12 Not to Be Mist Attractions in Niagara Falls, Canada
There are Plenty of Reasons to Fall for This City
While gazing on Niagara Falls for the first time, Irish satirist Oscar Wilde is reputed to have said it would be more impressive if it ran backwards. Millions of other visitors each year tend to disagree — and we do too.
Although the biggest draw of Niagara Falls, Ontario is undoubtedly the natural wonder of the three waterfalls, there are plenty of attractions throughout the city that make a weekend or even week-long trip there worthwhile. From ultra-touristy and cheesy to outdoorsy and exhilarating to leisurely and picturesque, there’s something for every taste.
Here’s our breakdown of the best things to do in Niagara Falls.
No matter what else you do while in the Niagara region, you’ll want to make a stop at the falls. Niagara Falls actually refers to three waterfalls that straddle the Canada-U.S. border: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. The biggest of the three is Horseshoe, measuring at 160 feet in height. At its peak, over 6 million cubic feet of water goes over the falls every minute, making it the most powerful waterfall in North America.
You’ll be able to get great views of the falls from above simply by taking a walk on the pathway that runs along Niagara Parkway. Be prepared — you may get a little wet due to the mist rising out of the gorge below, but that’s all part of the fun! Spend as much time as you want viewing the falls from different angles and try to imagine what it would have been like for European explorers to discover the falls when it was still shrouded in wilderness.
If you’re visiting during the summer months, during the Festival of Winter Lights or on other holidays, you may be able to catch a dazzling fireworks display over the falls at night. Be sure to check the schedule to see if a show will be running during your visit.
If gazing upon the falls from above isn’t enough, get a closer look from below aboard a Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour. The boat will take you up the Niagara Gorge to the base of Horseshoe Falls for an experience you won’t soon forget. Don’t worry, the tour comes with a complimentary poncho that will save you from getting totally soaking wet. But, again, getting a face-full of cool mist is all part of the experience.
Photo Credit: Whirpool Jet Boat Tours
If you’re someone who loves seeking out thrilling experiences everywhere you go, there are some Niagara Falls attractions to suit your taste for adrenaline. Whirlpool Jet Tours is sure to get you soaking wet and whooping at the top of your lungs.
Climb aboard a jet boat that will take you racing up the Niagara Gorge to the famous Niagara whirlpool, located downstream of the falls. On your way back, you’ll be able to experience a set of class five rapids known as the Devil’s Hole. There’s a reason why this stretch is commonly referred to as the Mount Everest of whitewater. In the rapids you’ll meet 15 to 20-foot waves and currents of up to 20 miles an hour.
Getting soaked to the bone isn’t quite up your alley? Take to the skies instead! The MistRider Zipline will take you soaring over the Niagara Gorge toward the base of Horseshoe Falls. You’ll start by dangling 220 feet above the ground and will travel 2,200 feet at speeds of more than 40 miles an hour. If you want to take things to the next level, book a night tour instead.
Photo Credit: Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars
Being of great historical significance in the War of 1812, the Niagara region has its fair share of educational museums you can visit. But Niagara Falls is also home to some super touristy, but super fun museums you simply can’t skip out on.
Walk the block of Falls Avenue, Clifton Hill, Victoria Avenue and Bender Street and you’ll be overwhelmed by the choices for museums. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Contains 15 themed rooms and over 400 exhibits filled with the oddest things from around the globe.
You’ll see two-headed animals, authentic shrunken heads and more. It’s a great experience for kids especially who will love marveling at all the interesting items on display.
What is it about wax museums in Niagara? We’re really not sure, but with four available for you to tour you have to go to at least one! You’ll have your choice of Movieland, Louis Tussaud’s, Rock Legends and Museum of History. Pose with various figures of notoriety from Martha Stewart to Freddy Krueger to the Incredible Hulk.
Photo Credit: Great Canadian Midway
On your walk down Clifton Hill you may hear some screams… that’s because Nightmares Fear Factory is located along this street and it’s famous for being one of the scariest haunted houses around. Over 150,000 people have chickened out part-way through (with a ticker on their website that keeps the tally running) and those who “survive” usually say it was one of the scariest experiences of their life.
According to the company, the haunted house is run out of an old coffin factory where the owner was crushed to death under a stack of coffins. His casket was found empty and he is said to still haunt the building. Find out for yourself on one of their 10-minute tours!
For some wholesome family fun, check out the Great Canadian Midway where you can play arcade games and experience interactive rides. We’re talking skee-ball, Deal or No Deal, and a Wild West Coaster experience. You’ll be able to redeem all the tickets you won for prizes as well, of course.
Photo Credit: Hershey's Chocolate World
Yes, Niagara Falls has outlet malls and box stores, but what do you want with clothes and shoes when you can have chocolate? Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World and take in all the sweetness of the store’s memorabilia, souvenirs and of course candy and baked goods.
Is a trip to somewhere as iconic as Niagara Falls complete if you don’t have a shot glass or magnet to commemorate your trip? Be sure to visit the Canada Trading Company to pick from thousands of tacky and non-tacky souvenirs.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Take a Drive
It’s true that spending some time in the heart of Niagara Falls can be a bit overwhelming with all the attractions and crowds of people. For some time away from the bustle and a chance to take in the charms of the Niagara region, take a drive along the Niagara Parkway. The road follows the Niagara River, taking you past picturesque views and historic sites.
A staple of the Niagara region is its wineries. Whether you want to drop in on a few (or more than a few, we won’t judge) or just take in the rolling vineyards from the car, the route to take is Twenty Valley to St. Catherines, sticking to the rural roads.