Niagara Falls Day Trips From New York
Visiting the most popular waterfalls on the planet is an ideal plan to disconnect from the lights and chaos of New York. I leave you a list of the best organized tours and tell you if it is worth or not to make this visit.
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Located on the border between the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls is made up of three breathtaking waterfalls that will make your visit an unforgettable trip. Seeing this imposing wonder of nature at least once in a lifetime is totally worth it, and it is definitely one of the must-do activities during a trip to New York, even more so if they only require one or two days of your time. Here are the best tours to visit Niagara Falls from New York:
Will The Round Trip To Niagara Falls In One Day Be Too Much Of A Hassle
One of the big questions facing all of us who have been to New York and have considered the option of going to Niagara Falls from New York is this: Is it worth it to drive so far to see the Falls in one day? The answer here for me is clear: yes.
The scenery you are going to see in Niagara Falls is spectacular . The road is not heavy, because you will be seeing a lot of landscapes along the way. Besides, in my case the jet lag worked its magic and I slept practically all the way back, so I can say that I almost didn’t even notice it!
Best Day Of The Week To Tour Niagara Falls From New York City
As with many other tourist attractions, you will find fewer people if you visit the Falls during the week. That said, I recommend that you check the fireworks calendar on the official Niagara Falls website to try to coincide your visit with a show that will add a very special touch to your excursion.
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Visit The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Center
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Center offers many exhibits focusing on the history, politics, and struggles of the people who crossed and settled, in Niagara Falls. Its a great stop for those wanting to learn more about the area. This interactive attraction is also ideal for children, free for kids under five years old.
You can have a great look at what the center has to offer in the video below.
Things To Do In Niagara Falls Ny With Kids
Can you hear that thundering sound? It must be Niagara Falls! The impressive waterfalls that divide the USA and Canada, and are an incredible experience for kids to visit.
Niagara Falls State Park is a great place to visit with the family, but Niagara Falls is more than just an incredible wonder of the world. Its a city filled with even more family fun!
The Aquarium of Niagara has a so much going on for the kids – from sea lion training to shark feeding! A great place to explore under the ocean!
Want to experience the thrills of 45 coasters and thrill rides, AND enjoy a water park with a wave pool and lazy river? That will be Martins Fantasy Island for you!
Want to take the kids to experience some culture? Certainly! Niagara Falls has plenty of culture, from the Castellani Museum of Art to the Native American Museum of Art.
And dont forget to see the city from a whole new angle – thats right – from the AIR! Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours will make kids feel like theyre flying! Up, Up and Away!
The adventure begins right here!
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Why Is Niagara Falls Shared By The United States And Canada
The magnificent Niagara Falls are a prominent tourist destination for both the United States and Canada, while the Niagara River serves as a natural barrier between the two countries. The falls are located in New York State, but due to their proximity to the border of Ontario, they are part of both American and Canadian culture and identity.
Many believe that the agreement that led to the formation of Canada was likely done so because of the economic benefit that would be derived from having a partner on the other side of the world. In 1848, the British government granted land near the falls to develop into a city that would serve as a trade center for this new country called Canada. However, because there were no roads or railways at the time, it wasn’t until after the American Civil War that visitors started arriving here. It wasn’t until after another war in 1992 that Canada and the United States finally signed a free trade agreement, which now allows for easy travel and commerce between them.
There are several theories as to how the falls came to be named Niagara. Some say it’s because George III of the United Kingdom was impressed with the beauty of the water when he visited here in 1763. Others claim it’s because Sir William Johnson, the first governor general of New York, is responsible for giving the name to the river.
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Niagara Falls Border Crossings How To Get From The Us Side To The Canadian Side
If you like the tourist attractions in Niagara Falls, USA, youll love all there is to do in Niagara Falls, Canada.
If youre not sure how to get to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls from New York, the easiest way is by crossing the Rainbow Bridge. You can walk across the bridge or go by car or bus. Regardless of how you get across, you will be going into another country, so youll need to present the appropriate documents to cross the border.
Niagara Falls Border Crossings How to get from the U.S. side to the Canadian side
American citizens must have a valid U.S. passport or proof of permanent residence in the United States. If youre a citizen of another country besides the United States, check here to see what documents you need.
Moreover, if youre going to use a rental car to go to Canada, you should check first with the rental company. They may or may not allow you to take the vehicle into another country.
With that said, you now have all the information you need to make the most of your trip to Niagara Falls, New York! If you have any questions about how to get there, the public transportation in the park, or any other things to do near Niagara Falls, USA, leave me a comment. Ill try my best to help you out!
Finally, be sure to check out our guide to visiting both sides of Niagara Falls here. Safe travels and I hope you enjoy the beauty of the falls!
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Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino The Best Thing To Do In Niagara Falls New York At Night
A visit to the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino is something to do in Niagara Falls NY at night if youre looking for entertainment and nightlife.
The Seneca Casino was the states competitive response to Ontario, Canadas two casinos. Formerly the Niagara Falls Convention & Civic Center, Seneca is now the largest New York resort outside of Manhattan. Here, youll find all kinds of activities in Niagara Falls USA for the adult crowd. The 147,000ft² casino has over 2,000 slot machines, nearly 100 gaming tables, live poker, and more.
17. Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, the best thing to do in Niagara Falls New York at night
Its not all about gambling here either. You can take a break from the games and head to the resorts Seneca Niagara Events Center for a show. The 2,400-seat theater hosts musicians, comedians, concerts, and other performances.
For some rest and rejuvenation, check out the full-service spa or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the fine-dining spots. Take your pick from a diverse palate, including Asian, Italian, and classic American fare. There are also several high-end retail stores that you can peruse, including Swarovski.
The Seneca Resort offers plenty of fun things to do near Niagara Falls, NY. When its time to call it a night, stay over at the hotel, which has over 600 rooms and suites. Ill talk more about the accommodations a bit later.
Explore The Niagara Glen Nature Reserve
The Niagara Glen Nature Centre offers visitors the chance to stroll along guided hiking trails and learn about the rich ecosystems of the Niagara Falls area. Lace on your best climbing shoes and enjoy what nature has to offer!
Once you watch this short below, youll be planning your visit in no time.
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Make New Friends At The Bird Kingdom
Situated just 5 minutes from Niagara Falls, youll be surprised to find the biggest free-flying indoor aviary in the world! Hundreds of tropical birds and exotic animals call the Bird Kingdom home, and theyre all waiting for you to come and say hello!
This attraction is adored by children, so make sure to share this experience with family and friends.
Best Time Of The Year To Tour Niagara Falls From New York City
The typical temperature around Niagara Falls changes greatly throughout the year. While if you go to Niagara Falls in the winter you may freeze, in the summer it is usually quite nice, with sunny and warm days. If you visit the Falls in the spring, it will most likely rain, and in the fall you can find very pleasant weather, as long as you go before November.
If you can, my recommendation is to visit in mid to late May and between September and October. It is certainly the best time to go to Niagara Falls, you will have better weather and you will also avoid most of the tourists, who come in summer.
If the weather doesn’t help or doesn’t suit you, we recommend you to do the Washington tour from New York or the Philadelphia tour from New York, where the weather will be less important to enjoy the tours.
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Niagara Falls Attractions & Tours
Every year, millions of visitors come to see the spectacular beauty of Niagara Falls. It’s always free to walk into Niagara Falls State Park to see the Falls, and it’s open 365 days a year! What many people are happy to discover, however, is that along with this majestic natural wonder, the Niagara Falls tours and activities that you can enjoy inside the park provide hours of added fun!
Niagara Falls State Park Pro Tip
There are typically longer wait times for the attractions on weekends– and especially holiday weekends–so plan your visit accordingly. During the summer, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to visit!
Behold the myths and mysteries of Niagara Falls with Niagara: Legends of Adventure, the 40-minute feature presentation at Niagara Adventure Theater.
Niagara Falls Ny Is The Perfect Place For An Enchanting Vacation Or Honeymoon
With so much to do and so much to see, Niagara Falls in western New York is the perfect destination for tourists, vacationers, and honeymooners alike. Of course there’s the wonderful Falls, which are beautiful in both daylight and nightlight. Nightlight? Yes, of course every night, the falls are illuminated in vivid multicolor, adding to their beauty and majesty. But there are so many more adventures awaiting you in Niagara Falls, aside from just peering over the railing at the glorious Falls.
Niagara Falls challenges daredevils to “plunge in” and take advantage of all it has to offer. Powerful jet boats speed up the great Niagara River, carrying brave voyagers between Letchworth State Park’s 500-foot canyon cliffs, known fondly as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Letchworth State Park is also a great place for nature lovers, boasting over 14,000 acres of rugged splendor along the Genesee River, including three waterfalls.
Or, for the brave, why not go on a tour to get closer to the Falls than ever before? Elevators dive over 170 feet into the great Niagara Gorge carrying a group of courageous passengers. Guests are equipped with special footgear and waterproof ponchos as a tour guide leads them on a mission to get up-close and personal with the mighty Falls. The trek leads guests just 20 feet away from the Falls, the constant mist engulfing them as they stare in wonder at the rushing wall of water.
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Getting Around Niagara Falls
If youre staying in downtown Niagara Falls, you will be able to walk basically everywhere. This is where many of the top attractions are located and we focus on these in this post.
That said, there are some attractions that require renting a car or taking a bus to get to .
If you do have a car and are driving in for the day or want to park near the Falls, there are lots of parking lots very close to Horseshoe Falls. It wont be cheap but itll be convenient!
WEGO runs three coloured lines with routes that cover: all over downtown to top attractions, along the river north to more attractions , along Lundys Lane , and even an extension shuttle service from April to October into Niagara on the Lake .
The three lines meet around the Table Rock Visitor Centre at Horseshoe Falls. You can learn more about the routes and prices here. Dont forget about Niagara Falls taxis if you want a quick way to get across town to an attraction but dont have a car on hand.
Just so you know, theres also an Incline Railway that goes from the Fallsview downtown area to close to Horseshoe Falls behind the Table Rock Welcome Centre.
Niagara Gorge & Discovery Center
Head to Niagara Gorge and its Discovery Center to explore miles of hiking trails along with thrilling jet boat rides.
The Discovery Center teaches you a bit about the geology of Niagara Falls and offers up family fun in the form of interactive exhibits, a rock climbing wall, and a 180° multi-screen theater experience focusing on the falls.
The many different hiking trails of Niagara Gorge begin at the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center, with trails suitable for all abilities. Some are quite leisurely strolls while others will require a bit of fitness and endurance. You can enjoy the hikes by yourself or join a guided tour from spring to fall.
Hikes include an easy Scenic Overlook hike, a 2-hour round trip Upper Gorge hike, the Devils Hole Rapids hike in Devils Hole State Park, and the somewhat challenging Whirlpool Rapids adventure hike within Whirlpool State Park.
These last two state parks are connected by a looping trail and both parks offer picnic facilities as well as opportunities to fish in summer and cross-country ski in winter.
Image credit: Bruce Guenter via Flickr
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Where To Eat In Niagara Falls Ny
My favorite restaurants in Niagara Falls, NY are all hole-in-the-wall joints. If thats not your style, I recommend heading to Lewiston instead. Its an easy drive from Niagara and the main drag is an adorable stretch of shops, cafes, and restaurants. I like Cask + Cow for gourmet burgers and Hibbards Custard for dessert.
But back to Niagara Falls restaurants:
Michaels Restaurant: Michaels is Italian-ish but whatever you want to call it, the food is good and portions are huge. Do not miss the beans and greens soup seriously and then its a toss-up if you want the pillowy gnocchi or the overstuffed calzone.
The Why: Theres nothing unusual on the menu here, but this breakfast spot serves up meals fast, cheap, and early which is usually what Im looking for if breakfast isnt included at my hotel. You can get two eggs, home fries, toast, and coffee for $5.
Judas Tree: This new restaurant has a limited menu, but it does everything well. Its a great spot for cocktails and appetizers and it gets more local traffic than tourists.
Niagara Gorge Discovery Center & Hiking Trails
Niagara Gorge Discovery Center is a child-friendly museum in Niagara Falls, NY with interactive exhibits that teach visitors about the areas history and geology. Learn about how the last Ice Age created these magnificent waterfalls and how they continue to change to this day. There are also interesting displays about Nikola Tesla and the hydroelectric power station, as well as a 180° theater experience.
A hiking adventure is another fun thing to do in Niagara Falls, USA, with kids. While not all the trails are suitable for youngsters, there are several paths starting at the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Building, where hiking tours are available from May to October.
11. Niagara Gorge Discovery Center & Hiking Trails, one of the best things to do in Niagara Falls NY for families
The Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike is an easy one-hour path that gives you nice views without much work. The Upper Great Gorge Hike is also beginner-friendly. It takes two hours to complete and follows the Great Gorge Railway Trail, which is short but scenic.
For a more moderate hike, try the Devils Hole Rapids and Giant Rock trail, which takes about 2.5 hours to complete. The Whirlpool Rapids Adventure Hike is the most challenging and will require some trekking over boulders. Itll take you to Whirlpool State Park, which Ill talk about in the next section.
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