The great natural wonder of the world known as Niagara Falls is located in Ontario, Canada and New York, USA. The Falls and the Niagara River create the border of the USA and Canada and can be seen from both countries. The more scenic side of The Falls is located on the Canadian side. We visited The Falls by driving there from Chicago. We crossed the border in to Canada through Detroit, MI, USA and drove through Canada, which is approximately an 8 hour drive + border crossing time. The other road trip route that can be taken is to continue on 1-80 E and enter Canada on the Rainbow Bridge in New York, USA, which is about a 9 hour drive + border crossing time. The other option is flying in to the Buffalo/Niagara Airport in Buffalo, NY, USA.
There are 4 bridges that will get you across the Niagara River to and from Canada and the US near The Falls.
This bridge is located north of The Falls near the Butterfly Conservatory and Floral Clock in the Niagara Park on the Canadian side. This bridge experiences less border crossing traffic during the day.
This bridge is the famous Niagara Falls bridge that goes through The Falls. You are also able to walk across this bridge for spectacular views of The Falls over the river. Border crossing times can sometimes be high for this bridge as it is the most popular one in the area.
This bridge is located north of The Falls but is a Nexus Only bridge. Do not attempt to cross this bridge unless you have a NEXUS card.
This bridge is located south of The Falls. This bridge experiences less border crossing traffic during the day.
To see live border crossing times visit the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.
Best Sites to See in Niagara
Obviously the main reason to go to Niagara is the see Niagara Falls. The more scenic side of The Falls is on the Canadian side and from that view you can imagine what the New York side would be. However, if you are in the US and do not have time to cross the border or do not have a passport to get in to Canada, then the NY side will still do the trick as The Falls are spectacular no matter what.
Walk Across the Rainbow Bridge
For 50 cents a person, you can walk across the Rainbow Bridge and get to see The Falls from both sides of the river + be directly over the river in the process. How cool is that!? Don't forget your passport though because you need it to actually get off the bridge on both sides.
Maid of the Mist
Take a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist where you ride in a boat on the Niagara River right through The Falls. Don't forget your rain poncho though as you get soaking wet on this adventure.
Visit the Floral Clock in the Niagara Park on the Canadian side. It is one of the most visited attractions in all of Canada every year!
The Botanical Garden is located in the Niagara Park on the Canadian side, as well. Take a stroll through the beautiful garden as a nice break from the hectiness near The Falls.
Clifton Hill is like the Las Vegas Blvd of Niagara Falls. You can find everything bigger and better on this street. You can visit Ripley's Believe It or Not, the Guiness Book of World Records, tons of shops, restaurants, and lots and lots of lights at night
Things to do in Niagara
The Niagara Wine Region is quite incredible. There are 100s of wineries to choose from and many of them have tasting rooms. Each side of The Falls has plenty to offer with the USA side having what they call The Niagara Wine Trail and the Canadian side being called the Ontario Wine Country.
There are plenty of trails on the Canadian side to walk along the river but to experience some great hikes it is best to venture over to the American side and go to the Niagara State Park. Go for a hike in the Devils Hole State Park for some of the best views of the area.
Visit Niagara-on the-Lake
This quaint town is something that you don't want to miss. You'll discover some of the cutest shops you'll ever find and some of the best eats in this little town. Plus Queens Royal Park is right on Lake Ontario and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon relaxing.
Where to Eat
Il Gelato di Carlotta
This gelato is incredible! This shop is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake and is perfect for an afternoon snack lakeside. Try the pistachio or strawberry and you won't be disappointed.
Stromboli's Pizza Ltd.
A little pizza shop located in St. Catharines. Get the pizza combo for a ton of food and remember that if you order bacon on your pizza that you're in Canada...and it's not their fault ;)
This bakery/gelato shop is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Grab some breakfast here in the morning and some treats or gelato for a snack in the afternoon. We highly suggest their chocolate strawberry crepe and pasteries in the morning and some macarons in the afternoon.
Lococo's Fruit and Veggies
Grab some groceries at this fruit and vegetable store to have a picnic. A couple of perfect spots are right across from Niagara Falls on any of the lawn areas right on Niagara Parkway or in Queens Royal Park on Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
This cafe is located in St. Catharines and is the perfect spot to grab a quick cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich to start out a morning. Whether you grab and go while you're heading out of town on your last day or for a quick stop before you do a full day of exploring the area, their breakfast sandwiches are delicious.
Where to Stay
This gorgeous B&B is located in St. Catherines in Ontario, CAN. It is a dog friendly B&B. Their hospitality is mind blowingly wonderful and the house itself is gorgeous. Make reservations on their site here.
Any of the B&Bs in Niagara-on-the-Lake seem incredible. They are all located within walking distance of the main street and Lake Ontario.
For more great tips on vacationing in Canada visit Your Guide to Trekking in Canada on All the Rooms!
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I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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