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  • Writer's pictureEsther Mehesz

Road Trip Day 1: Experiencing the Beauty of Niagara Falls sans Tourists

Updated: Jan 24


Standing alongside of Niagara Falls in January
I can guarantee you that my face was frozen here

Hey friend! Gather around the virtual campfire, grab a warm mug of cocoa, and let me regale you with a tale that'll send chills down your spine (literally!). Picture this: visiting the majestic Niagara Falls (she is pretty beautiful) during the crisp winter months, with hardly any tourists around. Brace yourself for an adventure that features frozen faces, breathtaking sights, and a unique perspective from the US side. Trust me, it's pretty unreal!


1. Embracing Solitude Like Never Before

So I may have vowed to try to escape the chaos of peak tourist season in some places. Well, I can confidently say I achieved that in bold style this go around! Visiting Niagara Falls in the middle of winter is a virtually deserted wonderland. The absence of crowds allowed me to fully take in nature's glory – no distractions, just pure awe (and cold)!


Niagara Falls without tourist
Niagara Falls sans tourist

2. Bundled Up and Ready to Roll

Now, picture yourself bundled up like a cozy, warm marshmallow, facing the chilling winds that only winter brings. Yes, the temperatures (and more so the feels-like temperatures) can be bone-chilling, but in the end, you'll look back on it as an integral part of the adventure.


I'd like to think that I've been able to accept the cold better lately, but by the end of walking around with a little sleet falling in the morning, my face was frozen.


Whatever you do, layer up like your life depends on it, and don't neglect the gloves. I may have been too lazy to find my gloves in my suitcase and it took what felt like forever for my hands to defrost! Trust me, DON'T neglect them!


rainbow over the Niagara Falls in January
Catching a rainbow at Niagara Falls

3. The Mighty Falls: A Frozen Symphony

I saw the Falls a long time ago, but seeing them again, they're beautiful, might even go as far as saying their sheer magnificence! As I was there the first week of January, it was not frozen over but you could tell it wouldn't take much for it to freeze and turn into an icy beauty! But that isn't to say that little ice crystals weren't hanging off of the trees and the ground wasn't icy. It may not have been a snowy winter wonderland, but it was starting to turn into an icy wonderland!


4. Niagara Falls From Above

With no tourists nor any workers in the park around, maybe a ranger or two to make sure you're not going into the unrestricted areas, it was a little hard to get the perfect shot of the Falls. I understand them not wanting the minimal tourists to slip and slide on the paths that bring you closer to the falls, but even the tours that you could find online weren't available. But, if you take the time to walk around through the park, I can guarantee you that you will still catch a wonderful sighting of the Falls that will make you want to come back another time! And possibly the best part, seeing three rainbows the morning I walked around.


rainbow at Niagara Falls on US side
Another rainbow while wandering around

5. Niagara Falls Surrounding Beauty

The magic of Niagara Falls doesn't end with the falls themselves. I hadn't remembered that it was all located in a park! If it hadn't been as cold or icy, then I would have 100% taken my run outside that morning to run through the park while the sun was coming up! There's nothing better than a morning run amongst some of the most beautiful sights! Granted even then, the snow-capped pine trees and untouched trails make you feel like you've stumbled upon Mother Nature's best-kept secret.


Amid a winter adventure and the first stop along the road trip, Niagara Falls was a hidden gem – a breathtaking, virtually tourist-free spectacle. With my frozen face and fingers, there's only so much the camera can do justice to the beauty. Despite the piercing cold, the sight of Niagara Falls in all its frozen glory was nothing short of magnificent.


the park around Niagara Falls sans tourist
The calmness in the winter cold around Niagara Falls

Remember, the best moments often lie beyond the beaten path, so if it's not peak season at a particular time, don't let that get in the way of your visit. It's more often than not you can find something to do in each season if you want to experience a location at a particular time that fits your schedule. Even January at Niagara Falls is an adventure worth freezing for.


The hotel for the first-night, one-night stay, Hampton Inn Niagara Falls. A convenient 10-15 minute walk to the Falls. I would easily go back to this one again if I was visiting Niagara Falls another time.


Let's call this leg of the road trip, me reconnecting with myself and nature after the holiday season (even though I wasn't technically fully alone). But more on that within the next few days of the road trip.

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