Best Museums in Niagara Falls

The History Behind The Niagara Region Spans Throughout The Towns of Niagara

Museums are a place to really understand a city. There a place where you can explore the ins and outs of how the city was created, when it was created and why it was created. These days, we never take the time to stop and smell the roses, and so many of us aren't too keen on spending the day exploring the historical past of a city, but once you've strolled through any one of these museums on this Top 10 list you'll surely fall in love with history all over again. Think of it as a way to figure out how you're going to tell your kids kids' just why Clifton Hill was created, or how the canal system works. It's all apart of The Niagara Region's history, a history that is not only here to stay, but a history that is forever looked towards to understand just how we have meshed into one to become a region well-known for its natural and historical sights. Stroll through each town on The Niagara Region and you'll be pleasantly surprised at all of the history that is showcased through our lands. It's time for you to be one with history once again, and each of these museums will bring that eagerness in learning of the past to a whole new unique light.


If you're looking to be wowed, The Guinness Book of World Records Museum is the place for you. Explore the ins and outs of the Guinness Book of World Records as you stroll through the museum and you'll be in awe as to the bizarre and fascinating things people do just to get into the book. Marvel at wax figures of the tallest man alive, sit on the largest chair ever created, check out interactive displays or stroll through the museums walls to see just which world record you want to break or create. This museum surely is unique in its own right.

Melaina's expert tip: Check out the Sports World where you'll be amazed at all of the world records out there.

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The RiverBrink Art Museum is where one can stroll off to to take in the historically artistic eye that is found in the Niagara Region. The museum offers interpretations of Niagara and Canada's culture and heritage in a mesmerizing way. Here is where you will find those who have a stern appreciation for the visual arts, and rightfully so as the museum collections are a thing of beauty. With a focus on historical Canadian art, and holdings of European and American art, the museum wow's anyone who walks through its doors.

Melaina's expert tip: Come to the museum on a Sunday during May to October to take in a lecture on the mystical nature of art.

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Created way back in 1968, The Willoughby Historical Museum occupies a former schoolhouse that creates a charming appeal to The Niagara Region. With quaint artifacts throughout the museum showcasing the pride of the community during Canada's centennial of confederation, what's inside the museums brick walls certainly showcase its history. Artifacts spanning several centuries are available for viewing; some date as far back as the late 18th century. Along with documentation of the town and its families, you'll find agricultural implements, weapons, domestic items, books, clothing and antique furniture. As the name indicates, Willoughby Township is well-represented in the collections. The former Township of Willoughby and Village of Chippawa are both interpreted by the Museum.

Melaina's expert tip: The museum is open from Victoria Day to Labour Day from Wednesday to Sundays.

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At The St. Catharines Museum you'll take in a whole lot of interesting facts of this glorious city. Not only will you learn of the history of St. Catharines itself but will be wowed at the history and creation of The Welland Canal. Located at Lock 3, after you've strolled through the museum to get understand the history behind it all, grab some ice cream and sit outside for awhile to watch the ships climb the mountain as the massive ships breeze through the canal system on a daily basis. This is what Niagara is known for, and what better way to learn of the history than visit the museum before you wave to the captain.

Melaina's expert tip: If you enjoy a long stroll, start off at the museum and head your way along The Recreation Trail which will take you throughout Niagara, truly a beautiful view all the way through.

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Founded in the late 19th century, The Niagara Historical Society & Museum is one of the region's oldest. As its founders showed considerable foresight in their desire to preserve Canadian culture and history, the museum is uniquely Niagara no matter which exhibit captures your eye. The museum collections offer documents, photographs, maps and artifacts relating to town settlement, local agriculture, the War of 1812, furniture-making and textile production. Explore The High School & Link Buildings as they house 'Our Story', the museums permanent exhibit. Or venture off to The Upper or Lower Levels of Memorial Hall which showcase temporary exhibits. First time visitors to Niagara will be 'wowed' as they embark on a journey to this museum.

Melaina's expert tip: Visit The Museum during February to December 2012 to explore the Niagara on The Eve of War exhibit. Showcasing life through the War of 1812, this exhibit will have you mesmerized.

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Local history is brought to life again at this informative museum, which occupies a two-story, limestone structure built as a town hall in 1874. Within its walls, visitors can browse displays about the 1814 Battle of Lundy's Lane, geological creations, or visit The Ontario Power Generation Gallery, and exhibit interactively showcasing the history of electricity. Other exhibits center around vintage toys, a recreated Victorian room, Indian artifacts, art glass and the rise of tourism in Niagara, thanks to the presence of the Falls. Outside is a fountain dating to 1901 that honors Queen Victoria's long reign. The museum is surely a unique spot, and once renovations are complete it will mesmerize anyone who walks through its doors.

Melaina's expert tip: Currently undergoing a $12M renovation, the space will continue to wow anyone who wishes to explore Niagara Fall's diverse history.

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Ripley's Believe It or Not
Photo courtesy of Roberts

Clifton Hill could not be more perfect then with Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum protruding out of it. The museum is fun for everyone with rare artifacts, and intricate details on those who have attempted the unthinkable, barreling down The Falls. Visitors will be astonished at the 'over 700 exhibits, oddities, curiosities and illusions' Ripley's has to offer. The museum offers a glimpse into Niagara Fall's wacky past, it surely is a thrill of a museum. And if that's not good enough for you check out the Moving Theatre at the top of Clifton Hill where you will experience a blood-pumping adventure all the while sitting in a nice, big comfy chair.

Melaina's expert tip: Purchase your tickets to this wacky museum at your hotel or at the doors, whichever you do, be sure to get here early as the crowds frequent this museum on a daily basis.

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The Niagara Children's Museum is where fun is an understatement. The eclectic interactive museum opened its doors back in 1999, and is continually wowing any child who explores every inch of it. With three floors of curriculum centered exhibits, the museum serves as a spot to engage kids who have a love for getting their hands dirty while exploring new and exciting exhibits. The exhibits span from hands-on structure and forces exhibits to mock archeological digs. The museum is all about allowing a child to discover something they have no idea about in a fun and thrilling way. It's all about the kids at this museum.

Melaina's expert tip: Looking to come here for a birthday, contact the museum for the best birthday yet!

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The Niagara Apothecary Museum is an interesting addition to Niagara-on-the-Lake's Queen Street. With its Italianate facade featuring arched glazed double doors and two arched plate glass show windows accent it's ritzy charm that Niagara-on-the-Lake is known for. The Niagara Apothecary is an authentic museum that takes you on a journey from its pharmacy days dating back to 1820 to 1964. As you explore the ins and outs of the apothecary you step into a world that is so unique and mesmerizing you'll be coming back before you know it to show the museum off to your friends and family who've made the trek down to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Melaina's expert tip: Canada's most noted restoration architects, Peter Stokes was the man behind the vision of restoring the property, his work is certainly a showpiece on Queen Street.

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If you're one of those eager folks there that love to learn about the history of the land, than Fort George should be on the top of your list while in The Niagara Region. Located along The Niagara Parkway, Fort George is the historical site where British soldiers, Aboriginal peoples and Canadian militiamen fought to ensure Ontario wasn't annexed to The USA. The spot is has been restored to reflect the nature of the War of 1812. With everything from buildings furnished to the time period, to tour guides dressed in warfare there certainly is something for everyone here. And so, if you want to learn of our history take to Fort George to see just how hard we fought to keep Canada as one.

Melaina's expert tip: Call ahead to book your guided tour today.

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Meet Melaina Gasbarrino

Melaina is a native to The Niagara Region. Though she's traveled the world, she loves coming home and experiencing the true beauty that The Niagara Region has to offer. From hikes through The...  More About Melaina