Queen City Bucket List: Cave of the Winds
blog by Erin Daetsch • July 25, 2013 @ 9:41am
Growing up in Buffalo offers you the rare luxury of having a natural wonder of the world right in your backyard. Some people are smart enough to take advantage of this unique opportunity visiting the Niagara Falls regularly, while others can go their whole life only seeing it once as a kid when relatives would visit.
Long before that daredevil Nik Wallenda tight-roped perilously across, Niagara Falls was considered my personal playground. The road trips that started when I was a 16-year-old with a license suddenly became a tradition among my friends and me, leading us to visit the falls multiple times each year.
But believe it or not, in all the times I have been to the Niagara Falls, I have never come close enough to touch the water or even feel the mist. Hence, the reason behind my next bucket list quest: explore the Cave of the Winds.
You can always count on Niagara Falls as a haven of visors, maps and camera flashes. I just so happened to be sporting my fanny pack that day, which probably classified me as top-notch tourist but made it easy to fit in with the rest of the crowd.
I was, however, the only one who seemed shocked to hear that the so-called ‘cave’ was, in reality, code for viewing deck. Needless to say, I was disappointed that I had to trade in my vision of trolling through grottos for climbing some stairs.
Yet, the footwear I received along with my admission more than made up for the fact that there was no cave. Before you’re permitted to venture onto the deck, visitors are fitted with state-of-the-art Cave of the Winds sandals, which felt like a Tempur-Pedic mattress for your feet.
For the rest of the night, these sandals became a main topic of conversation among my friends and me. And considering I have no shame wearing a fanny pack, it should come as no surprise that I refused to take them off until I got home.
Cave of the Winds provides you with a breathtaking view of the falls unlike any other. This attraction begins with an elevator ride that takes you 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge.
From there, visitors travel along walkways that bring you as close to the falls as a wooden barrel. The poncho does its best to keep you from getting wet, but by the time you reach Hurricane Deck at the top, all bets are off.
Cave of the Winds is located at Niagara Falls State Park, USA. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday from today until Sept. 2.
The cost of admission is $11 for adults, $8 for children (6 to 12-year-old) and free for children under 6 when accompanied by an adult.
Cave of the Winds is one of many attractions offered by Niagara Falls State Park. For more information you can visit their website, and stay tuned for part two of my Niagara Falls bucket list adventure.