One of the world's great natural wonders, Niagara Falls is over a mile in length and sends more than a half-million gallons of water per second over the edge. Boats and helicopters provide a closer look at the curtain of water, but Journey Behind the Falls offers the most breathtaking views. Be sure to catch the nightly illumination of the falls as well and enjoy fireworks on Friday evenings during the summer. Although you can purchase tickets for each individual attraction, the best value is the Adventure Pass, which includes Maid of the Mist, White Water Walk, Journey Behind the Falls and the Butterfly Conservatory. Paid parking only, about $10.
Local Expert tip: During the winter months go ice-skating right across from The Falls, its truly picturesque.
Certainly the most long-lived draw for tourists, these boat tours provide a surprising immediacy to the Falls experience. Sturdy vessels navigate waters at the base of the Falls, taking folks practically into the deluge pouring from the cliffs above. The rush of water rings in your ears, and you're washed by mist and spray as you approach the Falls, but nothing else brings you closer to Niagara's majesty. The trip lasts about a half-hour; rain gear is provided. A must, as it has been for more than 150 years.
Local Expert tip: Make sure to use the ponchos they give you as you don't want to be soaked after this crazy ride!
Offering Niagara's loftiest observation area, this tower was built in 1965 and rises 775 feet into the sky. Take its "yellow bug" elevators (named for their appearance as they crawl up the outside of the tower), and marvel at the impressive view from Skylon's observation deck (both indoors and out). Two restaurants are available, including the Revolving Dining Room (which makes a 360 degree circuit every hour), and you'll also find shopping and an arcade to help pass the time.
Local Expert tip: Head on up to the top and step on the glass bottom floor, it's a crazy feeling to be up this high, but sure is a great adrenaline rush like never before!
Niagara Skywheel, it is not just a plain old Ferris Wheel that enables you to see Niagara Falls from up above, it is an experience that is awaiting your arrival. The Skywheel, towering as tall as 175 feet (53 meters), has views of the fascinating Niagara Falls, bright-light Clifton Hill and the city itself. The beauty of this Ferris Wheel ride is that the gondola is fully enclosed and equipped with heating and air conditioning so tourists can enjoy the landscape of Niagara Falls everyday of the year. Come down to The Niagara Skywheel to see the bright lights and long nights from up above, you will certainly be amazed at the view.
Local Expert tip: The Skywheel at night is the best view of the city you will get. With the skyline lite up, and the magic of The Falls you will be memorized by the views.
Ground-level sightseeing is terrific, but you'll move to the next level when you book a helicopter tour. The panorama of Niagara territory is heightened from the air, and four-person vehicles ensure that you get personalized attention. Lift off from Toronto and head off to the wine country and catch sight of the impressive estates and vineyards. The trip includes a vineyard luncheon, tasting and tour before the return flight. Honeymoon flights are also available, and corporate outings can be arranged as well. Certified pilots.
Local Expert tip: With the 'Specialty Packages' you can rise above the sky and venture off on a wine tour, go fishing or head out to the greens. The packages are a sure hit for anyone looking to arrive in style at any function.
If you think Niagara Falls is impressive from the front, try viewing it from the back! This tour takes visitors in an elevator to the base of the waterfall and lets them see, from behind, the sheer magnitude of the water as it's forced over the cliffs above. An observation platform provides views from the side, while tunnels and portals cut into the rock lets folks experience the rush of water from within the falls. Tours are self-guided, rain gear is included and a gift shop is available after you've made your way through.
Local Expert tip: Head here in the winter for a reduction in rates as the Lower Observation deck is closed during the time because of icy conditions. You're still getting your monies worth as that is only a small portion of the adventure.
Initially established in 1936, these botanical gardens attract nearly a million visitors each year. In fact, folks can't seem to get enough of NPBG's 100 acres of manicured beds and plantings, which are maintained by a select group of students from the Park's horticultural school. The arboretum features a wealth of specimen shrubs and trees, including flowering cherry trees. Other specialty gardens include those devoted to roses, herbs and vegetables. You'll also see rhododendrons, irises and a wide variety of perennials.
Local Expert tip: Take a walk through the Botanical Gardens during the summer months. It truly is breathtaking to see all of the flowers in bloom.
Known for incredible cinematography and cutting-edge technology, IMAX constantly provides the most fascinating, educational programs available on the big screen. Digital sound and towering movie screens ensure that each ticket-holder takes in the action and spectacle to their most intense degree. You'll be swept away by glorious photography and a seductive soundtrack, experiencing Niagara Falls as in no other movie-going adventure. Don't forget to check out the Daredevil exhibit, which introduces visitors to folks who've braved the falls in a barrel (or less). Movies are shown on the hour; different languages are available.
Local Expert tip: Purchase your tickets online now, you'll save up to 40% if you buy the Movie and Museum pass, its well worth it!
Downriver from the Falls, visitors make their way over the river in this suspended cable car, which made its premiere in 1916. Its half-mile journey takes about ten minutes to complete, during which time passengers are afforded incredible views of the Niagara Whirlpool. This intriguing phenomenon is formed where river currents meet with a solid obstacle and turn sharply counterclockwise, creating a magnificent whirlpool. The car's high vantage point also promises other terrific views of the surrounding landscape. A discount coupon for the Whirlpool Aero Car is included with the purchase of the Niagara Falls & Great Gorge Adventure Pass.
Local Expert tip: The best time to hop on this unique ride is during the fall. The magical views from up high are certainly one for the taking.
If you have a deep-rooted passion for the outdoors and a little bit of adventure, than HorsePlay Niagara is the very perfect adventure for you. Located on the most perfect ranch, HorsePlay Niagara is where you will discover the most scenic side of Niagara. Trail rides vary from an hour to birthday riding fun, it's totally up to you as to how you wish to spend your unique trail riding adventure.
Local Expert tip: Go on an Adventure Cookout trail ride where you'll experience the beauty of the outdoors all the while partaking in a cookout like no other.