Cave of the Winds: Niagara Falls Close-up

I read a bit about the Cave of the Winds before my trip to Niagara but I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  The name I thought seemed a little misleading because I knew there wasn’t really a Niagara Cave.  And almost everywhere around the falls was windy.  I didn’t really get the excitement of the Cave of the Winds Niagara Falls.  When I was tight on time, I was tempted to cut it out of the itinerary, but I am really glad I didn’t.

The American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls are right next to each other. The Bridal Veil Falls is on the right. - "Cave of the Winds Niagara Falls Closeup" - Two Traveling Texans
The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are next to each other. The Bridal Veil Falls is on the right.

The Cave of the Winds is the best way to get close to the falls on the American side.  There are actually three main waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls: the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls.  Both the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls are in the US, while the Horseshoe Falls is in Canada.  The American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls are separated by Luna Island.  The Bridal Veil Falls are impressive but significantly smaller than the other falls.

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When we took the Hornblower cruise, I saw all the people wearing their yellow ponchos and realized that was the Cave of the Winds.  You climb up scaffolding that goes right to the base of the Bridal Falls.  The weather conditions created by the falls are so intense that they have to rebuild the scaffolding each year.   (more…)

Maho Bay: Plane Spotting in St. Maarten

I really don’t think you can say you have been to St. Maarten (St. Martin) unless you have been to the beach at Maho Bay.  While Maho Beach may not be the most scenic beach on the island, it is the most famous because planes fly low right over it to land at Princess Juliana International Airport.  When planes take off, it’s another story, you can watch fellow beach goers battle the jetblast.  Maho Beach came in at #3 in the world on Tripadvisor’s 10 unique beaches you need to see to believe.

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Get up close and personal with airplanes! - "Maho Bay: Plane Spotting in St. Maarten" - Two Traveling Texans
Get up close and personal with airplanes!

As you can imagine, this is not your typical beach.  It’s one of the best places in the world to watch planes land and take off.  KLM used to fly a Boeing 747 into Princess Juliana Airport, but since October 2016 they started using a smaller plane (A330).  The beach can get very crowded especially on days when there is a cruise ship in port.  I don’t recommend setting up camp on the sand.  It has a steep slope and if you sit above the slope you will be pounded with sand when jets take off.  

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Discovering Wineries in Niagara on the Lake Canada

One of the reasons I wanted to visit Niagara Falls was to visit the wineries in Niagara on the Lake.   I really enjoy tasting and learning more about wines.  A few years ago, I visited the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York and was really impressed with the wines there.   Since Niagara is not too far from the Finger Lakes I figured it would be similar.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, please see disclosure for more information.

The vines at Jackson Triggs Winery. - "Discovering Wineries in Niagara on the Lake Canada" - Two Traveling Texans
The vines at Jackson Triggs Winery.

While you can visit wineries on your own, I didn’t want to worry about someone being a designated driver.  I thought it would be easier to just find a tour.  There are lots of different options for winery tours of Niagara from full day to half day or big groups to small groups.  I also thought about doing a bicycle wine tour, but then decided not too, since I don’t know how well I would do riding a bike after a couple wine tastings.  (If you are interested in a bike tour, click here to get 20% off the price until August 14, 2017).  In the end, I booked a half day wine tour with dinner with Grape Escapes through Viator. (more…)

The Best Beaches to Visit on a Day Trip to Anguilla

You may remember that our day trip to Anguilla was one of the reasons we started our blog.  We wanted to share the information we found about the ferry from St. Martin to Anguilla and also what it is like to drive on the other side of the road.  Well, now we are finally getting around to sharing more details of how Katherine and I spent our day in Anguilla.

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To maximize our time, we took an early ferry from St. Martin to Anguilla.  We rented a car through Andy’s Car Rental which is located right by the dock.  That way, we would be able to explore at our own pace. You do need a special driving permit but we got that through Andy as well. The island is not that big so our plan was to see as much of it as we could.  Andy from gave us a map and a few recommendations.

Anguilla has some amazing beaches! This is Shoal Bay. - "Beach Day Trip to Anguilla" - Two Traveling Texans
Anguilla has some amazing beaches! This is Shoal Bay.

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Niagara Falls Helicopter Ride to Remember

Niagara Falls is a place I had always wanted to go.  I love waterfalls and really wanted to see Niagara Falls in person to really get a sense of the magnitude.  Russell had not been before either so we decided to plan a weekend there.  I was surprised to learn about all the things to do in Niagara Falls.  We thought a Niagara Falls helicopter ride would be the best way to really get see the falls and help make it a memorable weekend.   

Here you can see the Rainbow Bridge, the American Falls, the Bridal Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. - "Niagara Falls Helicopter Ride to Remember" - Two Traveling Texans
Here you can see the Rainbow Bridge, the American Falls, the Bridal Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls.

There are actually three main waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls: the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and the Bridal Falls.  All are impressive in their own right, but the Horseshoe Falls is by far the largest.  About 160,000 gallons of water flow through both the American and Bridals Falls while the Horseshoe Falls have 600,000 gallons per second.  The Horseshoe Falls is located on the Canadian side and gets its name from its shape. (more…)