Maid of the Mist– The Maid of the Mist boats start off at a calm part of the Niagara River, near the Rainbow Bridge, and take passengers past the American and Bridal Veil Falls, then into the dense mist inside the curve of the Horseshoe Falls. The tour is available starting from either the Canadian or U.S. side of the river, returning to the starting point in each case.Clifton Hill– Niagara Falls hotels, attractions, restaurants, casinos and more await you at Clifton Hill. Located one block from the Falls, Clifton Hill is the heart of the tourism industry for Niagara Falls, ON. You will find a variety of attractions along this busy part of town, from a jungle-themed restaurant to a Hollywood wax museum.Fallsview Casino Resort– The single largest provincial investment ever made in the Niagara region and is currently the largest commercial development in Canada. The 2.5 million square foot complex includes more than 3,000 slot machines and 150 gaming tables, a 368-room five-star hotel, fine-dining restaurants, a health spa, shopping mall, a 1,500-seat theatre and more. Niagara-on-the-Lake – A visit to the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is like a trip back in time. Historical plaques denoting landmarks and notable events from the War of 1812 spot the area. Classy shops, hotels, restaurants and wineries are aplenty. Visit nearby Fort George while there. Botanical Gardens – Niagara Parks’ Botanical Gardens is located on the scenic Niagara Parkway and the Great Gorge, just a 10 minute drive north of the Falls. This 99 acre garden setting is home to the Butterfly Conservatory and serves as the unique outdoor classroom for students attending the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture.
Maid of the Mist – The Maid of the Mist boats start off at a calm part of the Niagara River, near the Rainbow Bridge, and take passengers past the American and Bridal Veil Falls, then into the dense mist inside the curve of the Horseshoe Falls. The tour is available starting from either the Canadian or U.S. side of the river, returning to the starting point in each case. Cave of the Winds – Your journey begins with an elevator ride 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge. Then, clad in a souvenir rain poncho and sandals, you’ll follow a tour guide over wooden walkways to the Hurricane Deck, less than 20 feet from the torrents of Bridal Veil Falls. Prospect Point Park Observation Tower – The most comprehensive and impressive views of the American Falls can be seen from the deck of the park’s Observation Tower. Extending out over the Niagara Gorge, the Tower allows you to look directly out into the cascading waters or down into the raging torrents below. Aquarium of Niagara – More than 1,500 aquatic animals are on display, representing ecosystems ranging from the Great Lakes to coral reefs. Every 90 minutes you can watch sea lions perform and penguin and shark feedings happen regularly. Other crowd favorites include the piranha, seal and eel exhibits.Seneca Niagara Casino – A massive casino and the only one on the American side, Seneca-Niagara offers plenty of slots and table games as well as shops, restaurants and world-class shows. The Casino floor has an area of 112,590 square feet with an impressive 4,222 slot machines.
The Rest of the Attractions…
In alphabetical order.
Ontario, Canada – Attractions
Attractions – New York, USA
Battle Ground Hotel Museum– The Battle Ground Hotel is located at 6151 Lundy’s Lane in the heart of Historic Drummondville, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The Battle Ground Hotel Museum sits on a part of the remaining untouched lands of the Lundy’s Lane Battlefield. Visitors to the site are offered a guided tour of the period rooms where they will experience tavern life in 1850.Bird Kingdom– Home to over 400 free-flying birds as well as many creatures of all sorts, this spectacular indoor aviary offers visitors a slice of the tropics. Guided tours, educational programs, and shows are offered.Butterfly Conservatory– This magical attraction features over 2,000 colorful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Paths wind through the rainforest setting, past a pond, waterfall and the Emergence Window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight.Casino Niagara– Featuring 1,700 slot and video poker machines, 70 tables of gaming excitement, three restaurants, three bars and live music performances. Fort Erie Race Track– Live and off-track thoroughbred racing with race betting and slot machines. The track also features dining facilities.Great Wolf Lodge– This family resort features a massive indoor water park with various splash pools, water slides, tube rides and more. The resort also features an arcade, mini-golf, spas, restaurants, and conference facilities. Open year-round.Hard Rock Cafe– Located conveniently at the main entrance to Casino Niagara, the Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls, Canada has two very special rooms you’ll want to check out: one dedicated entirely to Elvis and the other completely to the Beatles.Imax Theater and Daredevil Gallery– On its detailed IMAX screen and 12,000 watt digital sound system: The Niagara Falls Movie: “Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic.” is a regular. A new film, centering on daredevils, is also shown daily. While there check out the Daredevil Gallery, featuring photos and various artifacts of the famed Niagara daredevils.Journey Behind the Falls – Elevators descend 150 feet through the bedrock of Table Rock to tunnels that lead to the Cataract Portal and the Great Falls Portal, which is one third of the way behind the massive sheet of water. The upper and lower observation decks get you to the foot of the Horseshoe Falls.Konica Minolta Tower – Rising 525 ft (160 m) above the Falls, the 25th floor indoor observation deck is surrounded with anti-reflective glass to facilitate photography. Although the Skylon Tower is higher, the Konica Minolta Tower is closer to the Horseshoe Falls.Kurtz Orchards – An easy-to-miss stop on the way to Niagara-on-the-Lake, this gourmet market has teas, sauces, jellies, fresh cheeses, soups and pastries. Browsing their vast selection will easily take an hour or more. Daily tastings.Laura Secord Homestead – During the war of 1812, a brave woman set out on a perilous journey in the service of her country, and stepped forever into the history and folklore of Niagara. Travel back in time to her lovingly restored homestead and be enchanted by stories of her adventures and surroundings as interpreted by authentically costumed guides.Lundy’s Lane – This popular tourist district offers everything from value motel accommodations, to resorts with indoor water parks. Dining options include various fast food and even themed dinner shows. Gift shops aplenty.Lundy’s Lane Historical Society Museum – The Museum’s collection includes a significant collection of War of 1812 artifacts, as well as historic prints of Niagara Falls. The Museum also has a world class collection of Niagara Falls Souvenir China and Postcards. As the interpreters of the City’s history, the Museum houses a variety of artifacts relating to all aspects of the founding and development of the City of Niagara Falls.MarineLand – One of the most popular attractions in the immediate area, this hybrid zoo and amusement park offers multiple marine mammal demonstrations; aquatic and terrestrial animal exhibits; thrill rides and concessions. Their resident arctic beluga whales are a popular attraction while the looping steel Dragon Mountain Coaster is a classic thrill for ride enthusiasts.National Helicopters– Although either side of the border features helicopter tours, National Helicopters is the best. They offer a wide variety of tours and the ability to customize your own. The Niagara Grand Tour is highly recommended.
Niagara Pumphouse Visual Arts Centre – This restored Victorian water-supply building is located on the bank of the Niagara at Niagara-on-the-Lake. It houses an art gallery showcasing regional artists. Open daily all summer and on weekends the rest of the year.
Niagara Riding Stables – Ride horseback along the Escarpment amidst Niagara wine country. Enjoy the wonderful sights along this natural wonder as you ascend and descend. Only 20 minutes from the Falls.
Niagara Skywheel – Located on Clifton Hill, this 175 ft (53 m) high Ferris wheel sports 42 enclosed and air-conditioned gondolas. The height and location offer excellent views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls. Open year-round.
Niagara Square – A modern shopping mall and Cineplex; just minutes from the Falls.
Oh Canada Eh – The Oh Canada Eh Dinner Show is a musical celebration of Canada providing a truly unforgettable Canadian experience in fun and lively dinner theatre presentation. The dinner show features Canadian music, Canadian performers and a totally Canadian meal.
Riverbrink Art Museum – The former estate of lawyer and art collector Samuel Weir is open most days of summer and exhibits fine art, decorative art and historic books and manuscripts. the homestead is great place to view early Niagara Falls artwork.
Shaw Festival – This summer theater festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake features over 300 performances across three theaters all dedicated to the works of George Bernard Shaw. A world-class series of performances that attract audiences from all over the US and Canada.
Sir Adam Beck – The Sir Adam Beck power generating stations harness the power of the Niagara River, generating power for the majority of the region. The station offers a fully guided tour and gift shop.
Skylon Tower – Towering 520 feet over street level and 950 feet above the falls, the iconic Skylon Tower features a mall, observation deck, 2 restaurants (one of which rotates), and scenic “yellow bug” elevators that climb the exterior. This is the premier viewing spot for the falls.
Welland Canal – Although you can hike or bike alongside the canal on the Welland Parkway Trail, you can also visit Lock 3 and the Welland Canals Centre in St. Catherines or Lock 7 in Thorold to view the variety of ships that pass by and the workings of the lock system.
Wineries – The combination of fertile soil and the microclimate created by the Great Lakes and Niagara River watersheds have turned the Niagara peninsula into a thriving wine region. Tour the region yourself or with a group, and sample the many award-winning varieties. From Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake there are several dozen wineries offering tastings, tours and dining.
Whirlpool Aero Car – High above the racing Niagara River, you’ll be transported through the air in an antique cable car. Far below, the torrent of water abruptly changes direction and creates one of the world’s most mesmerizing natural phenomenons – the Niagara Whirlpool.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours – These high-powered boats will run crowds of tourists up the Niagara River, through Devil’s Hole to the Whirlpool. The Wet Jet departs daily from both Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as Lewiston, NY. You will get wet.
White Water Walk – Stroll along a boardwalk at the very edge of one of the world’s wildest stretches of whitewater! Marvel at the relentless power and beauty of nature and see how the deep and narrow Great Gorge was created. The attraction also features a photo gallery of past Rapids daredevils.
Adventure Theater – Located on the lower level of the Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center, the recently upgraded Adventure Theater features continuous showing of Niagara: Legends of Adventure.Anchor Bar– The birthplace of the Chicken Wing in 1964, this bar and grill is located just outside of downtown Buffalo. The menu has plenty of items besides wings, but who cares? Definitely worth the trip to Buffalo to sample the original Buffalo Wing.Buffalo Zoo– A small, but charming zoo in downtown Buffalo. Among other detailed exhibits, the indoor Rainforest Falls exhibit replicates the unique geology and ecology of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park, home to Angel Falls – the tallest waterfall in the world.Carnegie Arts Center– A regional, multi-disciplinary arts center, which presents its programs at the historic Carnegie Library. Its mission is to present contemporary art exhibitions by regional, national, and international artists in the visual and media arts.Castellani Art Museum– Situated at the center of Niagara University, the Castellani Art Museum is dedicated to the enjoyment and educational potential of the visual arts. The Museum houses and displays a distinguished collection of contemporary art, including historic photographs of Niagara Falls. Daredevil Museum– A free, but small exhibit containing various daredevil paraphernalia including the Steve Trotter and Peter De Bernardi barrels.Discovery Center– Showcasing the natural and local history of Niagara Falls and the surrounding area, the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center is a hands-on learning experience for all ages. In this amazing Niagara Falls tour, you can enjoy interactive displays, take a virtual elevator trip into the gorge, experience 12,000 years of the Niagara River in the 180° multi-screen theater, or climb a 26-foot rock wall that resembles the walls of the gorge, complete with fossils and geological formations.Fashion Outlets of Niagara– Just minutes from the falls, this modern indoor shopping complex features over 150 brand name outlets including Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Calvin Klein, Eddie Bauer, Fossil, Liz Claiborne, Oakley, Tommy Hilfiger and Timberland. Since it will take a while to hit all of these stores, there is also a food court.Grand Lady Cruises – The Grand Lady sails the always-calm waters of the Upper Niagara River from the homeport on Grand Island, NY. Narrated tours, lunch and dinner cruises (including a musical review) are featured.Hard Rock Cafe – Located conveniently across from Niagara Falls State Park, the Hard Rock Cafe is the definitive eatery on the American side of the Falls. The decor: grand old American rock. What else?
The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum – Located in nearby North Tonawanda, this former factory now houses a museum dedicated to the these classic American carrousels and the craftsmen who made them. The museum has plenty of authentic hand-carved animals, activities for kids and two working carrousels.Historic Palace Theatre – The Palace Theatre was built in nearby Lockport, NY in 1925 as a 1200 seat proscenium arch style theatre. The theatre boasts a full orchestra pit complete with a hydraulic organ lift, balcony seating and a modern sound system. Films and live shows run regularly.Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride – Located in nearby Lockport, NY, this 70 minute guided tour starts out at Erie Canal locks 67-71 and travels through a water tunnel constructed in the 1850s. The last part of the tour continues via boat through a network of limestone caves. Considered the longest underground boat ride in America.Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises – Experience a unique 2-hour cruise down the Erie Canal, including “locking through” and being raised the 49 ft. elevation of the Niagara Escarpment. You will pass under bridges that raise straight up, see water cascade over Lockport’s famous “Flight of Five” 1840’s locks, and travel through the solid walls of the “rock cut” as your captain describes the architecture, sights and folklore along the way.Martin’s Fantasy Island – A small and affordable amusement park with over 50 rides and attractions including a water park with wave pool. Most attractions cater to kids, but the classic wooden coater, the Silver Comet, is thrilling for all ages.Mob Tours – A guided tour of the home of the Cosa Nostra’s longest reigning, deadliest, most powerful crime boss in all of American mafia history: Stefano “The Undertaker” Magaddino. This 90-minute bus tour highlights former criminal hideouts, hangouts, and homes, and explains the history of Stefano, Gaspare and Nino Magaddino, the former brothers who ruled Western New York with iron fists.Native American Museum of Art – Native American Museum of Art’s vision is to build a world class museum that brings to life Native American art and culture, particularly Iroquois and Tuscarora. NAMA is dedicated to strengthen, preserve and revitalize Native American culture. Native American Museum of Art (NAMA) has two locations in Niagara Falls, NY and Tuscarora Indian Reservation, 10 minutes away from the Falls.
Niagara Arts and Cultural Center – NY State’s largest gathering of artists under one roof outside of metro New York. Home to two theaters, two art galleries and an interactive children’s center.
Niagara Climbing Center – Niagara Climbing Center has established itself as the premier indoor rock climbing destination in New York. With 6,000 square feet of climbing terrain and a variety of walls and routes to suit beginner, intermediate, and advanced climbers, this indoor facility is fun for all. Lessons are available.
Niagara Scenic Trolley – Explore Niagara Falls State Park in the comfort of the Niagara Falls Scenic Trolley. Enjoy an overview of the park in half an hour as a knowledgeable guide shares the history of the park with you along the three-mile route, or get off at each of the six stops and explore the Niagara Falls attractions.
Niagara University Theater – This college theater program puts on a variety of shows for little or no admission. The production qualities are high and the talent is excellent.
Ransomville Speedway – The Ransomville dirt track is a half mile oval and caters to various classes of stock car racing. It is a fun time for all ages.
Riviera Theatre – This historic theater in nearby North Tonawanda was constructed in 1926 in the Italian Renaissance style. Although upgraded for modern films and shows, the theater still has classic touches; such as the Mighty Wurlitzer organ and 3/4 ton crystal chandelier. Tours available.
Robert Moses Hydro Electric Generating Station – Taking Rt 104 north from Niagara Falls will bring you right over the Robert Moses power plant, and past its massive reservoir. The plant has 13 turbines, generating 2,275,000 Kilowatts of electricity. Niagara Power Project Power Vista offers excellent views of the nearby dams as well as tours and educational exhibits.
Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima – The magnificence and natural beauty of the Shrine is highlighted by an awe-inspiring Dome Basilica covered with two layers of glass and Plexiglas, with a contour of the Northern Hemisphere of the globe. The Shrine is surrounded by beautifully-groomed grounds and “Rosary Pool.”
Visitor Center – In addition to maps and information, the Visitor Center houses the Adventure Theater, a gift shop and a variety of Niagara Falls restaurants, including specialty coffees, ice cream, a patio grill and a deli snack bar. Of particular interest are the Niagara Falls historical timeline and geological charts.
Wineries – Niagara Wine Trail – The Great Lakes and Niagara River watersheds have given Western NY excellent conditions for grape-growing. Although most wineries are at least a 20 minute drive from the Falls. Follow one of the pre-defined trails and be sure check the calendar for special trail-wide events.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours – These high-powered boats will run crowds of tourists up the Niagara River, through Devil’s Hole to the Whirlpool. The Wet Jet departs daily from both Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as Lewiston, NY. You will get wet.
Parks and Historic Sites
In alphabetical order.
Ontario, Canada – Parks
Parks – New York, USA
Dufferin Islands Nature Area– This popular area is 10 acres of paradise – a quiet, secluded park containing several small islands connected by small bridges and footpaths. Located minutes upstream from the Falls.Floral Clock– This unique attraction is a very popular stop on the Niagara Parkway and is photographed almost as often as the Falls. The floral clock is a fully-functioning time piece, crafted out of colorful flowering plants and surrounded by an aquatic garden. The Clock is enclosed by a well-groomed garden park with hundreds of lilac bushes on display.Floral Showhouse– Surrounded by summer gardens, this world-class greenery features orchids, succulents and other tropical plants throughout the year, along with floral shows that reflect the changing seasons. Flying throughout the greenery are colorful tropical birds. A must-see for the flower lover.Fort Erie– Fort Erie, the local site of the War of 1812, is one of the most significant historic landmarks in the area. Fort Erie saw considerable action in the War of 1812. The fort plays an integral role in presenting Canada’s history to visitors from around the world in its capacity as a museum, living history site and memorial park.Fort George National Historic Park – Fort George and Niagara-on-the-Lake became major battlefields when the United States declared war in 1812. Fort George’s garrison defeated an American invasion and fought artillery duels with Fort Niagara in 1812.King’s Bridge Park– Located on the bank of the Niagara just upriver from the Falls, Chippawa Creek joins the river at King’s Bridge Park. An excellent spot for picnicking and family recreation, the park offers picnic facilities, lake access, a playground and splash-pool for kids.McFarland House – This two-century-old Georgian-style estate sits amidst a family park in Niagara-on-the-Lake and offers tours of the home and garden. The colonial-style tea garden has an extensive collection of teas, wines and pastries.Navy Island – Located 2.8 miles (4.5 km) upstream from the falls, and adjacent to Grand Island, USA, Navy Island is less than half a square mile large. During the War of 1812, the British Navy used the island for maintenance and repair of warships. It now serves as an undeveloped park and camping area; accessible only by boat.Niagara Glen – The Niagara Glen is a unique spot of beauty deep in the Great Gorge that has been a designated Nature Reserve since 1992. Stairways lead to 4 km (2.5 mi) of paths that wind through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest, past boulders left behind as the Falls eroded through the area thousands of years ago.Queen Victoria Park – Queen Victoria Park is literally the “heart” of Niagara Parks and arguably the prime viewing location for the Falls. Bounded by the steep Fallsview moraine and the Niagara River Great Gorge, the Park contains a valuable collection of unique native and international plants and beautifully maintained gardens. Featuring the spectacular Oakes Garden Theatre near Clifton Hill.
Beaver Island State Park– Beaver Island State Park is located in Erie County, New York in the town of Grand Island. The park is on the bank of the Niagara River, at the southern end of Grand Island. The park offers a beach with swimming area, picnic tables with pavilions, golf, recreation programs, a nature trail, seasonal waterfowl hunting, fishing and ice-fishing, sledding, cross-country skiing, cross country running, snowshoeing, sledding and snowmobiling, a boat launch with marina and dockage, and a food concession. Big Six Mile Creek Marina– Big Six Mile Creek Marina is a New York state park. It is located on the Niagara River on Grand Island in Erie County. The park offers a marina, boat launch sites and fishing.Buckhorn Island State Park– Buckhorn Island State Park is located in Erie County, New York in the Town of Grand Island. The park is on the northern end of the island of Grand Island. It is primarily an exhibit of Niagara River wetlands. The park offers biking, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking and a nature trail.Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park– This museum on the shore of Lake Ontario is home to several decommissioned naval vessels, including the USS Little Rock cruiser and the USS Sullivans destroyer. Several tanks and aircraft are also on display. Tours available.De Veaux Woods State Park – De Veaux Woods State Park is a state park located in Niagara County, New York, USA. De Veaux Woods is located off the Robert Moses State Parkway, north of the City of Niagara Falls. It is adjacent to the Whirlpool State Park.Devil’s Hole State Park– Devil’s Hole State Park overlooks the lower Whirlpool rapids. A wildly beautiful walkway leads down from the park along the turbulent Niagara River 300 feet into the wooded gorge and offers an up-close, spectacular view of the gorge’s rapids. Devil’s Hole has picnic areas, hiking, and nature trails. It is one of the most popular spots for fishermen.Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park – Earl W. Brydges Artpark is dedicated to presenting the finest in performing and visual arts programs, including Broadway musicals and classical, jazz and pop music concerts; art exhibits; classes, workshops and demonstrations, and tours of the park’s geological and historic sites and nature trails. The park has picnic facilities, hiking and cross-country skiing, and access to fishing.Fort Niagara State Park & Historic Site – Fort Niagara State Park offers boat launches, playing fields and picnic areas. The Historic site preserves Fort Niagara, a fortification originally built to protect the interests of New France in North America. Controlled by the US since its independence, it was captured briefly by the British in the War of 1812.Four Mile Creek State Park – This popular camping park is located just 15 minutes north of Niagara Falls. The 275 campsites are located near the shores of Lake Ontario and offer spectacular panoramic views. The park has hiking trails for campers along the densely wooded bluffs. The marsh at the mouth of Four Mile Creek is an excellent bird-watching location.Joseph Davis State Park – Joseph Davis State Park has facilities for a wide variety of recreational activities. The terrain is generally flat, with fields, woodlands and ponds. Anglers can fish for largemouth bass in the pond near the park entrance or for a variety of freshwater fish from the fishing dock on the lower Niagara River. The park also has a nature trail, as well as cross-country skiing/snowshoeing and snowmobiling trails and a 27-hole Frisbee disc golf course.Niagara Reservation State Park – Niagara Reservation State Park, which surrounds mighty Niagara Falls, is the oldest state park in the United States. The park is made up of numerous islands, as well as the famous Prospect Point area. The park includes the Scenic Trolley, Observation Tower, Discovery Center, Visitor’s Center, Adventure Theater, Great Lakes Garden, and Cave of the Winds.Reservoir State Park – Reservoir State Park, Town of Niagara Route 31, is a favorite of locals in Niagara County. The park features playing fields and picnic facilities. Part of the park is an overlook for the Robert Moses Plant Reservoir. Excellent fishing available in the Reservoir.Whirlpool State Park– Whirlpool State Park has two levels-the upper, or street level has many overlooks with spectacular views of the swirling waters of the rapids, the whirlpool and the Niagara River Escarpment. Visitors picnic and children use the playground at this level. The lower, or river level is accessible by walking the 300 feet of trails and steps that descend into the gorge. This level has several nature trails and access for fishing.
Hiking / Nature Trails
In alphabetical order.
Ontario, Canada – Trails
Trails – New York, USA
Bruce Trail– Canada’s oldest and longest footpath stretches from Queenston Heights Park and ends over 400 miles away in northern Canada. The southern stretch leads across the Niagara Escarpment, past several waterfalls and through wine country. Brocks Tour – An excellent opportunity to cross the Niagara Escarpment. Haulage Road Trail– This old trucking road (built to help haul away debris from the excavation of the Sir Adam Beck power plant) is now a multi-use trail. Located in the city of Niagara Falls. Niagara Glen Trail– The Glen Trail drops 200 feet down the Niagara Gorge near the Whirlpool bend. It offers an excellent opportunity to view the natural history of the Falls. Niagara River Recreation Trail– Winding along the entire length of the Niagara River, this massive trail can be used by motorists (along the Niagara Parkway), cyclists or pedestrians.Welland Canal Parkway Trail – This 12 mile (20 km) multi-use trail hugs the Welland Canal on an old towpath and spans from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It joins with the Bruce Trail among others at St. Catherines on Lake Ontario.For more information on these and other trails in the Niagara region, visit the Ontario Trails Conference website.