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31 Best Things to do in Niagara Falls

31 Best Things to do in Niagara Falls

Steeped in history and legend, Niagara Falls is a thundering, dramatic natural wonder that simply shouldn’t be missed. Like Victoria Falls, Niagara Falls is located on the border between two countries — the United States and Canada.

Niagara Falls is a bucket-list destination for many people, and there’s no question that the falls themselves are an incredible view to behold. But there’s more to Niagara Falls than just the waterfalls: there are also plenty of activities and sights to check out nearby.

 The Niagara Falls region is full of things to do, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. But don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!

Table of Contents

Fun & Best Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Visit Niagara Falls of course!

Media Resources | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 5710 Kitchener Street Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 1C1 Canada

Of course, no trip to Niagara Falls is complete without seeing Niagara Falls itself!

There are plenty of ways to get up close and personal with this natural wonder—from hiking trails along its base or riding on a Maid of the Mist boat tour—you’ll never run out of options for experiencing it firsthand.

You can visit from the US side, true – but the best views are from the Canadian side!

Take a break at Riverside Patio

Riverside Patio - City Experiences anchored by Hornblower
Image by TurtleJack

Address: 5920 Niagara Pkwy Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

After you have been standing in one spot for hours taking pictures of the falls, take a break at Riverside Patio for some food and drinks. This hidden gem is accessible by the Maid of the Mist boat tour, and it is perfect for when you need a snack or if you just want to sit back and relax.

Head over to Riverside Patio for some food and drinks with friends. They have plenty of options ranging from burgers and fries to salads and sandwiches, so everyone will find something they like. The patio is also open year-round, making it an excellent place to enjoy a meal outside.

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Experience WildPlay MistRider Zipline to the Falls

WildPlay Zipline to the Falls | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 5920 Niagara Pkwy Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

If you’re looking for an exhilarating way to experience Niagara Falls, look no further than the WildPlay MistRider Zipline to the Falls. It is located right on Clifton Hill and is one of the longest zip lines in Canada.

The WildPlay MistRider Zipline to the Falls is the Niagara Falls adventure you’ve been waiting for. From the Grand View Marketplace into the Niagara River Gorge, there will be four high-speed, side-by-side lines that will descend a total of 670 meters.

Plus, the air at speeds up to 60km per hour, and you’ll have plenty of time to take in views of both sides of Niagara Falls before you land safely on the ground again.

Get Enchanted with the Butterfly Conservatory

Butterfly Conservatory | Niagara Falls

Address: 2565 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada

If nature is your thing, check out the Niagra Falls Butterfly Conservatory. You’ll get to see all kinds of beautiful butterflies floating around you while learning about them in fun ways. 

This conservatory contains thousands of butterflies from around the world. Here is where you will be able to see over 45 species of these gorgeous insects.

These beautiful creatures can be seen in flight as well as up close in their habitat. Plus, they have special exhibits that change throughout the year, so there is always something new to see.

The conservatory is one of the tourists’ favorite places to go when visiting Niagara Falls, as they say, that there is something enchanting about being surrounded by them. Plus, admission is free!

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Look back through history at Old Fort Niagara

Address: Fort Niagara State Park, Porter, Niagara County, New York, USA

If you’re looking for something with a little more history than just watching a waterfall over a cliff, then check out Old Fort Niagara. It was built by the French in 1726 as part of their efforts to colonize North America. It was taken over by Americans following the Revolution and has been used as everything from a military base to an amusement park. 

Take an hour-long tour through the grounds to see how much it’s changed over time.

This was the oldest continually occupied army post in the United States. It was also where General George Washington first met and recruited many of his officers during the American Revolution.

Today you can explore the fort and see what life was like back then through interactive exhibits and tours offered daily by costumed guides.

Have fun at the Artpark Show

Artpark (Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park) - Niagara Falls USA

Address: 450 S 4th St, Lewiston, NY 14092, United States

Artpark is a performing arts center located on Grand Island, just south of Niagara Falls. 

If you are looking for something fun and different to do with friends or family members, Artpark offers a variety of shows that run throughout the year. 

Artpark is one of the most popular outdoor concert venues in all of New York State, attracting artists from all over the world. The place conducts concerts by local musicians to comedy shows hosted by nationally known celebrities.

It has hosted some of the biggest names in music over its 50+ year history and continues to provide free entertainment for visitors every summer!

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Go Shopping at Fallsview Malls

Fallsview Casino Resort - Niagara Falls Hotels

Address: Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

If you’re looking for something more relaxing than an amusement park or concert venue, why not try one of Niagara Falls’ many shopping malls? 

No matter what kind of souvenir you’re looking for, there’s bound to be something that fits your taste in one of the many malls surrounding Niagara Falls. And there is just no chance to leave town empty-handed, from clothing stores to candy shops and restaurants galore.

Fallsview Malls have the most extensive collection of shopping and dining experiences in the Niagara Falls area. You’ll find everything you need for a memorable trip, from luxury retail stores to casual dining. And with free parking and direct indoor access to the Skylon Tower Observation Deck, it’s a breeze to do it all.

There are three malls within walking distance from each other at Fallsview—the International Plaza, The Outlet Collection at Niagara USA, and The Shops at the Waldorf Astoria—that offer everything from luxury clothing stores to sports apparel.

These malls also have great food courts with options like ice cream so you can refuel after your shopping trip!

Glam up your night with the Festival of Lights

Plans underway for Winter Festival of Lights | NiagaraFallsReview.ca

Address: 6815 Stanley Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3Y9, Canada

Thousands of lights light up the park that local businesses and individuals have donated over the years.

The Festival of Lights is an annual event that takes place in Niagara Falls starting in November or December. The lights are spread across several locations throughout the city, including the Falls themselves and many hotels and restaurants. 

The festival is open every night, so visitors can come out after dinner and enjoy some good old-fashioned holiday cheer.

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Climb the Skylon Tower

Skylon Tower | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 5200 Robinson St, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 2A2, Canada

Climb to the top of this tower for an amazing view of Niagara Falls and beyond! The tower atop Niagara Falls gorge rises to a height of 775 feet.

The Skylon Tower was built for the World’s Fair in 1965, and it remains one of the tallest observation towers in Canada. At 122 meters tall (402 feet), it offers incredible views of Niagara Falls and its surrounding area. You can even take an elevator ride up to an observation deck at the top.

This destination boasts that it has a Revolving Dining Room that completes a full 360-degree rotation within an hour. And by climbing the said tower, you can check out the view of the Bridal Veil Falls, the American Falls, and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls – all visible from the restaurants and observation deck. Also, you can check out the Observatory, where you can see up to 80 miles in all directions on a clear day. 

 If you need a break from all that excitement, take a moment to relax with some hot chocolate at one of its many local cafes before heading back down again.

Eat at Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill District | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 4960 Clifton Hill Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, L2G 3N4

Clifton Hill is the place to be if you’re looking for some serious entertainment and food options. The area is home to more than 30 restaurants and pubs, and family-friendly attractions like Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and The Wax Museum.

Plus, you can grab a bite at Hard Rock Cafe or see a show at The Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp.

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Be amazed at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Niagara Falls USA

Family Entertainment | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 4960 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, USA

Check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Niagara Falls for a fun look at the weird world around us—and maybe even find something that will make you believe in things you never thought possible!

If you’re interested in learning about some of the craziest things ever discovered, this museum is the place for you. You’ll see shrunken heads from Ecuador, a world-record-breaking collection of pins and needles, and much more bizarre stuff! 

Explore the Cave of Wonders at Marineland

Marineland is one of the best marine amusement park, at Niagarafalls
Image by TripAdvisor

Address: 7657 Portage Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

The Cave of Wonders at Marineland is a fun place to explore, making it a great way to spend a day with kids or even with friends. You can go inside the cave itself or just walk along its perimeter to get an up-close view of all kinds of different sea creatures.

One of the most popular is the Cave of Wonders at Marineland. You will get to see marine life from around the world and learn how they live in their natural habitats. 

The Cave of Wonders at Marineland features thousands of fish swimming around with sharks, penguins, and other marine life in an underwater tank that’s been specially designed with your safety in mind.

As you walk through this amazing cave, you’ll see many different types of creatures swimming all around you and even some that are coming up close enough for you to seem to be able to touch them.

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Experience the Whirlpool Aero Car

Whirlpool Aero Car | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 3850 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8, Canada

If you’re looking for an experience that’s as exhilarating as it is relaxing, then we’ve got just the thing for you. The Whirlpool Aero Car is a bucket-list must for anyone who loves to ride in style. 

This is a must-do when visiting Niagara Falls. Take a scenic ride through the whirlpool rapids, and feel the spray of water on your face as you go. The ride takes about 20 minutes and is offered for the whole year.

As soon as you step onboard, you’ll be whisked off to a height of 3,500 feet above the Niagara Gorge and its famous falls. 

Set sail on the Niagara Hornblower Cruise

Hornblower Niagara Cruises is operating on the Canadian side of the Niagara  falls | Infoniagara

Address: 5920 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

If you’d rather take in the sights from a more peaceful perspective, then we recommend setting sail on the Niagara Hornblower Cruise. This relaxing boat ride gives passengers an opportunity to view both sides of Niagara Falls (the American side and Canadian side) while also enjoying views of nearby islands and wildlife.

This cruise will take you out onto Lake Ontario and provide a unique perspective on what lies below—including some amazing views of both sides of the falls.

This cruise departs from both frontiers of Niagara Falls; Canada, and the United States side. See all three falls from the water with this exciting boat tour that includes lunch and live entertainment.

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Spark your curiosity at the Schoellkopf Power Station Ruins

Schoellkopf Elevator | Niagara Gorge | NIagara Falls State Park

Address: Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States

Niagara Falls was once a major hydropower power source. Schoellkopf was constructed in 1915 and continued until 1924. It was once the largest electric plant in the world.

It gained further infamy on June 7th of 1956 when the plant suddenly collapsed in the morning. The station was never rebuilt but now it’s a monument to waterpower. The ruins have the most spectacular views on the American Falls Gorge Trail, which leads to the River Trail.

It’s a pretty great place to trek and take pictures. Pack your hiking boots and camera!

Soar over the Falls on the Rainbow Air Helicopter Tour

Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours (Niagara Falls Helicopter Tours)

Address: 454 Main St, Niagara Falls, NY 14301, United States

If you want to take in the view from above, take a ride on the Rainbow Air Helicopter Tour. 

This tour is all about getting up close and personal with Niagara Falls. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you feeling like you’re flying on your own.

They’ve been offering tours since 1995 and are known for their friendly staff and superior service. You’ll get an amazing bird’s eye view of both sides of the falls as well as surrounding areas like Queen Victoria Park, Horshoe Falls, and more.

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Fill your stomach at the Top of the Falls Restaurant

Top of the Falls Restaurant | Niagara Falls State Park

Address: Goat Island Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States

Each dish served at Top of the Falls comes with a breathtaking view of the waterfalls, free of charge!

Goat Island’s floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor dining decks offer stunning views of Horseshoe Falls and Terrapin Point. There are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free food options.

Quaff Wine on the Niagara Wine Trail

Niagara Wine Trail & Trail Map | Visit Buffalo Niagara NY

Address: Niagara Wine Trail, USA

If beer isn’t your thing, then maybe wine is! 

The Niagara Wine Trail has been around for years and is still one of the most popular ways to spend an afternoon in Niagara Falls – assuming you’re 21 or older. With over 20 wineries along the trail, there are plenty of options for you to choose from when it comes time to pick out your favorite.

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Admire Amazing Art at the Niagara Artists Centre’s Studio Tour

Visit Us | Niagara Artists Centre

Address: 354 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, ON L2R 3N2

The Niagara Artists Centres’ Studio Tour takes place every year in early autumn. It features more than 100 artists from all over Canada who open up their studios for visitors to see how they work and what inspires them. This event is fun for all ages!

This tour is a great way to get out of the city and really explore what the area has to offer in terms of art and culture. You’ll be able to see all kinds of paintings and sculptures and meet some artists who live in or near the Falls area.

There are also plenty of chances to buy art from these talented individuals. If you’re interested in learning more about local artists, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Explore Niagara Glen Nature Reserve

Niagara Glen - Niagara Falls Attractions

Address: 3050 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

The Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is an amazing place to explore when you are in Niagara Falls. You’ll find forests, waterfalls, and even caves. You can take a hike through the woods or bring your bike and ride along the trails. 

The area is surrounded by rich wildlife that displays natural-made flora and fauna. The park is open year-round, but it’s a great place to visit in autumn when the leaves start turning colors.

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Try the Handmade Treats at DiCamillo Bakery

More Than 100 Years of Baking History at DiCamillo Bakery - Visit Buffalo  Niagara

Address: 7927 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304

DiCamillo Bakery is known for its world-famous Italian bread, but it also serves up other delicious treats like cakes and pies. 

The bakery was founded in 1920 by the DiCamillo family, who used traditional recipes passed down through generations of Italians living in America.

Take a stroll around Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls State Park Information

Address: 332 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States

Niagara Falls State Park is a great place to start your adventure. With more than 200 acres of land, it offers plenty of space to explore and enjoy the outdoors. 

Explore the trails of the state park, overlooks, and even an old train tunnel! You can also take part in guided tours that give you access to areas off-limits to visitors during normal hours.

This park offers plenty of opportunities for recreation, including hiking trails and biking paths as well as scenic overlooks and picnic areas. You can also get close to the falls with an observation deck that allows visitors to view them up close without getting wet.

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Get cultured at Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University

Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University - Niagara Falls USA

Address: 5795 Lewiston Rd, Niagara Univ, NY 14109, United States

The museum has been around since 1976, and it is dedicated to showcasing art from artists all over the world. If you love art, this museum is a must-see. It houses one of the largest collections of Italian art outside of Italy.

This museum is located on the campus of Niagara University near Niagara Falls. It has a collection of over 6,000 pieces of art from around the world. It also has several events that are open to the public throughout the year, such as art exhibits and musical performances.

Game on at the Casino Niagara

Casino Niagara | Niagara Falls Fun - Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 5705, Falls Avenue, Niagara Falls, ON, PO BOX 300, L2E 6T3

The Casino Niagara is located right across from Niagara Falls, so it’s an easy walk from there to see if luck is on your side! There are plenty of games to play and restaurants if you get hungry during your visit.

This casino offers more than 1,200 slot machines and more than 85 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat. You can also enjoy live entertainment at the casino’s two show lounges or treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of their restaurants.

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Get close to nature at Journey Behind The Falls

Journey Behind the Falls | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 6650 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8, Canada

The Journey Behind the Niagara Falls takes visitors on a trip through the gorge beneath the falls, where they can walk along the rapids and go behind Horseshoe Falls with just inches separating them from tons of water falling over 150 feet above them!

As this tour takes you behind Horseshoe Falls, you can see what happens during a drought or when ice builds up during the winter months (which happens every year). 

There are also other tours available that take visitors over the falls via helicopter or boat ride so they can see what’s going on up close, too—just make sure you wear waterproof clothing and shoes!

Play a round at Whirlpool Golf Course

Whirlpool Golf Course - Attractions Ontario

Address: 3351 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada

There’s nothing better than being on the golf course and having your ball land in a whirlpool near Niagara Falls. You’ll also get access to their driving range, putting green, and chipping area at no additional cost.

Whirlpool Golf Course offers two 18-hole courses that are both open year-round. The holes were designed by Stanley Thompson in 1951, who is famous for his golf course designs. 

The course winds through the woods surrounding the whirlpool that gives it its name, with plenty of water hazards and challenging greens.

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Get soaked on a thrilling Jet Boat Tour

Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours - Niagara Falls USA

Address: 55 River Frontage Road Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada L0S1L0

For some people, just seeing Niagara Falls isn’t enough—they want to feel it too! If that’s you, take a jet boat tour.

These boats are designed to skim right up against the falls so that you can feel the spray from all sides while you sit comfortably inside. It’s one of those experiences that will leave you breathless!

They provide a fast-paced view of falls from its riverbed. These tours are also a great way to get an up-close look at nature and wildlife in the area.

Get immersed in nature on the White Water Walk

White Water Walk | Niagara Falls Canada

Address: 4330 River Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 6T2, Canada

White water walking gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature without worrying about getting wet. This 73-meter-long trail winds through a gorge that was carved out by the Niagara River and offers breathtaking views of its rapids.

This free activity will allow you to see parts of the falls that most tourists don’t get to see, including caves beneath the waterfalls themselves. It is also a good way to cool off during hot summer days when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.

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Enjoy the sights of the Prospect Point Observation Tower

Niagara Falls Observation Tower (Location & Details)
Image by Niagara Falls

Address: 332 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States

While there are many places within the park where you can view the falls, Prospect Point Observation Tower is one of the best. 

Prospect Point, a part of the state park, offers a view of the American Falls. This tower provides views of both American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls from its observation deck, which is located across from Table Rock Point. 

From here, you can also see Bridal Veil Falls if you look to your right. The tower itself was built in 1958 and restored in 2001, making it a part of New York’s grand architectural history.

Check out Devil’s Hole State Park & Devil’s Hole Rapids

Devil's Hole State Park - Visit Buffalo Niagara

Address: Niagara Scenic Pkwy, Niagara Falls, NY 14305, United States

Devil’s Hole State Park & Devil’s Hole Rapids are other great places to visit while visiting Niagara Falls State Park. 

The Devil’s Hole Rapids are actually rapids created by water flowing from the Niagara River over a massive limestone outcropping just above them that forms a natural dam between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. 

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Enjoy the view of the Three Sisters Islands

Three Sisters Islands (Must-See Niagara Falls Attraction)

Address: Three Sisters Island Footbridge Niagara Falls NY 14303. USA

The Three Sisters Islands offer visitors a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowds in Niagara Falls, NY. These islands are located on the Canadian side of the falls, so they’re accessible by boat or foot only. 

The island’s wildlife includes deer and raccoons, and many hiking paths lead you through woods and along beaches with beautiful views of both American Falls and Horseshoe Falls. You can even rent kayaks or bicycles at various locations around the island!

 If you want more action-packed fun, several adrenaline-pumping activities are available, such as bungee jumping from one of two locations on Goat Island or climbing up tightropes from high above both American Falls or Horseshoe Falls. There’s something for everyone at these incredible natural wonders just waiting for you to explore them.

When is the best time to visit Niagara Falls?

The best time to visit Niagara Falls would be in spring or fall. The crowds will be smaller, and the weather will likely be better. But if you can’t make it during those times, don’t worry—the falls are still beautiful any time of year!

If you’re planning a trip to Niagara Falls in the summertime, we recommend avoiding weekends and holidays. That way, you’ll avoid the biggest crowds. 

And if you want a view without all the people? Try visiting during the weekdays. You’ll still get plenty of sunshine but with fewer crowds and less traffic congestion around town.

Of course, there’s no wrong time to visit Niagara Falls (except maybe winter). 

How to Get to Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls State Park, located on the border between the United States and Canada, is a popular tourist destination.

Most people fly into Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) or drive along Interstate 90 to get to Niagara Falls State Park. You can use online maps and directions to help you locate the Falls and explore Niagara Falls State Park during your vacation.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in the US

Where to Stay in Visiting Niagara Falls?

If you want to stay overnight in Niagara Falls, there’s no shortage of places to choose from—but if you’re looking for something with a little more character than your average hotel room, we’d recommend checking out these options:

Microtel Inn & Suites

Comfort Lobby Hotel

Address: 7726 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Niagara Falls, NY  14304

The Microtel Inn & Suites features sixty guestrooms and suites. Includes modern amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, a fully-equipped fitness center, a business center, and ergonomic workstations, among others.

The Niagara Falls State Park and local attractions are just a short drive away.

Hampton Inn Niagara Falls

2 Bed in Modern Room

Address: 501 Rainbow Boulevard, Niagara Falls, NY  14303

Hampton Inn Niagara Falls is the perfect choice for those who prefer hotels with a little more room to breathe. This hotel offers spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast every morning. Guests can enjoy on-site dining options as well as plenty of outdoor activities nearby, like hiking trails or snowmobiling tours!

Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino

Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel - Niagara Falls Hotels

Address: 310 4th St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States

Check out Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino if you’re looking for fun nighttime activities near the falls. This casino resort is located right on the shores of Lake Ontario and features a wide range of restaurants and bars. Plus, it also has entertainment options like live music shows, comedy clubs, and more.

FAQ

When is the best time to visit Niagara Falls?

The best time to visit Niagara Falls would be in spring or fall. The crowds will be smaller, and the weather will likely be better. But if you can’t make it during those times, don’t worry—the falls are still beautiful any time of year! If you’re planning a trip to Niagara Falls in the summertime, we recommend avoiding weekends and holidays. That way, you’ll avoid the biggest crowds.
 
And if you want a view without all the people? Try visiting during the weekdays. You’ll still get plenty of sunshine but with fewer crowds and less traffic congestion around town. Of course, there’s no wrong time to visit Niagara Falls (except maybe winter). 

How to Get to Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls State Park, located on the border between the United States and Canada, is a popular tourist destination.

Most people fly into Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) or drive along Interstate 90 to get to Niagara Falls State Park. You can use online maps and directions to help you locate the Falls and explore Niagara Falls State Park during your vacation.

Do you need a passport for Niagara Falls?

Yes. A Passport (or a Passport Card or Enhanced Driver’s License if coming by land) is required for crossing the border into Canada unless you are 15 or younger.

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Simon

Friday 25th of July 2014

Very informative and some top pics, too! I have been, but was a year or so old, so no memories of my own!