A Guide To Niagara Falls - Updated 2021

Niagara Falls
Anne Marie
Anne Marie
Updated

There are few natural wonders as well-known as Niagara Falls. This group of three waterfalls spanning the US and Canada border is a magnificent sight to behold. Millions of cubic feet of water tumble down the 50-meter (160-feet) vertical drop every minute, and the falls’ thunderous roar and misty spray remind visitors of nature’s power. Two smaller falls sit on the American side of the border, and the epic Horseshoe Falls straddles the Ontario side. This is the biggest of the falls and curves around in a shape fitting of its name. While Niagara Falls is impressive to simply look at, it has inspired many other attractions in Niagara Parks to pop up too! You could spend days on boat rides, hikes, and other activities around these Canadian falls. Beyond that, the surrounding city boasts endless entertainment, gaming, and shopping opportunities. If you’re planning a trip to see this impressive natural wonder, be sure to read through this guide to Niagara Falls, Canada first!

Things to do / Highlights

Aerial view of the Canadian Falls (Horseshoe Falls) and the Hornblower Niagara Cruises boat; Niagara Falls
Source: Photo by user Thomaswm used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Simply taking in the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is a breathtaking experience. One of the best views of the falls is from the Table Rock visitor center, right from the side of the rushing water. Though this is the classic - and least expensive - way to see the falls, there are so many other ways to experience this natural wonder from up close that will be unlike anything else!

Hornblower Niagara Cruise

This thrilling boat ride will bring you right to the heart of Horseshoe Falls! During the 20-minute cruise, you will have breathtaking views of all of the waterfalls from the boat’s two decks. The peak of the ride is when you get right up to the base of the Canadian falls - close enough to feel the spray!

Journey Behind the Falls

One of the unique attractions of the Canadian falls is the opportunity to see the waterfall from behind! Descend 125 feet (38 meters) into the solid bedrock and travel through 130-year-old tunnels to hear and feel the thunderous power of the falls. There is also an observation deck at the base where you can see the falls up close - just be prepared to get a little wet!

Illumination and Fireworks

If you think that the falls are a sight that can only be appreciated in the daylight, think again! Each night, the Horseshoe Falls are illuminated by colorful lights for 15 minutes once every hour. On holidays, the lights correspond with festive colors! Another recurring attraction over the falls are fireworks displays. Fireworks go off nightly in the summer and several times a month throughout the year, and there are special holiday shows, too.

Zipline to the falls

One of the newest - and most exciting - ways to see the falls is by flying over them on a zipline. This experience of flying along the Niagara River, 67 meters (219 feet) above the falls, is not for the faint of heart. However, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and gives you an unparalleled vista.

What to eat

Skylon Tower
Source: Photo by user Larry Koester used under CC BY 2.0

Skylon Tower Revolving Restaurant

Have an unforgettable meal at Skylon Tower and cross a bucket-list item off your list at the same time! This tower is one of the most recognizable structures in Niagara Falls, reaching 775 feet (236 meters) above the falls. The views are unbeatable, and you can take it all in while dining at one of the two restaurants. Both slowly revolve so you can take in all the sights while enjoying a delicious meal from their a la carte menu, with choices like marinated salmon, filet mignon, and New York striploin steak, among others.

Table Rock House Restaurant

Dine with an equally impressive view of the falls at the Table Rock House Restaurant. This establishment sits atop the Table Rock Visitor Center, right beside Horseshoe Falls. Feast on delicious meals and drinks made with ingredients that are certifiably grown in Ontario - the produce, meats, and even wines and beers are all from the province, so you can support local growers while getting a real taste of the area!

Things to buy

Maple syrup
Source: Photo by user Ian Mackenzie used under CC BY 2.0

Maple syrup products

One of Canada’s most famous food exports is maple syrup, and one of the best places to buy syrup and other maple products is at Maple Leaf Place, just a six-minute drive away from Skylon Tower. This brand new souvenir shop has every kind of maple product imaginable, from taffy to fudge and more. There are always free samples, and on the weekends they even offer complimentary pancakes to go with your syrup! Maple Leaf Place is more than just shopping - it’s home to Canada’s only indoor year-round sugar bush experience, and you can learn and watch as maple syrup is made and bottled on-site.

Warm clothing

Canada’s chilly climate has made the country one of the experts on cold-weather gear! Head over to Canada Trading Company to pick up some Kyber wool products, which include everything from cozy sweaters and jackets to hats and gloves. This store also has tons of Canadian souvenirs perfect for bringing home as gifts or mementos for yourself! This store is about a 10-minute walk away from Skylon Tower via Clifton Hill.

Ice wine

Another delicious result of Canada’s chilly weather is ice wine! This variety of wine is made from grapes that have frozen on the vine before they are picked. This unique process produces a sweet drink that is still high in acidity. Ontario is especially well-known for and proud of their wine country, and ice wine is readily available in many specialty shops and liquor stores around Niagara Falls.

Travelers tips

3Falls Niagara
Source: Photo by user Saffron Blaze used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Passport

Though Niagara Falls spans the border between the United States and Canada, a passport or passport card is required to go across this border. US citizens may also use an enhanced driver’s license. Children under 15 do not need a passport to travel by land but do need a birth certificate.

Attraction passes

Though you can see the falls for free from many lookouts, attractions require admission. Get an Adventure Pass to take a cruise on the Hornblower, Journey Behind the Falls, and more! This pass also includes two consecutive days of transport on Niagara Falls’ public transit system.

Accessibility

Several of Niagara Falls’ attractions provide wheelchair rentals on a first-come, first-serve basis. Many hotels in the area also offer wheelchair rentals. Niagara Falls’ public transportation system is accessible, as well as many of the park’s attractions and Niagara Parks’ Incline Railway.

How to get there

Niagara-Falls ON WEGO-5210 2015-08-13
Source: Photo by user Milan Suvajac used under CC BY-SA 4.0

WEGO

WEGO is a public transportation system designed to easily bring visitors to Niagara Falls parks and attractions. This bus system has several lines that will bring you to different parts of Niagara Parks, as well as to and from the city’s commercial center.

Car

Niagara Parks offers some free parking lots, but most lots require a daily use fee. Lots are located next to each major attraction in the park, but be aware that some are only available seasonally. The lot right next to the visitor center and the brink of the falls is located at 6635 Niagara Parkway.

How to book tickets (from USD 21.0)

Tickets and passes can be purchased online, at Niagra Park’s official website or through third-party websites like Get Your Guide.

Niagara Falls Wonder Pass including Journey Behind the Falls

Duration: 4 to 48 hours

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Niagara Falls Information

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Canada
Source: Photo by user Joe deSousa used under CC0

Niagara Falls

Address: 6650 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0L0

Opening hours: 24 hours daily

Official website: Niagara Parks

Department of tourism: Niagara Falls Canada

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Anne-Marie works in publishing by day and aspires to travel as much as she can. While she has not yet seen the whole world, she's eager to learn and write about it!

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