Niagara Falls Travel Guide

Straddling New York and Ontario, Niagara Falls boasts as much natural wonder as modern infrastructure, and it’s a favorite honeymoon destination for people from Canada and the US.

Internationally renowned, Niagara Falls is located only 16 miles from Buffalo in the US and 42 miles from Toronto, Canada. It is widely acknowledged that the best views of the falls are from the Canadian side, one of the few things Americans and Canadians agree on.

Niagara connects Great Lakes Ontario and Eerie, and in the summer it hits peak volume. The Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side are most impressive. This side also happens to have the best views both of the Horseshoe Falls and the American falls. Most tourists cross back and forth to sample the view from both Canada and the US.

One of the pleasures of a visit to Niagara Falls is the chance to join in activities. The Maid of the Mist boat road is a perennial favorite. It shuttles passengers to the base of the largest cascade, and everyone onboard gets wet and you can keep an eye open for daredevils attempting to survive the trip over the falls. Check out the contraptions that have been used for this feat at the Daredevil Museum. For an invigorating birds eye view, the Spanish aerocar is a must, but not recommended for vertigo sufferers. The town itself is a bustling hub offering shopping centers, bars, restaurants and even a glitzy casino, as well as great family entertainment.

Niagara Falls also attracts crowds of adventurers and honeymooners. The latter take their cues from Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, who brought his bridge here in 1803 and established the tradition. Two hundred years later, an enormous honeymoon industry greets couples with Vegas-like enthusiasm. Luxury suites, casinos and fine-dining restaurants abound.

Each year, Niagara Falls attracts in excess of 14 million visitors. It also attracts its fair share of critics spurning the flagrant commercialism, but the falls are no less incredible for it. A visit to Niagara is a must for anyone in the area.

In brief

What is it? A massive cascade between New York and Ontario.

When to go? During the warm months of June to August, but winter scenes are also impressive.

Nearest town: there are towns called ‘Niagara Falls’ on both sides of the border.

Don’t miss: viewing Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side.

Factoid: the American falls power the largest hydroelectric generator in New York State.

Getting there

Niagara Falls International Airport on the US side receives charter flights without any regularly scheduled service. The closest major airport is in Buffalo, New York, and can be reached from the falls in a little over an hour by car or by air from New York City airports in 1 hour, 20 minutes. There are also trains to Toronto (2 hours) and New York City (9 hours).