How to Prepare For Your Next Trip to Niagara Falls
Are you going to Niagara Falls but aren’t sure which waterfall to see first? Do you have misgivings regarding transportation, prices, or weather? Check out these nine tips to help you plan your trip.
Millions of tourists visit all three of the waterfalls that make Niagara Falls such an impressive natural attraction. And everyone has a different way of planning a trip there.
Yet no matter when you go, there are certain essential things you simply must know before you start your trip.
1. Getting There
If you want to fly to Niagara Falls, you should know that you can choose to arrive in any of the four airports close to the three impressive falls.
The Niagara Falls and Buffalo Niagara international airports are on the American side, while the Lester B. Pearson and John C. Munro international airports are on the Canadian side.
There’s even a small airport right in the Niagara Region – the Niagara District Airport that’s a short drive away from the Horseshoe Falls. However, it doesn’t cater to international or large commercial flights.
And if you’re traveling via Canada, know that it gets lots of tourists every year. Around 30 million of them cross the border in a car or bus. Almost 18 million fly in or arrive by boat. So, border wait times can get annoying during peak visitation periods.
If you don’t have a lot of patience, try checking for regular updates on estimated border wait times. Make sure you don’t spend the better part of your first day at the border if you want to see the Horseshoe Falls.
2. What to Wear
Always check the forecast before you go. The region of Niagara Falls has the standard four seasons, but it also has some unique weather conditions.
Due to the geography in the area, winds can get very strong even in the middle of the summer. Strong winds and mist coming from the waterfalls create a very damp and chilly environment.
June, July and August are the hottest months. But even then, temperatures tend to average at just 79 degrees. The winter months last from November through March average between 21 and 39 degrees.
Also, expect lots of snow if you’re planning a winter vacation in the Niagara Region.
With this kind of weather, it’s clear that one of the most important Niagara Falls travel tips is to always pack the right clothing.
You can admire each of the three falls from a safe distance. But if you’re like many other tourists, you probably want to get as close to the action as possible.
So, expect more than mild splashing. The closer you get to the bottom of the waterfalls, the wetter it gets. Don’t forget to grab a poncho, an umbrella, and waterproof shoes.
Weigh carefully what digital equipment you’ll bring with you to take photos and videos – the state doesn’t issue refunds on broken cameras or phones.
3. Saving Money
If you want to experience everything, consider one of the many Niagara Falls tours. A guided tour takes you to all the tourist hotspots. It can even show you some of the things that aren’t on the map.
It’s also a great way to learn some more historical facts about the region and the waterfalls themselves. And you don’t have to worry about not getting close enough to the water. Some tours offer boat rides at the bottom of the falls.
Because as memorable as a trip to Niagara Falls is, it’s not the cheapest vacation destination. So one of the most essential Niagara Falls travel tips is this – learn to save a few bucks.
Many of the hotels on both sides of the border offer bundle admissions. It’s somewhat cheaper to travel in a group than alone.
And instead of straying away from your accommodations, try to find resorts that offer their own water parks and attractions. There are plenty of them in the region.
Note that river cruises and tours can also cost a pretty penny. If you’re not interested in seeing all the vantage points around the falls, don’t go on tours. There’s a lot you can see for free, too.
4. Accommodations and Transportation
Expect a struggle in finding accommodation when visiting Niagara Falls. So make sure that you book your stay ahead of time.
It’s good practice no matter where you’re traveling to. But given the popularity of the Niagara Falls region, try to pay special attention to this.
When it comes to activities, there’s a lot of unplanned stuff you can do. But finding a good hotel, especially during the summer, can get tricky if you don’t do it ahead of time.
Most tourists prefer to travel between attractions by car. Some use their personal cars, while others opt to rent a car during their stay.
Getting around by car can give you a lot of freedom to visit everything in your own time. However, also consider the WEGO buses. Most of their stops are at tourist hotspots, and the fares aren’t that expensive.
You can end up spending less on buses during your stay than you would in a rental car. Of course, a car may still be more convenient for larger groups.
5. Where Is the Best View?
When traveling to Niagara Falls, make the Horseshoe Falls your main destination. It offers the most spectacular view. What’s more, you can also find a high enough vantage point to see the American and Bridal Veil Falls in the distance.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Horseshoe Falls has the most powerful drop and highest flow rate. Add to that the fantastic scenery and you’re in for a jaw-dropping experience.
Prepare for a Breathtaking Experience
Visiting Niagara falls should be something that everyone gets to experience at least once. Even the narrower, yet taller, Bridal Veil Falls is worth a trip.
If you plan everything just right, you’ll enjoy your stay even more. Plan ahead, do your research, and pick what seems like the best time for you. And whatever you do, don’t forget your waterproof clothing and equipment.