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  • Imani J.


Would you believe me if I told you that before college I wrote down going to Niagara Falls during the winter as one of the things I wanted to do?

You see, I am a goal writer and list maker in my spare time. I love dreaming about what I'll accomplish in the future. When I found out I was going to college in Ohio one of the first things I did (besides jump for joy that I got in to the #3 school for fashion in the nation at the time) was plan out how I wanted my next four years to go.

I wrote down all the study abroad's I wanted to do, I wrote down when I wanted to do my internships and I wrote down how I wanted to spend my spring breaks. I knew that summer and winter break I would be with my family, but spring break was all mine. So, I wrote down in perfect handwriting, by that I mean better than my usual chicken scratch, that I was going to go to Niagara Falls for spring break.

As a South Carolinian actual months long winter weather was foreign to me. So going to school in Ohio was quite the shock. I was hitting up the local Goodwills constantly in order to buy a some new to me winter coats (now that I am back in the south with no plans of ever going back north in the winter all the coats are sitting in a box). In South Carolina, spring break during March and April meant winter was over, the birds were chirping, the temperature was creeping back in to the 70s and pollen season was approaching. Spring Break in Ohio was very different. Apparently, their warm temps don't typically start coming in until late April, damn near May.

My college's spring break was either the last or second to last week in March, which means it was freezing still.

In spite of this, I was set on going to one of the wonders of the world. I tried to invite some friends to accompany me on my journey, they all declined stating they had something or another to do. Never one to let going alone stop me from living my life, in 2018 I embarked on my first solo trip, which now has become one of many.

On the day we were required to be out of the dorms for spring break, lest risking a fine, I drove the 4 hours from Kent, Ohio to Niagara Falls, New York.

The weather was perfect. Below freezing, but perfect nonetheless. My family was concerned that there would be snow in the forecast being that my little hatchback car, light as a feather with just me in it, without snow tires is not built for even a millimeter of snow. But mother nature was on my on this journey. Once I got settled at my first hostel (again, one of many now) a quaint house in a quiet neighborhood, I immediately headed out to explore and see what I came here to see, of course.

Underdressed, as you can see in the pictures, I walked in the frigid temperatures to reach my destination. On my walk, there were barely any people there. I was in a tourist destination, where were all the tourists? Thats when I realized the secret that is the off season. Following the roar of the falls the grandeur of them finally came in to view and it was beautiful. Sure, you always see pictures of Niagara Falls since being a kid but never do I recall seeing a picture of the falls with everything covered in snow and ice. It was pretty amazing.

With there being very little tourists you could really take in the falls without dodging the crowd and get good pictures without others heads in the way. It was an experience that could probably only happen during the winter.

Ignoring my hands turning from red, to white, to a tint of blue, I sipped on some hot chocolate and decided to walk across the bridge to see the Canadian side of the falls. As they say, they have the best view. As I walked through the immigration the officer asks "Where are your friends?" I responded "They're lame and didn't want to come." The officer looked at me confused as if he didn't understand my words, but let me pass anyways. "Do they not use the slang meaning of lame in Canada?" I thought to myself as I walked out the door.

I must admit the Canadian side is definitely where it's at. There were still very few tourists but because they have the best view the infrastructure there is more accommodating to tourist with plenty of other activities to do besides just look at the falls.

After I got my pictures I quickly made me way back across the bridge. I had on 2 layers max on the top and the bottom one pair of socks on and a terrible pair of gloves that I had to keep on taking off just to snap a picture. I needed to thaw out. There was no time to dilly-dally on the Canadian side and take my time, I was becoming an icicle!

After I got back to my hostel, I wrote in my journal really processing everything I had seen and done. I really drove to one of the wonders of the world by myself at 20 years old. This was the life I wanted to live, exploring the world, going on adventures.

Pros and Cons of going to Niagara Falls during the winter:



No Tourists

Many tourists

Clear view of falls w/o boats

Can't do boat tours in to falls

Able to enjoy falls in peace

Cold, Like really cold

Would you go to Niagara Falls during the off season?