One must-visit place before you die? Niagara Falls: a 200-some-ft high convergence of three glacial waterfalls that straddles the boarder of the U.S. and Canada. Think: thunderous water, swirling mist, and pools of foam the size of a semi truck. This place should be on every adventurer’s bucket list. But the question is how to get the best vantage point. Whether you’re up for a poncho-soaked boat tour, or prefer a white water boardwalk that runs along the falls, here are the 5 best ways to check out the magnificent cascade.
1. Take an Elevator + Tunnel Behind the Falls
Get up close and personal to the very foot of the falls at Cataract and Great Falls Portals. Journey Behind the Falls offers an elevator ride 150 ft. down to tunnels behind the cascades. See the falls from the stacked observation decks. (Hint: In spring and summer, you get a free souvenir biodegradable rain poncho to wear, it’s wet!)
($12, adults; $8, children)
2. Walk in the White Water
If you like the rush of white water, visit Niagara Gorge, a massive chasm where Niagara’s water gushes at 30 mph creating class-6 rapids. The White Water Walk is a series of stairs and two observation decks that take you right to rapids themselves. Head to the bottom of the gorge and walk on a boardwalk adjacent to the white water of the falls.
Open to public April – November, weather permitting; wheelchair access
3. Stimulate Your Senses + Study Up in 4-D
Study up on the history of how Niagara was formed with Niagara’s Fury, a 4-D adventure that uses the latest technology to give you a sensory, realistic experience while you learn about the falls. On a raised platform, you’ll feel the temperature drop 20 degrees as you are sprayed by water to recreate the experience of being at Niagara Falls. A video shows how the falls were created, starting from the Ice Age, followed by the multi-sensory show in the specially designed 360-degree theatre. This is both an educational and entertaining activity for all the family to enjoy.
4. Get the Bird’s-Eye View on Niagara Skywheel
Fancy seeing the views of Niagara from a might higher viewpoint? Look no further than the Niagara Skywheel, a 175-ft tall ferris wheel. Circle up and around Niagara for breathtaking views of the falls and city. You’ll stay comfortable as the pods are heated in winter and air conditioned in summer. Rides last 8-12 minutes on average. Bring your camera.
Call 905-358-4793 for booking information
5. Go by Boat
As most water attractions go, Niagara Falls is perhaps best by boat. Of course, the most famous Maid of the Mist tour won’t disappoint. Follow the Niagara River and get the guided tour of the falls learning more about the history—and feeling the spray up close.
($17 adult; $10, children)
TRAVELER TIP: Staying local? Check out marriottgatewayonthefalls.com—in a perfect location, close to all the major attractions in Niagara.