Niagara Falls

Best time to visit Niagara Falls – All You Need To Know

Niagara Falls is a majestic waterfall located on the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario (two of the five Great Lakes). The falls form part of the border between Canada and the United States. They comprise three waterfalls: The Canadian Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and The American Falls in the USA.

No one can deny that Niagara Falls is a stunning site; hence it is no wonder that more than 13 million people visit the falls every year. However, this means it is also one of the most crowded tourist destinations in North America! So what is the best time to visit Niagara Falls for some peace and quiet without sacrificing the breathtaking views?

Best time to visit Niagara Falls

Summer (June to August)

The most popular time to visit Niagara Falls is during the summer. Temperatures range between the 70s and 80s. Keep in mind that rates are high since a lot of tourists flock during this season. In summer, some notable events include the Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake: Peach Festival, and the Niagara Homegrown Wine Festival.

Niagara Falls, cloudy

Related: Best time to go to Lake Elsinore

Fall (September to November)

Room prices go down from the beginning of fall. Temperatures range from the mid-40s to the low 70s. Main events held in the fall are Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights, Shaw festival, and Niagara Falls Oktoberfest. Be ready for closes in early October on the Canadian side, as that’s when Thanksgiving happens in the country.

Spring (March to May)

Spring is a lot more bearable than summertime. The views are more beautiful since the weather is still cool, and you can see all of the trees and flowers in full bloom. If you want to get a closer look at nature yet not be surrounded by too many people, this is the best to go to Niagara Falls.

Winter (December to February)

The number of visitors reduces significantly during the winter (some might argue that this is the best time to visit Niagara Falls). It is much easier to find a quiet corner to enjoy or escape the tourist crowds altogether. The rates are also favorable. Make sure you are dressed for the weather. Events during this time include Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights and Niagara Icewine Festival.

American Falls in Winter

Best time of the day to go there

If you want the best experience possible when visiting Niagara Falls, make sure to visit early morning or late in the evening. This is because most people tend to take a break in the middle of the day, making it much easier for them to enjoy all that Niagara Falls offers without crowds. Events include Springlicious and Niagara Falls Elvis Festival.

All in all, if you want peace and quiet when visiting Niagara falls, it’s best not to go during the summer as it will be much more crowded. However, if you want to enjoy the views during the summer fully, visit very early in the day or late in the evening when most people are getting tired after a full day of sightseeing. You can also visit in spring because there aren’t too many tourists around, but the weather is still lovely.

Things to do at Niagara Falls

1. Riverside Patio

One of the most popular places to take a break in Niagara Falls is the Riverside Patio since it is beautiful and relaxing. You can enjoy a light snack or a full meal in the restaurant or take a seat and watch the waterfalls from afar.

2. Whirlpool Aero Car

The Whirlpool Aero Car takes you over the rapids of the Niagara River and lets you see the beauty of Niagara Falls from above. Just make sure to get your tickets in advance since these rides sell out. Here’s a video of the Whirlpool Aero Car experience.

3. Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist, Niagara

One of the most popular ways to get up-close (and sometimes wet) views of Niagara Falls is by taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist. It is one of the best ways to get a full view of Niagara Falls. You can choose from an indoor or outdoor boat ride (depending on where you want to be). Purchase your tickets in advance if you will be visiting during peak season. You will be allowed to take home the waterproof poncho you will be given for the ride.

4. Journey Behind The Falls

Another great way to get up-close views of Niagara Falls is by taking a Journey Behind The Falls. You can see both American and Horseshoe Falls from the bottom, which very few visitors get to experience. To get to the viewpoint, you will descend more than 100 feet using paths that are more than a century old!

5. Skylon Tower

If you want to see everything Niagara Falls has to offer, head up to the Skylon Tower and take a look around! This is especially great if you have seen the falls from behind and below. The tower provides stunning views of the Horseshoe Falls, and you can observe it from the indoor or outdoor deck.

There’s also a revolving restaurant where you can take in the views as you enjoy your favorite food and drink. A glass elevator takes visitors to the top of Skylon Tower in just under a minute. Many visitors go at night to see the illumination that the falls get from the artificial light. Note that most tours stop at the tower.

Skylon Tower, Niagara
Skylon Tower

6. The Fallsview Casino

The Fallsview Casino is Niagara for all of your gambling needs. There are multiple slot machines and table games to choose from, so you will always find what you are looking for. The Avalon Theatre is in the Casino, and you can enjoy the various performances and concerts that happen throughout the year. Also, there’s a shopping area, restaurants, and a golf course to keep you busy if you aren’t into gambling.

7. Niagara Falls History Museum

The Niagara Falls History Museum is found in Niagara Falls City (Ontario, Canada). It is housed in the old Stamford Township Hall, which was constructed in 1874. This building was made a historical building in 1974.

In 2010, the city took control of the house and named it Niagara Falls History Museum. The museum has since undergone renovation. Visit if you want to learn the local history. Remember, the entrance fee is quite affordable, and there are activities for the young ones.

8. Butterfly Conservatory and Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens is a great spot for any nature lover and wants to avoid the crowds. You can also check out the Butterfly Conservatory! You’ll be able to watch hundreds of beautiful butterflies fly around you, all while learning about them and the other animals at the conservatory. It’s a great place for kids and anyone who loves to learn.

Butterfly on flower

9. Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours

Rainbow Air Helicopters offers tours of Niagara Falls and other sights in the area. You can book a helicopter ride, but many people like to book an aerial tour. The company offers scenic 40-minute helicopter rides and educational half-hour Niagara Falls tours.

You will love the breathtaking views of top attractions like Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Clifton Hill, the American Observation Tower, Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, and Goat Island. While on tour, you will marvel at the majestic Niagara River. On a sunny day, you will see a rainbow over the falls. Don’t forget to carry your camera to take some incredible aerial shots!

10. Jet boat tour

Did you know there are jet boats in Niagara Falls? They’re swift, so be sure to keep your head on a swivel if you decide to take one of these tours. The tours last around forty minutes. The 36-mile section between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario is an excellent spot for these thrilling jet boat rides.

During these rides, you will get wet, so do not bring along your phone, camera, or anything else you don’t want to be submerged in water. (You can use an underwater camera if you are a photography enthusiast). The guides will tell you about the history and geology of the area at the start of the ride. Companies that provide the tours include Niagara Jet Adventures and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours.

11. WildPlay Mistrider Zipline

The Mistrider Zipline is perfect if you’re looking for something exciting to do on your trip! This is the highest zipline in the area, so the views of the falls will be incredible.

Ariel view of Niagara Falls
Ariel view of Niagara Falls

12. Old Fort Niagara

If you are a history lover, the Old Fort Niagara is a must-visit. It is a 17th-century facility that has been occupied by the British, French, and American troops. The fort was operational during major wars such as the Indian Wars and the American Revolution. It offers incredible views of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Some interesting things to see are old cannons, old army barracks, and underground gunpowder rooms. The visitor center provides more information on the history of the fort.

13. Niagara SkyWheel

Niagara SkyWheel is located in Clifton Hill, Ontario, and is 175 feet tall. It has top-quality gondolas and is arguably the largest observation wheel in the country. You will ride for about ten minutes, and you will take in stunning views of the Niagara River and the American and Horseshoe Falls. You can take a ride during the day or at night when the surrounding area is illuminated.

Niagara SkyWheel
Niagara SkyWheel

14. Queen Victoria Park

Queen Victoria Park is a top recreational tourist area located opposite the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls. The park was opened in 1888 and contains a wide range of flowers and plants. The flowers’ bright colors and the falls in the background make it the perfect spot to take your family and take some photos.

Related: When should you visit Joshua Tree National Park?

15. Upside Down House

Also found on the Canadian side, The Upside Down House is one of the most talked-about attractions in the area. The house is built with the ceiling first and then flipped over before it’s put onto its foundation. All the things in the house are upside down too. It was originally just a statement but has since evolved into an attraction for visitors to check out!

16. Niagara Glen Nature Reserve

The nature reserve is found on the Canadian section of the falls (Niagara Parkway) and offers a way to relax away from the horde. It provides more than 2 miles of trails in the Carolinian Forest, and visitors will be treated to views of the Niagara River. The guides will tell you all about the nature reserve. The best time to visit is in the fall when the leaves are changing color.

Niagara observation point

17. Cave of the Winds

Visiting the Cave of the Winds is another exciting activity to do at Niagara Falls. You descend almost 200 feet into Niagara Gorge. The Hurricane Deck is an observation point only a few feet from the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. You will likely get wet here even if you’re wearing the souvenir poncho. You will love being so close to the falls.

18. White Water Walk

If you want to see the rushing water in full force, go to the White Water Walk for an hour or so. You will take an elevator that will take you more than 200 feet to the Niagara Gorge. You will have a full view of the Great Gorge Rapids from the boardwalk. The walk has several observation areas and plaques that provide more information about the place.

19. Niagara Wine Trail

If you are a wine lover, take the Niagara wine trail tour that will take you to vineyards and wineries. You will taste the fine wine as you take in the stunning views of the main attractions.

20. The Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge connects the USA and Canada. You can reach the other country in 5 minutes. Stop at the bridge and enjoy the fantastic views of the river below and take some photos.

Rainbow Bridge, Niagara
The Rainbow Bridge

21. Visit the Bird Kingdom

If bird watching is your thing, visit the Bird Kingdom, just five minutes away from Niagara Falls. It is the largest bird aviary in the world, with a wide array of bird species. The Bird Kingdom is a great place to visit with family.

22. The Great Wolf Lodge

This is another excellent spot to visit with your family. It is an indoor water park with activities for all ages. The Great Wolf Lodge also has shops and restaurants.

23. Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Center

Here, you will find exhibits detailing the history, politics, and culture of people who settled at Niagara Falls. There are also interactive activities for kids. Note that kids under five years old aren’t charged to enter the center.

24. Visit the Floral Clock

The Floral Clock is located near the Botanical Gardens. The clock is made up of thousands of plants. It is a fantastic place to pose for photos with your family or friends.

25. Go to Niagara Falls State Park

If you love history and nature, visit Niagara Falls State Park. It is one of the country’s oldest parks and allows you to enjoy views of the falls from any direction you take. There are hiking trails, restaurants, and exhibits to ensure you have a good time.

Park near Niagara Falls

26. ArtPark

The Niagara is not just about the falls. ArtPark is located at Lewiston on the American section and hosts visual arts performances and cultural events. If you visit in the summer, you will love the many festivals held at this venue.

27. Devil’s Hole State Park

This New York attraction overlooks the Devil’s Hole Rapids and is the ideal spot for a family outing. It’s an excellent spot for hiking, picnics, and fishing.

28. Go on a Hornblower Cruise

This is one of the most exciting tours you can do at Niagara Falls. The Voyage of the Falls allows you to experience the magnificence of the waters and the falls. On a sunny day, you may see a rainbow over the falls. You will need a poncho to prevent getting drenched.

Hornblower cruise Niagara Falls
Hornblower Cruise

29. Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino

If you love gambling, the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino offers various table and slot games. Other amenities include a full-service spa, restaurants, shops, and a live poker table. It is the perfect nightlife spot at Niagara Falls.

How to get to Niagara Falls

There are various ways to get to Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls International Airport is within the city, while the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is about half an hour from the falls. You can use Amtrak to travel from cities like New York City, Washington, and Philadelphia. Amtrak also has trains that move to and from Canada.

The New York Trailways and Greyhound will be great companies if you want to make the trip by bus. And if you prefer driving your vehicle, you can take the various highways leading to Niagara Falls, such as Interstate 90.

downtown Niagara Falls
Downtown Niagara Falls

Don’t forget that Niagara Falls is the perfect place to get married. You can get married in several historic churches or while on the Maid of the Mist – you have a wide range of options to choose from.

Final Thoughts

Overall, summer is the best time to visit Niagara Falls because of the warm weather, and more attractions are open. Also, keep in mind that September will be an excellent month for sightseeing as well because the foliage turns red and gold. So what are you waiting for?

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