Niagara Falls, Canada is a pleasant city on the edge of the Niagara Gorge, on the site of the famous Niagara Falls. The city itself is best described as quirky, with a carnival atmosphere with all kinds of entertainment, but its strategic location has made it one of Canada’s top tourist centers. The falls are easily reached via a short walk along the main street leading up to Clifton Hill which leads to the gorge. Three bridges connect the city of Niagara Falls to its American counterpart, all with stunning views of the gorge that separates the two.
1 Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls are some of the largest, most beautiful and most famous waterfalls in the world. There are three parts to the falls, but the two main sections are the hollow ones Horseshoe Falls640 meters wide from the Canadian coast to the American coast, and the American Falls, about 1,000 feet (330 meters) wide, in upstate New York. There is also a small third part between these two, known as Bridal Veil Falls. On the Canadian side of the falls, a walkway extends from the falls all the way along the rim of the gorge, offering spectacular views. At night, the waterfalls are illuminated in different colors.
Visitors can stand along a railing close to where the water tumbles 57 meters over the edge into the gorge. It is right behind the viewing area Welcome to Table Rock with a restaurant overlooking the falls, shops and an information and counter where visitors can buy tickets for the various attractions and tours.
Below the falls, the Niagara River flows through the deep walls of the gorge, between 80 meters and 300 meters wide, forming the Whirlpool Rapids as the gorge narrows. The waters eventually flow into Lake Ontario.
Read also: Journey through Canada’s Hidden Treasures
2 Travel behind the falls
Journey Behind the Falls offers a close up view of the falls from the base of Horseshoe Falls. Of the Table Rock Welcome Center, an elevator takes visitors down 150 feet to tunnels with viewing portals behind the falls and an observation deck at the lower edge of the falls. From here, visitors can watch the wall of water coming over Horseshoe Falls and feel the mist of mist on their faces. This view offers a unique perspective and a very different experience than viewing the falls from above.
Official site: https://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/journey-behind-the-falls.html
3 Skylon Tower
At a height of more than 235 meters above the falls, the Skylon Tower offers a spectacular bird’s eye view of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Escarpment and the city. The tower features an indoor/outdoor observation area and two restaurants. The Revolving dining room is a chic revolving restaurant, while the Summit Suite Buffet is a more family-oriented institution with a medium range. Admission to the observation tanks is free for those dining at the tower.
Official site: https://www.skylon.com/
4 Hornblower Cruises
Hornblower Cruises take visitors up close to the base of all three waterfalls in 700-passenger catamaran boats. There are several tour options, but cruises run all day and into the evening. This is a wet experience and raincoats are provided. Since the Maid of the Mist stopped operating from Canada, this is the only boat tour option from the Canadian side that takes visitors to the base of the falls.
Official site: https://www.niagaracruises.com/
5 Whirlpool Aero Car
The Whirlpool Aero Car is an antique cable car in continuous operation since 1916, suspended above the swirling waters of the Whirlpool Rapids. Visitors can take a ten-minute journey along this stretch of the Niagara River for a unique view of the powerful currents swirling in a massive eddy below. The Niagara Aero Car travels approximately one kilometer from one side of the gorge to the other and can hold 35 standing people per ride.
Official site: https://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/whirlpool-aero-car.html
6 Niagara Parkway
The Niagara Parkway is a beautiful drive from Niagara-on-the-Lake, past Niagara Falls to Fort Erie, following the gorge. Lined by parks and green space, the road has many interesting sights along the way for visitors to stop. Some of the most popular features along the parkway include the Floral clock, Whirlpool Rapidsand the Butterfly Conservatory. A paved path for walking and biking runs along the Niagara Parkway.
7 Butterfly Conservatory
The Butterfly Conservatory, along the Niagara Parkway, is home to 2,000 free-flying butterflies. The glass conservatory with waterfalls and tropical plants contains more than 40 different species of butterflies. This attraction is open all year round, making it particularly popular during the winter months when the outdoor gardens are not in bloom.
Official site: https://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/butterfly-conservatory.html
8 Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours operate from Niagara-on-the-Lake, a short drive from Niagara Falls, and take visitors on thrilling jet boat rides through Class 5 whitewater rapids. Tours are in open boats in the summer and domed boats in the spring and fall. Visitors should prepare to get wet ! Tours are also educational and provide information about the geology and history of the area.
Address: 61 Melville Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Official site: https://www.whirlpooljet.com/jet-boating/niagara-on-the-lake/
9 Marine Land
MarineLand is one of Southern Ontario’s top summer family attractions. The facility is both a large-scale amusement park with all kinds of rides and games, and an impressive marine park with whale and dolphin shows. Marineland is also a popular day trip from Toronto and the surrounding area, located in Niagara Falls.
Address: 7657 Portage Road, Niagara Falls
Official site: https://www.marinelandcanada.com/
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint town on the shores of Lake Ontario, just a 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls along the Niagara Parkway. The city has a strong mid-19th century appearance, largely due to its history. During the War of 1812, part of the city was destroyed and as a result, much of the original architecture was built in the years after the war. Building regulations have since meant that newer architecture has been built in the same style, resulting in this charming town where horse-drawn carriages pulling tourists through the streets blend beautifully with the old buildings. Some tours of Niagara falls, especially those from Toronto, including stops in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where visitors can wander the shops or enjoy a meal. The area is particularly beautiful in autumn with the changing color of the leaves.
Where to Stay in Niagara Falls for Sightseeing
Although it may seem obvious, the best place to stay in Niagara Falls is as close to the falls as possible, preferably within walking distance. This also puts you close to Clifton Hill, the main tourist area, where you will find many restaurants and other attractions. Below are some highly rated hotels in good locations:
- Luxury hotels: The Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa offers spectacular views of the Horseshoe Falls, well-appointed rooms and a highly rated steakhouse. The Sheraton on the Falls also offers fantastic views and is a great option for families with an indoor water park. This hotel is located in the heart of Clifton Hills attractions and within walking distance of the falls themselves. The conveniently located Hilton Niagara Falls is a large property with rooms and suites overlooking the valley. The WEGO shuttle to local attractions stops right in front of the hotel.
- Mid-range hotels: The Radisson Hotel & Suites offers large rooms and suites with waterfall views through large windows, as well as two restaurants and an indoor pool. The newly renovated and centrally located Courtyard Niagara Falls is a 10-minute walk from Clifton Hill and 20 minutes from the Falls. This hotel has both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. Located 2 blocks from the falls, DoubleTree Fallsview Resort & Spa by Hilton features an indoor saltwater pool, rooms with small refrigerators and some rooms with views of the American Falls.
- Budget Hotels: A five-minute drive to Clifton Hill and the falls is The Rex Motel, a small accommodation offering themed rooms at a budget rate. The Country Inn & Suites is a short walk from Clifton Hill and a longer walk to the falls. This hotel features standard rooms and suites with a separate living area, an indoor pool and a free hot breakfast buffet. The Niagara Parkway Court is a 10-minute drive from Niagara Falls, but is ideally located close to Marineland. It offers clean and comfortable rooms.
Tips and Tours: Getting the most out of your visit to Niagara Falls, Canada
Joining an organized tour is a great way to ensure you see all the highlights of this tourist-friendly city and learn interesting details about it, without the hassle of finding your way around. Best of all, many tours include admission to major attractions and convenient hotel pickup and drop-off. Below are some great tour options that guarantee the lowest price:
- Sightseeing Tours: If you only have half a day to see, the Best of Niagara Falls Tour from Niagara Falls, Ontario is a convenient, good-value option, with pickup and drop-off at your hotel. This five-hour tour includes a professional guide, as well as admission to the Skylon Tower, Hornblower cruise, and Journey Behind the Falls, so you can see the falls from different angles. To ensure a more personalized experience, the tour is limited to six people.
- Fly over the falls: For a bird’s eye view of the falls, check out the Niagara Falls Grand Helicopter Tour. Glide over this thundering natural wonder on a scenic 20-minute helicopter flight as the experienced pilot shares fascinating information about the falls and nearby historical sites. A minimum of two people are required for this tour.