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Home to one of the wonders of the world, Niagara Falls is located in Canada’s southeastern province, Ontario. Just across the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is the American side of Niagara Falls. Visitors often visit both cities, as the Falls are quite different from each side, but the Canadian side is generally recognized as having more attractions. Two airports are best for reaching Niagara Falls: Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA), which is about about a 26 mile drive, and Toronto Pearson International Airport (GTAA), roughly 89 miles away. Many visitors arrive via tour bus, and Niagara Region Transit provides Inter-city bus service as well. The metro population is just under 400,000, and it’s amazing how the area swells with visitors, especially during the warmer months.
As host to a major tourist attraction, many of Niagara Falls’ activities are naturally based around its stunning Falls, and the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls can all be experienced from the Canadian site of the river. The concentration of attractions includes the natural features of the river and falls, plus Niagara Falls Canada hotels, casinos, theatres, souvenir shops and observation points, spreading out to a number of outstanding golf courses and local wineries. Niagara’s downtown area is being revitalized with restaurants, galleries and boutiques.
One of the most popular things to do is to board the Maid of the Mist, a passenger boat which operates at the Falls from April – October. This is an iconic experience, often pictured with passengers wearing blue rain ponchos getting sprayed from thundering waters. Other must-do’s include taking the Journey Behind the Falls and White Water Walk, both providing up-close experiences; the walkway is particularly close to world-class whitewater rapids. If you’d enjoy seeing the sights from above, you can take a glass-enclosed elevator 775 feet up to the Skylon Tower’s Observation Deck, offering superlative views of the U.S. and Canada, or try an unforgettable ride on a helicopter for breathtaking vistas. We hear the view from the SkyWheel at Clifton Hill entertainment area is amazing, too! This district offers other family-friendly attractions such as a wax museum, bowling, chain eateries and shopping.
There are some easygoing things to do in Niagara Falls as well! Visitors love browsing the nearly one hundred acres of colorful delights at Niagara Botanical Gardens, where you can check out a Butterfly Conservatory and take a guided carriage tour. Every 6 or 7 weeks the displays at the Floral Showhouse change, offering themes including Easter, Christmas, geranium and chrysanthemum shows. Listening to the bells at the 165 foot tall Rainbow Tower Carillon sounds like a sweet plan, too.
Niagara Falls is always looking for ways to entertain your family. One of the most popular attractions is MarineLand, a great place to meet friendly dolphins and sea lions, plus watch cool animal shows. There are amusement park thrill rides here, such as Ride the Sky Screamer, plus lots of food options. MarineLand is open May to October. Families also enjoy Canada’s favorite sport, hockey, at Gale Centre. Cheer on the Niagara Falls Canucks as they race across the ice to victory September through February. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark boasts a humongous wave pool and plenty of slippery slides, and you can enjoy a buffet and try to figure out magician Greg Frewin’s magic tricks at his very own theatre – he’s considered one of the best in the entire world!
Are biking and hiking your favorite ways to check out a new destination? Look no further than the Niagara River Recreation Trail, offering 35 miles of paved pathway along the Niagara River. Follow the Niagara Parks Heritage Trail to tour several of the region’s most visited historic sites. Another way to enjoy the beautiful Niagara outdoors is to play one of the six courses on the Niagara Golf Trail – each course is unique and will test your skills. Speaking of testing your skills, why not head to Casino Niagara or Fallsview Casino to try your luck? These gaming sites will keep you up all night long!
Did you know Niagara has a Wine Country? Well, it does, and there are a great variety of local wineries open for tours and tastings. Many visitors are drawn to the area for annual events including the Niagara Wine Festival in September, the New Vintage Festival in June, and the Icewine Festival held in January. Another well-attended festival, one of the best Niagara offers, is the Winter Festival of Lights, held November through January, where you will see millions of twinkling lights and illuminated Disney characters. During this fest, free fireworks shows are presented at the Falls - the sight is simply unbelievable!
Did you know the Falls are illuminated each evening at dusk, sporting beautiful colors? Day or night, the photo opportunities are endless. Niagara Falls is a renowned destination for a lot of reasons, so why not begin making plans for a visit today!