Welcome to Niagara Falls, Canada!
When it comes to the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls continues to intrigue. Created as water flowed into the Niagara River from the North American Great Lakes 12,000 years ago, these three spectacular waterfalls form the hub of a sightseeing and recreational area with enough outdoor and indoor activities to make a great weekend getaway or extended vacation.
Niagara Falls is actually two cities with the same name, divided by the international border between the United States and Canada. The state of New York hosts the American portion, and the Canadian portion is in the province of Ontario. As good neighbors should do, they share the beautiful river that connects the American Falls and Canada’s Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
Live a unique, unforgettable and memorable experience!
Useful Links and Maps
Niagara Falls official Web site and the official tourist site of Ontario contain up-to-date tourist information, including information about public transportation and maps.
Things to do while in Niagara Falls
Have you ever visited a new place only to find out that you had missed the best of it when you got back home? You have already been in Niagara Falls but would like to step off the beaten path and discover something new? If so, you will find below a list of things to do to do while you are in town. You can also visit the Niagara Falls tourism office pages here.
The main reason to visit Niagara Falls is to see the falls and one of the most memorable ways to do just that is to wear a poncho and hop on a Maid of the Mist boat. These boats have been shuttling visitors to and from the base of the falls since the 1840s. Be prepared to get wet: the Maid of the Mist practically dunks you under the falls, but rain gear is provided and many say that this is one of the best ways to experience the splendor of Niagara Falls. In fact, it's one of the region's best guided tours. Though you are provided with a poncho, you should plan to wear waterproof shoes and gear, according to travelers. To beat the crowds, some visitors suggest getting to the attraction first thing in the morning (trips begin at 9 am.).
The Maid of the Mist docks are on the U.S. side of the falls so make sure to have all the documentation needed for crossing the borders; tours depart every 15 minutes. Tickets cost 19.25 $ CAD for adults and 11.20 $ CAD for kids 6 to 12. Schedules fluctuate depending on the season.
After taking an elevator 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge, you'll be able to roam a series of wooden walkways that put you within feet of the Bridal Veil Falls. It's called the "Hurricane Deck," thanks to the tropical storm-like conditions. Even with the souvenir poncho and shoes, you'll likely get wet. Visitors are amazed at how close they can get to the falls and loved being able to witness the powerful rush of water up close.
You'll find this attraction on the New York side of the falls on Goat Island. The attraction is open year-round, though you can only access the walkways from April to October (the walkways and decks are removed every winter to be protected from ice buildup). From May to September, tickets for Cave of the Winds cost 19 $ CAD for adults and 9 $ CAD for kids ages 6 to 12.
Every evening beginning at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured water and light masterpiece.
Special lights are housed in the Illumination Tower, next to Queen Victoria Place; on the roof of Table Rock Centre, at the brink of the Horseshoe Falls; and deep in the Niagara Gorge, across from the American Falls. Together, these lights work to create a breathtaking view not to be missed. The falls are also lit in custom colours for short durations to mark significant dates in support of charitable causes. Special colour illuminations are provided courtesy of The Niagara Falls Illumination Board.
The falls illumination schedule from May 15 to May 31 is at 8:15 pm to 2 am.
Once you've seen the falls from below and behind, consider seeing them from above at the Skylon Tower. Dominating the Ontario skyline, this 775-foot high tower offers particularly breathtaking views of the Horseshoe Falls. You can enjoy the view from either the indoor or the outdoor observation deck or you can also revel in the landscape from the tower's revolving restaurant. To reach the top, you'll board a glass-enclosed elevator that takes just 52 seconds to reach the top of the tower. Many recent visitors recommend going at night to catch a bird's-eye glimpse when the falls are illuminated. Many of the region's top guided tours also make stops at the Skylon Tower.
Located in Downtown Niagara Falls, the Skylon Tower observation decks are open year-round and hours vary by season. In the summer, the tower is open from 8 a.m. to midnight. If tickets are purchased on-site, a ride to the top costs 16.24 $ CAD for adults and 10.44 $ CAD for kids 6 to 12. You can save a few dollars by purchasing your tickets in advance online.
Come discover the history of Niagara Falls at the Niagara Falls History Museum. While here try on a replica uniform from the War of 1812 and feel the wool and the weight of a musket, build a bridge to span the Niagara Gorge or walk the tightrope like the daredevils from the past.
The Museum is housed within the old Stamford Town Hall built in 1874. The Lundy's Lane Historical Society was given the building in 1971, becoming the Lundy's Lane Historical Museum. On January 1st, 2010, the City of Niagara Falls took direct operation of the museum and it became Niagara Falls History Museum. Housing a vast collection of Niagara Falls history, the Museum provides a showcase for the unique past of the famous city. The Museum's recent $12M renovation and expansion creates a dynamic spaceto examine and explore our diverse history. The Museum is located within steps of the Drummond Hill Cemetery, the focal point of the Battle of Lundy's Lane, considered the "bloodiest battle" of the War of 1812. The starting point for any trip to this battlefield will be a visit to the Museum. An adult ticket costs 5 $ CAD and 1 $ CAD for kids.
NIAGARA FALLS BOTANICAL GARDENS & BUTTERFLY CONSERVATORY
To escape the thunderous falls and tourist crowds, take an afternoon and lose yourself in the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. If you like nature, the gardens are a must-see. This 100-acre space is home to dozens of meticulously maintained gardens – cared for by students at the on-site horticulture school – featuring thousands of species of plants. During the summer, guided horse-and-carriage tours allow you to explore the gardens in style. The gardens are also home to the Butterfly Conservatory, where several thousand butterflies flit and flutter among brightly colored flowers.
The Botanical Gardens are located on the Ontario side just north of the falls; the butterfly conservatory is located on the grounds of the gardens. The Botanical Gardens are open every day from sunrise to sunset and admission is free (though you will have to pay for parking), while the Butterfly Conservatory charges an entry fee of 15 $ CAD for adults and 9.75 $ CAD for kids 6 to 12. The Butterfly Conservatory's hours of operation vary depending on the season.
If you need a break from the crowds near the falls, visitors recommend you enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve. Located deep in the Niagara Gorge, stairways lead to 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) of rugged paths that wind through this pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest, past prehistoric geological formations, wild flora and fauna. The Niagara Glen overlooks the rapid waters of the Niagara River and the natural phenomenon that is the Niagara River Whirlpool.
The reserve is open year-round. It's free to access, though you'll have to pay 1.25 $ CAD an hour for parking.
When the sun goes down, get your game on at the Niagara Fallsview Casino, where 150 table games and several thousand slot machines await your duel with Lady Luck. If you're not much a gambler, the casino's 225,000 feet of shopping space and the Avalon Theatre – which hosts numerous concerts and other performances throughout the year – are sure to keep you entertained. There is also a spa and a golf course, plus more than a dozen different dining facilities that are sure to keep you full to bursting.
The Niagara Fallsview Casino sits on the Ontario side of the falls just west of the Skylon Tower. While entry to the casino is free, you should have your wallet ready for the games, the shopping and the other activities found here. Note that you must be 19 years or older to enter. The casino is open 24/7, year-round.
Soar 175-feet above Niagara Falls for the view of a lifetime! The Niagara SkyWheel gives riders a breathtaking panoramic view of this spectacular natural wonder from the vantage of climate controlled gondolas. Soak in the awe-inspiring scene year-round, day and night, in total comfort.
The Niagara SkyWheel is a totally unique sightseeing opportunity. As one of Canada’s largest observation wheel, The SkyWheel towers over the Niagara Falls horizon, treating guests to unsurpassed views of the Horseshoe and American Falls, the Niagara River, Niagara Parks and other landmarks.
The Niagara SkyWheel’s fully enclosed gondolas are each equipped with heating and air conditioning for year-round comfort and enjoyment. The ride duration varies from eight (8) to twelve (12) minutes with spectacular aerial views for miles in every direction. Evening rides offer dazzling views of the glittering lights of Clifton Hill and the surrounding Niagara skyline.
The Niagara SkyWheel is located in the heart of Clifton Hill and is open every season. An adult ticket costs 11.99 $ CAD and 6.99 $ CAD for children aged 3 to 12.
Experience the beauty of fireworks in the summer at Niagara Falls State Park! With 110+ displays, including daily fireworks throughout the summer, there’s no better time to plan a night out in Niagara Parks. All shows start at 10 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
Aside from the falls themselves, the Niagara Falls region is known for one other thing: wine. If you have the time, take a drive north along Ontario's scenic Niagara Parkway to Inniskillin Wines in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This winery is known for its icewine, which is made from grapes that are left to freeze on the vine over the winter. Once temperatures drop to -8 degrees Celsius (about 18 degrees Fahrenheit), the grapes are then collected and allowed to thaw, a process that helps intensify their flavor.
By tagging along on a guided tour, you'll learn about the hard work and dedication needed to produce a bottle of fine wine, both regular and ice. At the end of the tour, stop by the tasting bar for a sample. You can also purchase some of the famous icewine here. The winery is open from year-round, seven days a week. From May through October, it welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular tours cost 20 $ CAD per person; icewine tours, which are only offered on weekends at 1 p.m., cost 30 $ CAD per person. Tour times vary by season.
Bird Kingdom is the World’s Largest Free-Flying Indoor Aviary. Discover hundreds of tropical birds as you explore the pathways throughout the multi-level rainforest. Meet friendly parrots and exotic animals at Bird Kingdom’s Animal Encounters. Explore the ruins of the Night Jungle that is home to curious owls, bats and fascinating creatures. Lorikeet Landing provides an unforgettable experience where you may feed and interact with the playful lorikeet birds. Bird Kingdom is an exciting adventure that is fun for all ages.
This world class attraction is located a 5 minute walk from Niagara Falls and is open all year. Be sure to bring your camera as you encounter exotic birds and animals up close in their natural habitats. An adult ticket costs 16.95 $ CAD and 12.95 $ CAD for children aged 3 to 15.