A world-famous national park and top tourist destination, home to perhaps North America’s most impressive waterfalls.
While many people across the world know it as a single waterfall, what we call ‘Niagara Falls’ is made up of three different waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. These dramatic falls line the border between New York State and the province of Ontario in Canada. As you explore the Niagara Gorge you’ll be rewarded with incredible views from the observation points which open to visitors all day, every day of the year. Come after sunset and see the brightly illuminated cascades – and every Friday, Saturday and holiday during the summer, come to enjoy the truly mesmerising fireworks show.
Start out at the Niagara Falls State Park on the United States side of the region. From here, you can explore the area and stop off at the various vantage points, including the Observation Tower, Prospect Point and Terrapin Point. Enjoy lunch al fresco at one of the picnic areas along the way or enjoy a bite to eat in one of the nearby restaurants. Check out the visitor centre and head off along the hiking trails which begin nearby.
Here you’ll also be able to explore the wonderful Aquarium of Niagara complete with exhibits that take you through the seas of the world, from the Great Lakes to Amazonia. Watch the sea lion shows and the sharks being fed. Further downstream, cross the Niagara River over the Rainbow Bridge, and continue to the border with Canada – don’t forget to bring your passport and travel documents.
When you arrive in Canada, head for the 158-metre-tall Skylon Tower for more incredible views of the surroundings and the chance to stop off at its shops, restaurants and food court. You can even be carried over 50 metres above the falls in a capsule with a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel. Visit the entertainment complex of Clifton Hill where you’ll find the glow-in-the-dark 18-hole mini golf course Galaxy Golf, as well as the Movieland Wax Museum. With all these diversions, you may as well pick up a pass to enter multiple attractions.
Take the half-hour journey around the bottom of the falls on the Maid of the Mist, or join a guided tour to Bridal Veils Falls on the US side or Horseshoe Falls in the Canadian sector. If you’re a thrill seeker, try out a jet boat. To see the falls up close go to the Cave of the Winds too.
If all this time on the water takes it out of you, you should head back to dry land and pay a visit to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Southern Ontario, where you can explore the wineries as well as the legendary Shaw Festival Theatre for a rather different yet just as compelling experience.