Welcome to Clifton Hill ~ the cash cow of Niagara Falls. Come on out and play… oh and before I forget? Bring your wallet because you’ll be needing it!
It’s chaos there. The constant sounds and colours assault your senses for hours on end as the place doesn’t truly shut down until the wee hours of the morning. Every attraction be it bowling, a museum, a restaurant, or a shop has a gimmick to catch your attention. There are moving figures, talking animals, speakerphones with singing, lights flashing or spinning, bold and zany colours and murals all vying for your eyes and ultimately, your money. If anyone in your company has sensory issues, like my son does, you really need to break the shopping into manageable pieces. Mathew is autistic, mildly so, but the sheer magnitude of everything put him into overload very fast. We made several visits to Clifton Hill and that made it much more enjoyable and easy to handle.
Clifton Hill is a 2 block stretch of street with some overlapping to the side streets. The bottom of the street brings you to the Falls. Everything is compacted into this rectangle so be prepared to walk a lot once you park your vehicle. There are many options to getting to Clifton Hill; city bus, taxi, tourist bus, shuttle service and even walking there if your accommodations aren’t far away.
Parking was easy to find because it was June and not high tourist season. Prices for parking were steep and our favourite hang out cost $10/day from Monday to Thursday. On Friday it went to $13… then up to $15 on Saturday and Sunday. Capitalism at its best, no?
Bring drinks! Lots of water! Especially if it is HOT out because we spent an awful lot of time looking for places to buy bottled water and other thirst-quenching drinks. And yes the prices match the demand. Nothing like paying through your nose for a small drink of water to make one really, REALLY miss the tap water at home!
Next up is my absolute favourite eye-catching corner. For freakin’ Burger King, no less!
Isn’t it awesome? Next door is one of those horror haunted houses and ol’ Frankie is attached to it by a chain! Here’s a closer look at the green, hungry guy…
Seems our big guy wanted a snack and found one big burger with his name on it at the corner Burger King! It is an original idea to catch attention and I loved it! No… we never did eat there….
Hotels are everywhere if you need a place to stay. This one is alongside Clifton Street and Bingo and Fair-style games were spinning and blinking until the wee hours… you wouldn’t have to worry about parking though but you might want to make sure the curtains are very, very thick. Just imagine though ~ all that shopping, excitement and restaurants just a few steps from your door! (No, this isn’t where we stayed. Our hotel was about 7 or 8 blocks away. We could have easily walked the distance from the hotel to this shopping district except for the heat)
If shopping isn’t your cup of tea then try an amusement ride like the Ferris Wheel (we actually went on it too ~ I’ll be showing that later!) or check out the bowling alley seen here. There’s an outdoor minigolf with dinosaurs, little rides everywhere for little kids… *whew* it sounds exhausting already, doesn’t it? I haven’t even gotten to the restaurants yet!
There are oodles and zoodles of places to eat in this entertainment district. This one for instance, spews mist out of the top of the “volcano” while it roars to life. What a way to catch your attention! We actually ate there and the inside was as much fun as the outside decor suggests (good food too!). Planet Hollywood is located around the corner and there are our standard staples ranging from Burger King (remember Frankenstein?) to Pizza Delight to pubs and family restaurants such as this one. One thing to watch however, is WHEN you go to eat because line ups can go from nothing to very long in no time flat.
Every inch has something for wondering eyes to take in. This Sphinx’s eyes flashed red and then we heard a voice. We thought it was the Sphinx but Mathew with his sharp eyes, noted there was the Jungle Book Snake hanging off the overhang and it was THAT thing talking! He was “talking” to the Sphinx. Of course it is pretty slick advertising to draw customers in to the Movieland museum right beside it.
Finally you just never know what ~ or whom ~ you might bump into! This guy looked like a statue and even when he started moving we had difficulty believing it was a person behind the gold. Mathew was mesmerized by this living statue and eventually “Elvis” gestured for Mathew to come over and gave him some beads. I was amazed that Mathew posed willingly with a complete stranger because normally he wouldn’t even let the guy see him looking! It was great to see him enjoy himself so much.
Sooooooooooooo… what do you think so far? Willing to stick it out and see more? Well, keep checking back ’cause I’d love to see you again and there are plenty more pictures coming!