Niagara Falls is a city in the state of Ontario in Canada. It is most famous for being home to Horseshoe Falls, the most iconic of the three waterfalls that make up the Niagara Falls. The falls are the most powerful and famous in the world, and the city of Niagara Falls is one of the best family vacation destinations in the world. It is a small town that is home to Clifton Hill, a street that has earned a reputation as Las Vegas for families. Niagara Falls is also a gateway to the Ontario, a part of Canada that is known for its endless wilderness of pine forests and 250,000 lakes. South African travellers need a visa to visit Canada.
The mighty waterfalls are of course the biggest draw card in Niagara Falls. The relentless gushing water is hypnotic, especially from the foot of them or from the air. A boat cruise takes you to the bottom of them and is a truly unforgettable experience. If you prefer to keep your feet sort of on the ground, head up Skylon Tower for a view of the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls. And if you can handle heights, a helicopter ride over them is unreal. Ziplining above the Niagara River is another fun way to see the falls and the Niagara State Park fireworks and LED show that illuminate the falls at night are unmissable. After watching the falls light up the town, the Great Canadian Midway in Clifton Hill is an entertainment complex packed with arcade games, interactive rides, and attractions like a wax museum. Get the most out of your trip by making a detour in Montréal, a city in the Québec province that is known for its European atmosphere and architecture.
The Outlet Collection at Niagara on the Lake is a large open air shopping mall with about 100 brand stores, but there are also a number of independent stores and shops in Niagara Falls. In terms of costs, Niagara Falls is a tourist town so it isn’t cheap, but it isn’t too much more than most major cities in South Africa. A regular meal is about R180 or about R350 for a three course meal. A bottle of wine from the store costs about R180 and a beer is R30. A 24-hour pass for the metro is about R100 and R70 for a child, or the 48-hour pass is about R150 and R110 for a child. It is free to enter Niagara Falls State Park, but if you want to experience the main attractions such as Cave of the Winds and a Maid of the Mist boat cruise to the foot of Horseshoe Falls, a Discovery Pass is about R500 for adults and R390 for kids. As with most tourist towns, prices are going to be higher the closer you are to the main strip and if you only eat out at places in the main tourist areas.
If you are staying in the area surrounding Niagara Falls, everything is within walking distance. There is also a state of the art bus system that connects hotels with tourist attractions called the WeGo. It operates throughout Niagara Falls and Niagara Park. There are 4 lines: Red and Blue run through the tourist areas, Green serves Niagara Parks, and Orange goes to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Niagara Region Transit service links Niagara Falls with surrounding areas. There are several care rental agencies if you want to rent a car. Renting a bicycle is a fun and cheap way to get around and see the city.
A hotel room overlooking the falls is the ideal way to spend the night in Niagara Falls, but bed and breakfasts and casino resorts come in all shades of comfortable and fun. There are a few good options for inns and budget hotels if you want something basic or you are on a budget. Motels are the best option if you are on a serious budget. Motels start from about R700 for two people sharing, while a bed and breakfast averages R1500 and a good 4-star hotel is about R2000. The area near the falls is the best place to stay if you want everything within walking distance, otherwise some of the nicest bed and breakfasts and guest houses are in the outlying areas. Many of the budget hotels are along and around Lundy’s Lane.
You will need to catch a flight to Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW) and then one to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). A connecting flight from Johannesburg with two stopovers is about 24 hours. Flights with one stopover are operated by South African Airways and stop in New York City. Airlines currently operating flights are Air Canada, United Airlines, and South African Airways.
Clifton Hill is the main street in Niagara Falls that is Las Vegas for families. It is an amusement park right next to the thundering Horseshoe Falls, the largest and most impressive waterfall of Niagara Falls. Clifton Hill has an indoor waterpark, speedway, comedy lounge, casino, cocktail lounge, and restaurants. The Niagara Skywheel is its best feature. The Skywheel takes you over 50 metres into the air, offering incredible views of Horseshoe Falls. It’s one of the best spots to see the Niagara Falls.