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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.

When you’re planning a trip, the first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to stay. You’re in luck here, because Niagara Falls hotels run the gamut from luxury accommodations to very affordable choices including dozens of motels and charming bed and breakfasts on both sides of the border. There is also an array of campgrounds and RV parks in the area, including some with cabins and resort amenities.

As for what to do once you’re there, you can fill your days and nights nonstop or you can kick back and relax. Niagara Falls has something for everyone. Here are seven of them:

7 Reasons To Visit Niagara Falls

You can hover over these (or any image) to quickly pin it!

Eat Great Food

From fine farm-to-table dining to an authentic 1950s-style soda shop, there’s something to suit every taste.

Among the array of choices, there’s the world-famous Hard Rock Café for Tex-Mex in a setting of rock ‘n roll memorabilia, and the revolving Skylon Tower restaurant with a fabulous view high above the Falls.

And if you’re a hardcore wings aficionado, you can even make the short 17-mile pilgrimage from Niagara Falls to Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, home of the famous treats.

Explore the Falls

This is the don’t miss reason of all. There are two ways to see the falls up close from different perspectives. You may get a little wet, but that’s part of the fun.

Get on board the Maid of the Mist for an exciting half-hour cruise from the Canadian docks past the base of the American Falls and onward into the basin of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

In operation since 1846, and the oldest tourist attraction in North America, the Maid of the Mist operates from about late April to mid-October every year, depending on the weather.

At Niagara Parks’ Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll take an elevator 150 feet down to a series of tunnels that open your view to the astonishing wall of water crashing down from the top to the basin of the Horseshoe Falls. This attraction is open year ‘round except on Christmas Day.

You may get a little wet, but that’s part of the fun.

Play Golf

The stunning landscape of the Niagara area is home to some of Canada’s best golf courses. Be sure to pack your clubs so you don’t miss out on the many challenging courses there are to choose from.

Go Cycling

Experience the breathtaking natural beauty of the region on one of its many scenic cycling trails. There are more than 200 trails, catering to riders of every level.

Niagara Parkway has been named one of the top 10 cycling routes in the world, stretching 58 kilometers along the Canadian side of the Niagara River, passing many wineries along the way. For a more serious trek, the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail stretches 780 km, following the shores of Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border.

Visit Great Wineries

The Niagara Region is known for its award-winning wines including the unique ice wine, made from grapes harvested in the winter when temperatures are way below freezing and sugar content is highest.

The Niagara Wine Route on the Canadian side, and the Niagara Wine Trail on the American side feature dozens of wineries with tasting rooms set amid acres of gorgeous vineyards.

Wine glass winery Picasa

Enjoy the Night Life

Two action-packed casinos bring excitement to night time in Niagara Falls, with Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort offering blackjack, roulette, poker, slots, and sports gaming along with comedy shows, and live entertainment with headline stars.

And, of Course, Do Some Shopping

What’s a trip without bringing back a little something? Popular brand name merchandise at discounted prices is found at outlet malls on both sides of the border. And there are three duty-free shops selling perfume, food, alcohol, and more to visitors from abroad.


Wind Rain Jacket Poncho Coat Amazon

Wind Rain Jacket Poncho Coat

 PVC Waterproof Dry Bag Amazon

 PVC Waterproof Dry Bag

Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Case Amazon

Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Case


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.


  1. Inspiring…sounds like a great trip!!

    • Hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  2. Of course, most folks don’t recognize that you can only see the Canadian falls from America- and the American falls from Canada.
    That’s why my kids and I make the circuit. (OK. It’s on our way from Buffalo to Toronto. It’s cheaper to fly to Buffalo and rent a car [which I need in YYZ anyway…)

    • Very true lol reminds me of a quote someone made once about climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris – they asked why you would climb it for the view when the view didn’t have the tower in it!

      Great tip to make the circuit – awesome to have such an inspiring natural wonder on your way from Buffalo to Toronto!

  3. I was just there and I loved it! I think my favorite way to experience the falls was the Cave of the Winds. You get up close and personal with the Bridal Falls.

    And agree, you really must visit the wineries! I loved the ice wine. I bought 1 bottle, and would have bought more if it wasn’t so expensive.

    • Glad to hear you had an awesome trip Anisa! And experienced more than just the falls – the wineries are a definite highlight of every trip!

  4. It is a wonderful place to visit and beautiful pics!



    • Thanks Gaétane! Glad you enjoyed the pictures and the post :)

  5. I grew up just across the border in western NY. We loved to go the Falls with a box of chicken wings — just for an outing. Gorgeous!

    • What a fantastic place to grow up, having Niagara in your backyard!!

  6. I had thought of coming there for our Vacation as I have always wanted to see Falls like this up close and for my son to see them as will. Although I was afraid there wouldn’t be anything for children to do so we didn’t come. Although one day we still might.

    • I think children would enjoy the experience just as much as adults … And I find traveling with children is wonderful as their enthusiasm and awe is infectious :)

      Hope you consider the falls if you have the chance :)

  7. I live in Western New York, very close to Niagara Falls. It is especially spectacular during the winter. A few years ago, there was a cold and snowy winter and the falls was covered with snow and ice and they reflected a prism of colors.

    • I haven’t visited during the winter, but would LOVE to – I’ve seen photos of the falls frozen over, probably from that winter you refer to, and it looked spectacular!

  8. I don’t think I need a reason to visit Niagara falls as it is at the top of my list of places to see. However I didn’t realise they had a casino there that it quite interested might pop along during my visit and try and win some money to explore more of this wonderful country

    • Totally agree on not needing an excuse – hope you have the chance to visit soon!

      Yes, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara are both situated around the falls. If you’re interested in more info we have a post on the top Casinos in Canada here:

  9. We are going this summer – I can’t wait. But I don’t think we’ll get to all this, as we’re only there for a day! Still, it sounds amazing….

    • Awesome Sarah! Just means you have more of the region to explore at a later date :) Have a great trip this summer!

  10. Funny as it may sound, but we have not even planned a trip to Niagara yet, I have been living in Boston since ’08 and Supriya moved here in ’14. What surprised me is the presence of wineries in the region. What you think might be the best time of the the year to visit?

    • Definitely recommend planning a trip, especially if you’re reasonably close :) The time of year really depends on the type of experience you’re after – winter is stunning and if it’s cold enough the falls have been known to freeze over which makes for incredible photo opps. But if wineries are a priority, summer is a great time and you have more sunlight in the day for activities :)

  11. There are many Niagara posts already, but your post really bring many new information around. I could not imagine it is one of the best cycling routes in the world, as I am cyclist in Vietnam. Will try one day (and thanks for the information :-) )

    • I’m glad we could cover a side of Niagara you hadn’t seen before Long :) If you love cycling, the trails here would be a perfect way to spend a couple of days. Hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  12. I have been to Niagara Falls and it is amazing. It is one of the three largest waterfalls in the world and I am sure anyone would be impressed by what the site has to offer! @knycx.journeying

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed your time at Niagara Knycx! Truly is one of the worlds most incredible falls!

  13. Thanks for the information.Excited to visit Niagara falls.

    • You’re welcome – have a wonderful trip!

  14. Hello Meg,

    This is a fantastic article! I was wondering if you would be okay with us using it for our newsletter on all things Niagara? Credit will be given!

    • Thanks Vanessa, so glad you enjoyed it :) Sure, feel free to reproduce in your newsletter – a link back to the original article would be great.


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