Known for the sheer volume of water cascading over the cliff-side every minute, the massive trio of waterfalls that make up the Niagara Falls straddle the border of New York and Canada. While the US and Canada both lay claim to part of the falls, I prefer the Canadian side of the border. It has my personal favorite views of the American and Bridal Veil Falls, plus a whole host of activities for all ages. This side also has more hotel and food options which makes it a good bet for a quick and easy getaway.
These waterfalls are formed from the Niagara River which runs between Lake Eerie and Lake Ontario and flows with an average rate of 85,000 cubic feet per second- a rate that can easily double in peak seasons. The impressive volume of the falls coupled with its height has long made it a popular, if deadly, target for daredevils.
Although it is possible to drive to from New York City, it certainly makes for one heck of a day-trip clocking in at around seven hours from one city to the other. Nevertheless, it’s an incredible natural wonder and gets its fair share of visitors from all over the world.
While the Canadian side of the falls does host some incredible views, I highly recommend taking a boat tour closer to the spray. I went with Niagara City Cruises since we were already in Canada, but America does offer the same tour (though it’s famously called the Maid of the Mist). While these tours provide their guests with brightly colored plastic ponchos, you can definitely get wet on this tour- especially if it’s windy! Luckily, I was visiting in the summer and enjoyed the refreshing spray, but I was glad of the poncho for my camera’s sake.
I also really enjoyed the Journey Behind the Falls attraction which allows visitors to get up close and personal with the falls- maybe leave the electronics behind this time because I got more than a light misting here! While I liked the lower observation deck view point and its constant rainbows, I think next time I’ll give the American Cave of the Winds option a try. Judging from the amount of wipe outs I saw during my visit, it definitely looked more slippery than Journey Behind the Falls so it might not be a good idea for those without proper footwear.
Walking across the Peace Bridge is also a really cool experience with another great view of all three falls. It does require walking across an international border, though, so bringing a passport is a must. While on the other side, we did a little hiking around Niagara State Park which hosts excellent views of the river and the falls themselves.
I was clearly focusing more on the nature part of this area, but there are plenty of city experiences available as well! Clifton Hill is packed with cartoonishly colorful shops and attractions- plus a fair number of bars and restaurants that make it a prime location for the many bachelor and bachelorette parties we ran into while visiting.