Destination Idea: Niagara Falls – with video

by GO GlobeHopper

Affectionately called The Honeymoon Capital, the destination of Niagara Falls, Canada is always a sure bet for fun. Indeed, Niagara is a romantic place for couples to vacation, but it’s also a great place for families and friends. With so much to see and do, all concentrated in a small region, it makes the perfect destination for a vacation or weekend getaway, no matter the season.  For detailed information on some of the attractions listed below, click on the blue links that will take you to the booking websites or our corresponding reviews.

⦿ To watch our Top 10 Things to do in Niagara Falls (including many of the attractions listed here), visit our YouTube video HERE, and use the highest quality playback settings. Or, keep reading for valuable information, website and ticket links, plus detailed reviews.

This tourist hot spot welcomes approximately 30 million people annually, all of whom come to see the thunderous waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States. The falls are visible from a variety of outlooks, from hotel rooms and rooftop restaurants, and from White Water Walk along the gorge. For visitors looking for more of an up-close experience, there is Niagara Cruises (by Hornblower), a boat ride that travels as close to the falls as possible.  Spoiler alert: Prepared to get wet!  There’s also Journey Behind the Falls, a self-guided walking tour that ventures through underground tunnels that offer views from directly beside or behind the falls.  Whirlpool Jet Boat provides a wild ride of thrills and soakers as adventurers speed through the rapids.  And, if you’re not afraid of heights, Niagara Helicopter Tours will fly you directly over top of this world wonder.

Tourists interested in other natural attractions should consider a walk through the Botanical Gardens, which is 40 acres of prime landscape that includes a wide variety of trees, shrubs, herbs, vegetables, and flowers, including 2400 roses.  The grounds are beautifully maintained by on-site horticulture students.

For a different look at the botanical gardens, opt for a horse and carriage ride around the property for a relaxing 40-minute tour complete with interesting and sometimes humorous narration.  Two-person carriages offer a romantic ride, or bigger carriages suitable for 6-8 persons are also available.

On the property of the Botanical Gardens (shown below), visit the Butterfly Conservatory for an unforgettable experience involving a walk through an enclosure of 2000+ tropical butterflies.

Related imageAlso for consideration is Bird Kingdom, a 45,000-square-foot aviary of tropical birds, many of which are cage-free and roam the rainforest-themed property.  Or, just a short drive away, visit Safari Niagara, a beautiful facility that began as a wild animal rescue and has morphed into a massive and impressive zoo featuring plenty of amenities and educational interactive experiences.

Moving onto man-made fun, tourists should head to Clifton Hill (shown below – right) for a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions, including the Niagara Skywheel for sweeping views of the area. Mini golf can be found, along with Niagara Speedway Go-Karts, which offers a multi-level go-karting experience.

Believe it or not, there’s more packed into the small area of Clifton Hill, including The Great Canadian Midway, a 70,000-square-foot entertainment complex along with a variety of fun houses and wax museums, including Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Movieland Wax Museum, and Louis Tussauds. 

For even more family fun, travelers can spend an afternoon at Fallsview Waterpark or opt to stay at Great Wolf Lodge, a woodsy-themed resort with a waterpark right on the premises.

Ensure that your Niagara getaway takes place on a special holiday for late-night fireworks displays that take place over the top of the falls.  For adults, 2 casinos are available in the area – Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino, both of which feature fine dining and live entertainment.

Image result for whirlpool golf course niagaraFeeling sporty and energetic?  Check out Niagara Freefall for an indoor skydiving experience, or golf to your heart’s content at one of many beautiful courses in the area. For one of the most scenic clubs, we suggest Whirlpool Golf Course (shown left), which runs adjacent to the Niagara Gorge and connects to the Botanical Gardens.

There are plenty of restaurants in Niagara Falls, with something to suit every budget and taste bud. For fine dining, the region offers several options, including Elements on the Falls and the Skylon Tower, where diners can choose between a full-service revolving restaurant or a buffet, both of which overlook the falls.

Accommodations in the city range from a myriad of bed & breakfast locations to inns and motels, and a host of chain hotels, most of which are skyscrapers that overlook the action of Clifton Hill, or the scenic parks and parks.  However, if you’re looking for something with a little more character that dates back to Niagara’s roots, consider a stay at the Old Stone Inn, a historic boutique hotel with a modern spin.

Time spent in Niagara Falls is always fun, with a smorgasbord of attractions and activities that will keep you busy from morning till night.  No matter the time of the year, there’s always something on the go so be sure to visit Niagara Parks to help you plan and make the most of your getaway.

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