Niagara Falls
Vacations Guide

Use this Niagara Falls Vacations Guide to get a quick overview of top attractions and entertainment, plus trip-planning advice about transportation, hotels, restaurants, tour packages and more.

The Niagara Falls waterfalls are Ontario’s most exciting tourist attraction. As one of the world’s natural wonders, they attract about 19 million visitors per year, including many Honeymooners who come to visit one of North American’s most romantic travel destinations.

One of the common questions first time visitors ask is: where is the best spot to view the Falls? As a frequent visitor, I’ve discovered some of the best ways to experience them, outlined here: Niagara Falls Canada.

Niagara Falls Attractions

But the Falls aren’t the only thing to see and do in the City of Niagara Falls! Because of its mass appeal, many other attractions have grown up around the site over the years. My article on Niagara Falls Attractions details some of the top spots including:

  • Bird Kingdom
  • IMAX Niagara Falls
  • Marineland Ontario
  • Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory
  • Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

Want to save on Niagara Falls vacations attractions? Check out some of my advice on where to find the best Niagara Falls Ontario Coupons.

Niagara Falls Vacations with Kids

Niagara Falls is very kid-friendly! Many of the major Niagara Falls attractions appeal to youngsters, such as the Bird Kingdom, Marineland, and the Clifton Hill amusement attractions like the wax museum, Movieland and of course Ripleys Believe It or Not. Children will also be thrilled with the Greg Frewin magic show and the Fallsview indoor water park.

Niagara Falls at Night

What are some things to do in Niagara Falls at night? You can:

  • watch spectacular fireworks explode over Niagara Falls
  • take in some concerts at local clubs or the casinos
  • try your luck at the two casinos in town
  • treat yourself to a family-style dinner & comedy at the “Canada, Eh? Dinner Show”
  • enjoy a Las Vegas style magic show with internationally famous Greg Frewin
  • take in a quiet romantic dinner for two

Read more: Niagara Falls at Night

Niagara Falls Restaurants

After a day exploring the Falls, the icing on the cake for a couple is a romantic dinner at a restaurant with a view of the Falls. The Skylon Tower with its revolving restaurant is one of the most popular places for dining above the Falls. To get REALLY close to the Falls, try Elements on the Falls. It’s right at the brink! Be sure to make reservations for popular restaurants so you won’t be disappointed.

There are many other good restaurants in Niagara Falls, too, that, while they may lack the view, serve excellent food in charming surroundings. If you’re looking for something a little exotic try one of my favourites, a local cafe like Paris Crepes on Queen Street (see more about this street below, in the Shopping section).

Or if you want to stay right in the main "falls-viewing" area, check out the homey brick-oven pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria, centrally located on Victoria Avenue just off Clifton Hill.

Shopping

Although Niagara Falls has all the usual souvenir shops you’d expect to find in an internationally-famous tourist town, if you’re willing to go a little off Clifton Hill and the surrounding streets, or the big Souvenir City on River Road, you might actually find something a little more unusual (and local) to take home. The casinos, for example, have shops selling Canadian art and handicrafts (actually made in Canada! Not China!).

Not many people from out of town know about Queen Street, which is the original "downtown drag" of Niagara Falls Canada. This historic street lined century-old buildings, with stores running for about half a dozen blocks, has undergone massive restoration and renovation in the past few years and is actually a hidden gem, with a couple of wonderful art galleries selling the work of local artists, and many shops selling artsy items and home décor treasures. To get there, take the Niagara Parkway north of the falls and then turn left onto Queen Street.

Tours of Niagara Falls

Do you enjoy guided tours? They can certainly help you get familiar with a new place quickly and save you the time and effort of planning. Several tour companies offer tours ranging from a couple of hours to seven hours. You can tour the Falls and the rest of the city by horse and carriage, bus, bicycle, boat or even “exotic cars”. These Niagara Falls vacations tour packages often include a variety of attractions such as The Maid of the Mist, the Skylon Tower or local wineries. Frequently lunch is included as well; just be sure to read the fine print and compare before booking.

If you don’t have time to spend in Niagara Falls overnight, you can also find bus tours to the Falls from Toronto that will whisk you back and forth in a day.

Need help planning your Niagara Falls vacations?

Where is Niagara Falls Ontario?


View Larger Map

Arriving in Niagara Falls Canada

Niagara Falls Ontario doesn’t have a major international airport. The closest major international airports are Toronto International Airport (125 km away), Toronto Billy Bishop Airport, Buffalo NY (41 km away) and Hamilton International Airport (83 km). To get to the Falls from these airports, you can rent a car or take an airport shuttle service.

If you’re arriving by train, the VIA Rail train station is at 4221 Bridge Street, Niagara Falls.

The intercity bus terminal is 4555 Erie Avenue, Niagara Falls.

Getting Around: Local Transportation

If you’re not bringing your car or planning to rent one, you can use taxis for getting around the city of Niagara Falls. A cheaper option, however, is to purchase a day pass for the WEGO bus that stops at all the major tourist attractions (this services replaces People Mover). Many of the hotels have shuttles as well. The main tourist area is small enough that you can walk or bike to many places (yes, bicycles rentals are available in the city). Need a map to help plan your itinerary? This article will help you find the best map for your needs: Map for Niagara Falls.

Hotels in Niagara Falls Ontario

Location location location: it’s everything in the hotel business. And with a view to die for, you can bet hotels at Niagara Falls charge a premium for those “fallsview” hotel rooms. If you’re willing to forgo the view, though, the “cityview” rooms can be just as posh.

High season here is summer, so if you’re planning your Niagara Falls vacations in June or July, you should try to book ahead if you can, especially if you want that fallsview room. However, the hotel business is very competitive in the city and if you’re coming to Niagara Falls in winter (which is off-season), it’s easy to get great deals.

Another way to save money on your accommodation is by looking into Niagara Falls Hotel Packages. These bundles typically include a couple of nights at a hotel, meals and even several attractions.

In Niagara you’ll find a variety of different big name resorts (Great Wolf Lodge for example), chain hotels (The Embassy), water park hotels, as well as smaller hotels and motels, Bed and Breakfasts and even a hostel and campgrounds. There's a Niagara Falls vacations package for every budget.

For more information, see Hotels at Niagara Falls.

What to pack?

The weather in Niagara Falls is similar to that in Toronto; use my overview of Toronto Weather to help you decide what to put in your suitcase.

You may enjoy

Things to Do in Niagara - BEYOND the Falls!

Pictures of Niagara Falls

History of Niagara Falls Tourism

Niagara Falls in Canada articles – for a list of all articles on this web site to help you plan your Niagara Falls vacations.

Ontario Travel Secrets > Ontario Cities > Niagara Falls Vacations