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Chill Vibes Only: Unlocking the Best Winter Views at Niagara Falls

In collaboration with @Niagarafallstourismcanada. Our travel dates: November 5-9, 2022

Key Details:

Location: Niagara Falls is situated on the Niagara River, connecting two of the five Great Lakes: Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Niagara Falls spans both the U.S. and Canada, marking the border between the two countries, with one of its waterfalls situated on American soil and the other on the Canadian side.

When to go: While Niagara Falls boasts beauty year-round, choosing the ideal time for your visit can enhance the experience. The Falls in the winter will be gorgeous, as you’ll see in this article. However, the winds can be brutal and some of the iconic Niagara experiences will be closed. For a magical spectacle, consider planning your trip during the summer or fall. These seasons offer a splendid backdrop as the lush greenery transforms into a vibrant palette of autumn hues. Regardless of when you choose to visit, Niagara Falls promises a breathtaking display of nature’s grandeur. 

Weather: In Niagara Falls, summers are warm, winters are freezing, snowy, and windy, and it is partly cloudy year-round. Throughout the year, temperatures typically range from 18°F to 80°F and rarely dip below 4°F or exceed 88°F.

Closest airport: Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)

Getting around: Renting a car is the most practical option, although parking in Niagara Falls can be somewhat challenging. On foot is the best way to navigate the area, otherwise you are going to pay a lot for parking. 

The Magic of Niagara Falls

There are a few things that I believe everyone living in North America should see at least once in their lives: the Grand Canyon, New York City, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Niagara Falls. Situated between the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls comprises three waterfalls: the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the largest of them all, the Horseshoe Falls.

Visiting Niagara Falls is like stepping into nature’s grand showcase, where the rush of water, misty air, and stunning beauty come together for a magical experience that grabs your attention. The falls’ sheer power puts on a show like no other, etching unforgettable memories for those lucky enough to be there. Niagara Falls isn’t just a destination; it’s a must-see wonder of nature that deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list for the sheer magic it brings to those who witness its mighty beauty.

Embracing the winter wonder at Niagara Falls opens up a whole new realm of enchantment. For a unique perspective, consider exploring the Journey Behind the Falls, where the icy backdrop enhances the experience. Additionally, viewing platforms like Prospect Point on the American side provide unobstructed glimpses of the cascading icy marvel. Whether you’re capturing the falls from observation towers or enjoying the frosty panorama from a cozy hotel with falls view rooms, winter at Niagara Falls promises a serene and breathtaking spectacle.

Honestly, I was initially hesitant about visiting Niagara Falls in the winter, concerned that the cold weather might dampen my experience. But that wasn’t at all the case! Everything, from food to entertainment and all the unique Niagara experiences, not to mention the Falls themselves, was conveniently within walking distance from the hotels, making navigation a breeze. I found that only a few experiences, such as boat tours, were closed for the season, and with smaller crowds, I could spontaneously book everything I wanted to do on the spot—making it an ideal destination for a last-minute weekend trip! 

Here are my recommendations for the best places to really see the falls on your winter adventure ⤵️

SEE THE FALLS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

There are plenty of places to see the falls without venturing too far. Walking paths encircle the Falls on both the Canadian and American sides, allowing you to get as close and personal to the Falls as you’re comfortable with. The most intimate experience, and my favorite view of Horseshoe Falls, is from the Canadian side, just a couple of yards away from the entrance of the Table Rock Centre. Witness the transformation of soft water into one of the world’s most powerful forces and get so close that you almost feel like you can reach out and touch the water.

My second favorite photography spot is on the same walking path, slightly south of the Table Rock Centre. From there, you can observe the falls curving around the Observatory Center, creating a scene reminiscent of the movie Frozen. Set your camera’s aperture to under a second, and get ready for the falls to transform into a stream of soft light.

SEE THE FALLS FROM THE SKYWHEEL

You’re never too old to enjoy a good Ferris Wheel! Clifton Hill is the perfect destination for games, food, and stunning views. I recommend riding the SkyWheel at sunset or night to witness the Illumination light up the Falls.

Tickets for the SkyWheel are $14 for adults and $7 for children. If games are more your preference, Clifton Hill offers entertainment options such as the Niagara Falls Speedway, Wizards Golf Mini Putt, Dinosaur Adventures Golf, and more.

SEE THE FALLS FROM THE TOWER

Enjoy dinner with a view from the top of the Skylon Tower, which features a Revolving Dining Room, Summit Suite Buffet, and Observation Deck. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try their lunch or dinner buffet on my last trip, but I’ve heard it’s worth the experience. If you, like me, accidentally fill up on Tim Hortons and poutine, you can still enjoy the tower views for under $20 per person.

On the American side, the Prospect Point Observation Tower dramatically extends over Niagara Gorge, offering unobstructed views of the wild cascades of Niagara Falls. Take a ride to the top of the tower for only $1.25.

SEE THE FALLS FROM THE SKY

Experience the “Thrill of a Lifetime” and witness the Falls from new heights with Niagara Helicopters. On a clear day, you will see the outline of Toronto to the North and the shores of Lake Erie to the South. You can book these fantastic tours on the spot, with no reservations—just by stopping in. A bonus is that this attraction is open year-round. So, if you visit the Falls in the colder months when other attractions like the boat tours are closed for the season, you can still embark on a thrilling adventure during your trip to Niagara.

SEE THE FALLS WHILE GLIDING THROUGH THE AIR

If you’re seeking a bit more adrenaline rush, consider adding ziplining to the falls to your bucket list. WildPlay invites thrill-seekers and those just wanting to experience the Falls in a new way to glide worry-free down to the Falls. Feel the mist on your face as you race at speeds over 40 miles per hour toward one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.

The process of booking a zip down the wire is super easy. You don’t need reservations; simply head to the WildPlay booth on the walking path and sign up!

SEE THE FALLS FROM DOWN BELOW

The Journey Behind the Falls, situated on the Canadian side of the park, offers a view like no other. Descend 125ft into the pit of the falls, where two tunnels take you behind Horseshoe Falls, providing two different and unique perspectives: 1) Literally behind the Falls and 2) To a viewing tower right next to the falls. Unfortunately, the observation platform is not open in the winter, but you can still get a good view from the windows. Prices for adults are $19.00, and for children, it’s $12.50.

SEE THE FALLS FROM YOUR HOTEL ROOM

Want to stay in bed? I don’t blame you. My biggest tip when visiting Niagara Falls is to book a fall-view room during your stay. I stayed at The Embassy Suites on the Canadian side, and let me tell you, those views were amazing! At night, I could crack my window and let the sounds of the falls sing me to sleep. A little tip: Canadian hotels seemed typically cheaper than hotels on the U.S. side, and there was way more to do.

SEE THE FALLS FROM TWO COUNTRIES AT ONCE

The Rainbow Bridge serves as the vibrant gateway connecting the cities of Niagara Falls. Whether you choose to traverse it by car, on foot, or bicycle, the bridge welcomes travelers 24/7, every day of the year. Just make sure to have your passport ready for a seamless cross-border experience. As you journey across this iconic bridge, you’re not only crossing a physical divide but also embarking on a symbolic connection between two nations, experiencing firsthand the majestic beauty that unites the cities of Niagara Falls.

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