Each year 30 million people flock to Niagara Falls to view the awesome power of 3160 tons of water per second (75,750 gallons per second over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls) rushing down the Niagara River and plunging more than 165 feet from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. A popular destination for honeymooners, the romance of the Falls, particularly at night, cannot be denied. Visitors can view the Falls a number of ways, both from the American side and the Canadian side.
Read our Niagara Falls travel tips to find the best ways to view the Falls!
Growing up in Northwest Pennsylvania, I had several opportunities to visit Niagara Falls as a child and as a teen. Marvin, however, had never experienced the majestic views of the Falls until this road trip through the US and Canada. Seeing it through his eyes reminded me of how impressive Niagara Falls is when you see it for the first time. And, although I had visited the Falls numerous times, I had missed out on many of the best ways to get up close and personal with the Falls. So when we planned this trip, we vowed to see the majesty of Niagara Falls as many ways as we possibly could during our three days in the area.
1. Maid of the Mist (New York)
2. Cave of the Winds (New York)
This was a first for both of us. An elevator brings you down to the base of the American Falls, where you don your yellow poncho and walk along the boardwalk, up the stairs to Hurricane Deck. On the lower levels of the boardwalk, you can stretch your arm out and touch the Falls. On Hurricane Deck, you will feel the incredible power of the Falls as the water crashes down around you.
Video footage from the Cave of the Winds will be available in our YouTube video as well!
Tip: Wear shorts. Anything hanging out below the poncho WILL be drenched.
3. Pedestrian Promenade (New York)
The pedestrian promenade on the American side of the Falls offers immediate views of the Niagara River, as well as close sideways shots of the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The sound of the water reaches your ears long before you can actually see the Falls. Enjoy a stroll along the Promenade, taking a moment to appreciate the river as it gains momentum as it nears the edge.
4. The Bridge (New York to Ontario, or vice versa)
5. Fireworks over the Falls (New York or Ontario)
6. SkyWheel (Ontario)
This was also a new experience for me. Opened in 2006, the Niagara SkyWheel rises 175 feet in the air and offers riders views of the Niagara River, the Falls, and the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Located on Clifton Hill, the popular strip full of restaurants and other attractions, the SkyWheel is a fun, relaxing way to view Niagara Falls from your enclosed gondola.
7. Hornblower (Ontario)
Ontario's version of the Maid of the Mist, the Hornblower also brings travelers into the rush of wind and water of the Horseshoe Falls. With limited time, and having just taken the Maid of the Mist tour, we opted to skip the Hornblower, but the folks we talked to about it said the experience is a must for visitors to the Falls!
8. Skylon Tower (Ontario)
9. Falls Incline
Though not a traditional way to see the Falls, the Falls Incline is a nice short (inexpensive) ride, with views of the Horseshoe Falls from the top. Take it from the bottom to the top and walk along the road, ride it from the top to the bottom and walk along the Promenade, or purchase a roundtrip ticket, ride the Incline down, take some pictures, and ride it back up to avoid the crowds.
10. Journey Behind the Falls
Although similar to the Cave of the Winds on the New York side, we planned to participate in the Journey Behind the Falls from the Canadian side as well. Unfortunately, we could not work it into our schedule, but the people we met who had taken part in it said it was well worth it!
Of course, Niagara Falls has much more to offer than just the Falls themselves. Clifton Hill is home to eateries, wax museums, haunted houses, sweet treats, and more. Visit Marineland for rides and shows, take a helicopter ride, or play miniature golf among the dinosaurs!
Remember to watch for video footage of the Falls on the exquisitEXPLORATIONS YouTube channel!
Welcome to exquisit