Niagara Falls, Canada Travel Guide – Must-See Attractions
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The Niagara Falls are located on the border of Ontario Province, Canada and New York state, USA. The water flows from the Great Lakes, the world’s largest surface fresh water system, all the way down to the Atlantic Ocean.
See one of the world’s most awe-inspiring displays of the power of nature from the sky, from the foaming river below or even from within arm’s reach.
The Niagara River connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario, but before it gets there, the water plunges down almost 170 feet in a straight drop. The volume of water that comes tumbling over the crest is overwhelming, almost one hundred and seventy thousand (170,000) cubic meters of water- that’s 6 million (6,000,000) cubic feet – thunders over these combined falls each minute during the falls’ peak hours.
Most people don’t realize this until they get there, but there are actually three waterfalls. East are the American Falls and then the narrow Bridal Veil Falls. Then you’ve got Goat Island. And to the west is the impressive Canadian Horseshoe Falls, the widest and most powerful of them all.
Glide over the river or explore the many other vantage points to see the water plummet into the depths below. The resulting plume of mist is visible for miles away. To feel its spray, board the Maid of the Mist. The first wooden steamboat took people to the falls as early as the mid-1800s. And while the Maids are now made out of steel, the excitement during this half hour cruise has changed little since.
If you want to get as close to the curtain of water as you can, embark on a Journey Behind the Falls, and see and hear the water rush past right in front of you.
Below the falls the foaming water mass squeezes its way through a narrow gorge, creating the whirlpool rapids, which you can get to aboard a jet-raft.
Aside from nature, there is also plenty of family entertainment to be had under neon lights. Take the kids to visit the Niagara Sky Wheel and nearby themed attractions and arcades.
Cross the Rainbow Bridge to the American side to see the Aquarium of Niagara in a serene environment. Or stay on the Canadian side and enjoy the Niagara Parks botanical gardens.
Niagara on the Lake is only a short drive away. Visit this pretty 19th century village to browse boutique shops, play golf or have lunch before you set out to explore Ontario’s wine country.
A shuttle bus or taxi can drop you back at the falls in no time. Scale the Sky Lawn Tour to admire this glorious landscape once more.
Less than a two hour drive from Toronto and only a taxi ride away from Buffalo airport, getting to Niagara is easy. Their accessibility and splendor make the Niagara Falls one of the most photographed natural spectacles in the world.
But of course, no picture can capture the thrill you feel and the roar you hear when you witness Niagara’s astonishing power, an impression that will last a lifetime.
Recommendations from my experience (Julie):
1- A passport is needed to cross into Canada.
2- We stayed at Marriott Fallsview Hotel on a high floor with ceiling-to-floor windows and a wonderful view of the falls. I wouldn’t have stayed anywhere else. Notice that there are two Marriott’s in Niagara Falls.
3- We rode on the Maid of the Mist boat ride, and highly recommend it. We boarded this in New York.
4- We walked the Whirlpool Rapids walk and enjoyed this very much. The water is beautiful gray-green and very powerful. The entrance to this is on the Canadian side of the Falls.