How To Visit Niagara Falls
So I’m guessing you’ve heard of Niagara Falls as we had but do you know what country they are in?
Well, the answer is…both.
Let us explain.
Niagara Falls are made up of three waterfalls, The Horseshoe Falls, The Bridal Veil Falls and The American Falls.
The largest of the three, The Horseshoe Falls is actually on the border of the USA and Canada, the American Falls (not hard to guess where they are ) and the Bridal Veil Falls are on the USA side of the border.
How To Visit Niagara Falls
We visited the Niagara Falls from the Canadian side so we’ll be predominantly speaking from our experience of visiting that side in early April 2018.
From our research of the Falls, it seemed as though we would get a better experience of them from the Canadian side and we travelled from Toronto anyway so it was easier.
But even if you are in the US it’s easy to visit both sides of the falls to get the maximum experience.
Niagara Falls Town
How We Got To Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls and the Niagara River that flows between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, mark the border between the US and Canada.
The town of Niagara Falls spans both banks of the Niagara River, half in the US half in Canada.
Getting To Niagara Falls By Go Transit
We travelled from further North in Ontario to Niagara Falls by Go Transit.
They run buses and trains around Toronto and surrounding areas.
To get to Niagara Falls we had to get the train to Burlington then change onto a Go Transit bus for the rest of the journey to the falls.
The Go Transit trains are nice with double-decked carriages for a good view out.
The Bus will stop a short distance from the main town of Niagara Falls which is easily walkable unless you have lots of luggage in which case you could then get a local bus or cab into town.
You can also catch a VIA Train directly from Toronto to Niagara Falls or the Amtrak that runs from Toronto into the US and all the way down to New York.
About To Board The Go Transit Train To Niagara Falls
Where to Stay In Niagara Falls
There are literally hundreds of options for places to stay in Niagara Falls.
From top-end hotels to roadside motels.
Niagara Falls is a big destination, especially for weekend trips.
The closer to the falls the hotel is the more you’ll pay with some of the big hotels even having rooms overlooking the falls.
We stayed at the Cadillac Motel which is in a great location and within easy walking distance to everything of interest.
We loved the funky Cadillac themed rooms and it was nice and clean.
Our Room At The Cadillac Motel, Niagara Falls
The Town Of Niagara Falls
Honestly, we were a bit shocked when we arrived and started to explore the town of Niagara Falls.
It wasn’t at all how we imagined it to be.
A whole tourist town has built up around the falls that includes bars, clubs, restaurants and lots of expensive attractions.
The Clifton Hill area is where most of the attractions are centred.
You could spend a small fortune here just going to the attractions that include the miniature golf, waxworks, Ripleys Believe It Or Not, Giant wheel and lots of other attractions.
I’m sure you can have lots of fun here but it really didn’t interest us on this trip as we were just here to see the falls themselves.
Although we didn’t do it, crossing into the US is pretty straight forward apparently.
The Rainbow Bridge has a pedestrian crossing but you’ll need your passport to cross as there are immigration checks to go through on either side.
The Attractions At Clifton Hill
The American Falls
Walking down Clifton Hill past all of the tourist attractions, we arrived at the much nicer and greener area down by the river and our first view of the falls.
The American Falls on the US side were the first to come into sight as we walked along the pedestrian promenade.
The water gushed over the lip of the falls down into the mostly frozen river below.
The View Of The Icy American Falls From The Canadian Side
The Horseshoe Falls
Carrying on along the promenade we soon saw the Horseshoe Falls in front of us.
Outside the Tablerock Centre at the end of the promenade, there’s a great viewing area where you can see right over the edge of the falls.
Even though it was early April there were still quite a few people at the falls all trying to get the best view.
It was quite an experience to watch the water as it flowed past us and down into the falls.
You can get a real sense of the power of the falls as you stand right by the massive drop with only low iron railings between you and the thunderous falls.
Great clouds of water droplets fill the air near the falls.
The Tablerock Centre contains souvenir shops and restaurants as is great to get out of the cold weather on a Winter’s day.
A View Of The Horseshoe Falls
Revisiting The Falls At Nighttime Is A Must
From dusk until 1am all year the falls are illuminated with beautiful alternating coloured lights projected onto them.
We actually loved seeing the falls at this time of day as the crowds have gone and you almost have the view to yourself.
The Horseshoe and American Falls are lit up but the Horseshoe falls are the most impressive by far.
It was hard to tear ourselves away from the sight of the falls and the sound of the water as it crashed into the river below us.
The Horseshoe Falls Illuminated
Explore The Niagara Falls History Museum
One of Niagara’s less well-known and least expensive attractions is about a ten-minute walk from the centre of town.
The Niagara Falls History Museum is a fantastic little museum that charts the history of the falls with displays and hands-on learning.
For just $5 ( when we visited in April 2018) you get a whole lot of information about Niagara’s history.
We loved the displays about the Niagara Falls Daredevils who braved going over the edge of the falls in all sorts of contraptions.
It was also great to learn about the geology of the falls and how they were made.
This is such a great little museum that should definitely be on your list of things to do in Niagara Falls.
The Niagara Falls History Museum
Displays Inside The Niagara Falls History Museum
Our Thoughts On Visiting Niagara Falls
If we’re totally honest the falls didn’t impress us that much on first sight.
That sounds odd because they are amazing but whether our expectation was too high, I’m not sure.
But the more we saw them the more impressed we felt.
Sometimes you think that your first view of something would be the thing you’d remember but for us, it was going back and seeing the falls in the evening with no crowds around and seeing them on the morning we left as well.
I think being there when there were fewer people around made it seem special.
The town is not our kind of thing but don’t let that put you off having fun there.
The Horseshoe Falls