Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In fact, it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is a popular destination in North America. The falls are a sight to behold.

Niagara Falls refers to three cascading waterfalls that are found in the American and Canadian border. This border is in New York State on the US side and Ontario province on the Canadian side. It is generally accepted that views from the Canadian side are much better than those from the US side. However, there is still much to see from the US side too. There are several strategic points from both countries where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the waterfall.

The three waterfalls that comprise Niagara Falls are the Bridal Veil Falls, the American Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. These waterfalls are the biggest and most powerful in North America. There are more than 6 million cubic feet of water flows over the crest of these falls every minute.

Niagara Falls is a family-friendly destination. Young children will greatly enjoy being here. It is also a good place for romantic couples to spend their time. Besides the falls, there are restaurants, parks, shopping centers to explore while here. There is much to see and activities to engage in while here. Before we discuss these activities, let’s first talk about how to get there.

How To Get To Niagara Falls

There are several options for traveling to Niagara Falls from any part of the USA or Canada.

By car

A road trip is the most preferred choice by families wishing to enjoy the scenery along the way to the Niagara Falls. From New York City to Niagara Falls, is about 400 miles.  This is a seven-hour journey while driving nonstop. If you are driving from other states, it will take much longer.

The best time to drive to Niagara Falls is in the fall. September and October are particularly good months. The landscape on your way at this time is beautiful. This is the foliage season. While driving from New York, You’ll take the I-80 W or the I-81 and the I-W.

A road trip by car is exciting due to the landscapes, cultures, and nature that you’ll encounter along the way. There are numerous stops you can make. It is also an excellent time to bond with family or friends.

Road trips are quite a lot of fun; you’ll need to carefully plan yours to ensure every detail is well taken care of. Forgetting something or the car breaking down will spoil the fun and delay your schedule. Many car issues that can arise during your road trip to Niagara Falls can be easily avoided.

Maintenance will help to go a long way. A Scan tool can accurately diagnose your car and check potential problems before the start of your trip. These scan tools are designed to identify issues and correct some of these problems. They will read your codes and check if everything is working as it should. They are easy to use and quite affordable. Every person going for a road trip should have a scan tool to use before and during the journey itself.

 By train

Several Amtrak trains go directly to Niagara Falls within a day. Besides, there are several connection options from many parts of the United States. New York Penn Station to Niagara Falls station is available daily. This journey takes 9.5 hours.

The Niagara station is located just close to the falls. If you are connecting from other train stations, you’ll have to plan accordingly. Maple leaf trains offer a direct service to Niagara Falls station as well as some Empire Service stations.

Traveling by train will offer you an excellent chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the countryside. You’ll also get to see the Hudson River Valley and the Upstate New York.

By plane

Flying is the fastest way to get to Niagara Falls. The journey will probably take you’re from under an hour or several hours depending on where you are coming from and the connection times.  It takes an hour of flying time from the airport in New York to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. However, you’ll need a shuttle bus to take you from the airport to the falls. This will take you an additional one hour.

There is an additional option of flying to the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Ontario. You’ll then take a one and a half shuttle bus to the falls.

By Bus

Going by bus to Niagara Falls is one of the available options. It is often quite affordable, albeit taking longer. It might take you up to 15 hours from Manhattan New York to Niagara Falls. Several bus companies offer this direct service including City2City, Greyhound, and Trailways NY. The bus will provide you with the chance to alight at the US side or the Canadian side.

By shuttle service

Several shuttle services exist that take people to the Niagara Falls. They make scheduled stops at numerous destinations to offer a complete package. A tour company might be the best option for someone who doesn’t live in New York. Along the way to Niagara Falls are other famous and beautiful attractions that will excite you. These tour companies may offer one day or two days’ service.

Once you have arrived at the Niagara Falls, there are several ways to maneuver within the attractions. Walking on foot is the most exciting if the weather allows. Walking around, absorbing all the beautiful scenes is very easy for most adults. The attractions are close to each other. You can walk across the rainbow bridge which is at the border of USA and Canada. If you made a road trip here in your car, it is best to leave it and either walk or take a free shuttle. Parking can be expensive within the falls.

There is a bus system available which connects the various accommodations and other attractions to the Falls area. Some hotels operate free shuttle service from their establishment to the falls. Also, the Discover Niagara Shuttle offers free service between the Niagara USA Official Center and Old Fort Niagara. The shuttle will stop at 15 destinations along the route.

What To Do Once You Are In Niagara Falls

Guided tour

Once you get to Niagara Falls, there is plenty to do here. For starters, you could take a guided walking tour. The observation tower will give you a good view of the falls. You’ll also get to hear about the history, fun things to do and much more from your guide.

Helicopter ride

A helicopter ride gives you panoramic views of the falls. Niagara Helicopters Limited located on the Canadian side will give you an unforgettable experience. The ride takes 12 minutes to take you over the Park, Niagara river and over the American and Horseshoe falls.

Cruise on the Maid on the Mist

A cruise on Maid on the Mist is the most popular activity at the Niagara Falls. This cruise takes visitors close to the base of the falls. It gives visitors an unforgettable wet experience. A spray from the waters falling down the falls is a lot of fun. You can choose to have a waterproof overall of experience the spray and get wet. This cruise lasts 20 minutes. Every 15 minutes a boat takes off, taking visitors to the Niagara Gorge, to the American and Bridal Veil Falls and finally to the Horseshoe Fall mist.

Cave of the Winds

This is another exciting way to experience the falls. Cave of the Winds will take you down to the base of the Gorge by an elevator. A wooden walkway will then guide you to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls. You’ll be close enough to experience the spectacular force of nature. You won’t get wet, though.

Journey Behind the Falls

This is another attraction which will give you a view of the falls through some tunnels. These tunnels are quite old, more than 100 years. You’ll take a walking tour through the tunnels to an observation deck where you are beside the falls. You’ll hear the massive power of the water crashing down. This will make you appreciate the sheer volume of water that flows through these Falls.

Bottom Line

Niagara is a bucket list destination to many people in USA, Canada and around the world. Planning a visit to these falls is a great way to spend time and enjoy the beauty of nature. A road trip by your car can be an enjoyable experience. Your vehicle must be in good condition to cover all these miles. A scan tool will help greatly to diagnose and check that your car has no problems.

About the Author Brian

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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