Last week I wrote a post about a short business trip to Niagara Falls. We shot some segments for a TV show that I work on and we went to the Journey Behind the Falls to film a few segments under the Niagara River with the mighty waterfalls thundering in front of us.
It reminded me just how much I love visiting this town less than 2 hours from Toronto. There is so much to do and you can always find new attractions opening every year in Niagara Falls.
It is the peak of our tourist season here in Ontario, so I thought that I would write a post for anyone visiting Niagara now or in the near future to let them know about the best attractions to see at Falls.
Dave and I have visited nearly every Niagara Attraction so I would consider us experts on things to do in Niagara Falls.
Jet Boat Whirlpool – This is a thrill ride that will get your blood pumping. Take a 1500 horsepower Jet Boat upstream to the Whirlpool downstream from the Falls in Class VI, yes I said it Class VI rapids. You will be tossed and turned, doing 360’s in the middle of Devils Hole. These boats are powerful and you have to wear headsets if you want to hear anything that your tour guide has to say.
For $57 you can ride either the Wet Jet or Jet Dome. On hot days, the wet dome is a great choice because you are going to get soaked. On cool days, early or late in the season, the Jet Dome is a great option. Plus, it is super for capturing photos or videos and you can actually see the water going over you instead of having it splash in your face.
Maid of the Mist – An oldie but a goody. The Maid of the Mist is the most famous attraction in Niagara Falls. It has been operating since 1846 shuttling people across to the US border. In 1885 they started running as tourist attractions to take passengers to an up close and personal view of the falls. It is another thrilling experience being so close to the falling water. The Maid goes right inside the horseshoe and thundering water surrounds you. It is a thrill ride for only $14.50
Wine Tasting at Niagara Wine Region – After all that excitement from the more adventurous attractions, take a tour of the wine region at Niagara on the Lake. Only 15 minutes from Niagara Falls there are award winning winery’s waiting to be explored. Stay in the town of Niagara on the Lake at a quaint bed and breakfast where you can dine in style at many fine dining restaurants. If you are feeling romantic, take a horse drawn carriage ride.
Nightmares – Want to get your blood pumping again? This is one scary haunted house. Located near Clifton Hill, the famous street filled with wax museums, haunted houses and restaurants, Nightmares is a must for anyone that loves a good scare. It is scary alright, legend has it that it was built on the site of an old coffin factory. The proprietor was killed in a prank gone bad and has haunted the halls ever since. If you become too scared inside the maze of nightmares you can chicken out. Don’t feel bad if you do, over 95,000 people have chickened out over the years.
Hiking the Niagara Glen – A great spot for a day hike located 8 km from the falls. Excellent hiking trails and if you are into rock climbing there are great spots for bouldering. Bring a crash mat and enjoy your climb. It overlooks the Whirlpool on the Niagara River. Admission to Niagara Glen is free.
Fireworks and Falls at Night – The Falls are lit up each night with colourful lights and most evenings in the summer have a fantastic fireworks display. Make your way down to the falls when the sun goes down to watch. Or choose one of the many restaurants that overlook the falls and eat a late dinner for a spectacular view.
Exploring Clifton Hill – A visit to Niagara Falls would not be complete without visiting the cheesy shops and museums that line the streets. Dracula’s castle, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Wax Museums, Midways and haunted houses. Clifton Hill is full of just enough kitsch.
Butterfly Conservatory – You wouldn't think that this would be an interesting attraction at Niagara, but the butterfly conservatory is a lot of fun. Enter the climate controlled rainforest and be surrounded by thousands of butterfly's flying through the air as you walk along the path. Butterfly's will actually land on you as you walk through.
Adventure Pass – A great way to see many of the attractions for one low price is to purchase an adventure pass. For $39.95 you can ride the Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the falls, See the film Niagara’s Fury and hop on hop off the people mover bus. It is a great deal and a great way to see many of Niagara’s attractions.