Category Archives: Visiting Niagara Falls

Where is Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North America and has been for almost two hundred years.  The natural beauty of the multi-faceted water falls and gorge are an attraction that remain on many people’s “bucket list”.

Niagara Falls is both Canadian and American and they have been called “twin cities”.  The border between the two countries lies in between the collection of three water falls that comprise “Niagara Falls”.  If you are traveling by car, you will need to cross at the Rainbow Bridge from one side to the other and remember that you will need to go through a border check and customs on either side (you ARE traveling between two different countries!).  Commercial traffic generally uses a different bridge (The Whirlpool Bridge) and anyone who subscribes to Nexus can use this bridge for quicker access back and forth.

Niagara Falls, Canada

On the Canadian side of the Falls is Horseshoe Falls which is the largest of the three water falls.  It is also the most photographed and most universally recognized vision of what Niagara Falls is.  Horseshoe Falls is also often called the “Canadian Falls” as it is on the Canadian side.  It is thought that approximately 90% of the water that flows over Niagara Falls comes down at Horseshoe Falls.

On the Canadian side of the Falls, you will find numerous hotels to suit all budgets, as well as some hotels and restaurants with spectacular views of Horseshoe Falls.  There is plentiful shopping, and within a short drive up the Niagara Parkway, you can visit botanical gardens with butterfly conservatory, or continue a little further to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake which is an historical town where much of the War of 1912 is commemorated.  In fact, if you are a lover of the Victorian era, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a must-see.

The famous “Maid of the Mist” boat tours which take visitors directly into the falls and under the mist of the falls is available from the Canadian side as well as from the American side, so don’t worry about missing out on that even if you are not able to visit both sides!

So, where is Niagara Falls if you are coming from a Canadian destination?  The Falls are 75 miles South/Southeast from Toronto – approximately an hour and a half’s drive.  If you have flown to Toronto, your options will include a car rental or an organized bus trip/tour to and from Niagara Falls.  You may walk across the Rainbow Bridge during your visit if you would like to also see the American side of the Falls.

Niagara Falls, United States

On the American side of the Falls, are the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.  The American Falls have a viewing spot that comes close to the edge and the view is a very steep angle.   Bridal Veil Falls is the smallest of the three waterfalls at Niagara.  There are walkways between the small islands of Goat Island and Luna Island on the American side, where visitors may view the Falls and ascend an elevator at “Cave of the Winds” for an even better glimpse.  At that point you will be within twenty feet of the Bridal Veil Falls.  The Cave of the Winds was originally a cave behind the Falls, but is no longer accessible due to rockslides in the 1950’s.

On the U.S. side of Niagara Falls, there are also numerous hotels to suit all budgets, many restaurants and attractions.  One of the most popular destinations is the Aquarium of Niagara Falls where you can view a vast range of aquatic species and take in some shows.  Gaming and casino options are also available on the American side and as mentioned, Maid of the Mist tours launch from this side of the Falls as well.  If you can only visit the American side of the Falls, you may want to take the Maid of the Mist tour as it is your best option at seeing Horseshoe Falls without going over to the Canadian side.

Now, where is Niagara Falls when visiting from the U.S.?  It is approximately 17 miles North/Northwest of the Buffalo, New York.  From Buffalo, you may drive or as mentioned from Toronto, there are Niagara Falls bus tours which can be arranged.

Where is Niagara Falls for you? 

A trip to Niagara Falls for you may involve one side or both sides.  It may involve planes, trains and automobiles depending how far you have to travel.  No matter what you want to see most at the Falls, both sides have much to offer and experience.  Both sides have views, shopping, restaurants and casinos.  If Niagara Falls is indeed on your bucket list, do a little reading about both sides so you get the most out of your visit. You can read the other articles on this site or you can also check out for the Canadian side.

Restaurants in Niagara Falls (Canada)

Niagara Falls, Canada remains one of the most popular destination spots in North America.  People have been travelling to the Falls since the early 1800’s and the appeal of this natural wonder remains high to this day.  The best views of both the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls are on the Canadian side.  Therefore, the restaurants in Niagara Falls (Canada) also have the very best views!

One of the most recognizable landmarks (besides the Falls themselves!) is the Skylon Tower.  At the top of the tower is you will find the Revolving Dining Room where you will get the most spectacular view of both of the Falls and the entire Niagara area.  A full 360 degree view awaits diners with this restaurant on their itinerary. You will need reservations for this dining experience and the prices are on the high side but the experience is priceless.  Diners have free access to the spectacular observation deck while dining.  On the menu here you will find the best wines (including of course, the local Niagara region wines) and a first class menu.

Within the Skylon Tower, you will also find the Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room.  This restaurant is affordable and appropriate for families.  It also has a stunning view of the falls – just less so than the revolving full view up at the top of the Tower.  The observation deck is free for diners as well.  The menu here includes carved beef, seafood, and large selections of salads – a full range of menu options so the whole family will be sure to find something to their taste.

Remember that when you are making reservations for dinner at any of the restaurants with views of the Falls, you may want to book for the times in the evening when the Falls are illuminated.  Just ask the reservation agent about the times when making your dining arrangements.

For more choices of restaurants with views, take a look at The Watermark.  This venue sports windows that are over five metres tall and present a spectacular view for diners.  This restaurant is known best for its amazing breakfast buffet, so you may want to plan this as the way to start your day off beautifully while visiting Niagara Falls.

Sometimes, visitors don’t mind getting away from the spectacular vistas when looking for restaurants in Niagara Falls (Canada) after a long day of sight seeing.  In that case, there are also some great options for eating that are simply about the food rather than the view.  Off the beaten path, you might like to check out Carpaccio Ristorante and Bar.  This spot offers a casual Mediterranean atmosphere where diners can relax, unwind and enjoy some excellent and authentic Italian cuisine.

If your vacation includes visiting the Fallsview Casino, you will find several dining options right on site there.  You can choose from steak and seafood, Italian food, buffets and pub food.

If you are travelling with kids, the restaurants in Niagara Falls (Canada) that you will want to check out must include Dave & Buster’s.  The place is an “entertainment complex” that offers up all sorts of gaming (mini golf, laser tag, arcade games) and entertainment options that are family oriented.  They also serve up what many consider to be the best hamburger in the region.  Of all the restaurants in Niagara Falls (Canada), this is truly the most family oriented and it is an adventure in its own right.

If touring and sightseeing all day leave you craving the familiar, then head to one of the chain restaurants in Niagara Falls (Canada) for some comfort food while you rest your aching feet!  You’ll find The Keg, Boston Pizza, Outback Steakhouse, Tony Roma’s, Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café and many other familiar restaurants to help you unwind and enjoy the area.

You can be sure of one thing as you enjoy your stay in Niagara Falls – your dining options are unlimited.  No matter your taste, your budget or your need for entertainment while dining.  Bon Appetit to you!

Niagara Falls Attractions

Although Niagara Falls is best known as a romantic destination for newly-weds, Niagara Falls has much more to offer visitors than the two majestic falls.

There is no doubt that visitors should view the two falls, the Canadian or Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.  Tucked nearby the American falls, the Bridal Veil Falls are another must-see.   However, although these are the original and natural attractions that first brought visitors to the city that straddles the US and Canadian border, there is much more in Niagara Falls today.  Be sure to return at night to see the Falls illuminated as they are each night since 1925.

One way to get current on the history and details of the famous Niagara Falls is to visit the IMAX Theater.  In addition to the full line up of amazing movies, visitors here can watch the Niagara Falls movie, a 45 minute long venture in “Niagara: Miracles, Myths, and Magic”.

One of the newest and most exciting attractions found today in Niagara Falls is the Bird Kingdom.  This indoor free flying aviary features a multi-storied rain forest atmosphere with hundreds of free flying tropical birds, a four-story waterfall, and the opportunity to handle tropical birds up close and personal.  This attraction ranks as the most popular in Niagara Falls for three years running.

Visitors who remember Robert Ripley, creator of the long running “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” will want to visit the local Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in Niagara Falls.  This attraction is more than a museum featuring the strange and wonderful finds from Mr. Ripley but a full-scale family entertainment center with much, much more.

On the Canadian side, the Willoughby Historical Museum offers an in-depth look into local history, numerous genealogical resources, and the chance to step back into time.  Located near Navy Island, a visit to the museum offers the chance to view one of the most scenic areas outside the falls in the region.

Adventure loving visitors will not be disappointed.  Climb aboard the Whirlpool Aero Car for the best view of the famous whirlpool, the rapids, and the hydroelectric plants.  Built by Leonardo Torres Quevado back in 1916, this attraction has been popular with visitors of all ages for many years.

Another attraction that offers both a bird’s eye view of the Falls as well as offers excitement is the National Helicopter’s Niagara Falls tours! Not only can visitors fly over the famous Falls, they can also hightail off to other destinations if necessary!  Another helicopter company, Niagara Helicopters, also offers flight tours.

Visitors with even more nerve can take the plunge with indoor skydiving at the Niagara Freefall and Interactive Center.  In a safe, controlled environment, visitors can live their fantasy by sky diving at speeds up to 120 miles per hour!

Brave souls may want to venture inside the Nightmare Fear Factory in the Clifton Hill tourist district.  Located on the site of a former coffin factory, this world-class haunted house has been scaring the daylights out of visitors for more than twenty-five years!

For those who prefer tamer and less adventuresome activities, Niagara Falls has much, much more.  The young and young at heart will delight in the Safari Niagara ZooZ located in Ontario just ten minutes away from the central location of the Falls.  From the petting zoo to the Zooversity and the outdoor concerts, this zoo has it all and more.

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and School of Horticulture has delighted visitors since the mid-1930’s with beautiful, lush gardens and educational opportunities.  While away the hours strolling through the paths, visiting the rose garden, herbal garden, or the Arboretum. Guided tours are also available for those who want more information.

The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is another delightful place to visit.  Many varieties of butterflies flit inside and more fill the outdoor grounds.  Stroll along the paths and marvel at the beautiful butterflies in graceful flight.

Another outdoor venue sure to please is the Queen Victoria Park adjacent to Horseshoe Falls.  This free open-air park has fabulous views and many blooming gardens during the summer season.  Don’t miss the chance to visit the Skylon Tour next door – it offers a view of the falls from above from 520 feet high, the tallest structure in Niagara Falls.

These are just some of the many Niagara Falls attractions awaiting the visitor to Niagara Falls on both sides of the border.  Many other fun spots are waiting along with a full selection of hotels and dining establishments.

There is something for every age and every taste in beautiful Niagara Falls, a place that isn’t just for lovers anymore!

Hotels in Niagara Falls (Canada)

Niagara Falls has been a popular holiday destination for around 200 years already.  The allure of this marvel of nature has not waned and it still attracts thousands upon thousands of tourists every year.  Because of the consistent influx of these tourists, the variety of hotels in Niagara Falls Canada have grown and visitors have a quite a number of options for their holidays there.

Everyone’s holiday plans are different. A little thought as to what you want from your hotel stay will help you sort through all the choices in Niagara Falls.  Whether a hotel with a view is top priority or whether budget is top priority, there is a hotel for everyone, so no-one need miss out on this destination!

First of all, many hotels in Niagara Falls (Canada) claim they have the best view of the Falls, so you may want to investigate each hotel’s website and check their photo gallery for a better idea of what can be seen and what cannot.  You’ll also want to make sure at booking time that you are actually booking a room with a view of the Falls before you give out your credit card number.  With such a room, you can look down on the Niagara Falls as well as the fireworks and light shows there in the evenings.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton is situated right next to the Falls and does offer spectacular views from their “Fallsview Suites”.  There are views of the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls and within the building are several chain restaurants. The Sheraton on the Falls is another hotel with a view.  It is the closest hotel to the Falls and boasts floor to ceiling windows from which to take in the spectacular view.  This hotel is on a 20 acre resort which includes an indoor waterpark and of course, restaurant options.  The Tower Hotel is also a good choice for rooms with a view.  They too have floor to ceiling windows – be sure to ask for a room with a view of the Falls if that is what you want though – other rooms have a lovely view of the countryside.

For those whose holidays are aimed at casino time, hotels in Niagara Falls Canada that cater to the casino crowd include the Four Points by Sheraton.  It has an indoor connecting walkway that takes you directly to the Fallsview Casino.  The Best Western is directly across the street from the Fallsview Casino as well and is very reasonably priced.   Both of these hotels are near the hub of Niagara Falls activities and restaurants.   Close to Casino Niagara is the new Country Inn & Suites which is a moderate hotel option without views or a lot of extras.

Visitors looking for a quaint, historical atmosphere may prefer to stay at The Crowne Plaza Hotel (originally named the General Brock Hotel).  It was built in the 1920’s and is a sophisticatedly appointed Victorian style hotel featuring all the modern amenities and conveniences.  It is also centrally located due to being the oldest hotel there!  Another option is The Olde Stone Inn which was originally a flour mill dating back to the early 1900’s.  If you prefer the rustic feel, you may enjoy the Great Wolf Resort which offers cabin style rooms and its own waterpark facilities.

If you are planning on being out and about most of your days during your holiday, then hotels in Niagara Falls that offer the basics where you can rest up and get back out to the sights include the Ramada (Niagara Falls), The Peninsula Inn, The Super 8 Hotel and The Hampton Inn North of the Falls.  These options may not be right at the Falls but offer clean, comfortable accommodations at a lower price point.  These are good options for families who plan on taking in the sights and entertainment but don’t need the luxury of a view every night.

Whatever style holiday you plan for, there are hotels in Niagara Falls to suit your style, your activities and your budget.  Now……get packing!