Niagara Falls is in the bucket list of many people. It’s just one of those experiences that you wouldn’t know how to explain unless you’ve gone through it. Niagara Falls is easily one of the best attractions in all of North America, and everyone should see this wonder of nature if at all possible. You could easily spend an entire day—from morning until nighttime—in and around the area. If you’re planning a trip there or if you’re around the area, here are 10 incredible things that you must do if you’re visiting Niagara Falls for the first time.
1. Niagara Falls State Park
The park that houses the falls itself is a wonderful place to just visit. You can have a picnic, ride your bike, or simply hike around the park. There really are plenty of things to do here. It doesn’t matter what season you visit; you’re guaranteed to have an excellent time. Of course, the park offers some of the best views of Niagara Falls from some of its walkways.
2. Cave of the Winds
Get as close to the falls as possible on foot through the Cave of the Winds. You’ll go through an interactive and informational indoor exhibit first. Afterwards, you’ll see the falls in all its glory up close while on a safe yet exciting walkway. It’s one of the experiences in Niagara Falls that you absolutely can’t miss.
3. Observation Tower
This tower offers a different view of the falls altogether. It’s quite an experience to be above such raging and powerful waters. You’ll be thrilled to say the least. This is the only place in the area where you can get a panoramic view of all three Niagara Falls.
4. Maid of the Mist
If you could only afford to get on one Niagara Falls experience, it has to be Maid of the Mist. There’s no better way to really get to know the falls other than by getting under it. In this case, you’ll get as close as possible right to where the waters hit the bottom. Just a word of caution—you’ll get soaking wet.
5. Top of the Falls Restaurant
Watching all the energy of the falls will tire you out. Top of the Falls is the best place to dine in the area. You’ll get a modern American fare with a view that’s really hard to beat. We recommend the Buffalo Mac and Cheese; you’ll be in Buffalo, after all. We also recommend you try the Devil’s Hole before you actually go see the place.
6. Niagara Scenic Trolley
The area around Niagara Falls is huge. If you want to see the entire area with lots of time to spare to do other things during the day, you should take the scenic trolley. It’s a lovely trip around Niagara Falls State Park. The fares are cheap, and they run until 11pm during the summer months.
7. Devil’s Hole State Park
This park gets its name from a historical reference. You’ll see the dangerous Devil’s Hole Rapids here. There’s a scenic trail that offers amazing views of the rapids. This area is also a favorite spot among fishermen, bird watchers, hikers, picnickers, and more. It’s definitely a different view than Niagara Falls, but it’s still worthwhile.
8. Niagara Falls Illumination
If you’ve managed to last the entire day at the park or if you’re just purposely coming late, you’ll be treated to seeing the Niagara Gorge completely illuminated at night. The illumination starts at dusk, and it’s definitely a view of the falls that you’ll never forget.
9. Three Sisters Island
If you want a view of the upper rapids before the water rushes down towards the Falls, Three Sisters Island is the place to be. There’s a wonderful history behind the islands based on some of the more prominent first settlers in the area. You’d have to cross a bridge from Goat Island to get there, but the Three Sisters are completely accessible to pedestrians.
10. Goat Island
This island offers another stunning view of Niagara Falls. The island itself is considered as the nation’s oldest state park. It provides access to the Three Sisters Islands. Your trip to Niagara Falls will definitely not be complete if you don’t take the time to either walk or drive to Goat Island.