The Niagara Falls is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the entire United States of America. It is known for being a natural wonder that must be seen with the naked eye. Pictures just will not do it justice. Niagara Falls State Park is located on the western border of Ontario and New York just north of Buffalo. Summer is known to be peak season at this location mainly because its climate averages in the low 80’s during the hottest time of year. Because of these mild temperatures, the best time to visit Niagara Falls is from June to August. However, tourism is active all year round. When visiting the falls, the constant mist and breeze coming from the waterfall will leave you feeling refreshed all day long even in the hot and humid months.
There is no doubt about it that you will want to get as close to the falls as possible, whether it be alongside a hiking trail, jet boating, or helicopter ride. You will also find endless adventure surrounding Niagara Falls including hiking trails for all experience levels, boating, whitewater rafting, wine tasting, food tours, and historic sightseeing. An important point to note is that there are many angles at which to view the falls. Many argue that the Canadian side boasts the better view, however the American side is just as beautiful and offers other interactive areas surrounding the falls.
While visiting, make sure you do not miss the Cave of the Winds. This is located on the American side of the falls. Here you will learn about the history of the area, encounter several interactive exhibits and watch a short movie before entering the elevator that will lead you to the falls. The best place to be after arriving at the falls is the Hurricane deck. You will get drenched from the torrential conditions, but you will find that this area will bring you extremely close to the falls itself. It is truly an experience on its own. Do not forget to bring a waterproof camera and poncho!
It isn’t a trip to Niagara Falls without taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist. This 2-hour boat tour takes you to Upper Niagara Rapids, Luna Island, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, as well as under the great Niagara Falls itself. The tour has been taking visitors to the falls for over 100 years. They provide waterproof ponchos to prevent guests from getting wet under the mist. If you’re more into walking up close to the falls then you definitely do not want to miss the boardwalk. You will be completely blown away by the sheer power of the waterfall as you carefully walk along the boardwalk.
Many have argued that Niagara Falls is best viewed in the evening. Depending on the time of year that you visit, there can be fireworks or illuminations. Illuminations are when the falls can be seen lit up for various holidays, special occasions and every evening from April to December.
If you want to spice things up a little then a sightseeing helicopter tour is just what you need. Niagara Helicopters’ is one of the most popular companies that offer helicopter tours. General admission is 160 USD per person. During your joy ride, you will get to experience a birds eye view of the magnificent Niagara Falls and all of its breathtaking surroundings including Skylon Tower, Rainbow Bridge, the famous Horseshoe Falls and the Toronto skyline.
Fun Fact: The Niagara Falls water force is powerful enough to provide electrical power as an industrial resource to both the State of New York and Ontario, Canada. The Hydro energy producing plants are visible along Niagara Parkway by helicopter.
Another popular part of Niagara Falls is Horseshoe Falls which is located on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. One tour option is to take The Journey Behind the Falls tour allows guests to get up close to Horseshoe Falls. The falls are spectacular all year round but it is especially magical during winter when the water below is frozen and the mist freezes in mid air.
If you’re in the area for a few days then it is worth taking a trip to Downtown Niagara. Downtown is located a short distance from the falls, about 10 minutes drive. Here you will find an array of activities from restaurants, temples, wine tasting, or just a simple stroll through the many parks in the area. There are plenty of things to do for families with children as well. These include museums, animal parks, and theatres. One of the more popular attractions is the Skylon Tower. The tower is a viewing area and platform 800 feet in the air with a spectacular view of the American and Horseshoe falls.
There is so much to explore during your time at the Niagara Falls so planning ahead is always a good idea. Make sure to have plenty of time to visit all of the popular attractions throughout Niagara Falls State Park and the surrounding areas.
Some other must see attractions and activities:
- Ziplining to the Niagara Falls: 70 USD
- Wine Tours (there are several wineries in the town): 100 – 250 USD
- SkyWheel: 12 USD
- Helicopter Tour: Adult (13 years+): 160 USD; Couples (2 adults): 308 USD; Child (3-12 years): 99 USD
- Whirlpool Jet Boat Ride: 70 USD
There are also several FREE activities to do in and around Niagara Falls:
- Dufferin Islands: Less than one mile south of the falls
- Niagara Glen Nature Reserve: Hiking trails and perfect view of the Whirlpool Rapids
- Botanical Gardens: Home to the world-famous rose garden
- Floral Clock: One of the largest floral clocks in the world at 40 feet wide!
- Queen Victoria Park: You will find a lovely view of the falls from the park
- Niagara-on-the-Lake: Small fruit and wine-growing town explorable by car of bike