Niagara Falls is an iconic attraction that many people want to visit or have already visited. There are two sides to Niagara Falls – it sits on the Canadian border, with attractions in Canada and New York.
The more popular side is the Canadian side, as it is home to the larger falls, but if you are in the United States, you can still visit these magnificent falls without leaving the country.
Hotels.com asked me to share my perfect two-day itinerary in Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls has numerous attractions and activities, and your trip will be filled with scenic views, vibrant history, and lots of entertainment.
Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, NY, celebrates all four seasons, so the weather can change quickly. From icy winters to sizzling summers, you can enjoy Niagara Falls all year round. Just make sure you’re prepared for the season!
If you visit in winter, get ready to bundle up for the cold! Niagra Falls turns into a winter wonderland. If you find beauty in the cold, this is a great time to visit. While you will find the area quieter and avoid the large crowds during the winter months, many attractions will be closed due to the weather conditions.
Summer is the most popular time to visit as the weather outside is hot. You will find larger crowds during the summer, but all the attractions will be open and ready for you to enjoy. The mist from the waterfalls will help to keep you cool during this hot time.
Spring and fall are also great times to visit! The temperatures slowly start to rise with the start of spring but be aware there could be some leftover chill from the winter. Spring also brings beautiful green plants and colorful flowers.
Fall is gorgeous as the leaves change colors and add to the beautiful scenery of the falls. The summer heat fades away, creating a pleasant temperature, but you will get rainy days during fall.
The beauty of the falls and surrounding areas are a magnificent and fun experience. Whether you are traveling solo, with a friend, or with family, there is a perfect hotel for your stay.
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Start your day with a visit to Goat Island, which has some of the falls’ best views and is part of the Niagara Falls State Park. Goat Island is a small island located in the middle of the Niagara River. Goat Island sits between Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. Horseshoe Falls are part of the Canadian side and are an iconic site and the largest of the falls (on both sides). Visit the Terrapin Point for a great viewpoint of both the American and Canadian Niagara Falls!
Cave of the Winds is a natural cave found on Goat Island. In the past, people were able to stand in the cave, directly underneath the falls! Today, there are observation decks for you to enjoy the falls, and it is one of the most popular attractions. From the cave, you get up-close views of the American Falls. You get to really experience the power and beauty of the falls through this. Be careful though – you will most likely get wet here!
To experience the falls from the water, the Maid of the Mist boat tour is a perfect way. A tour guide will give you history and information about the falls during your tour. The boat will even take you close enough to the falls to feel the mist from the water! It’s a magical experience and loved amongst visitors.
If you have time at night, visiting the falls is a memorable experience in the dark! You will get the chance to see fireworks lighting up the sky. Plus, the falls are lit up at night! Different colors illuminating the falls make for a pretty and unique site.
A 10-minute drive from Niagara Falls is the town of Lewiston. Lewiston is a quaint town with lots of shops and restaurants. Water Street Landing restaurant offers fantastic views of the river accompanied by live music and a fun outdoor bar. At the base of the restaurant, you’ll find The Whirlpool Jet Boat. This tour offers a tour of the river, along with an adventurous boat ride. It is a fun activity and a different way to experience your surroundings.
If you enjoy history, you can visit Old Fort Niagara. Old Fort Niagara is located near Youngstown, New York, which is about a 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls. It served as a station for American soldiers during both world wars and has a rich 300-year history. You will get a chance to see original 18th-century buildings and enjoy the incredible surrounding views of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.
Back in Niagara Falls, walk across The Rainbow Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge is an arch bridge across the Niagara River, connecting Niagara Falls, NY, and Ontario, Canada. You can walk across the bridge and enter Canada! (Note – You will need your passport and to go through border control). At one spot, you can have a foot in Canada and a foot in the United States! The bridge offers a cool way to cross the border into another country. Even if you don’t enter Canada, the views are worth a visit.
Many people may not know you can visit Niagara Falls from the United States, but now that you know – are you ready to visit?
Disclaimer: Traveling these days remains uncertain, so make sure to stay safe to protect yourself and others at all times. Many hotels offer free cancelations at the moment, so you should book a hotel that allows you to change your plans if you need to. Remember that traveling right now is at your own risk.