My wife and I had briefly seen the Niagara Falls way back when we first got married. We had to drive two cars from Minneapolis to Portsmouth New Hampshire on our honeymoon because we were in the process of moving out there. Needless to say, that was not a romantic journey.  So we promised ourselves that one day we would get back to Niagara Falls and to the North East region of the United States and really explore and enjoy the area correctly. Well we finally took the time to take that adventure and it is best to take it as a photography adventure.

Also part of the purpose in writing this post is to encourage people from the Midwest to take the time to adventure out to the North East. It turns out it is a part of the country that is more beautiful than I had ever expected. So put it on your bucket list and get it done.

Niagara Falls

We have been told that the Canadian side of the falls is quite fantastic so we decided to make that side a large part of this photography adventure. We knew the falls were all lit up at night so we knew we had to capture them at night but I also wanted to capture some majestic beauty at sunrise also.   I think these decisions paid off on both accounts.

4 must-see destinations when Phtographing New England and the Northeast

Niagara Falls Ontario Canada Sunset


Niagara Falls Ontario Canada Sunset 4 must-see destinations when Phtographing New England and the Northeast

Niagara Falls Ontario Canada Sunrise

 There is a fireworks display over the falls and if you are inclined I would recommend that you get in place early to get the best view of the explosions over the falls.

 Niagara Falls Gardens

The gardens around the falls are also quite beautiful.  Be sure you take some time to slow down and capture some of that natural beauty.

Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens Ontario Canada

Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens

Niagara Falls Boat Cruises

Of course you must do the boat cruise up into the falls area.  This is an experience you will never forget.   Check out a video of the adventure here.

 Upstate New York

The next area that we would strongly encourage you to see is the incredibly gorgeous region of Upstate New York.  If you really wanted to do the area justice and view everything at a pace that you could enjoy and appreciate, it would take you several months so let’s break in down in to smaller bit sized chunks.

The Finger Lakes Region

Not being from the North East I had heard about the Finger Lakes Region but I really knew nothing about it.   I think this will help you out a bit from wiki

The Finger Lakes are a pattern of lakes in the west-central section of Upstate New York in the United States. This region is defined as a bioregion. They are a popular tourist destination. The lakes are long and narrow (resembling fingers), and are oriented roughly on a north-south axis. The two longest, Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, are among the deepest in America. Both are close to 40 miles (64 km) from end to end, and never more than 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide. Cayuga is the longest (38.1 miles, 61 km) and Seneca the largest in total area. Seneca is the deepest (618 feet, 188 m), followed by Cayuga (435 feet, 133 m), with their bottoms well below sea level. These largest lakes resemble the others in shape, which collectively reminded early map-makers of human fingers. Oneida Lake is generally not considered one of the Finger Lakes, but it is sometimes called the “thumb”, while Seneca Lake is the middle finger.

Watkins Glen State Park

We decided to go to Lake Seneca on a whim.  We had heard about Watkins Glen State Park so we knew we were going to explore that area a bit.  We were so happy that we did.  The park is spectacular and there were great opportunities to capture some waterfalls.

Water Falls at Watkins Glen State Park New York 4 must-see destinations when Photographing New England and the Northeast

Water Falls at Watkins Glen State Park New York

New York Wine Country

Another things we did not know is that the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York is wine country.  There were dozens if not hundreds of wineries covering the rolling hills.  Apparently the weather is perfect in this region for wine production.

Seneca Lake Wine Country

Wine Country of Lake Seneca and the Finger Lakes Region

NASCAR at Watkins Glen

Another thing we did not realize is that Watkins Glen is a Large NASCAR region.  Again I suppose I had heard of it over the years but I had never really experienced it.    The weekend that we were there was of course a huge race weekend.  It turned out to be the tragic weekend that Tony Stewart accidentally killed a fellow race driver in a freak accident.   Read more on the story here.

Alas, life is short, live it with gusto and purpose.

Covered Bridges of New England

New England is covered with picturesque covered bridges. Maybe the best place to see them is in Vermont and New Hampshire.   See a great list here.

We happened to be in Keene New Hampshire which has four covered bridges in close proximity.   So be sure to build a great list that works for your schedule and capture of bit of history.

Covered Bridges of New England

Covered Bridges of New England


Bar Harbor Maine / Acadia National Park

Bar Harbor and Acadia is a wonder to behold.  You could easily spend a month or two in this area whether you are into shopping and history or if you are into hardcore hiking and exploring.   Make sure you schedule as much time as possible to really experience the area.

Cadillac Mountain Sunset

As a photographer I was drawn to attempt to capture sunrises and sunsets from Cadillac Mountain.  From this vantage point you get to see the first ray of light in the entire country as the sun comes up at the highest furthest east point in the country.   You have a 360 degree view from this location and it is quite spectacular.

Cadillac Mountain Sunset Acadia National Park

 Cadillac Mountain Sunset Acadia National Park

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

The Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Acadia National Park is still an active lighthouse.  It is one of the most picturesque lighthouses still in use.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Acadia National Park Maine

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

I hope this brief picture of the North East and New England has encouraged you to get this area on your travel itinerary. It truly is a remarkable place worth seeing and exploring.   I promise you, you will not be disappointed in your experiences.

Until next time, get out and capture the adventure!


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4 Must-See Destinations When Photographing New England and the Northeast

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website