Many of the main attractions are within walking distance depending on where you walk from, and the rest are easily accessible by transit.
During the busiest tourist season (May – October), the Niagara Parkway and Queen Victoria Park along the Canadian side of the Falls, can become very crowded and finding a “picture perfect” view of the Falls is difficult. Walking to the attractions can be slow during peak tourist season with thousands of people bustling by.
WEGO Niagara Falls, bus system runs throughout the Niagara Parkway, Falls Avenue, Fallsview Boulevard and other tourist areas year round. There are stops at the participating points of interest including attractions, hotels, and restaurants. Prices vary although day passes are available. There is a live map of WEGO stops and buses online. WEGO passes can be purchased from Niagara Parks Info Centres, WEGO Drivers, and participating attractions and hotels. WEGO buses, especially on the Green line (which takes you to all of the attractions along the Niagara parkway) can easily fill up during peak hours and be difficult to find space on. If possible, try to catch the bus at its terminal end near the Journey Behind the Falls attraction in order to secure yourself a seat, especially if travelling to attractions such as the white water walk or butterfly conservatory.
Niagara Transit, is operated by the Niagara Transit Commission (City of Niagara Falls) and has routes covering sections of Niagara Falls not covered by the WEGO system. Tickets are available at the bus terminal or from the shuttle bus driver. Day passes are $10 for adults.
Niagara Regional Transit, is operated by the Niagara Regional Government to transport travellers between the cities of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland. Tickets are available at the bus terminal or from the shuttle bus driver. Price is $6 with transfers available to local transit for an additional fee and day passes are not available.
There are also several tour services that offer the option to buy a shuttle pass, which allows you to board any of the tour buses at any stop point throughout the day. Many of these operators have ceased operating their shuttles after the WEGO system débuted in 2012.
Most visitors’ first view of the Falls, from the Canadian side of the river, is at Queen Victoria Park along the Niagara Falls Parkway. This grand, royal garden provides the perfect vantage point for experiencing both the nightly illumination of the Falls and the summer fireworks displays. The Falls are illuminated, every evening until approximately midnight (see website for exact times) and there are Fireworks over the Falls, Friday and Sunday nights in the summer months.
Niagara Parks offers a Great Gorge Adventure Pass, that includes access to the Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Journey Behind the Falls, White Water Walk, and the Butterfly Conservatory, a one-day People Mover pass and discounts for other attractions. Pass components do not have to be used on the same day. In general, it takes about 6 hours to complete the main attractions on the pass. One way to use the pass is to do the Hornblower Niagara Cruises and Journey Behind the Falls on one day, and use the one-day People Mover pass to do the White Water Walk, Butterfly Conservatory/Botanical Gardens, and Aero Car (all of which are near each other, but farther from the Falls) on the second day.
- Hornblower Niagara Cruises, 5920 Niagara Parkway(at the bottom of Clifton Hill), ☎ +1 905-NIAGARA (6424272), e-mail:email@example.com. New operator of Niagara Falls boat tours effective 2014. A boat tour to the foot of the falls, where visitors can better appreciate their thunder and spray. There are three types of cruises: Voyage to the Falls, Sunset Cocktail Cruise, and Falls Illumination/Fireworks Cruise. See their website for hours, as they vary. Many people want to use their digital cameras to take pictures, but they will get wet, so plan ahead.
- Journey Behind the Falls, 6650 Niagara Pkwy(Table Rock Centre, beside the Falls). This is an interesting attraction to consider in lieu of Hornblower Niagara Cruises(or when Hornblower Niagara Cruises isn’t operating). Although popular, the lines aren’t nearly as long for “Journey” as they are for Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and therefore may be a better option on crowded days, or for those travelling with small children. Ponchos are provided, as the Journey still offers participants the chance to feel the “spray” of the Falls, from portholes opening behind the Falls themselves, as well as access to a small open area on the bank of the river, no more than 200 feet from the base of the falls. An informative guided tour that still provides some–but not all–of the thrills of the other attractions. Open year-round except 25 December. Whilst this attraction remains open during winter, often some of the viewing points are inaccessible due to snow build up. Adults (13+ years): $12, children (6 to 12 years): $7.20, children 5 and under: free.
- White Water Walk, 4330 Niagara Pkwy.A 1,000-ft (305 m) boardwalk beside the rapids. Open seasonally. Adults (13+ years): $8.50, children (6 to 12 years): $5, children 5 and under: free.
- Whirlpool Aero Car, 3850 Niagara River Pkwy(5 km/3 mi north of the Falls). Cable car ride over the Niagara Whirlpool. Open March – November. Adults (13+ years): $11, children (6 to 12 years): $6.50, children 5 and under: free.
- Skylon Tower, 5200 Robinson St, ☎+1 905 356-2651, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 520-ft (160 m) tower that has an observation deck and revolving restaurant with a great view of the falls. There are arcade games in the base. Summer hours 8AM-midnight, winter 11AM-9PM. $12.95, child: $7.55, some online discounts.
- Niagara Skywheel, 4946 Clifton Hill, ☎+1 905 358-4793. Ferris-wheel-like, with air-conditioned/heated pods and views of the Falls and surrounding skyline. 10-minute ride. Year round. $9.99, child $5.99.
- Clifton Hill Amusement Area. A hill, and a street, full of exciting and fun tourist attractions such as wax museums,Ripley’s Believe it or Not, haunted houses, and gift shops.
- Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, 2565 Niagara Pkwy(9 km/6 mi north of the Falls). Open daily year-round, dawn until dusk. 100 acres of 20th century themed gardens, a magnificent arboretum, as well as North America’s largest butterfly conservatory. At their best in the summer.
- Butterfly Conservatory, 2405 Niagara Pkwy(9 km/6 mi north of the Falls, within the Botanical Gardens). Open year-round except 25 December. Check website for times, as they vary.. Over 2,000 butterflies in an enclosed garden – great photo opportunities. Prices as of March 2014: Adults (13+ years) $13.50, children (6 to 12 years): $8.80, children 5 and under: free. Parking is $5..
- Bird Kingdom, 5651 River Rd, ☎+1 905-356-8888, toll-free: +1-866-994-0090, e-mail: email@example.com. Open daily. Sept-Jun 9:30AM-5PM, Jul-Aug 9AM-6:30PM. This tropical adventure with over 400 birds is the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world.Adults $16.95, Seniors (55+) $14.95, Children (4-15) $11.95 (all prices plus HST), Parking $2 per hour.
- Brick City, 4943 Clifton Hill, ☎+1 905-357-2200 ext 6612. Tremendous Lego city built entirely by one man. Adults: $9.99 + Tax Senior/Student: $9.49 + Tax Child: $8.99 + Tax.
- Floral clock, 14004 Niagara Pkwy(near the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge). A clock made entirely of flowers. Admission and parking are free..
- Queenston Heights Park, 14184 Niagara Pkwy(near the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge). This park includes the Brock and Laura Secord Monuments. It is also an end point of the Bruce Trail, which winds it way northward over 800 km (497 mi) to Tobermory.
- IMAX theatre and Daredevil Museum, 6170 Fallsview Blvd, ☎+1 905 358-3611, toll-free: +1-866-405-4629, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Has a 45 minute movie about the history of the Falls, filmed in 2005, that’s not quite worth the price of admission ($14.50). However, the theatre also houses a daredevil exhibition with original barrels used by falls and whirlpool daredevils on display, well worth the $8.00. Some online discounts and coupons from other attractions available.
- Sir Adam Beck Power Station,14000 Niagara Parkway Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada, +1 905-357-2379 – For the more mechanically inclined, the power plant offers guided tours every 15 minutes all year round to show how the massive power of the Niagara River is harnessed and used to power the surrounding area.
Niagara Falls is awesome! The list is never ending: world class casinos, rides, wax museums, haunted houses, a hugemidway with more skeeball and games than you can shake a stick at, restaurants, clubs, bars, and so on. Go to Niagara Falls, get a hotel near the falls and then walk down towards Clifton Hill. The air is buzzing and there are people from all over the world there.
- Casino Niagara, 5705 Falls Ave(near Clifton Hill), ☎ +1 905-374-3598, toll-free: +1-888-946-3255. The original Niagara Falls casino. It is the oldest and smallest of the three Niagara Falls Casinos.
- Clifton Hill Attractions, Clifton Hill.Check out the vast array of flashing lights, Haunted Houses, Mazes, a Fun House, Arcade. Tons of fun attractions and restaurants. Located right near the falls between the Niagara Parkway and Victoria Ave.
- Fallsview Casino, 6380 Fallsview Blvd, toll-free:+1-888-325-5788. A Vegas-style casino originally built to replace Casino Niagara. The second of three Niagara Falls Casinos and the last to be built on the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge.
- Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, 5685 Falls Ave, ☎+1 905-374-4444, toll-free: +1-888-234-8410. Niagara’s largest indoor waterpark at 125,000 square feet. The water park features 16 slides, up to six stories high, full-size wavepool and outdoor year-round pool. The Fallview Indoor Waterpark is directly connected to the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview Hotel and the Skyline Inn Niagara Falls.
- Niagara Helicopters Limited, 3731 Victoria Ave, toll-free:+1-888-325-5788, e-mail:email@example.com. Over the Falls and surrounding area.
- Get married: The City of Niagara Falls issues marriage licences at the City Clerk’s Office, 4310 Queen St, +1 905 356-7521 ext 4283. The fee is $100. There is no waiting period. No ceremonies are performed at City Hall. Niagara Parks has information about weddings, receptions, and wedding photography near the Falls.
- If you’re on your honeymoon, you can get an Official City of Niagara Falls Honeymoon Certificate from the Niagara Falls Tourism Office, 5400 Robinson St.
- Greg Frewin Dinner Theatre, 5781 Ellen Ave, toll-free:+1-866-779-8778, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Illusionist Greg Frewin presents his Las Vegas style magic show.
- Marineland Theme Park, 7657 Portage Rd (about 1.5 km/1 mi from the Falls). Dolphin, sea lion and walrus shows, and numerous exhibits of interesting and unique marine animals, including killer whales, beluga whales, and black bears. For an additional fee, you can feed some of the animals, including the beluga whales. Also offers a variety of amusement park rides, such as Sky Screamer, billed as the world’s tallest three-tower ride, which elevates riders high enough to see Niagara Falls. Age 10+ $39.95, child (5-9): $32.95, child (age 4 and under): free. Note: This park has been heavily targeted by protesters in 2012 due to extensive media coverage (particularly by theToronto Star) critical of the conditions in which animals are kept.
- Queen Street Arts & Culture District, Queen St, ☎+1 905 353-9555. Queen Street has been revitalized into the latest Niagara Arts & Culture District. Art galleries, boutiques, cafés, bistros, live theatre and festivals.
- Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, Niagara Glen departure point (approx. 8 km/5 mi from the Falls, People Mover Stop #9, very little parking). The tours operating from Niagara Glen use the JetDome boat, which is enclosed and keeps you dry as the boat navigates the whitewater rapids. For the more traditional ‘gets-you-soaking-wet’ jet boat tour, you will need to use the Niagara-on-the-Lake departure point. Apr-Oct.
- Winter Festival of Lights. Area around the Falls. A 5 km/3 mi route along the Niagara Parkway featuring over three million sparkling tree and ground lights and over 120 lighting displays. Illuminations ran from Nov 9, 2013 to Jan 31, 2014 from 5pm to midnight. Opening Festivities on Nov 9 included fireworks @7:45pm. Fireworks over the Falls every Friday night at 9pm during Nov, Dec, and Jan. No admission, $10 donation per car suggested.
Also, don’t forget the wine tours. Niagara Falls has recently boomed with vineyards due to the increasing popularity of ice wines. If you’ve never tasted these, they alone are worth the time. They are thick and sweet much like the muscats and ports, but without the afterbite. They are processed in freezing temperatures in very early morning hours and only with “approved” grapes.