Go Hiking In The Niagara Falls Area
Why not escape the city and go for a winter hike in Niagara Falls? Just bring some winter hiking boots, bundle up, and hit the trails. You can go winter hiking at Niagara Glen, which is a super scenic spot near Niagara Falls.
I also recommend exploring the Bruce Trail, which runs for 900km between Niagara and Tobermory, Ontario. You can start at Queenston Heights Park at the Southern Terminus Cairn. Its the stone monument that signifies the very start of the Bruce Trail, and its right there in Niagara Falls.
Top Things To Do In Niagara Falls Usa In Winter
See Niagara Falls: Visit Niagara Falls State Park to see Niagara Falls upclose. Entry to the park is free and it remains open 24 hours a day all days of the year. Maid of the Mist boat ride will be closed, but Prospect Point and the observation tower, Goat Island, and Luna Island will be open to see Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls State Park: The park is a vast nature reserve with many islands, the Niagara Falls and Niagara River, hiking trails, cafes, a restaurant and many natural and man-made attractions. The following places in the park are open in winter:
- Adventure Theater
- Goat Island and Luna Island
- Three Sisters Islands
- Niagara Falls Illumination and Fireworks
- Gift shops
Admire the vistas and the snow-covered terrain. Families can build snowmen and enjoy a fun-filled day in the park.
Niagara Falls Illumination: See Niagara Falls even at night with the nightly illuminating display of Niagara Falls. See the Falls turn into a kaleidoscope of pretty colours.
Jet boat through Niagara River: Maid of the Mist may be closed but you can still go on a boat ride on Niagara River in a jet boat, no less. Niagara Jet Adventures operates throughout the winter months . Experience an adrenaline rush and feel the cold water hit you as the boat speeds across the river and through the class 5 rapids. The boat turns back at Niagara Whirlpool .
Getting To Niagara Falls
Buses operate from downtown Toronto and Buffalo, New York. We recently took the bus from Toronto by booking through Busbud and it was quick and easy. The only downfall is it is about a 309 minute walk from the bus terminal to the Niagara Falls attractions.
Trains travel from New York City, Toronto and wait for it Cleveland.
Read More About Niagara Falls
Travel Planning Resources
Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.
Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner
Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Don’t leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:
- World Nomads – Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
- Allianz – Occasional Travelers.
- Medjet – Global air medical transport and travel security.
Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.
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How To Cross The Border At Niagara Falls
Thanks to the Rainbow Bridge, which connects Canada and the U.S. right by the Falls, you can easily cross from one country into the other as long as you pack your passport! Make also sure to check visa regulations for your country of origin. The toll to cross the bridge is only $1.00 in both currencies if you cross on foot, but more expensive for cars, RVs and trucks. You can find the current prices here. If you visit the Falls with your car, theres no need for you to take it to the other side you can just walk over the bridge and explore the Falls on foot, unless you arent in good health.
Excursions To Canadian Sites
One of the best things about Niagara Falls is its proximity to its twin, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Here, you will find a variety of tourist attractions, including some unique ways to enjoy the natural wonders of the river and falls. Visitors can take a peek at the underside of Horseshoe Falls from portals carved into the rock beneath, accessed by tunnels that were carved more than 130 years ago.
To get a thrilling view of the whirlpool, the vintage 1916 aerial cable car called the Aero Car offers unparalleled views from above. Visitors will also enjoy the Clifton Hill amusement park with a plethora of entertainment options, from midway games to bowling, arcades, and coaster-track go-karts. It is also home to the Niagara Skywheel, Canada’s biggest observation wheel, which offers stunning views of the falls and Niagara Gorge.
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Take A Helicopter Ride
Obligatory photo with the helicopter.
Flying over Niagara Falls in a helicopter is one of the best ways to see the area. It gives you a different perspective that you cant get from the ground. Sitting next to my husband and taking in these views is something I will never forget.
We shared the helicopter with the four other passengers. Since we had the front seat, it felt like it was just us and the pilot. The ride was only 12 minutes long, but we saw a lot. I thought it was worth the splurge because its one of those once in a lifetime experiences.
Check out our video to get a better idea of what to expect.
While we did our helicopter ride with Niagara Helicopters which is based on the Canadian side, there is also the option to do a helicopter ride with Rainbow Air on the USA side. Get more information here.
Niagara Jet Adventures & Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
The Class V rapids of the Niagara River can be daunting to even seasoned mariners. However, when you add jet-powered boats to the equation, you get a white-knuckled ride that’ll test your vocal cords. Both Niagara Jet Adventures and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours take guests on a guided, 45-60 minute tour through the Devil’s Hole Class V rapids of the Niagara River. Offering both a wet and dry experience, these high-speed boats will have you craving another adrenaline-packed adventure.
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Get A Birds Eye View From The Top Of The Tower Hotel At Fallsview
The Tower Hotel, situated right next to the main waterfall, offers one of the most exclusive, impressive, and unique views of this natural wonder. This four-star hotel boasts all the services you could ever need: hot tubs, casinos, restaurants, bars, shops, and high-class hotel rooms you wont be disappointed!
Dont forget to take pictures from the top!
Meander Through Queen Victoria Park
Walking through Queen Victoria Park, youll find an abundance of different plants and flowers. Of course, youll be able to admire the famous falls from there as well.
The vibrant colors of the park mixed up with the light blue falls in the background create a unique and picturesque atmosphere thats impossible to replicate.
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Fashion Outlets Of Niagara Falls
Lastly, if youre in need of some new threads, head to the Niagara outlets!
The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls is regarded as one of Americas largest outlet centers. Recent expansion has seen the outlets now offer 750,000 square feet of shopping with over 200 stores and a great selection of eateries.
Enjoy savings of up to 75% off merchandise from brands like Nike, Under Armour, Disney, Calvin Klein, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, and Samsonite in case you need a spare empty suitcase to accommodate all your outlet purchases.
When To Visit Niagara Falls In Winter
When is the best time to visit Niagara Falls in winter? If you want to see Niagara Falls frozen or partially frozen, make your way there after its been freezing cold for a while. After many days of frigid and freezing weather, Niagara Falls will begin to grow more frozen and icy.
Ive heard that when it gets really cold that youll see huge chunks of ice floating over the waterfall itself. That is beyond cool! See what I did there!
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Niagara Falls Bundled Discounts
Both the US and New York side of Niagara Falls offer bundled discounts to explore the attractions and activities.
The Discovery Pass includes Maid of the Mist boat tour, Cave of the Winds, Adventure Theater, Discovery Center & Hiking Trails, Aquarium of Niagara, and Trolley car access.
The Niagara Falls Adventure Pass offers three bundles, depending on the activities you hope to do. All passes include the Hornblower Niagara boat tour and WeGo bus passes visitors can then select attractions based on their interests including nature, classic tours, and plus, which allows admission to nearly everything.
Winner Niagara Falls Canada. We like that Canada gives us options on what we want to see and experience.
Best Things To Do In Niagara Falls American Side
Situated along the U.S. / Canadian border, Niagara Falls State Park is open 365 days a year. It is from this side visitors can experience the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour, Cave of the Winds, and get a spectacular view of Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the American Falls.
While Niagara Falls is not listed as one of the seven official natural wonders of the world, those who witness the sheer power and majesty of these massive waterfalls are, as I was, left in awe. Niagara Falls is arguably the most famous natural landmark in New York State, and certainly among the most famous in the United States and Canada.
Niagara straddles the border between the United States and Canada and consists of three waterfalls: Canadian Falls American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls .
While a visit to the waterfalls is a must, there is so much more to do in and around the falls and the Niagara River. Here is a quick guide to the seven best things to do in Niagara Falls .
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Where To Stay In Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in North America, so naturally there are plenty of hotels around here. Be careful though: There are also a bunch of cheapie motels that are very basic and some are downright filthy. They are cheap, but not enjoyable, trust me. Before you book a hotel or motel, make sure to check the latest reviews before going for what may seem like a bargain deal, and the review score. Ive put together a few options on both the American side and the Canadian side for you, for all budgets.
Note:The Canadian side has considerably more options, including some hotels with direct views of the falls from your hotel window. Its definitely worth to splurge on a room with a view of the falls! Another thing to consider when deciding if to stay on the American side or the Canadian side.
Whirlpool State Park The Most Beautiful Place To Visit In Niagara Falls New York
Wondering what to do at Niagara Falls, NY besides visiting the falls? Whirlpool State Park is one of the pretty areas youll find off the beaten path. If you want to get away from the crowds for a bit, I highly recommend checking this park out.
Whirlpool State Park is a scenic region covering nearly 110 acres. To get there, you can follow the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail.
The park itself is a two-tiered area just north of the tourist center. The street level has beautiful overlooks where you can see the Niagara Gorge and rapids. But to get closer, go to the riverbank by taking the stairs down at the southern end of the park, next to the Whirlpool Bridge.
12. Whirlpool State Park, the most beautiful place to visit in Niagara Falls New York
Here, youll get to witness the Niagara Whirlpool, one of the most fun things to do in Niagara Falls, NY. At its deepest, the whirlpool is 125 feet deep. Its the result of the gorge creating a nearly 90° change in the water flow direction. Combined with the speed of the rapids , it creates a natural whirlpool.
This is where the Whirlpool Rapids Trail meanders along the gorge and river. Another great thing to do in Niagara Falls, NY for families is to continue onto the Devils Hole Trail, which makes a loop and returns to Whirlpool State Park.
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Cave Of The Winds One Of The Top
The Cave of the Winds is a prime attraction at Niagara Falls, NY, and something to do if youre a daredevil. Back in the 1830s, a natural cave was discovered behind the Bridal Veil Falls, and people began touring the area.
It wasnt until the 1920s that the attraction took tourists around the front of Bridal Veil Falls instead of behind it. Either way, its quite a thrill and one of the coolest things to do at Niagara Falls, New York in the summer.
When you first get to Cave of the Winds, you can explore The World Changed Here Pavilion, an indoor multimedia exhibit explaining the history of the falls. Youll also learn how Nikola Tesla designed the first hydro-electric power plant at Niagara Falls.
2. Cave of the Winds, one of the top-rated Niagara Falls attractions in NY
Once youre ready to descend 175 feet to the Niagara Gorge, youll put on your poncho and take an elevator to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls. From there, you can walk out onto the deck and get as close to the waterfalls as you like. Its called Cave of the Winds for a reason it gets very windy! The roar of the water can produce hurricane-like conditions, including winds up to 68 mph.
The most intense part of the attraction is the Hurricane Deck. Here, youll stand just a few feet from the thunderous waterfalls. Its definitely a fun thing to do in Niagara Falls, NY.
How To Get To Niagara Falls New York Side
If you dont know how to get to the American side of Niagara Falls, Ill go over all the options here.
First, the easiest way to get there is usually to drive. We took our car to Niagara Falls, NY, but you could also rent a car. We even have a guide to finding cheap rental cars. There are lots of places to visit near Niagara Falls, USA, so having a vehicle is an advantage.
If youre traveling in New York City and dont want to drive 6+ hours to Niagara Falls, I suggest this tour by air or this one-day tour by bus. There is also a two-day tour by bus that includes more attractions in Niagara Falls, NY.
The closest U.S. airport to Niagara Falls is the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, which is about 25 miles from Niagara Falls. The airport offers convenient shuttles and public transportation to many popular things to do in Niagara Falls, USA. That said, you can also rent a car from the airport.
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Other Bucket List Things To Do Niagara Falls New York
Niagara Falls has much to offer in addition to sightseeing and recreation! Take flight on a helicopter ride, or visit the Niagara Falls Aquarium. See the Falls in a unique way by riding the Niagara Scenic Trolley, or enjoying the thrill of the Whirlpool Jetboat. Remember, expect a longer wait time on weekends and especially during holidays.
Getting Around Niagara Falls
When visiting Niagara Falls, traveling by car is ideal, but if you are visiting from out of the country or taking a side trip from Toronto, you dont need a car. If you buy any attraction pass, it gives you access to the WEGO Bus that hits up the major attractions.
Bicycle rentals are available and are an excellent way to see the area. Dave and I once rode bikes all the way to Niagara on the Lake from Niagara Falls to tour some wineries. You can also book wine tours out to Niagara on the Lake or tour buses from Niagara Falls.
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Things To Do In Niagara Falls Ny Usa
I know that I mentioned that the Get Your Guide Niagara Falls Pass give you access to attractions in both Canada and the United States. Normally, we can cross the border easily in Niagara Falls by simply walking across the Rainbow Bridge. If all goes well, we might be able to go to the US by late summer. But if not, to our American friends, we want to share the best things to do in Niagara Falls on the American Side too!
This pass is highly recommended if you are exploring both Niagara Falls NY and Niagara Falls Canada. Check out Get Your Guide where you can book a complete pass to attractions on both the US and Canada side of the falls.