Things To Do in Niagara Falls & Niagara Falls (Ontario) Layover Ideas
Things to do in Niagara Falls if you have a Niagara Falls (Ontario) Layover or Extended Niagara Falls (Ontario) Stopover
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a pretty, historic town located about 20 minutes north of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Each summer it hosts the Shaw Festival, featuring the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. There are also a number of wineries in the area that you can visit. Shuttle services are available, as are Niagara Falls car rental services - or take a tour.
Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park, is located on the U.S.A. side of the falls. The park is a short drive over the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, New York. Its Cave of the Winds attraction, takes you down a series of wooden staircases right beside the Bridal Veil Falls. There are also hiking trails and a Falls observation deck. You can get there with a Niagara Falls rental car - or take a tour.
Maid of the Mist
Maid of the Mist (near the foot of Clifton Hill) is a boat that takes tourists to the foot of the falls, where you can better appreciate their thunder and spray. Runs April-October. Boats depart every 15 minutes and the ride is 30 minutes. Line-ups for this attraction can be quite long, try later in the day (1 hour or so before the last boat leaves) for a shorter wait. Many people use their digital cameras to take pictures, but they will get wet. Waterproof disposable cameras are conveniently offered for sale before boarding.
Journey Behind the Falls
Journey Behind the Falls (Table Rock Center, beside the Falls) is an interesting attraction to consider in lieu of Maid of the Mist (or when Maid of the Mist isn't operating). Although popular, the lines aren't nearly as long for "Journey" as they are for Maid of the Mist, and therefore may be a better option on crowded days, or for those traveling with small children. Ponchos are provided, as the Journey still offers participants the chance to feel the "spray" of the Falls, from portholes opening behind the Falls themselves. An informative guided tour that still provides some--but not all--of the thrills of the other attractions. Open year-round except 25 December. Whilst this attraction remains open during winter, often some of the viewing points are in-accessable due to snow build up.
Niagara Skywheel is a ferris-wheel-like attraction, with air-conditioned/heated pods and views of the Falls and surrounding skyline. 10-minute ride. Year round.
Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory
The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens are located 9 kilometers (6 miles) north of the Falls. 100 acres of 20th century themed gardens and a magnificent arboretum. Open daily year-round, dawn until dusk. At their best in the summer. Free admission.
The Butterfly Conservatory is located within the Botanical Gardens, and is the largest in North America. Here you can see over 2,000 butterflies in an enclosed garden - great photo ops. Open year-round except 25 December. An admission fee applies
The Bird Kingdom
The Bird Kingdom is the world's largest free-flying indoor aviary. A multi-level 'rainforest' of tropical plants - complete with a 40-foot waterfall - is home to 400 birds from around the world (many of the 80 species are endangered). Housed in an old corset factory, in Niagara Falls, Canada.
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