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Niagara Falls Canada – USA Border Crossing
Our most popular question from U.S. and International visitors is information regarding crossing the Canadian and United States border. Click here to find what you need to know.
Niagara Falls is a natural phenomenon that attracts millions of tourists every year. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there are plenty of things to do in Niagara Falls that will make your trip unforgettable.
Niagara Falls History
The history of Niagara Falls is as vast and beautiful as the falls themselves. About 12,000 years ago, erosion from melting Ice Age glaciers created the Niagara River’s majestic waterfalls, which run along the border between Canada and the United States. These natural marvels are one of North America’s most popular tourist destinations in Niagara Falls State Park.
Due to its location on the southern end of Lake Erie and at the beginning of Lake Ontario, this region has always been an important transportation corridor for travelers heading westward across North America.
Fun Activities in Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls has something fun for everyone in your group, regardless of age. Here are a few of the most popular activities people do when visiting Niagara Falls.
Take a Boat Cruise
Niagara Falls is best experienced by taking a boat cruise. However, get closer than most tourists by taking an evening cruise where you can see how different lights play off each other at night. Niagara City Cruises is the official supplier to Niagara Parks, providing Canada’s only Niagara Falls boat tour experience.
Niagara City Cruises – Voyage to the Falls
The 20-minute Voyage to the Falls boat tour will take you on the journey of a lifetime! Enjoy breathtaking views of the Niagara Gorge, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, and come face-to-face with the famous Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Feel the thunderous roar and incredible power of one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders.
Niagara City Cruises – Falls Fireworks
Marvel at the nightly Niagara Falls Illumination light show from the water on the Falls Fireworks cruise. Every evening beginning at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured water and light masterpiece. Then at 10:00 pm each night from Victoria Day weekend to Canadian Thanksgiving (weather permitting), enjoy an unforgettable evening in Niagara Falls with a jaw-dropping fireworks displays against the backdrop of the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
Niagara City Cruises is located at 5920 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada.
Niagara Falls parks, trails and gardens are easily accessible to biking, hiking, walking – or even just a nice afternoon picnic. The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens offers 40 hectares (99 acres) of beautifully maintained gardens to explore and is home to the Butterfly Conservatory, providing a truly enriching experience for all seasons. The heart of the Niagara Parks, Queen Victoria Park celebrates every season in style with a visual spectacle, from daffodils and tulips in spring to tree branches covered with the freezing mist of the Falls in winter. Niagara gardens such as the Parks Floral Showhouse, Centennial Lilac Garden, Floral Clock, Dufferin Islands, Oakes Garden Theatre and Queenston Heights Park provide inspiration and delight. Whether by foot or bike, discover 56 kilometers (35 miles) of historical and horticultural sights along the Niagara River Recreational Trail, described by Sir Winston Churchill as “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.” The Recreational Trail connects Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake, meandering through parkland with views of the Niagara River and winding past places of historical and cultural interest, Niagara Falls, wineries, lookout points and beautiful homes.
Book a Tour
Local companies offer sightseeing tours of Niagara and the Falls, while visitors may also indulge a particular interest with a themed Niagara tour. Niagara wine tours traverse the region in search of the perfect Chardonnay, double decker tours lend a different perspective to the city, or Niagara adventure tours take visitors on a whirlwind of the area’s most exciting attractions.
Taking a tour in Niagara Falls will allow you to interact with knowledgeable tour guides that can give you all the valuable tid- bits of everything Niagara. Often times they take the burden a way of finding your way, parking and in some cases front of the line options at Niagara Falls attractions. Taking a combination tour between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls is a great way to spend the week in Niagara.
Head to the Canada One Factory Outlet on Lundy’s Lane with over 20 brand name stores or visit the Outlet Collection in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a unique open air collection of over 100+ brand name stores.
Within the heart of the tourist district there are also many shopping options. On Clifton Hill there are a number of shops where you can pick up souvenirs from your visit to Niagara Falls.
If you are looking for shopping decadence then we would recommend the Fallsview Casino Resort Shopping Galleria, great shops integrated with great restaurants and a Casino right there for a one stop shopping experience.
See the Falls from Skylon Tower
The Skylon Tower is a 456-foot tower with a 360-degree observation deck, giving fantastic views of the falls. You can also see Lake Ontario, Navy Island, and Toronto.
Walk Across the Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge that spans the Niagara River between Rainbow Boulevard in Niagara Falls, New York, and Prospect Avenue in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The bridge was built in 1938 by the Canadian Pacific Railway company to carry passengers between both sides of the river. Still, it is now open to pedestrians 24 hours a day and year-round. Canada and the United States have designated the structure as a National Historic Civil Engineering Site. In addition, it won an award for its beauty at its dedication ceremony.
Take a Helicopter Tour
Helicopter tours are a great way to see the falls from a different perspective. While you won’t be able to fly directly over the falls, you can see them from above. You’ll also get breathtaking views of Lake Ontario and its surrounding towns. Book your tour in advance because they sell out quickly on busy days.
Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries in Niagara Falls
Niagara Ontario Canada has become famous for its wines. Whether you are looking for wineries in the Niagara Region, or a specific winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara is gaining international recognition as ‘must visit’ destination to enjoy a beautiful country escape with a bit of food and drink. Twenty-five vineyards dot the landscape just 15 to 20 minutes outside Niagara Falls, Canada in quiet and charming Niagara on-the-Lake. The entire Niagara wine region along the shores of Lake Ontario is home to over 50 wineries. Discover the best of the region’s vineyards by following the Wine Route of Ontario through the countryside by car, bike or guided tour. Many Niagara wineries have restaurants, where they pair their fine wines with regional cuisine, and an overnight outing can easily be arranged at nearby a bed-and-breakfast or inn for a Niagara Falls romantic getaway. And if you fall in love with our wine, consider planning a Niagara vacation around one of our popular annual Niagara festivals. The Niagara Wine Festival, which occurs annually in autumn, includes tours and tastings at Niagara vineyards, concerts, Niagara cuisine, artisan shows, and family entertainment. The Niagara Icewine Festival in January celebrates Ontario’s most famous wine in a winter wonderland setting, and the Niagara New Vintage Festival in summer gives visitors a chance to be the first to try the year’s wines.
Visit Old Fort Erie
Old Fort Erie is a National Historic Site of Canada. It was built in 1812, making it one of the first buildings in Fort Erie. This fort was a key site during the War of 1812 and played an important part in Canadian history.
This remarkable site features three main attractions:
The restored Officers’ Quarters: houses exhibits that discuss life within a military garrison.
The Blockhouse: a fortified structure with artifacts from several wars, including American Independence, War of 1812, and World War II.
The Museum exhibits military life, including uniforms and weapons used by soldiers.
Ride the Niagara SkyWheel
If you like to get out of your comfort zone, then the Niagara SkyWheel is for you. The tallest observation wheel in Canada, the SkyWheel, is located on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls. It has 42 air-conditioned gondolas that can fit up to 8 people each and offers spectacular views of both sides of the falls (especially at night). The best part? It’s open year-round.
Dine Looking at the Falls
Table Rock House Restaurant is located in the Table Rock complex, known for its views of Niagara Falls. The restaurant has a seasonal outdoor patio and indoor seating with great views of the falls. So whether you sit in the dining room or at the bar, you can enjoy your meal while looking out at one of nature’s most legendary displays: Niagara Falls.
Experience the Theatre in Niagara Falls
When looking for theatre or shows in Niagara Falls, there’s an eclectic choice of Niagara entertainment for the entire family at one of our many theatres. Enjoy a Las Vegas style magic show at the Greg Frewin Theatre, or see dramatic productions chronicling the history of Niagara Falls at the Niagara Falls Adventure Theatre. From family-friendly entertainment to a couples-night-out, select from one of these shows for a well-rounded Niagara Falls getaway.
If you’re a theatre buff then you’ve heard of the famous Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Only minutes away from Niagara Falls, the Shaw Theatre host an amazing selection of must-see live theatre productions.
What is the Best Time of Year to See Niagara Falls?
The peak tourist season is summer. However, spring and fall provide for a quiet getaway if you prefer not to deal with crowds and long lines.
However, not to be overlooked, Niagara Falls has a breathtaking calm during winter when ice and snow turn the Falls into a majestic winter castle.
The weather at Niagara Falls can dramatically affect whether your trip will go smoothly or turn into a disaster zone. Between June and September (and even into early October), the average temperature is in the 80s. Spring and fall temperatures range from 40F to 70F, while the cold Canadian wind keeps winter below zero.
Make sure to wear layers no matter when you visit Niagara Falls, so you are prepared for any weather changes.
Is Niagara Falls in Canada or New York?
Niagara Falls is located in both countries because it lies on the border between Canada and the United States. However, activities, dining, accommodations, and shopping vary significantly between the Canadian and American sides.
Do I Need a Passport to Go to Niagara Falls, Canada?
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 age 15 or younger. Please visit the government website for any further details.