Since its discovery in the late 1600’s, Niagara Falls has become one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. Spanning the border of Canada and the United States, Niagara is a collection of three waterfalls-Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls. During its peak flow (spring and summer), more than 600,000 gallons per second pour over the falls! Whether observing Niagara Falls from the Canadian side or the American side, visitors are treated to awe-inspiring views of one of nature’s greatest forces. Keep reading for 7 ways to experience Niagara Falls!
With the immense size of the falls, viewing them is easy, in fact the Niagara region has some great ways to get up close and personal with the rushing falls. Here are 7 ways to experience Niagara Falls:
1. Walking the Pathways of the Upper Basin:
The best way to take in the beauty of Niagara Falls is walking along the promenades and pathways along the Upper Basin on either side of the Falls. Numerous viewpoints and lookouts will have you marveling at the beauty and pondering the sheer force of the water rushing over the edge!
2. Feeling the Force of the Falls by Boat:
Getting up close and personal with the sheer force of the rushing water is exhilarating when on a boat tour! Maid of the Mist (American side, $19.25 USD for Adults/$11.20 USD for Children) and Hornblower Niagara Cruises (Canadian side, $25.95 CAD for Adults/$15.95 CAD for Children) cruise visitors into the raging currents of the Niagara River, hearing the thundering rush of the falls and the cool mist upon your face, a boat tour of the falls is a must! Wear the provided poncho, or you will get soaked!
3. Journey Behind the Falls:
Ever wonder what is behind the falls? Take a self-guided tour of the tunnels leading to the Cataract Portal and Great Falls Portal behind the rushing Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Explore the tunnels and step out on the observation desks to feel the force of the falls. Feel the cool mist on your face when you look up to see the rushing falls towering 13 stories above! You definitely will want to wear the yellow poncho provided, as you will get wet! Journey Behind the Falls is on the Canadian side, tickets are $19.95 CAD Adults /$13.00 CAD Children.
4. Cave of the Winds:
Geared with a yellow poncho and special walking sandals, visitors can walk near the torrents of Bridal Veil Falls during a tour of the Cave of the Winds. Follow wooden walkways to the Hurricane Deck and feel the rushing force of the falls and the cool mist upon your skin (you will get wet during this tour!). With the harsh winter conditions, the decks are rebuilt each year! The Cave of the Winds is located on the American side, tickets are $19 USD Adults/$16 USD Children.
5. Niagara Falls Illumination:
While viewing Niagara Falls in the daylight is breathtaking, when night falls, visitors are treated to a colorful light display upon the rushing waterfalls. Spectacular colors shine in the dark, from the colors of the rainbow to solid colors representing significant dates or special charities, visitors will delight in the colorful illumination!
6. Niagara Falls Fireworks:
Fireworks are always great, but viewing them over Niagara Falls while their reflection sparkles in the Niagara River is spectacular! The free fireworks display runs every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 10pm from May through October.
7. Room with a View:
One of the best views of the falls can be from one of the many falls view hotels. We requested a falls view room at the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel (located on the Canadian side) and were treated to sweeping views of Niagara Falls and the surrounding area. Watching Niagara Falls illuminate at night from our room, was the perfect way to fall asleep and dream about the spectacular views!
With the rushing water flowing over the falls, the Niagara River forms fast-flowing torrents and creates a whirlpool, known as the Niagara Whirlpool. There are numerous ways to view the whirlpool such as soaring high above the river in an antique cable car on the Whirlpool Aero Car (Canadian side, $15.00 CAD for Adults/$9.75 CAD for Children), riding through the Niagara Gorge into the swirling currents of the world-class rapids on the Niagara Jet Boat Adventures (American side, tickets start at $66 USD), taking a walk along the boardwalk towards the observation decks to see the Class 6 Whirlpool Rapids and the layers of rock carved into the Niagara Gorge during the White Water Walk (Canadian side, $13.00 CAD for Adults/$8.45 CAD for Children) or soar high above the falls on a zip-line at Mistrider Zipline (Canadian side, $59.99 CAD).
I have been fortunate to visit Niagara Falls three times! Once in late springtime when the spring flowers were in bloom and twice early summer when the temperatures were just about perfect! Please enjoy the brief slideshow of Niagara Falls (I combined photos from all my visits)!
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