Niagara Falls is a truly breathtaking phenomenon and is a popular sightseeing attraction for many people. Within walking distance, there are the Horseshoe Falls, a massive waterfall in the shape of a horseshoe. Before you even reach the falls, you can see the tower of mist rising from the force of these two remarkable landmarks. The sheer sight of the size and magnitude joined by the roar of the water hitting below is awe-inspiring, and makes it one of the most desired destinations to visit.
There are two sides to the falls. These beautiful waterfalls straddle the Canadian and U.S. border, making them observable from either side. A traveler can visit the falls from the Canadian side, or from the U.S. side depending on what type of view you would like. The U.S. side provides views of the falls from directly on top of the falls, looking down. The Canadian side of the falls allows visitors to see the falls from across the reservoir, which provides better photograph opportunities. There is also a lovely park on the Canadian side, offering greenery and in the fall, a beautiful change of leaf color. The U.S. side provides excellent observation decks, directly on top of the waterfalls, a rare view most of us will never experience. A quick drive across the border can give a new viewing experience, depending on the traveler’s taste.
Accommodations at Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls offers a broad range of hotels to choose from. As a popular honeymoon spot, this has led to the addition and upgrades of hotels. There are less pricey options set further back from the falls, but still, a quick drive or a long walk away. There are a few hotels set right off the falls, offering beautiful views for the duration of your stay. Some have casinos, shops, and many upgrades, but these rooms will be more expensive. You can visit the casino while staying at a different hotel which is another option for the traveler.
Boat rides at the Niagara Falls
Boat rides are offered by both sides of the falls. The U.S. side has the Maid of the Mist boat, and the Canadian side has the Hornblower. Decently priced, these ships give travelers an unparalleled glimpse of what it is like to be within a close distance and to look up at these grand falls. Water ponchos are distributed to help you stay dry, and the rides only last about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on which tour you choose. If you wish to take pictures, a waterproof case or covering for your device would be preferred, as it gets windy and wet on at the base of the falls. The boat customers have reported being pelted by wind and water in the Horseshoe falls stop as the vessel rests directly within the horseshoe. The Niagara stop is more of mist, also depending on the weather, as the boat cannot get too close due to the rocks. Keep in mind that these tours only operate seasonally, and stop in November for the winter. Prepare for wet clothing and items on these tours, but don’t let that stop you, as the views are incredible.
Food and Souvenirs at the Niagara Falls
Both sides surrounding the falls offer many things to keep the traveler entertained. Many shops and restaurants including a Hard Rock café line the streets. Niagara Falls is geared for tourism and offers great choices in stores, items, and apparel. The Butterfly Conservatory lies on the Canadian side and is a fantastic side-stop to add to your itinerary. Wandering the indoor tropical environment to experience over 2,000 butterflies in their free-range habitat is an experience not to miss. Afterwards, the journey to the rotating Skylon restaurant also on the Canadian side, to have a tasty dinner overlooking the city, and the lights that illuminate the falls in the evening. Make sure to make a reservation for this particular meal. The Skylon Tower sits over 700 feet above the falls to give viewers a magical experience. Diners are allowed to use the free observation decks for photographs and optimal viewing for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. An elevator located on the outside of the Skylon, offering more views of the city on the way up, takes you to the top where the restaurant and gift shop awaits you. The dining room rotates, giving the diners a similar yet stunning view of the city and waterfall lights. It moves very slowly, and most people report not being even able to notice any movement at all. Overall, a fantastic dining experience that every Niagara Falls visitor should experience.
Things to Do
Horseshoe and Niagara Falls offer a breathtaking experience, along with a multitude of stuff to keep you entertained. The area is a favorite winery area, offering tours and tastings for the thirsty traveler. Scenic drives, bicycle rentals, shopping, and dining are just a few more things to do that are offered. Both the U.S. and Canadian side have their perks, but both offer much of the same shopping and dining experiences. The summer months at the falls are the most desired months to visit, and the area will be quite busy during this time. The boat rides are popular and are quite full in the summer months as well. If visiting the falls during these times, plan and make your reservations well in advance. Tickets and reservations can also be made online or by phone to ensure you have a place and not have to worry about lines or to try to purchase tickets at the last minute.
Waterfalls are beautiful creations of nature, and the Horseshoe and Niagara Falls are exceptional examples and represent two of the most outstanding falls in the country. Viewing opportunities can be from either side of the border, from your towering hotel view, from eating dinner at the Skylon Tower, or even from a boat ride as you look up into the falls. Dining, shopping, wineries, and other sites and attractions are moments away, making this a prime example of a fantastic vacation opportunity. Don’t forget your passport if you decide to hop over to the other side!