Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Yes
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Niagara Falls is one of the most well-known and scenic landmarks in the world. Visitors from all over the world flock to Niagara Falls to capture a glimpse of the power and the beauty that this historic site has to offer. Niagara Falls is a spectacle worth seeing. There are few things that can compare to experiencing the sheer power and volume of the falls. It is a transcendental experience that is fit for families and people of all ages.

Not only are the falls a very scenic location, but there are a lot of activities that visitors can do during their stay. The most popular attraction is the Maid of the Mist tour, which takes visitors on a boat tour that passes directly by the falls. Visitors are given ponchos and have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the mighty roar of the falls. The Maid of the Mist tour is a very special and rare experience that is well worth doing. Be warned, however, that this is a very popular attraction and will most likely always have large crowds.

Another popular attraction is Goat Island. Visitors can walk to Goat Island from the mainland via a short bridge. Goat Island is full of visitor stores, scenic viewpoints of both Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls, and a popular restaurant called Top of the Falls Restaurant. Goat Island also offers a lot of history. There is a statue of Nikola Tesla on the island with a sign that informs visitors of how he tried to harness the hydroelectric power of the falls to power the surrounding area of Buffalo. Also on Goat Island is another very popular tour called the Cave of the Wind Tour. Once again, this is a very popular attraction and it provides visitors with the opportunity to literally stand underneath the peripheral parts of the falls. Visitors get soaked by the falls, but it is, without a doubt, the closest that visitors to the park can get to the falls.  

It is important to keep in mind that tours like Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Wind are seasonal tours only offered at specific times of the year.  Be sure to check the home pages for these tours to gather information about when the tours are offered.

In addition to tours, there is an Observation Tower that takes visitors up above the falls to give them an aerial view of the entire landscape. This is another highly recommended stop and is an incredible view of the falls from the American side. At night there are powerful lights that shine across the river and onto the falls. The lights turn the falls a variety of different colors, and it is truly a magnificent site. In the summers there are nightly fireworks shows at the park as well. There truly are a wide variety of activities offered by the park that help give visitors a powerful and diverse experience at the falls.

One option for visitors is to take the short drive from New York across the Rainbow Bridge into Canada. If this is on your itinerary, be sure to bring your passports. There are beautiful viewpoints, many restaurants, ziplining, and ropes courses on the Canada side, so it is well worth the trip. The Canada side also hosts the best views of Horseshoe Falls, which can be difficult to see from the American side.

Whether you visit the New York side, the Canada, side or both, any stop to Niagara Falls is guaratneed to be a beautiful experience. The falls are mesmerizing, and the tours and attractions that surround the area just serve as enhancements to the experience.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall
Spring

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful overlooks. Family-Friendly activities.

Cons

Very crowded during peak seasons.

Features

ADA accessible
Vault toilet
General store
Historically significant
Waterfalls
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Guided tours
Picnic tables
Near lake or river

Location

Field Guide

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