The natural beauty of Niagara Falls is nothing short of breathtaking. Every minute, more than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic meters) of water pour over the 188-foot (57-meter) falls with a rush and roar and spray that deserves to be experienced at least once in a lifetime [source: Niagara Parks]. And then never again.
The majesty of Niagara Falls has long since been eclipsed by the greed and abject tackiness of humankind. What was once a famed honeymoon destination is now only a minor "attraction" in a circus sideshow of second-rate wax museums, loud themed restaurants and grungy hotels along the armpit of commercialism called the Clifton Hill strip.
The Maid of the Mist boat ride under the falls is still worth it. Yes, tickets are U.S. $15.50 for adults and $9 for kids, but you can't come all this way and not feel that wet, slobbery waterfall kiss on your face. Plus, who doesn't look good in a yellow poncho? But after you've toweled off and thrown away your now-ruined digital camera, think twice about the rest of the attractions begging for your hard-earned Canadian dollars.
The No. 1 tourist trap has to be the Skylon Tower Observation Deck in the Niagara Falls Hotel. If you've already spent a few hours and serious money staring at the falls close-up, from below, and even from behind, why do you need to shell out another $14 per adult to see the whole wet mess from 775 feet (236 meters) in the air? Is it the lure of catching a blurry glimpse of the Buffalo skyline? Or is the chance to pay an additional $11 for the "The Falls 3D/4D Movie"? Spoiler alert: The fourth dimension is nausea.