Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York are two sides of one place and both are the self-proclaimed “Honeymoon Capital of the World”. Niagara Falls was incorporated on June 12, 1903. Its population is 82,997 as of 2011. This is mainly a tourist destination, with the main attraction of course the Niagara Falls.
How to get there
The closest airports to the Falls are across the border in the U.S. Buffalo-Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, New York (it is about a 20-30 minute drive from the Falls and is served by most major American carriers). On the Canadian side, Hamilton International Airport in Hamilton is about 70 km from Niagara Falls,. Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto is about one and a half hour drive from the Falls and is served by most major Canadian and international carriers.
Also you can reach the Niagara Falls by car. From New York, Boston, and the East Coast take I-90 W towards Buffalo to the 290 West. Exit onto the 190 N towards Grand Island and Niagara Falls. Follow the highway through Grand Island, than take the exit immediately after the North Grand Island Bridge (as you’re leaving the island) for the Robert Moses Parkway. Continue until in downtown Niagara Falls, New York. Proceed on Rainbow Boulevard, to the Rainbow Bridge, across to Niagara Falls, Ontario. If you are going to take a bus to get to the Falls take Coach Canada, which offers regular bus service to Niagara Falls from other Ontario cities.
VIA Rail Canada’s Toronto-Niagara Falls have two departures per day in either direction, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. During busy season (some days in summer) there is a third train. It will take you about 2-1/2 hours direct to Niagara Falls from Union Station in Toronto. One of the trains daily continue on to New York City, via Buffalo.
Nearby places to see
Queen Victoria Park is located along the Niagara Falls Parkway and offers a wonderful view on The Falls. Make sure to see The Falls in the evening; they are illuminated, from early evening till midnight and there are Fireworks over the Falls on Friday and Sunday nights in the summer months.
Niagara Parks offers a Great Gorge Adventure Pass that includes access to the Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, White Water Walk, and the Butterfly Conservatory, a one-day WEGO pass and discounts for other attractions.
Maid of the Mist is located on 5920 Niagara Pkwy (near the foot of Clifton Hill) is reachable by a boat that takes tourists to the foot of the falls (this is where you will put on those popular blue plastic capes because the strong water of The Falls will spray all over you). You can get this unique sail from April till October. Boats sail off every 15 minutes and the ride is 30 minutes.
Journey Behind the Falls is an interesting attraction to consider in lieu of Maid of the Mist (or when Maid of the Mist isn’t operating). Although popular, the lines aren’t nearly as long for “Journey” as they are for Maid of the Mist, and therefore may be a better option on crowded days, or for those traveling with small children. This tour is open year-round except on 25 December. Whilst this attraction remains open during winter, often some of the viewing points are in-accessable due to snow build up.
Marineland Theme Park is the place where you can see dolphin, sea lion and walrus shows, as well as exhibits of interesting and unique marine animals, including killer whales, beluga whales, and black bears. You can feed some of the animals, including the beluga whales but that is not included in your ticket so you will be charged for that too.
Things to do
Here you can find world class casinos, wax museums, restaurants, clubs, bars, and so on. Don’t miss the Winter Festival of Lights. This is a 5 km route along the Niagara Parkway featuring over three million sparkling tree and ground lights and over 120 lighting displays.
Go to Fallsview Indoor Waterpark which is Niagara’s newest and largest indoor waterpark at 11613 square meters. This amazing park has 16 slides, up to six stories high, full-size wave pool and outdoor year-round pool. The Fallview Indoor Waterpark is directly connected to the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel.
Best time to visit
The peak season starts in May and lasts till October when the prices are quite higher and the place is crowded with tourists. Numerous hotels offer a room with a view of the Falls (emphasize that you want a room with a view when you will book it because you may end up with a partial or no view at all).