Little wonder this city is named after the breathless masterpiece of a landmark, the waterfall Niagara Falls. Along with a plethora of ways to admire nature’s magnum opus, there are so many more attractions and activities to enjoy in Niagara Falls, Ontario—concerts, casinos, spas, theme parks, golf courses, wineries, exquisite dining and lodging, and so much more.
Attractions and Landmarks in Niagara Falls, Ontario
The Niagara Falls is actually a set of two waterfalls. This spectacular landmark gives two cities their name: Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Discover the Falls in all full glory by taking a classic Maid of the Mist boat tour, a fast-paced Whirlpool Jet Boat ride, an earsplitting beautiful Journey Behind the Falls, or a spin around within a Niagara helicopter for the full jaw-dropping spectacle. You can also enjoy the view from further away at the observation/Ferris Niagara SkyWheel or the 520-ft Skylon Tower (which includes a 4-D presentation of The Legends of Niagara) in Ontario. The Falls are illuminated nightly by bright lights, adding another fascinating layer to this sight (a special colorful light show is performed annually during the November-January Winter Festival of Lights).
Stroll through the lovely 99-acre Niagara Botanical Gardens, free and open year-round. Clifton Hill (SkyWheel Side) bustles with games and attractions like the Movieland Wax Museum, a motion simulator theater, the Ghost Blasters ride, and golf courses. Clifton Hill (Guinness World Records Side) includes an assortment of haunted houses, the Guinness World Records Museum, and the LEGO-themed BrickCity. For a little history seek the 1812 British stronghold Fort George National Historic Site; for a little fun madness stop by Ripley’s believe it or Not! Museum. Be sure to also catch the annual summer Fireworks at the Falls, ripping the skies in a patchwork of brilliant color as concerts blast music for miles.
Nightlife and Family Fun in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Be sure to take a trip to the scenic wineries and vineyards at Niagara-on-the-Lake, especially savoring their world-famous unique ice-wines. Check out the annual Shaw Film Festival, explore the Totem Pole & Woodcarving Park, up or hit golf balls at the Grand Niagara course. Take a cautious and unforgettable White Water Walk on the boardwalk that flanks the perilous Whirlpool Rapids, and or hike along the scenic Niagara Parks Recreation Trail.
Great family favorites are the Marineland and Butterfly Conservatory. Catch the Greg Frewin Theatre Magic Show, which offers memorable pictures with the tigers. Other family-friendly attractions include the Imax Theatre Niagara Falls, the mirror-maze labyrinth Crystal Caves, and the Nightmare’s Fear Factory and The House of Frankenstein. For theme-park fun, enjoy the rides at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, Great Wolf Lodge, Waves Indoor Water Park, or Niagara Falls’ own theme park: Marineland Canada. Be sure to also enjoy the unique multi-award-winning Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show, Canada’s musical celebration that everyone can enjoy (especially while the performers serve you dinner).
Off the Beaten Path in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Book a ticket to enjoy a (moving, chilling, and comedic) theater production, The Last Illusionist (Mystery on the Lake Productions). Hit the trails at HorsePlay Niagara, check out the glacier remnants at Dufferin Islands Nature Area, or grab a bite at a weird and wonderful spot like The Flying Saucer (a must for sci-fi movie fanatics; the owner offers $1 million reward for any brought UFO evidence) or Skylon Tower’s Revolving Restaurant (ride “yellow bug” observation elevators that revolve above a view of the roaring Falls). Or, stop by the Niagara Falls Burger King for a Frankenburger (safer than it sounds).
Shopping and Restaurants in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Whether you fancy browsing for deals and bargains at brand name outlet stores (such as The Coach Outlet Store in the Lundys Lane Outlet Centre) or seeking the latest fashion at specialty boutiques or souvenir-hunting (The Secret Garden Gift Shop or The Always Refreshing Soda Shop), you’ll find what you’re looking for in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Check out massive malls like Pen Centre, outlet centers such as the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, or bustling retail stores like Souvenir City Headquarters. A definite delight is Falls Avenue‘s shops, restaurants, hotels, games, a casino, and a park, all located by Clifton Hill.
With countless of dining options in Niagara Falls, you will find everything from regional Canadian cuisine (as at Queenston Heights Restaurant) and regional contemporary cuisine (like at 17 Noir at the Fallsview Casino) to Niagara’s signature restaurant and southern-style Louisiana-inspired cuisine Monticello Grille House & Wine Bar, spectacular breakfast buffets (and views!) at The Watermark Restaurant, and an insanely loaded menu at Clifton Hill’s Boston Pizza.
Photos provided by: Gregg Knapp, John Vetterli