The main attraction in Niagara Falls is not that surprising… the falls, however there are tons of other things to do to that will keep you busy and entertained such as tours, hikes, street festivals, and delicious restaurants to name just a few. Here is what I consider to be the perfect break down of the top 15 things to do during your trip.
1. Maid of the Mist – This boat ride tour brings you into the center of the three falls; American, Bridal Veils and Horseshoe falls. It brings you close enough to get sprayed by the falls and even soaked depending on where you are standing (there is also a lower deck if you want to avoid that). You are provided with ponchos, so don’t worry about getting too wet, just enjoy the experience and amazing views.
2. Rainbow Air, Inc – You can’t get a better view of the falls than flying above it in a helicopter. I don’t think I need to say more! It was an up close and unforgettable birds eye view of this amazing phenomenon.
3. Niagara Adventure Theatre – Learn history and about the riskiest stunts that have been performed at the falls, such as tightrope walkers and a 63 year old woman who went over the falls in a barrel!
4. Eat and drink to live music – Wine on Third has not only a large selection of wine, but if you are a martini lover like myself, you can try flavors such as cheesecake, pumpkin spice and southern peach. You don’t have to worry about driving there either, because if you call the restaurant, they will come pick you up for free in their cart and drive you back when you are done.
5. Cave of the Winds – Get up close to the Bridal Veils Falls, as you walk along the “Hurricane Deck”, which is 175 feet down the falls. You are given a poncho, but if you don’t want to get wet, there are various parts of the deck to visit where you can avoid it, but where’s the fun in that? You are also given sandals so you won’t slip around as you walk.
6. Illuminations and fireworks over the falls – Every night (depending on the season), the falls are lit up with pink, blue, purple and red lights. On the weekends, there are fireworks at 10pm. It is a must-see!! You can observe it from anywhere near the falls. The observation deck is of course, the best spot.
7. Scenic Trolley – Since the state park is huge, the trolley is a great way to get around. Enjoy views of the park as you get from place to place.
8. Aquarium of Niagara – Check out the many exhibits and animals such as penguins, seals, and other 1,500 aquatic animals.
9. Dine at the Top of The Falls – On Goat Island, this restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating with great views of horseshoe falls. Afterwards, wander around to see even more fabulous views.
10. Hike the Niagara Gorge – Over 15 miles of trails ranging from easy to more difficult. The three main trails are Whirlpool State Park, Devil’s Hole and Artpark which eventually all connect. There are different entrances along the way, so you can start in a specific section unless you can manage to hike it all!
11. Discovery Center – Pop in to see a showcase of Niagara’s history, interactive displays, rock climbing and theatre experience of Niagara through the ages.
12. Hangout at Old Falls Street – If you visit in the summer, there are daily family fun activities to do, bike rentals, life-sized board games, Friday concert series, Thursday outdoor movies and delicious stands with a unique spin on classic street food.
Top Left: Funyuns Philly Cheese Steak / Top Right: Cheesecake with Teddy Grams
Bottom Left: Fritos Chicken Tacos / Bottom Right: Pita Chip Smores
13. Eat lunch at the Niagara Culinary Institute – At Savor, student chefs cook your meal with the freshest ingredients and change the menu with each season, so you can keep visiting you can try new dishes. There is also an open kitchen in case you want to watch them showcase their talent, which is pretty cool.
14. Gamble – Seneca Casino is a great place to gamble, shop and dine. You can also enjoy live music at Stir.
15. Take a day trip – If you have a car, explore some towns outside of Niagara such as Lockport and North Tonawanada. There’s plenty to do such as wine tasting, an underground boat ride, museums and more.
Wine tasting at Flight of Five Winery in Lockport
Exploring the Carousel Factory Museum and riding a carousel from 1916 in North Tonawanda.
Tip: If you buy the Discovery Pass, for only $38 it gives you access to the Cave of the Winds, Aquarium, Trolley Discovery Center and Niagara Adventure Theatre.