Growing up in the Northeast, Niagara Falls had always been a destination I knew I’d get to visit some day. It’s close enough to make it accessible for a long weekend, but far enough to make you feel like you’ve been on an adventure.
Recently, the time finally came for me to experience Niagara. If driving isn’t an option and you need to fly, I’d recommend coming through via Toronto like I did. This will enable you to check out TWO great destinations instead of one. Renting a car or taking public transportation from Toronto to Niagara is easy. And driving time only takes about an hour and a half.
The area surrounding the Falls features a ton of attractions. Carnival-type spots like haunted houses and fun museums give families a lot of variety. The casino at Niagara Falls is a great distraction for the adults. And you shouldn’t miss out on the active and educational excursions like cave tours which take you deep into the Niagara Gorge.
With so much to cover, I’m highlighting my three favorite activities.
This is your Must-See List for Niagara Falls:
Maid of the Mist
Ask all of your friends who have been – this is an ICONIC attraction. The Maid of the Mist is a 30-minute boat ride which takes you so close, you can actually feel the roar of the Falls. Claiming to be North America’s oldest tourist attraction, millions of visitors have been aboard since 1846. Two 600-passenger boats, Maids VI and VII, are each 80-feet long and have two 350-horsepower engines that are powerful enough to carry the vessels against the current.
Your admission ticket also gets you a bright blue poncho that is definitely needed! Choose to stand on the bottom or upper deck of the boat and soak it up. I have a feeling this awe-inspiring ride will be a Niagara Falls highlight for you as it was for me. If you only have the budget or time for one main attraction during your visit, this is it!
Craving a thrill and want some of the BEST views you will ever see of Niagara Falls? You certainly want to consider booking a flight at Niagara Helicopters. I’ll be honest, I’m usually a scaredy-cat. I’m terrified of upside-down roller coasters and forget about bungee jumping. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to ride the helicopter, you can imagine the immediate fear that set in. But, I’m proud to say, I embraced my adventurous side (YOLO anyone?) and went for it. Best. Decision. Ever.
Call first dibs on the co-pilot seat! You’ll have an unforgettable experience complete with glass bottom views. Check out my short video from the front seat:
After a fun and thrilling time at the Falls, venture along the river and stop by Niagara-on-the-Lake. This charming and historic town is surrounded by local vineyards. Pop in for a tasting and stop at one of the farmer’s markets for some fresh fruit (I highly recommend the cherries when in season). When you arrive in Old Town, you’ll notice it’s full of great restaurants with outdoor patios- perfect for unwinding. You can even opt for a carriage ride to soak up the scenery. You’ll definitely want to take your time through this beautiful area.
Have you been to any of my Must-Sees at Niagara Falls? Tell us about it in the comments below! And if this inspired you to plan your next trip to Canada, give us a call at 1-888-370-6818.
By Lara Nicotra