A Maid of the Mist boat with Horseshoe Falls in the Background.
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Niagara Falls Visitors Guide

Niagara Falls Visitors Guide

This Comprehensive Niagara Falls Historic Timeline is a part of our Niagara Falls Guide, a comprehensive look at The Falls, top attractions, and other awesome parks in the region, with a focus on photography and nature.

Top 5 Niagara Attractions by Country

You want to visit Niagara Falls, but there are two destinations: The New York side or the Ontario side of the border. While Canada offers a much more robust tourism experience, many would refer to as a “tourism trap,”  New York’s attractions have their charm, and nearby North Tonawanda, Lockport, and Buffalo add a lot more things to do. This guide breaks down some of the most enticing attractions on both sides of the border to help you finalize your plans.

Niagara Falls Canada Ontario, Canada Niagara Falls Canada

A close up of the Hornblower boat as it sets off to approach Niagara Falls

Maid of the Mist

In recent years Niagara Parks has begun rebranding this one as Niagara City Cruise, which doesn’t sound appropriate or catchy. I’m going to continue to refer to it by its classical name. 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. Niagara Falls Canada

Wendy's, Movieland Wax Museum, and the Midway Arcade on Clifton Hill

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. Our personal favorites are the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! attraction and the Skywheel. Niagara Falls Canada

Best Niagara Falls Attractions - Fallsview Casino and Resort

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 theater and more. The buffet is killer and it’s worth checking the stage schedule to see what world-class acts are making an appearance. Niagara Falls Canada

Prince of Wales Hotel at Niagara-on-the-lake, one of the top attractions at Niagara Falls, Canada


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, cafes, bakeries, hotels, restaurants and wineries are aplenty. It’s a totally different and welcomed experience away from the gaudy attractions at the falls. Visit nearby Fort George while there. Niagara Falls Canada

The Niagara Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservancy, a top Niagara Falls attraction.

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

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. In spring, the gardens are worthy of several hours of exploration. It’s a great way to take a break from the sights and sounds of the city, without going too far into nature. Niagara Falls Canada

Niagara Falls USA New York, USA Niagara Falls USA

A closeup of the Maid of the Mist crossing turbulent waters below Niagara Falls

Maid of the Mist

Whether you take off from the Canadian side or the US side, the ride is all the same, with perhaps larger and more modern boats for those leaving from Canada.  It is certainly an unparalleled experience and a must-do no matter what side you visit. When exiting, take the “Crow’s Nest” set of steps that wind up the side of the American Falls. Niagara Falls USA

The Cave of the Winds, rated as the best attraction in Niagara Falls, NY

Cave of the Winds

Recently revamped and our absolute favorite attraction of all of Niagara, the new Cave of the Winds begins with a visit through an interactive history exhibit of the falls. Then after a short cinematic on the falls, guests take 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. Now open well into the fall, it offers the closest, most adventurous experience to the fall you can get. Niagara Falls USA

A top attraction on the New York side of Niagara Falls the Prospect Point Observation Tower.

Prospect Point Park Observation Tower

One of the best ways to get a panoramic view of the Niagara Gorge with the American Falls just below and the Canadian Falls off in the distance.  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. The price is low, the deck is highly accessible, and you can spend as much time as you’d like. Plan your visit right around sunset for an unforgettable experience. Niagara Falls USA

Moon jellyfish at the Aquarium of Niagara in New York.

Aquarium of Niagara

More than 120 species are on display, representing ecosystems ranging from the Great Lakes to coral reefs. While small, the place packs a punch with guided tours, educational presentations, animal encounters (including feedings) and more. The cast of trained sea lions is a crowd favorite. Niagara Falls USA

Seneca Niagara Casino and Resort, with 2,500 slot machines is one of the top attractions on the US side of the border.

Seneca Niagara Casino & Resort

A massive casino owned and operated by the Seneca Nation of Indians 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 2,500+ slot machines and the hotel has some of the most luxurious rooms on this side of the border. Niagara Falls USA

More Recommended Niagara Attractions