The Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world, an absolute must see
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The Niagara Falls is a once in a lifetime experience. You must hear and feel the water, as well as experience its brute force. It is useful to prepare your visit in advance to get the optimal experience. And visit the waterfalls in Canada and in the United States. These are the best tips for Niagara Falls.
On average the water drops only about 60 meters deep, but it is mainly the width that makes these waterfalls spectacular.
You can easily visit the Niagara Falls on both sides. Each part has its own charm. And if you want to do Niagara Falls right, you have to see both sides. What can be done easily in a day.
In a special boat, you can go up the river and get very close to the waterfalls. You will receive a raincoat, but keep in mind that you will still get wet. Boats go to the falls from both Canadian as well as American side. The route is identical, only the names differ. In the US they are called Maid of the Mist, in Canada there are newer boats called Hornblower. These are also slightly larger.
Horseshoe Falls, the largest waterfall, is on the Canadian side. From the Canadian side, you can see the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls at its best.
This is the best way to really get close to the falls. On the Canadian side you can walk behind some of them. This is called Journey behind the Falls. In Queen Victoria Park, you can take the elevator to the base of the famous Horseshoe Falls. Here you have an observation platform to see the waterfall up close. Which is impressive in itself.
The special feature is the various tunnels that run under the waterfall. At the vistas, you can see the water falling down in a different way each time. Watch the sound of this force of nature, it is deafening in places.
My tips: This is a popular excursion, so it can get busy here. Buy your tickets online in advance and go early in the morning. Then you also take the best photos. Often with a lot of fog.
The Niagara Glen Gorge is the way to get away from mass tourism. This small nature reserve is right along the river and is a wonderful place for a walk. It offers unprecedented views of the rising water, the passing boats with people and the greenery around it.
The White water Walk is the most exciting hike at Niagara Falls. This path with boardwalks, a wooden deck path, runs along the water, which is already quite churning here. Here too you can see the boats passing by and you can take beautiful pictures of the greenery, the white water and the blue sky in good weather.
The Canadian side is best for a total shot of Niagara Falls. So that you get a good idea of how big the waterfalls actually are. It is also ideal for photos, especially in good weather.
This is the best place: The Skylon Tower in Queen Victoria Park. This is also the highest view of the falls. And it also gives you a good view of the entire landscape. Where you even have the chance to see Toronto in good weather. Or at least the CN tower.
An alternative is the Minolta Tower. You also have a good view from here. Another tip: Table Rock House gives you the best view of the mighty Horseshoe Falls.
The Niagara Whirlpool is not very well known, but it is something special. This is a natural vortex in the Niagara River. The water revolves around in a circle. On the Canadian side, you can view natural phenomena with the Whirlpool Aero Car. This is a cable car over the river and the whirlpool.
On the American side you can go up to the water that falls over the edge.
This is an island in the falls. You can reach it on foot, but also by car or camper. If you walk around you have a wonderful view of all kinds of forces of nature. You can see all three falls, but also the canyon created by the water. You can also see how the river drains the water. Note the various small eddies.
Goat Island is the entrance to the famous Cave of the Winds. You will be given a poncho and special shoes. The reason is simple: This is where you get wet. First you descend 53 meters with an elevator into the depth of the Niagara Gorge. Then you walk over wooden bridges and stairs to Hurricane Deck, as the Americans call it with some drama.
Fair is fair: The violence of the water is more than impressive. You are only six meters from Bridal Veil Falls. And yes, it is more than impressive.
Since June 2016 you can zoom along the waterfalls on a steel cable. A unique way to see the falls from the air.
See my tips for Zipline Niagara Falls
As soon as it gets dark, all waterfalls are illuminated with alternating different colors. This provides a colourful spectacle, which is not considered beautiful by everyone. Some people would prefer to see only white light. Judge for yourself…
Niagara Falls can be visited in any season. Each with its own charm.
In the summer there is (logically) less water. But more tourists. In autumn the leaves on the trees discolour, which gives an extra beautiful effect.
Especially winter is definitely worth a visit; then extra water falls through. The half frozen Niagara Falls are then mighty beautiful.
And part of it is usually frozen, while in the meantime the water just rages on in various places. A unique image. Also not unimportant; the number of tourists is much less. Except for the weekends, it can get quite busy here.
The Niagara Falls are easily accessible. The nearest major city is Toronto, about two hours away. But this natural spectacle can also be visited from other cities.