Canada is huge! It’s the second largest country in the world yet is one of the least populated. Every year Canada tops the livability index by Forbes magazine. Planning a visit to Canada is no easy task. It’s so diverse from Vancouver on the Pacific coast through the Rocky Mountains, to the prairies and across to Toronto on the Great Lakes, to Nova Scotia on the Atlantic coast. With all this happening what do you visit??
I am going to write about one of the most highly visited attractions in the entire continent. You never imagine how big it is until you see it up close and you never envision so much mist either. I really enjoyed seeing it. You can hop on a boat tour and head out into the waterfalls, but be prepared to get soaked! Visiting Niagara Falls is a magical experience and it ranks high on many people’s bucket lists.
Niagara Falls is located on the Canada/ USA border and the rainbow bridge that spans the Niagara River marry’s the two countries.
SOME USEFUL INFORMATION
ℹ️ Travel: Depending on where you wish to fly into Canada there are many airports that are served from The UK. Manchester and London Heathrow/Gatwick have daily flights into Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. The nearest airport for Niagara Falls is Toronto. The easiest way to travel from Toronto to Niagara Falls is to use VIA RAIL CANADA that offers tickets from as low as CA$23 (GB£14). The travel time is roughly just under two hours.
Canada runs an electronic travel authority programme similar to that of The USA and Australia whereby you must apply for an electronic travel pass before travel in order to enter Canada. For BRITISH nationals check out this WEBPAGE ADVICE. For NON BRITISH citizens check out this WEBPAGE FOR E-VISAs
ℹ️ Currency: The Canadian Dollar (CA$).
ℹ️ Credit Cards and Banks: ATMs are common place in almost every shopping street around the city centre, with almost every retailer accepting Mastercard and Visa. There is no fear of an establishment declining card payments.
ℹ️ Weather: Spring and summer offer warm weather, blossoming gardens and abundant sunshine. In winter, temperatures drop and the region is transformed into a winter wonderland, as ice and snow paints every surface with glittering radiance.
ℹ️ Accommodation: Accommodation around Niagara Falls is not cheap. Even the budget motels are easily a couple hundred pounds. If you want something close to the Falls then consider the 3* Travelodge by Wyndham Niagara falls. A standard room of a weekend will cost roughly GB£185 (CA$308). Of course, there are some cheaper options but this motel seems to tick the boxes for comfort and location.
WHAT DOES NIAGARA FALLS OFFER?
There is plenty to do around the Falls depending on what you have planned and your time on offer. But of course the major draw is the Falls themselves. If your accommodation is local then the area is easy walkable.
Niagara Falls is actually composed of three waterfalls although the most famous waterfall is Horseshoe Falls. The combination of flow rate and height make the falls epic to see in person. This does not include the loud roar of the waterfall. Canada’s Horseshoe Falls are the biggest, stretching 2590 feet (790m) wide by 187 feet (57m) high, with an immense six million cubic feet of water flowing over every minute.
A path runs right along the edge of the Falls so you can hear the roar, feel the spray on your face and look right down to the blue Maid of the Mist boats getting buffeted by the waves (bring a good waterproof camera case and prepare to get wet if you want to get up close).
RIDE THE WHIRLPOOL JET BOAT
It’s the ultimate challenge and one of the best things to do in Niagara Falls to test your courage. A ride on the Whirlpool Jet Boat is not an easy sail in the park. Last time I did it, I sat either in the third or fourth row which I discovered far too late is the wet zone. It’s the “wish you hadn’t sat there” zone. Picture a boat ride that passes by rapids like “Devil’s Hole” now you know. For more details on Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours CLICK THIS LINK.
TAKE A JOURNEY BEHIND THE FALLS
Journey Behind the Falls has been taking curious visitors down to see the catacombs that weave behind the Horseshoe Falls. I remember going as a teenager sporting rental wellies and buttoning up a heavy rubber raincoat for this thrill. Those retro accessories have disappeared instead white-water thrill seekers get a souvenir rain poncho needed to see this wet’n’wild experience. You will never forget the rush of six million cubic feet of water pouring above you and the trembling of the floor. It’s by far one of the most memorable Niagara Falls attractions.
There are various packages but the standard entry ticket costs CA$21.95 (GB$13.50).
CABLE CAR RIDE ACROSS NIAGARA GORGE
Take a ride in this open sided cable car which crosses the Niagara Gorge that offers incredible views of the whirlpool below. You also get a bird’s eye view of the crazy jet boats whipping by the fast flowing currents. The cable car is operational from spring to autumn and costs roughly CA$16 (GB£9.50).
MAID OF THE MIST BOAT CRUISE
The Maid of the Mist is a boat tour of Niagara Falls, starting and ending on the American side. The boat starts off at a calm part of the Niagara River, near the Rainbow Bridge, and takes its passengers past the American and Bridal Veil Falls, then into the dense mist of spray inside the curve of the Horseshoe Falls, also known as the Canadian Falls. Be prepared to get wet. Carry some waterproof bags for your belongings and camera, and don’t forget that poncho.
This is one awesome experience! Tickets roughly cost CA$19.75 (GB£12) For more information CLICK THIS LINK.
Niagara Falls offers either individual attraction tickets but if you plan to do more than one attraction you may save money by booking a multi pass. To find out more details CLICK HERE.
NIAGARA ON THE LAKE
If your travel plans allow time then visit this cute little town not far from the Falls, Perhaps, you have made plans to stay in a hotel here? Niagara on the Lake is bursting with charm and takes you away from all the tackiness that tourism brings to the Falls.
Where Niagara Falls is big and brash, Niagara on the Lake is the complete opposite – swapping high rise hotels for cute B&Bs and giant casinos for boutique shops and restaurants. The town is set on the edge of Lake Ontario directly opposite Toronto set in the distance, but as you arrive you’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time.
Niagara on the Lake’s heritage district is one of the best preserved 19th Century towns on the North American continent. It’s all gorgeous Victorian red brick buildings, perfectly manicured lawns, tree lined streets and window boxes overflowing with flowers. It’s so pretty it could be mistaken for a film set.
There is a shuttle bus between Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls from April to September that runs every hour and costs CA$14 (GB£8) return.