Niagara Falls is recognized as one of the most popular attractions throughout North America, and beyond. An estimated 30 million people travel to see the natural wonder every year. Made up of three cascading waterfalls, the site is almost 12,000 years old! Of course, the Clifton Hill area boasts a whole lot more than the falls. There are other natural attractions to take in, along with a host of shops, restaurants, cultural institutions and more. Read on below to learn about the best things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Best things to do in Niagara Falls, ON
- Hornblower Niagara Cruise
- Skylon Tower and Revolving Dining Room
- Downtown Clifton Hill
- Niagara SkyWheel
- Maid of the Mist
- Fallsview Casino
- Niagara Falls Observation Tower
- Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory
- Whirlpool Aero Car
- Niagara Falls Speedway
- Cave of the Winds
- Journey Behind the Falls
- Louis Tussaud's Waxworks
- Queen Victory Park
- Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! Odditorium
- Niagara Zipline
- Niagara on-the-Lake
- Niagara Falls Light Show
- Glen Nature Reserve
- Visit the Floral Clock
- Tour the Niagara Wine Region
- Great Wolf Lodge
Hailed as “Canada’s Most Memorable Experience,” Hornblower Niagara Cruises allows visitors to explore the Niagara Falls on a state-of-the-art catamaran or a private passenger Hornblower Guardian jet boat. You can sign up for a number of different tours of Niagara Falls. Get some sun during a day trip excursion or head out after dark for a Falls Fireworks Cruise. This is one sightseeing adventure you won’t want to miss!
Talk about enjoying the view! Skylon Tower is probably the most famous restaurant in Niagara Falls. It offers not one but two levels of fine dining, both standing 775 feet above Niagara Falls! Enjoy a high-end experience at Skylon Tower in the Revolving Dining Room Restaurant, which silently rotates 360 degrees every hour, giving diners a constantly changing vantage point. Skylon Tower also features a more casual family dining experience at the Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room. Head over to the official site to check out the menu!
Though Niagara Falls remains its standout attraction, Clifton Hill offers tons of other things to do! The city center offers a number of resort hotels, themed restaurants, shops, nightclubs and more! Take a walk down the promenade and you’ll mind miniature golf, a giant ferris wheel as well as a haunted house and wax museum.
Experience a ferris wheel ride like no other with the Niagara SkyWheel! Located in the heart of Clifton Hill, the 175-foot attraction provides riders with panoramic views of Niagara Falls, including the Niagara River, Niagara Parks, Horseshoe Falls and American Falls (located across the border in New York). Remember, the Niagara SkyWheel contains climate controlled gondolas equipped with heating and air conditioning to give guests the absolute best experience, all year long.
You’ll have to hop over to the New York side of the falls for this next activity, but it’s well worth it. The Maid of the Mist is known as “America’s most iconic boat ride since 1846.” It is the only tour boat fleet whose captains have safely navigated the mighty waters of the Niagara Gorge for over 100 years and offers both Canadian side and half day boat tours. When aboard the Maid of the Mist, riders will experience an unforgettable encounter with 600,000 gallons of water cascading down from above. Remember, peak season lasts from May to September so plan accordingly!
While you won’t find any views of Niagara Falls here, you will have plenty more to entertain yourself with! Welcome back to the Canadian side where you can enjoy an impressive 200,000 feet of gaming action at the Fallsview Casino. Explore the slots, table games and more as you make your way across the floor. The Fallsview Casino also hosts events and tournaments so make sure to check out their events calendar before your visit!
Ready for some more sightseeing? Head over to the observation deck at the Niagara Falls State Park for some unforgettable views! Accessible only by elevator, the observation deck extends over the Niagara Gorge for an unobstructed look at Niagara Falls and the raging whitewater below. The deck also provides access to the base of the gorge and serves as the boarding site for the Maid of the Mist boat tours. For a “multi-sensory” view of the American Falls, visitors are encouraged to go to the base of the gorge and climb a series of stairs to the Crow’s nest, where they receive an impressive spray coming off the falls.
You’ll find the famous butterfly conservatory located on the grounds of the Niagara Park Botanical Gardens. There, visitors can tour tropical vegetation, trickling waterfalls and over 2,000 vibrantly colored butterflies! The self-guided tour begins with an informative video presentation where visitors will be introduced to the 45 different species of butterflies housed within the butterfly conservatory. Visitors are also encouraged to explore the rest of the park, which features over 99 acres of beautifully maintained botanical gardens!
The Whirlpool Aero Car was originally designed by renowned Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo back in 1916. Still functioning today, the antique cable car ride provides tours of the Niagara Gorge and offers stunning views of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool and the Class 6 whitewater rapids of the Niagara River. Though the Whirlpool Aero Car travels between two points of the Canadian shore, riders will actually cross the international border line between Canada and the United States a total of four times each trip due to the way the river elbows.
The kids are sure to have a blast at this next popular destination! The Niagara Falls Speedway sprawls out over four acres and features a four-story roller coaster along with the largest elevated go-kart track in North America! Remember, height restrictions apply so make sure your little ones are able to ride before getting in line!
The name “Cave of the Winds” refers to an old rock overhang that allowed people to stand under Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, the cave collapsed in the early 1900's, though the name endures. Today, the attraction calls for an elevator down into the Niagara Gorge. There, visitors will embark on guided tours over a series of wooden walkways to the famous “Hurricane Deck.” The railing stands a mere 20 feet from the rushing waters of Bridal Veil Falls. Travelers will get to enjoy the sights, receive a generous spray from the falls and witness one of the fall’s famous rainbows.
Journey Behind the Falls offers visitors a year-round opportunity to see the Niagara Falls from below and from behind. Visitors will descend 125 feet by elevator before accessing two outdoor observation decks and two portals located directly behind the falls. Tours typically take around 30 to 45 minutes. Take in up to one-fifth of the world’s fresh water as it crashes down to the basin below!
TAKE A SELFIE! Who said it was impossible to meet your favorite celebrity? With over 200 life-like wax figures, you’ll be able to strike a pose with your favorite superstar. Actors? Check! Musicians? Check! Heroes? Check! Take a #selfie as you mingle your way through Louis Tussaud's WaxWorks with your favorite star! From horror villains to yes, even Hollywood’s elite, there’s someone for everyone in Niagara Falls.
This destination is located in the center of the Niagara Parks, along the Niagara Gorge and Niagara River, and contains a beautiful collection of unique native and international plants within its botanical gardens. Travelers will also find a rock garden, hanging baskets, a Hybrid tea rose garden as well as spectacular views of both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
EXPLORE THE WEIRD! Discover the strange, the shocking, and beautiful at Ripley's Believe It or Not! in Niagara Falls. Enjoy some eye-popping exhibits where you can pose with the world’s tallest man, lose yourself in some mind-boggling visual illusions, and even see a Shrunken Head! The array of weird will leave you awe-struck. You've found your one-stop family fun in Canada!
Get ready for another spectacular view of the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls! The Niagara Zipline is stationed at the Niagara Park Commission’s Grand View Marketplace and sends visitors on an unforgettable journey over Niagara Falls. The ride includes four high-speed, side-by-side lines that will descend a total of 2,200 feet. You can also explore the Wildplay’s Whirlpool Adventure Course. The three self-paced courses include dozens of climbing, ziplining, jumping, and swinging obstacle games.
Take a day trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake! The 19th century town is situated on the edge of Lake Ontario and offers spectacular views of Toronto in a quaint, natural setting. The town is filled with restaurants, wineries, boutiques and its famous Shaw Festival, which celebrates the work of George Bernard Shaw through a series of plays performed from April to November.
Of course, you can go through the list of Niagara Falls attractions without mentioning the famous area light show! Take the kids to see this free Ontario attraction. Head over to the Niagara Falls State Park around dusk to see hundreds of LED lights illuminate the Niagara Gorge. If you happen to be visiting during a holiday, you’ll notice the area decorated in custom colors designed to fit the occasion!
Ready for some dry land fun? Take the family for a visit to the Glen Nature Reserve. Located deep in the Niagara Gorge, the nature reserve features over two miles of rugged paths that wind through the Carolinian Forest, past prehistoric geological formations, wild flora and fauna. The Niagara Glen also overlooks the rapid waters of the Niagara River and the amazing Niagara River Whirlpool. Don’t worry about navigating this one alone, guided tours are available!
Located along the Niagara Parkway, this fully-functioning natural clock was created with up to 16,000 carpet bedding plants which are changed twice a year. Thanks to the Niagara Parks horticulture staff, the planted face remains well maintained. The mechanism inside of it is kept working by the Ontario Power Generation. The tower at the back of the clock contains Westminster chimes that ring each quarter hour.
The Niagara Peninsula is one of the most acclaimed grape-growing and winemaking regions in Ontario. The area doesn’t sprawl out over too much land, so it’s possible to visit four or five in one day! If you don’t feel like driving, there are companies that offer wine tours and packages. A few favorites include Crush on Niagara Wine Tours, Grape Escape Wine Tours, and Niagara Vintage Wine Tours. Some of the most talked about wineries in the region include Cave Spring Cellars, Vineland Estates Winery and Henry of Pelham Family Estate.
Our Niagara Falls location offers specialty suites able to accommodate families of all sizes. You'll feel like your camping out in the Northern Woods in no time! Don't worry about missing out if you can't make the trip. We can bring the Great Wolf experience to you! Check out our blog for tons of fun activities to do at home with the family.
That’s right! Great Wolf Lodge has a presence north of the border. Our Niagara Falls location features some Great Wolf staples such as Fort Mackenzie, our interactive water treehouse, and our famous wolf tail slide! It also introduces a few new indoor water park attractions, including the Canada Vortex, a 4-foot jet-fueled adventure. There’s also the Niagara Rapids Run to explore, as well as Grizzly, Eagle and Bobcat Falls!