One of the most celebrated national parks in the world and a popular honeymoon destination, the largest waterfalls in North America know how to draw a crowd.
There are actually three waterfalls that make up “Niagara Falls”: Horsehoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. The falls straddle the state of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario.
Enjoy views of the falls from both sides of the Niagara Gorge. Observation points are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The cascades are lit after sunset, and fireworks brighten the sky every Friday, Sunday and holiday night from mid-May to early September.
In the United States, Niagara Falls State Park offers views from several vantage points, including the Observation Tower, Prospect Point and Terrapin Point. Picnic areas, hiking trails, a visitor center and restaurants are all close by.
While in the area, don’t miss the Aquarium of Niagara. It has aquatic exhibits from the Great Lakes to the Amazon along with sea lion shows and shark feedings.
Downstream, use the Rainbow Bridge to cross the Niagara River, and the U.S.-Canadian border, on foot, by bicycle or car. Be sure to have your passport and travel documents.
On the Canadian side, visit the Skylon Tower, where you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the falls and their surroundings. The 520-foot-tall (158-meter) tower has shops, two restaurants and a food court. There’s also a huge entertainment precinct called Clifton Hill with the Movieland Wax Museum and Galaxy Golf, an 18-hole, glow-in-the-dark mini golf course. It’s best to buy a multiple attraction pass. Take a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel, which carries you 175 feet (53 meters) above the falls in climate-controlled capsules.
Hop aboard the famous Maid of the Mist boat for a 30-minute journey around the bottom of the falls. Guided tours go to Bridal Veil Falls on the American side or Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. More adventurous visitors can jump on board jet boats. Take a trip to the Cave of the Winds for a close up perspective of the water’s awesome power under Bridal Veil Falls.
Once you’ve had your fill of the falls, stop by the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Southern Ontario. It’s surrounded by wineries and is home to the world-famous Shaw Festival Theatre.