Visiting Niagara Falls is a right of passage for both visitors and residents in Ontario. This iconic waterfall is among the most famous in the world, and once you’ve seen it for yourself, you’ll understand why. But visiting Niagara Falls isn’t all about waterfalls. Whether you’re planning an Ontario golf getaway, or just a family staycation in Ontario, the honeymoon capital of the world has some absolutely unforgettable experiences that no visitor should miss.
So hang on tight, because this guide to the best Niagara Falls attractions is going to be a wild ride!
How To Plan Your Visit To Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls can get busy. Even in the off-season, visiting Niagara Falls involves some logistics and spending some dough. But, there are quite a few Niagara Falls attractions passes to help you save a lot of money and still see all the best things to do in Niagara Falls. There are also a few ways to plan your visit to Niagara Falls in order to save some time.
How To Save Money On Your Niagara Falls Visit
The first thing you should pick up when you travel to Niagara Falls is the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass. This “do-it-all” Niagara Falls attractions pass offers a steep discount to many of the best places to visit in Niagara Falls including The Hornblower, Journey Behind the Falls, The White Water Walk, and more. You can pick up the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass here.
The Niagara Falls Adventure Pass also gives you unlimited access to the Niagara Falls People Mover. This bus system will save your legs from a LOT of walking along the Niagara Falls waterfront.
The Clifton Hill Fun Pass is for those who want to venture away from the Niagara Parks attractions and experience some of the quirkier attractions that give Niagara Falls that quirky, theme-park vibe.
When you pick up the Clifton Hill Fun Pass you’ll have access to the towering Niagara SkyWheel, the interactive Zombie Attack experience, glow-golf, arcades, and much more. Clifton Hill is, after all, one of the best amusement parks in Ontario.
How To Get To Niagara Falls
Getting to Niagara Falls is a cinch. This is, after all, the second most popular tourist destination in Canada. There is regular bus service from cities including Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Buffalo, and New York City.
The Niagara Falls bus terminal about a 30-minute walk from most Niagara Falls attractions. So make sure to keep that in mind when you plan your visit to Niagara Falls.
You can also take the train to Niagara Falls. There is direct service from most major cities in Ontario including Ottawa, Kingston, Oshawa, and Toronto.
If you’re visiting from the United States you’ll find trains to Niagara Falls from New York City and Cleveland.
How To Get Around In Niagara Falls
Most of those arrving from nearby towns or visiting Niagara Falls from Toronto and area will get to the town by car. However there is limited (and expensive) parking in the prime areas of Niagara Falls. You can save money by finding street parking or parking lots further from the the waterfall and walking.
The WeGo bus services in Niagara Falls is another great way to get around. This system visits most of the major attractions in Niagara Falls
The Best Niagara Falls Attractions
So you have getting to Niagara Falls all sorted out, now it’s time to see some of the best places to visit in Niagara Falls. Be prepared, because there are lots. And while I could list off all of the things to do in Niagara Falls, that would literally take months. So, instead I’ve mapped out the best Niagara Falls attractions to plan the rest of your visit around.
The Hornblower Niagara Falls Cruise
There is, perhaps, no experience in Niagara Falls more thrilling than dipping into the mist at the base of the Horseshoe Falls.
The Hornblower Niagara Falls cruise, which is often confused with its American counterpart, the Maid of the Mist, is the most popular Niagara Falls attraction for this very reason. This experience is both relaxing and exciting as you safely cruise along the towering walls of the Niagara Escarpment, passing the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and finally disappearing into the spray at the base of the massive Horseshoe Falls.
This Niagara Falls experience dates way back to 1846 when it was launched as a shuttle service across the US/Canadian border. In 1885 it was converted to a tourist experience and began thrilling visitors with its wet and wild ride.
Visitors on The Hornblower should expect to get wet. There are indoor areas for those who would prefer to stay dry, but the real thrill of The Hornblower is being surrounded by the thundering Horseshoe Falls as the water pours down your nose.
Journey Behind The Falls
If you’re wondering how close you can get to Niagara Falls, this is it. The Journey Behind the Falls takes you right to the edge of the Horseshoe Falls, and, thanks to the incredible 130-year-old tunnel system built for the hydro system, you can walk right behind Niagara Falls itself!
This Niagara Parks experience starts with an elevator ride to the base of the falls. Then a maintenance tunnel takes you out to the edge of the water. From there you can explore behind the falls and let the roaring sound of the water fill your ears.
White Water Walk
One of the wildest Niagara Falls attractions is the White Water Walk. This incredible experience gives visitors the chance to walk along some of the most powerful rapids in the world.
The Niagara River, just below the Rainbow Bridge is boiling with Class 6 rapids. The calm, forested walk along the base of the Niagara Escarpment is contrasted perfectly with the massive rapids that fill this part of the river.
Lucky visitors will have the chance to see some of the Whirlpool Jet Boats fighting their way through the rapids on their adventurous journey.
Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory
The warm, climate-controlled Butterfly Conservatory allows visitors to be surrounded by gorgeous, fluttering butterflies all-year-round.
Inside the conservatory you’ll find babbling streams, small waterfalls, and thousands of butterflies, fluttering to, fro, and sometimes even landing on you. This is one of the best places to shake off the cold for those visiting Niagara Falls in winter.
Hike The Niagara Glen
A climb down into the Niagara Glen is like stepping into another world. During the summer months, this humid, fern-filled section of the Niagara Escarpment feels a bit like walking through Jurassic Park.
The winding trails that cut through the Niagara Glen are fascinating to follow. And as you wander your way down towards the Niagara River, you’ll see that there are no better views of the river in all of Niagara Falls.
Play On Clifton Hill
When it comes to Niagara Falls I have a basic rule. Embrace the madness. And there is no better place to soak up the experience than on Clifton Hill. Whether you’re running from zombies, zipping through upside-down houses, devouring Beaver Tails, or catching the views from a massive Ferris Wheel, Clifton Hill has everything you need to embrace your inner child.
Save some money on your Clifton Hill experience by picking up the Clifton Hill Fun Pass.
Catch The Niagara Falls Light Show
Niagara Falls is home to one of the best light shows in Ontario. The falls are surrounded by special illumination towers that come together to offer a breathtaking display during the evenings.
The Niagara Falls light show runs year-round, but the start times vary based on the time of year. You can check out the complete schedule here.
If you time your visit right, you can catch one of the incredible Niagara Falls fireworks displays as well. The Niagara Falls fireworks schedule is generally timed to special events and holidays. You can check out the full fireworks schedule here.
Fly Along The Niagara Falls Zipline
While the Hornblower and Journey Behind the Falls will give you the closest views of the Niagara Falls waterfalls, the best views of Niagara Falls are from the Niagara Falls zipline.
The Niagara Falls zipline isn’t a thrill-a minute rush. This relaxing journey along the Niagara River can be enjoyed by anyone 7-and-up. And it may be one of the best ways to see Niagara Falls in the entire city.
Generally speaking, there’s no shortage of adventure in Niagara Falls.
More Fun Attractions In Niagara Falls
The Niagara fun doesn’t stop at just these great Niagara Falls attractions. There are more than enough places to visit in Niagara Falls to keep you busy for a long weekend or more.
The Floral Showhouse
Queen Victoria Park is one of the top picnic spots in Niagara Falls. This wide-open park is right across from Table Rock Centre and the Niagara Falls Visitors Centre.
Among the huge trees dotting the park is the unmissable glass facade of the Floral Showcase. This 70-year-old indoor botanical garden is filled with local and tropical flowers. It’s a great escape from the cold during the winter, and a wonderful way to skip the crowds for a romantic stroll.
Niagara Falls is a great Ontario getaway for couples, by the way!
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
If you’re visiting Niagara Falls in the summer, the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens is definitely worth a visit. This 99-acre garden is a wonderful spot for a relaxing stroll. The Botanical Gardens feature everything from vegetables to over 2,400 roses throughout the accessible trails.
Whirlpool Aero Car
Maybe it’s more rapids that you’re looking for on this list of Niagara Falls attractions. If so, the Whirlpool Aero Car is another great way to see the Niagara River. This Niagara Falls attraction is open to any age, those aged 5 and under can experience it for free.
The Whirlpool Aero Car is a 100-year-old attraction that spans Niagara Gorge overtop of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool. The round trip takes about 10-minutes.
If the wild times on Clifton Hill weren’t enough for you, perhaps an afternoon of wet and wild fun at the Fallsview Waterpark might add to your excitement.
The Fallsview Waterpark is a massive indoor waterpark located right across from the Rainbow Bridge. At the Niagara Falls waterpark, you’ll find a collection of waterslides, tubes, splash zones and much more. You can often find deals paired with the attached hotels like the Crowne Plaza Fallsview.
Niagara Wine Tours
Maybe you need a bit of a break from the zany atmosphere of Niagara Falls and you want to slow things down a bit. Well, there’s no better way to do that than on a Niagara wine tour.
The Niagara region boasts some of the most successful wineries in Ontario. You’ll find everything from small mom and pop shops to massive, world-renowned vineyards. Whether you visit the bench, or the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’re bound to have a spectacular time.
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