Category Archives: Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Canada Visitors Guide

Located in the south of Ontario and 60km as the crow flies from Toronto, Niagara Falls is probably one of the worlds most famous natural land marks.

Niagara falls is actually the collective name for three individual falls, Horse Shoe, American and Bridal.

As you would expect the city of Niagara falls attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and to be honest the main area around the falls is no more than a giant tourist resort. The main streets are either lined with hotels and restaurants or souvenir shops, amusement arcade and other assorted tourist attractions. Lets face it, there is honestly only so much time can be spent looking at the majestic falls.

Niagara Fall American Falls - TravelammoSo the falls are not hidden in the centre of picture perfect tropical jungle location and you cant strip off and jump into a  beautifully warm blue lagoon at the base of the falls with your travailing companions, do so and your likely to get hypothermia for a start. What the falls do offer is the chance to feel the power of over 100 million liters of water thumping down from a height of over 50 meters. Its a sound you can hear from hundreds of meters away, in fact you don’t really even need a town map, just follow your ears and you will find yourself at the falls.

If you’ve heard of the falls you have probably heard of the Maid of the Mist. This boat tour is actually operated from the american side of the falls but tickets are  readily available at outlets throughout the falls area and the boat picks up on the Canadian side south of the Rainbow bridge.  The tour only runs throughout the summer months and usually start mid April.

Niagara Falls From Below - TravelammoAnother top tourist pick is the Journey behind the falls. To the right of Horseshoe falls, the larger of the three and the only one within Canadian territory you will find a large white building, this houses restaurants, small museums, souvenir shops and the ticket booths along with the entrance to the tour. Once you have descended below the tour is self guided allowing you to explore the various platforms and tunnels below. Several tickets types are available and the available viewing platforms can vary due to weather and time of year.

Niagara Falls Wheel - TravelammoOnce you’ve spent your time at the falls the chances are you will head into town to seek further amusement and aside from the various casinos you will probably find your self on Clifton hill where you will find casual dinning, arcades and attractions such as Ripley’s Believe it or not and the large viewing wheel not to forget the Crazy golf. If the hustle and bustle of the amusements are not your thing then located nearby and fronting the falls are some beautiful parks. Open with lots of seating the parks are perfect for relaxing in the sun with the sound of the crashing water in the distance not forgetting a view of the falls also.

Niagara facts and figures:

    • Over 163,000,000 Litres flow over the falls at peak times.
    • Used for Hydro-Electric power generation to over 160,000 homes.
    • Directly on the border between Canada and the USA.
    • Last estimates expected 30 million visitors annually.
    • Home to the famous Maid of the Mist.

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Niagara Falls – Which is the best side to visit – USA or Canada

One of the most common questions asked be people wanting to or planning to visit Niagara Falls is which side is it best viewed from, USA or Canada.

Whilst we are not going to directly tell you which side you should visit, as each has its merits, we will do our best to list the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed choice. We do have our own favorite but that’s our own personal opinion and it would be wrong to tell you outright one way or the other. We will explain the facts and hopefully all your questions will be answered.

So lets get some statements out there to begin with:

The view most commonly seen in photos and on the media looking across the Niagara river at the falls is the view from the Canadian side, other than looking at Horseshoe falls ( one of the three falls that make up Niagara Falls ) you will only ever see the falls side on from the American side. Now of course this is only true if you are planning on staying on dry land. If your not that bothered about looking across at the falls but you are planning on going on the Maid of the Mist then arguably the American side is better as the Maid is Based here, although she does pick up from the Canadian side also.

Goat island is within US territory and is only accessible from the American side. Whilst not on every visitors list, if its on the wishlist then accessibility should be noted. The Island is very much different from the Canadian park offering in that once on the island there is a selection of shop, restaurants and the Cave of the Winds Tour. Just like the Canadian counter part, it is free to access and take in the views of the falls.

Niagara Falls From Below - TravelammoBehind and down to the falls is something which both sides offer although they do have slight differences. The Canadian tour branded Journey Behind the falls offers trips down to viewing platforms emerging from the rock faces very close to the edge of horseshoe falls, the standard tour does not as you might think allow you to walk about freely behind the falls. The american offering, Cave of the winds begins with a similar elevator trip down inside the rock but the remainder of the tour leads you along many exposed platforms.

So whats the cost of all these attractions, well the most comparable multi attraction ticket at the time of this being published is $38 US and $55 CAD. Both get you similar entrances and privileges, the Canadian being Journey behind the falls, Hornblower Niagara cruise, Niagara’s Fury Experience,  White water walk and a WEGO buss pass. The American ticket includes the Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara adventure theater, Niagara Gorge Discovery center and a Niagara Trolley Pass.

What about viewing platforms. Well the Canadian side does not have one simple. It does however have the whole side of the Niagara river looking onto the falls so you cant get much better than that but the American side does have a dedicated viewing platform which extends out over the edge between American falls and the Rainbow Bridge.

Niagara Falls Clifton Hill - TravelammoThe towns on each side provide very different experiences. The Canadian Niagara falls is pretty much a giant tourist resort whilst the American side is pretty much like and other american city. Both sides have restaurants, hotels and plenty of souvenir shops. However, Mall shopping is most easily available on the American side.

So in summery both sides have about the same to offer, it will come down to what side you like the sound of the most, which country you are already in and maybe even where you can get the best hotel deal. It must be mentioned that which ever country you are already in, traveling from one side to the other is relatively hassle free for most nationalities, although please do bare in mind if you are a national or traveling from a country that does not participate in the various visa waiver plans you may need visas which will need to be applied for in advance.

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