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Day Two: Scarborough Bluffs and a Quick Trip to Niagara Falls!
So, my husband is a HUGE drone buff. He may love his drone more than he loves me. Let’s just say if I was lost in the woods, I don’t know that he would look for me as hard as he looks for his drone when it goes down in the trees… As you can see, Day 1 was pretty much Allison Day, so naturally, Day 2 should be Ron Day. Plus it was Sunday, and every Sunday is Ron Day. (For real, that’s what I call it because he gets to choose dinner. Also calling it “Ron Day” causes our kids and our friends to roll their eyes, which I love. :D)
I did a little research to see where we could take the drone and Scarborough Bluffs seemed like a perfect choice. Once I found out Niagara was just over an hour from Toronto, I knew my husband would be giddy over the chance to fly there. We saw the US side of the falls years ago when we went camping in Vermont, so I was curious to see if the falls really are “better from the Canada side” like people say they are.
His drone is the DJI Phantom Pro 4 and it takes great 4k video! He is then able to pull photos out of the video, which you can see below. It’s a great drone and while other makes and models may have issues with “flyaways” so far (knock on wood!) we haven’t had any problems.
Up first: Scarborough Bluffs
Scarborough Bluffs Park is located in the Scarborough district of Toronto. The park is situated along the coast of Lake Ontario and home of “the bluffs,” which are Toronto’s geographical treasure. My husband was able to get some awesome drone footage of the bluffs Sunday morning from the top at Scarboro Crescent Park. The bluffs are 300 feet high at the highest point.
Aren’t they gorgeous? Lake Ontario is crazy blue and so pretty. The park is open year round and would be a perfect place for a picnic, with a walk through the trails and wildflower meadows. At the bottom of the bluff is Bluffer’s Park, which has a beach and access to the marina.
As you can see, the view from the drone is 1000x better than from the ground! I wonder how many people happen upon this park and take this very same picture, not even knowing the bluffs are below. :p
Next stop: Niagara Falls, Canada Style
On the Canada side of the falls, there are fantastic views of Whirlpool Falls and Horseshoe Falls. Our first stop was to Whirlpool Falls, which look exactly as it sounds: like a giant whirlpool. From here you can take an aero car ride across the falls. It looks very fun, but again, heights, so NOPE.
The water is an amazing blue-green and from my photos you can kind of see why these falls are called “Whirlpool Falls.”
But once you see the water from the drone view, you can really see how beautiful the falls are from above! See how the water swirls like a whirlpool! It is really cool!
Now that’s an amazing view! In the third drone photo, you can see the cables that run across the falls for the aero car ride. This is definitely a less touristy area of the falls, as there is not much in the area. For water park fans, there is a Great Wolf Lodge across the street which would be a great location that is close enough to both of the falls areas, but far enough away from the super touristy area by the main falls area that you can leave for a break.
Just down the road from Whirlpool Falls is the main area of Niagara Falls, and where you will find the main attraction: Horseshoe Falls. This is where you can take a boat ride into the mist, and see the US border. This is also where it gets very touristy with tons of tourist shops, arcades, and stuff for kids of all ages to do. If you’ve ever been to Wisconsin Dells, it’s like that. Plenty to do for kids and families, and if you incorporate all of those activities into your trip, you could easily spend a weekend in the area for a fun-filled family vacation. (If you are planning a weekend getaway with your kids, this article from To Do Canada has tons of info for fun with kids.)
If you don’t have kids, or this tourist trap is not your idea of a vacation, you can easily add the falls into a day (or half day) trip and see what you need to see in about three hours or less.
Here are my pictures- isn’t the amount of water amazing?
Isn’t the amount of water running through the area crazy?? It really is stunning. Now check out these breathtaking views from the drone…I think a helicopter ride over the falls would be amazing.
We were also able to get some awesome video footage of the falls! The water seems to go on for miles- you can really see the massive amoutn of water that is constantly flowing through the area.
Could you imagine going over the edge in a barrel? It’s surprising anyone lives!
We had an amazing time in Toronto and would definitely love to visit again someday. A weekend getaway was just what I needed and a road trip to Toronto in the summertime was so much fun. The city is very walkable and we felt safe the entire time. The people were very nice everywhere we went, especially the staff at the Intercontinental Hotel, which made our visit even better than we expected. And to answer the question of “are the falls better from the Canadian side,” the answer is an unequivocal YES! You can see so much more and the views are astonishing. It is definitely worth the trip over the border to see Niagara Falls from Canada.
What do you think of the drone footage? If you are interested in a drone, here is the link to ours. It is a great gift to yourself or your adventurous hubby! Most larger areas have drone lessons, and there is tons of information to be found online. My husband’s first flight was actually in our dining room, lol! He mastered it inside before venturing out to the Chicago lakefront, where he had plenty of room to practice. If you want to know more, shoot my husband an email and he will be happy to help.
Travel Tips & Tricks
- Do you need a passport? It’s kind of important! US residents can check out this article on obtaining (or renewing) a passport.
- The best travel advice I have ever received is “take half as much clothing, twice as much money.” Ain’t that the truth?! I am a chronic over-packer and adhering to this has been a challenge. I was able to pull it off on our last vacation, which was great because then I had room for all of the stuff I bought with the “twice as much money” part of this equation. <heh heh>
- The second best travel advice I have ever received is that if you are traveling with a group or another couple, build in downtime for yourself or you and your spouse. Too much “together” can take its toll. Nothing says that because you are vacationing together you have to do everything together. If you’re a foodie and your friends are not, go out to dinner with your partner. If you want to read and they want to rent wave runners, stay behind and read. This is your vacation, so make it one you have the best time possible during.
- Airlines have cracked down on luggage sizes and weights, and the fee for an overweight bag can be astronomical. If your luggage is older, consider upgrading to a set that is guaranteed to be the correct size for carryons and is also lightweight. I bought this Travelhouse 3-piece luggage set for my daughter’s recent vacation. The largest piece weighs just 9 pounds, it has spinner wheels and a TSA approved lock. It also comes in several colors, which is my third tip: If you’re purchasing new luggage, consider luggage that is a color or pattern – in other words, not black! It will be so much easier to spot your bag on the luggage carousel. This is especially handy when traveling with kids whose luggage you also need to find. No one wants to hang out at the airport checking every black bag that passes by! Is that it…no…is that it…no…I think that’s it…nope. A new luggage set can solve a lot of headaches, for a pretty reasonable price!
- TSA approved bottles for liquids are another must-have when planning a big trip. These squeezable silicone bottles are 2 and 3 ounces and can be refilled each time you travel. Yes, you can check larger sized containers, but for items you want access to throughout your flight, these bottles are perfect!
- Take comfy shoes, even if you think you won’t do a lot of walking. You never know what adventures will pop up and buying shoes you already have at home is an expense that is easy to avoid.
- Save on hotel stays by choosing hotel groups, such as Intercontinental Hotels, that regularly offer deals and discounts.
If you want to read more about our recent travel adventures, you can check out these posts:
And also some of our “travel dreaming” posts here:
Our Comprehensive Guide to Fiji: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Before You Go To Fiji
Five Amazing Waterfalls You Won’t Believe Are In Michigan
I Dream of Iceland: 10 Things to See and Do on Your Dream Vacation
Still need more inspiration? Our Wanderlust board on Pinterest has over 1,000 inspirational pins!
If you have been to Toronto or Niagara Falls I would love to hear about it in the comments!