation times.
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