In my opinion, there are a few things that I think everyone living in North America should see once in their lives; the Grand Canyon, New York City, and Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls, located between the United States and Canada, is actually made up of three separate waterfalls: the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the largest, the Horseshoe Falls.
To be honest, I was a little hesitant about visiting Niagara Falls in the winter. I was afraid that the cold weather would put a slight damper on my experience. What I discovered was that visiting Niagara in the winter was an excellent choice! Everything from food to entertainment, all of the unique Niagara experiences, and of course, the Falls themselves were within walking distance from the hotels, making it super easy to get around. I found that only a few of the experiences, like the boat tours, were closed for the season, and because of the smaller crowds, I was able to book everything that I wanted to do on the spot, making it a great place to escape for a spontaneous weekend trip! If you are thinking about visiting Niagara Falls in any season, here are some of my favorite places to capture photos of Niagara Falls for you to look back on.
SEE THE FALLS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
There are plenty of places to see the falls without having to go too far. Walking paths circle the Falls on both the Canadian and American sides so you can get as close and personal to the Falls as you’re comfortable with. The absolute closest you can get to the Falls for free, and my favorite view of Horseshoe falls is from the Canadian side, only a couple of yards away from the entrance of the Table Rock Centre. Watch as the gentle water turns into one of the most powerful forces in the world. 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, just slightly south of the Table Rock Centre. From there, you can watch the falls curve around the Observatory Center, making the building look like a scene out of the movie Frozen. Drop the aperture on your camera down to under a second, and get ready for the falls to transform into a stream of smooth light.
SEE THE FALLS FROM THE SKYWHEEL
Let’s face it, you’re never too old to enjoy a good Ferris Wheel! Clifton Hill is the perfect place to go for games, food, and of course, some stunning views. My suggestion is to ride the SkyWheel at sunset or at night so you can catch the Illumination light up the Falls. Tickets for the SkyWheel are $14 for adults, $7 for children. If games are more you’re thing, Clifton Hill also offers entertainment such as the Niagara Falls Speedway, Wizards Golf Mini Putt, Dinosaur Adventures Golf, and more.
SEE THE FALLS FROM THE TOWERS
Grab dinner and a view from the top of the Skylon Tower. The tower offers a Revolving Dining Room, Summit Suite Buffet, and Observation Deck. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to try out their lunch or dinner buffet on my last trip, but I heard it was definitely worth the experience. If you happen to be like me and accidentally fill up on Tim Hortons and poutine, you can still enjoy the views of the tower for under $20/per person.
The Prospect Point Observation Tower on the American side extends out dramatically over Niagara Gorge and offers unobstructed views of the wild cascades of Niagara Falls. Ride up 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 amazing tours on the spot, with no reservations, just by stopping in. An added bonus is that this attraction is open year-round, so if you are visiting the Falls in the colder months when other attractions like the boat tours are closed for the season, you can still get a thrilling adventure during your trip to Niagara.
SEE THE FALLS WHILE GLIDING THROUGH THE AIR
If you are looking for a little more of an adrenaline rush, add ziplining to the falls to your bucket list. Wildplay invites both 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 towards one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.
SEE THE FALLS FROM DOWN BELOW
The Journey Behind the Falls, located on the Canadian side of the park, allows you to get a view like no other. Dropdown 125ft into the pit of the falls where two tunnels take you behind Horseshoe Falls to get two different and unique views; 1) Literally behind the Falls and 2)To a viewing tower right next to the falls. The observation platform is not open in the winter, but you can still get a good view from the windows. Prices for adults are $15.50 and $10.50 for children.
SEE THE FALLS FROM YOUR HOTEL ROOM
Don’t want to leave your bed? I don’t blame you. That’s why my biggest tip when visiting Niagara Falls is to book a falls view room during your stay. I bunked up at The Embassy Suites on the Canada side, and let me tell you, those views were amazing! At night, I was able to crack my window and let the volume of the falls sing me to sleep. A little tip, I found that the Canadian hotels seemed typically cheaper than the hotels on the U.S. side, plus, there was way more to do.
SEE THE FALLS FROM TWO COUNTRIES AT ONCE
The Rainbow Bridge is the gateway between the cities of Niagara Falls. You can cross the bridge by auto, on foot, or bicycle 24/7 every day of the year, just have your passport ready and vax information ready. Check the Canada and U.S. entry requirements before your trip!
Want to find more incredible places to check out during your trip to New York?
Hike up to old fire towers, find some amazing cabins, see the tallest waterfall in the Northeast, explore my favorite photography spots, and escape to the places never even knew existed right at your fingertips. There’s more to New York than just NYC! Check out my Google Maps to make it easier for you to find your next adventure!