Home to one of the world’s most magnificent natural attractions, checking out the best things to do in Niagara Falls is a must for anyone travelling to Canada.
From enjoying a fun-filled day among the family-friendly attractions of Clifton Hill to marvelling at the roaring waters of Niagara Falls, plan your trip with this quick guide to the best places to visit in Niagara Falls, Canada…
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What to do in Niagara Falls
Marvel at Niagara Falls
When it all comes down to it, most visitors venture to the Niagara Region for one main reason: to witness the majesty of Niagara Falls.
As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it’s no stretch say that Niagara Falls is kind of a big deal. And if you happen to find yourself roaming about Ontario, carving out time for a detour to Niagara Falls to see the Niagara River cascade from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario is an experience that’ll stick with you for your entire life.
Here’s where it all gets a little confusing. Straddling the border between New York State in the United States and the province of Ontario in Canada, Niagara Falls is split between the two countries. How you experience the wondrous falls will depend on which side of the border you’re on.
Perhaps as a Canadian I’m a bit biased, but the most impressive section of Niagara Falls cascades on the Canadian side of the border. The Canadian side of the falls, called Horseshoe Falls, stretch over 790 metres (2,590 ft) wide while the American Falls stretch about 320 metres (1,050 ft) wide.
One of the coolest ways to experience the falls is from the Journey Behind the Falls. Located in the Table Rock Centre, the Journey Behind the Falls includes access to an observation platform and tunnels near the base of Horseshoe Falls.
Find fun & kitschy entertainment on Clifton Hill
While it might not be to everyone’s taste, one of the most interesting places to visit in Niagara Falls is Clifton Hill. This self-proclaimed “Street of Fun” runs between River Road on the edge of Horseshoe Falls and Victoria Street, one of the main streets in central Niagara Falls.
If you’re travelling to Niagara Falls with kids, visiting Clifton Hill is a must. Over the years, Clifton Hill has sprouted a wide variety of fun-filled kid-friendly tourist attractions including wax museums, arcades, haunted houses, and even a few major tourist sites like the Niagara Speedway go-cart track and the Niagara SkyWheel.
Yes, Clifton Hill is (super!) kitschy, but if you take it for what it is, there’s little chance you’ll leave without having a least a few laughs!
See the city from above at Skylon Tower
Overlooking both the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls, Skylon Tower is one of the absolute must-see attractions in Niagara Falls. From its observation deck 233 metres (764 feet) above ground, the views of the falls and the city of Niagara Falls are nothing short of spectacular.
Besides the observation deck, Skylon Tower is also home to two restaurants and a family-friendly amusement area on the ground floor.
If you have the time, book yourself a table at the Skylon Tower Revolving Dining Room. The restaurant rotates 360-degrees over the course of an hour, offering impressive views of the entire Niagara Region and beyond.
Soar above the falls at the Niagara SkyWheel
If you’re unsure of what to do while wandering about Clifton Hill, take a spin on the Niagara SkyWheel. Opened in 2006, this Ferris wheel is the largest observation wheel in Canada, soaring 53 metres (175 feet) above Niagara Falls.
The Niagara SkyWheel is open year-round and features climate-controlled gondolas to keep you comfortable in both the heat of a Southern Ontario summer and the chill of a Canadian winter.
Where to stay: The best hotels for sightseeing in Niagara Falls
Although its compact in size, don’t think that choosing where to stay in Niagara Falls will always be easy. As it’s one of the most popular destinations in Canada, booking yourself into one of the top hotels in Niagara Falls can sometimes be a challenge. Rooms tend to fill quickly, so be sure to book early to get in on one of these recommended places to stay…
- Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel: One of the better budget hotel choices in the city, this 3-star hotel is located close to Fallsview Casino and not far from the centre of town. There’s an on-site restaurant and Irish pub for a little evening unwinding.
- Sheraton on the Falls: This 4-star hotel, on the edge of Clifton Hill and Fallsview, is a fantastic option for exploring the city to its fullest. It’s connected to both the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and Casino Niagara.
- Niagara Falls Marriott on the Falls: One of the sleekest luxury picks in the city, this 4-star hotel features terraces and an observation deck overlooking the falls. The rooms here are spacious and offer floor-to-ceiling windows for your viewing pleasure.
Other tourist attractions in Niagara Falls
- Fallsview Casino
- Bird Kingdom
- Butterfly Conservatory
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
- Casino Niagara
- Floral Clock
- Whirlpool Aero Car
- Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
- Queen Victoria Park
- Mount Carmel Monastery
- Goat Island (N.Y.)
- Cave of the Winds (N.Y.)