We’ve always dreamed about seeing the greatest waterfall in the world and we finally made this dream come true this June.
Originally, we planned to stay at Niagara Falls only for a day during our New York State road trip assuming it’s just one waterfall after all, even if it’s the largest in the world, so one day should be more than enough.
We were wrong. It turned out, there’s so much to do here and nearby.
First day in Canada: the perfect view of Niagara Falls
A lot of friends recommended us to visit the Canadian side of the Falls, too, and we are so happy we did (it required a little bit of paperwork for us to get to Canada even for a day). The most perfect view of the Falls is from Canada, that’s just a fact.
Horseshoe Falls can be seen from American boats as well, that’s true, but that wide panorama of both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls is what you can only get in Canada.
Voyage to the Falls day & night
We also wanted to get really close and get completely soaked, of course! As we were in Canada, we chose Hornblower Cruises and we did both the Voyage to the Falls Tour and the Fireworks Cruise – they were amazing!
Watching fireworks above Niagara Falls from a boat was a truly special event in our lives which we will never forget.
Good to know if you plan your visit that fireworks are on every Friday and Sunday in the summer season (weather permitting, of course). For us it was really worth planning our visit according to the fireworks schedule as this was one of our most wonderful moments there.
Which tour company to choose?
Do we have anything to say about this? There’s Hornblower on the Canadian side and there’s Maid Of The Mist on the American side.
Our impression was that it doesn’t matter which one you choose day time, you’ll probably get the same experience. However Hornblower’s night cruises are very unique.
Behind the Falls
To be honest, the Journey Behind the Falls attraction didn’t reach our expectations. Not that it’s not interesting and again, it’s fun to be so close, but after the boat tour it simply didn’t give us that much extra.
We enjoyed the observation deck the most. Tunnels which lead behind the Falls and have some holes to see the waterfall are interesting, but we didn’t really feel we are behind, we only knew it. Plus, there’s not much to see from behind: the whole thing is white.
Panorama from Skylon Tower
We went up to the top of Skylon Tower for a wide panorama of the Falls and the whole area. The weather was a bit vaporous and we could see huge buildings and even the whole Horseshoe Falls disappearing in the mist.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is known as the loveliest town in Canada and it really is – though I have to admit we haven’t seen any other towns in Canada. 😀 But this small town is so charming!
It’s only half an hour drive from Niagara Falls and we easily spent one or two hours walking on its main streets, Queen Street and King Street. Everything is full of flowers here! Really, we haven’t seen so many flowers in any city or town, big or small as in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Oh, and there’s the lake, too, as its name indicates. Taking a walk on the shore of huge Lake Ontario is like walking on the ocean coast.
Second day in the US: hiking in Niagara Falls State Park
So we ended up doing so many things on the Canadian side that we didn’t have time for the US side on our first day. But Niagara is that kind of a natural wonder what we want to see from every angle.
No question here, we spent our second day on the American side.
Hiking in Niagara Falls State Park is refreshing: short, scenic walks near the Falls and on Goat Island, lots of green and benches everywhere to sit and enjoy the views.
Three Sisters Islands on Niagara River are the islands of peace and quiet if you want to escape from the crowd.
Exploring the river: Whirlpool State Park
Hiking further down from the Falls along the river we reached the Whirlpool State Park. Beautiful Niagara River, the colors, the canyon and the strong currents and whirlpools which can really be seen are all great reasons why not to miss this.
We started on Niagara Gorge Railway Trail and continued on Whirlpool Rapids Trail, then back.
Plan for more days
Surprisingly few people come to explore Niagara River compared to how many wants to see the Falls.
Of course, the Falls is what is the most special thing here, but we could only recommend you to explore a bit more of this beautiful landscape both on the Canadian and on the American side if you choose to visit Niagara Falls.
Even two days were just enough for us and if we would have been given an extra day, we could have easily filled it with exciting things. Like a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour. And more hiking on hidden trails. Next time.
Have you ever visited or do you want to visit Niagara Falls? If you visited what was your best experience?
Please note that this is not an advertisement and we were not compensated for this post – we just share our experience. Opinions expressed, as always, are solely our.