Winter in Niagara falls is magical! If you’re thinking about taking a trip, then this travel guide is for you! It covers everything you need to plan an amazing visit to Niagara Falls this winter!
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Are you thinking about visiting Niagara Falls this winter?
Niagara Falls is one of those truly classic vacation destinations. Most people go in summer, but there’s nothing quite like seeing to falls transformed into a winter wonderland!
Yes, winter in Niagara Falls is very cold … there’s no getting around that. But winter is the perfect time to visit the falls for a few reasons. There are much smaller crowds, it’s less expensive, and of course, the falls are absolutely stunning!
So bundle up and start planning your trip! This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know.
Winter in Niagara Falls
I visited Niagara Falls for the first time last winter, and I was truly blown away by the power and size of those majestic waterfalls. I’d never seen anything like it … it was simply stunning!
Niagara Falls is actually three falls straddling the border of the U.S. and Canada. On the U.S. side, you’ll find the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. While the larger Horseshoe Falls are located on the Canadian side.
The falls were first discovered by Indigenous peoples who settled in the area. European explorers later saw the falls in the 1600s, eventually building a fort there.
Today, Niagara Falls is a major tourist and honeymoon destination, and it has been since the mid-1800’s! In fact, if you visit the falls in summer, you will be joined by 12 million other tourists. Which is exactly why winter is the perfect time to visit.
Yes, the weather is frigid. But the snowy conditions transform the falls into a veritable winter wonderland! You’ll encounter hundreds of people at most, not millions (less on the American side). Plus, deals on hotels, flights, and car rentals are yours for the taking.
Ready to Start Exploring?
I’ve covered everything you need to know about visiting the falls in cold weather below. So whether you’re planning to visit Niagara Falls in December, January, February, or March (or during the spring and fall shoulder seasons), this guide is for you!
Keep scrolling to read everything, OR use the links below to jump to the section you’re looking for:
Tourists have been visiting Niagara Falls in winter since the 1800’s. Back then, visitors would gather on the ice bridge that formed below the falls, and photographers and other vendors temped daredevil tourists with their services.
Today, you aren’t allowed to walk on the ice below the falls for obvious safety reasons. It’s fun to imagine how things used to be though. Just check out that pic below to see what I’m talking about! Would you dare?
To be honest, once I saw just how powerful the falls were (check them out 24/7 on this live web cam), I was glad that fence was there. But don’t worry, you’ll still find plenty of thrills during your visit. And from the natural wonder of the falls to all the tacky souvenirs shops, chain restaurants, and casinos, there’s pretty much everything else your most touristy heart could desire, too!
Because there’s so much to do in the area, you should plan ahead as much as possible. Start by considering the following things when planning your trip:
- While it’s worth seeing both sides of the falls, the view really is better from the Canada. If you’re coming from the U.S., plan on heading into Canada for the full panoramic effect!
- You can drive across the border via numerous bridges, or you can walk across on Rainbow Bridge.
- Regardless of how you cross the border, you will need to bring appropriate identification. Find more info on what’s required in the Logistics section below.
- The falls are absolutely beautiful. However, the area that surrounds them is suuuper touristy. Because of that, once you get beyond the falls, there’s a high cheese factor to many of the attractions.
- If you’re not into cheesy tourist sites, it’s possible to see the falls in one day (from both countries). However, there are many other things to do in the area. You’ll find everything from wine tasting to historic forts (and other National Parks) to and museums that may convince you to extend your trip.
- While there’s plenty to do and see, some of the biggest attractions, like the Maid of the Mist boat ride, are not open in winter.
- The cities on either side the U.S. / Canada border are both called Niagara Falls. When researching your trip, make to pay attention to which country the attractions you’re reading about are located in.
- It’s really, really cold! You’ll be spending lots of time outside, so make sure to bundle up (more tips on that below).
Wondering what to do once you get there? While not everything is open year-round, there are so many things to do in Niagara Falls in winter that it won’t matter. And beyond seeing the falls, there really is something for everyone, whether you’re into wine tasting, gambling, amusement parks, or pretty much anything else!
Here are the best Niagara Falls winter activities on both sides of the border:
See Niagara Falls Frozen (U.S. and Canada)
Undoubtedly, the coolest thing about visiting Niagara Falls in winter is that the falls may appear frozen. That’s right, appear frozen … the volume of water is so high that the falls never completely freeze over. But the falls really are spectacular in winter, especially when the surrounding grounds and trees are coated in ice and snow.
To truly understand the massive scale of the falls, I’d recommend viewing them from as many vantage points as possible. If you’re coming from the U.S., start at Niagara Falls State Park. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (a famous landscape architect), and it’s America’s oldest state park. You’ll be able to get a great side view of the falls here, and you can experience the thrill of walking alongside (and over) the Niagara River as it rushes toward (and disappears over) the crest line of the falls.
Once you cross into Canada, the full panoramic view of Niagara Falls comes into sight! You’ll be able to see the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls head on, walk along the edge of the Niagara Gorge, and get super close to the jaw-dropping power of Horseshoe Falls. Do not miss this view!
For a truly unique view, take a helicopter ride over falls!
View the Falls from a Free Observation Point (U.S.)
While you’re on the U.S. side, make sure to check out the Niagara Falls Observation Tower located in Niagara Falls State Park (it’s located at the Maid of the Mist). The tower’s observation deck is free in winter, and it offers the best view of the American Falls (from the U.S.). You’ll see Horseshoe Falls in the distance, too.
Get Up Close at Cave of the Winds (U.S.)
Cave of the Winds is a series of wooden walkways that takes you deep into the Niagara Gorge. During the winter, these stairs are taken down. Weather permitting though, you follow the Gorge Walk, a series of observation platforms that allow you to get close to Bridal Veil Falls, or even take an elevator down into the Gorge. Prepare to get wet! If the weather doesn’t cooperate, make sure to check out the interactive exhibits at the World Changed Here Pavilion.
Take a Journey Behind the Falls (Canada)
Want to feel the power of Horseshoe Falls? At Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll descend 125 feet to walk through the 130-year-old tunnels behind the falls. While the lower observation deck here is closed in winter, you’re able to look through two viewing portals cut right through the rock behind the falls! If you plan to visit this attraction, I’d recommend getting the Wonder Pass. For only a few dollars more, you’ll get into Journey Behind the Falls, plus get access to a number of other attractions and perks.
Watch the Falls Light Up at Night (U.S. and Canada)
Every evening at dusk, the falls are illuminated by a beautiful array of colorful lights. This evening display is even more spectacular when fireworks light up the sky on Fridays in November / December and nightly during the holidays (check out the fireworks schedule here)! Tip: Lights and fireworks can be seen from both sides of the falls, but you’ll have a better view in Canada.
Explore the Winter Festival of Lights (Canada)
Each year, the parks, Dufferin Islands, and tourist areas along the Niagara Parkway are transformed into a holiday wonderland for the Winter Festival of Lights! You’ll see trees wrapped with lights, three-dimensional Canadian Wildlife displays, the world’s largest Canadian-American Flag, and more.
Celebrate the Holidays (U.S. and Canada)
Niagara Falls is the perfect place to spend a holiday, like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Valentine’s Day! Highlights include Jingle Falls (U.S.) a three-weekend festival, where you can hang out with santa, taste wine, watch ice carving, and much more. On the Canadian side, enjoy a free New Year’s Eve concert with headliner Brian Adams! Holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day are also a great time to snag a package deal.
Walk Over the Rainbow Bridge (U.S. and Canada)
If you don’t want to drive into Canada (or into the U.S.), then you can walk over the Rainbow Bridge instead. As you cross the bridge, you’ll get great views of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge. This view is especially pretty at night when the falls are lit up or when there are fireworks!
Keep in mind that the bridge isn’t right by the falls. So in winter, this is probably going to be a long, cold walk. There’s a $1.00 fee to cross the Rainbow Bridge, which is collected when leaving Canada. And of course, you will also need the appropriate identification for crossing into the U.S. / Canada (more info on that below).
Take in the Amazing Views at Skylon Tower (Canada)
Ride a glass-enclosed elevator to the top of Skylon Tower for 360 degrees views of the falls and the entire city. On a clear day, you can even see the skylines of Buffalo and Toronto from the tower! The tower’s ground level has shops, a 4D movie, and an indoor amusement center. Once you ride to the top, you’ll find a revolving, two-level restaurant and an indoor / outdoor observation deck.
Get Touristy on Clifton Hill (Canada)
After you’ve seen the falls, head on over to Clifton Hill. You’ll discover all sorts of touristy attractions, including a wax museum, haunted house, arcades, restaurants, souvenir shops, and more as you walk up this so-called Street of Fun. It’s all pretty tacky, to be honest. Clifton Hill is worth checking out at least once though, and needless to say, your kids will love it!
Ride the Niagara SkyWheel (Canada)
Before you leave Clifton Hill, take a spin on the giant SkyWheel. This massive ferris wheel rises 175-feet into the air, and you’ll have a great view of the falls as you ride. Best of all, the gondolas are heated … perfect if you need to warm up after wandering around Clifton Hill.
Get in the Water (Canada)
No, I’m not suggesting you jump in the falls! I’m talking about visiting a water park. Make your kids’ dream come true at Fallsview Indoor Water Park, a three-acre indoor park featuring 16 extreme slides, giant wave pool, plunge bowl, and much more. This water park connects to the Sheraton on the Falls, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview, and Skyline hotels, and the tropical temps inside will make you forget all about the freezing cold weather outside!
Further from the falls, you can visit the Great Wolf Lodge (which is basically a hotel and water park in one), as well as the Waves Indoor Water Park, which is located in the Americana Water Park, Resort, and Spa.
Keep the Kids Happy (U.S. and Canada)
Beyond the waterparks, there is no shortage of kid-friendly fun in Niagara Falls! On the American side, check out the free interactive visits at the New York Power Vista (which has a Festival of Trees in December), the Aquarium of Niagara, Buffalo Museum of Science, Herschell Carrousel Museum, and more.
On the Canadian side, you’ll find a Butterfly Conservancy, Floral Showhouse, Bird Kingdom, Legends of Niagara Falls 3D / 4D Movie, bowling, museums, and a lot more.
Learn about the Area’s History (U.S. and Canada)
As you can imagine, an area as unique as Niagara Falls has a fascinating backstory! And there are plenty of places to explore the region’s history, both nearby and further afield. Here are a few ideas to help you started planning:
- Niagara Falls History Museum (Canada) – This museum covers a wide range of topics relating to the area, including the War of 1812. You’ll also learn about the Niagara Falls community, including its people, culture, geology, social life, industry, and the dare devils who’ve attempted to conquer the falls.
- Old Fort Erie (Canada) – Step back in time at this fort which was the site of an ancient flint quarry, a base for British troops during the American Revolution, the Underground Railroad’s major crossing point into Canada, and more.
- Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center (U.S.) – This fascinating museum tells the stories of freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls. You’ll also learn about modern injustices that stem from slavery.
- Explore Old Fort Niagara (U.S.) – Learn about this historic fort whose strategic position at the mouth of the Niagara River ensured that it played an important role in the colonial wars.
- National Parks (U.S.) – Niagara Falls is part of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, and in nearby Buffalo, you can visit the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. Further afield, you’ll find the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor, Women’s Rights National Historical Park, and the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park.
Visit Niagara-on-the-Lake (Canada)
Besides seeing the falls, visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake was my favorite part of our trip. This charming small town is located about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, Canada, and it should be added to any falls itinerary. Actually, I loved it so much that I’m hoping to return for a weekend getaway someday.!
Along the way, you’ll spot Brock’s Monument, a memorial to Major General Sir Isaac Brock, who led a charge against the Americans during the War of 1812. As you get closer to Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’ll pass numerous wineries. The area is known for its ice wine, although other varietals are available for tasting, too. We stopped at Inniskillin. Once there, you’ll find tons of shops and restaurants. Don’t miss this cute town on your Niagara Falls vacation!
Tip: visit Niagara-on-the-Lake and take a private winery tour if you’d prefer not to drive yourself.
Go Wine or Beer Tasting (U.S. and Canada)
Niagara-on-the-Lake has many wineries, but it isn’t the only place to go tasting in the area. You can also sample wine, mead, and cider at over 20 locations on the Niagara Wine Trail (New York’s fastest growing wine region). If you’re visiting Niagara Falls in January, make sure to attend the Icewine Festival. Events take place over a three week period throughout the Canadian Niagara region.
Is beer more your thing? Then, you try following the Niagara Ale Trail instead.
Explore Buffalo, New York (U.S.)
Are you flying into Niagara Falls via Buffalo, NY? This city has tons of cool attractions that are worth checking out! Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin or Graycliff Houses, check out the Albright Knox Art Gallery or the Corning Museum of Glass, take a ride on a vintage carousel at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, and more.
See More Waterfalls in Hamilton (Canada)
Don’t let your waterfall tour end at Niagara Falls, because nearby Hamilton is the waterfall capital of the world! In fact, Hamilton is home to over 100 waterfalls. Not every waterfall is accessible, but this guide to Hamilton waterfalls to see in winter will get you started.
Niagara Falls has plenty of winter attractions, but of course, everything isn’t open. The U.S. side felt especially quiet during our visit.
On the U.S. side, the free shuttle runs from May to October, although the WeGo bus system in Canada runs year round. You also won’t be able to get the full Cave of the Winds experience (though some parts are still open, weather depending), and anything that runs on the water, like the Maid of the Mist and the Whirlpool Aerocar, is also closed in winter.
If the weather is particularly icy, it’s also possible that viewing areas may also be closed.
Weather is the most important thing to consider when visiting Niagara Falls in winter. I cannot emphasize enough how cold it is, especially if you’re coming from a warm weather climate like I did. Brr!
Temps in winter can range from the 30s to the teens (Fahrenheit), and of course, it gets even colder during bad weather. We visited Niagara Falls in March. It wasn’t even the coldest time of year (although there was a cold snap), but it was the coldest weather I experienced all winter … by far. And we had previously visited both NYC and Wisconsin in the dead of winter.
To be honest, I was pretty much freezing my butt off the entire time. If I go back—and hopefully I will one day!—I will dress much warmer and wear many more layers.
Based on my experience, here’s what I’d recommend wearing:
- Layers are a must in Niagara Fall’s frigid weather. If necessary, just remove a few layers when you go inside.
- Start with a warm long-sleeved shirt, then top it with a cozy wool or cashmere sweater. A turtleneck would be perfect for avoiding those chilly breezes!
- If it’s especially cold, wear thermal underwear as your base layer. I’ll probably wear thermals no matter what when I go back (at least on the bottom) … it was cold!
- Keep you legs and bottom warm with a long, knee length coat.
- A cozy hat and mittens / gloves are a must.
- Choose a long scarf that you can pull up around your face, as necessary.
- Wear winter boots with traction to keep your feet warm and to help prevent slipping on icy sidewalks.
- Don’t forget to wear sunscreen! Even though it’s winter, you’ll be spending a lot of time outside. This Sun Bum Lotion is my current fave. It’s lightweight, vegan, and doesn’t have any parabens, oxybenzone, etc.
- Moisturizer is a must, too. That harsh winter weather is sooo hard on the skin. I love Olay Luminous Whip! It’s lightweight (great for oily / combo skin), can be used as a primer before makeup, and you can get it with or without SPF. For dry skin, try Olay Regenerist instead.
Before our trip, I was really worried that we’d get wet. And wet + cold is a bad combo!
We did get sprayed a little, especially right by Horseshoe Falls and on Goat Island. Keep in mind, too, that if you go on an attraction like Journey Behind the Falls, they’ll give you a poncho. If you want to err on the safe side, then bring an inexpensive poncho.
You may also want to consider a waterproof phone case. I don’t think it’s 100% necessary, but I was very careful with my phone and always kept it in my pocket, dried it off right away, etc.
As far as camera equipment goes, bring your DSLR or mirrorless camera (and zoom lenses) along if beautiful photos are important to you. There are a few spots where you can get close to the falls (generally, from the side). For those head on and expansive shots, you’ll be further away though. And zooming in on a camera phone usually doesn’t give the best results, especially in gloomy winter weather!
I actually did use my camera phone for most of these photos, and the quality is just so-so, especially the ones where I zoomed in. It would definitely be worse it the weather hadn’t been so sunny, too. I also have a Panasonic Lumix GX85 (a mirrorless camera) which is it great for travel. It’s smaller than my DSLR, but the photo quality is still on par with it.
Are you wondering where to stay during your trip? There are so many options that it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- U.S vs. Canada – Both sides of the falls have great hotels, but I’d really recommend staying on the Canadian side, if possible. There’s nothing better than waking up to that breathtaking falls view, after all!
- Location – Get as close to the falls as your budget allows. Niagara Falls has tons of hotels, so pay close attention to how far each one is from the falls. Parking is also expensive, and it’s a hassle to find a spot. Being able to walk everywhere is convenient and will save you money.
- Booking a Room – Make sure to request a fall’s view room when booking. Hotel prices are lower in winter, so it’s more affordable to splurge on an awesome view!
Niagara Falls Hotels (U.S.)
Want to stay on the U.S. side? When choosing your hotel, keep in mind that you won’t be able to see the actual falls from your room … at best, you’ll see water rushing toward or over the falls (from behind) or the Canadian skyline. Here are some great hotels within walking distance of the falls:
- Red Coach Inn – This charming hotel, which was inspired by a historic English inn, has been welcoming guests since 1923. It’s located right around the corner from the Visitor Center, and it’s across the street from Niagara Falls State Park. Plus, it’s super cute and cozy, and it has its own restaurant.
- Comfort Inn The Point – Want to stay as close to the falls as possible? Then, stay at the Comfort Inn, the closest hotel to the American Falls. It’s located right across the road from Niagara Falls State Park, so you can walk to everything!
- Sheraton Niagara Falls – Looking for a hotel that will keep everyone in your group entertained? The Sheraton has a large indoor pool and coral reef lagoon, walkway to the casino, HydroSpa, and on-site dining options that include TGI Fridays, Rainforest Cafe, and Starbucks. Plus, their family suites can sleep up to nine people!
- Giacomo Hotel – Check out the Giacomo for more of a boutique hotel experience! This beautiful art deco hotel is located in a historic landmark building, and it’s within walking distance of everything you could need.
Niagara Falls Hotels (Canada)
I really do think the Canadian side is where it’s at! You’ll get stunning views at all of these hotels, just make sure to request a room on a high floor for the best views.
- Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Falls View Hotel – We loved our stay in this historic hotel. Our room was charming, and it had an large terrace with awesome panoramic views of the falls. It’s also connected to the Fallsview Water Park, there are a number of restaurants onsite (including Starbucks), and it’s close to Clifton Hill. Compared to the others below, this hotel is furthest from Horseshoe Falls (great view of American Falls though), but still within walking distance. Fun tip: You can request room 801, which Marilyn Monroe stayed in while filming the movie Niagara! Matt Damon, Shirley Temple, Queen Elizabeth, and many other celebs have also been guests.
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Niagara Falls – When it comes to hotels with views, the Embassy Suites usually tops the list! Depending on which room you select, you’ll get a view of Horsehoe Falls, the American Falls, or both. The property has everything you could need on-site. It’s also located right by the Incline Railway, which makes getting to the falls super convenient.
- Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa – The Marriott Fallsview is the hotel closest to Horseshoe falls, so expect awesome views. Rooms are newly renovated and have floor to ceiling windows. Note: somewhat confusingly, there is another Marriott located right by the falls (which also has great views), but this one is a little closer.
- Sheraton on the Falls – If you’re looking for the hotel closest to the American Falls, then this is it! Like the Crowne Plaza next door, it’s connected to the Fallsview Water Park and has restaurants on site. Plus, it’s right around the corner from all the fun on Clifton Hill … perfect for families!
Still not sure? Check out the reviews for these hotels and others on TripAdvisor!
Niagara Falls is quite touristy, so you can expect all the usual chains. Near the falls, you’ll find lots of options for a quick bite. If you’re looking for somewhere a little nicer, you’ll need to do more digging.
My visit to Niagara Falls was pretty short, so I didn’t get to try too many places. Here are the restaurants we really liked though:
- Naan-Tastic (Buffalo, NY) – We flew into Buffalo, NY, and Naan-Tastic was the perfect place to grab a bite on the way to the falls. If you like Indian food, you’ll love it … you basically build your own wrap, bowl, or naan-tacos. So good and lots of options for vegetarians and vegans.
- Smoke’s Poutinerie (Niagara Falls, CA)- Poutine is a Canadian specialty consisting of with fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Sounds weird, but it’s delish. At Smoke’s, you can stick to traditional poutine or choose all sorts of crazy toppings, including vegetarian-friendly options. Total comfort food, fun, and perfect for battling that crazy cold weather you’re sure to experience! Portions are large.
- pie’ZA Pizza & Vino (Niagara-on-the-Lake, CA) – If you’re heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake, make sure to stop by pie’ZA for delicious Neapolitan-style pizza and wine. We loved our pizza and salad, as well as the bright atmosphere and friendly service.
- Inniskillin (Niagara-on-the-Lake, CA) – Not food, but if you’re looking for somewhere to go wine tasting in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the renowned Inniskillin is a great choice. The winery is beautiful, and they have two wine tasting areas … one for regular wines and one for ice wines. I’d recommend trying both!
- Next Time – On our next visit, I want to try Flour Mill Restaurant, Niagara Brewing Company, Queen Charlotte Tea Room, Weinkeller, and Le Cascate Pizzeria. I’d also love to check out Table Rock Restaurant which overlooks the falls!
Let’s talk about the nitty gritty details! Here are a few more tips to help plan your trip:
How Long to Stay
The first thing to consider when planning your trip, is how much time you actually want to spend at the falls. If you’re not into all the touristy stuff surrounding the falls, you could definitely see the highlights in one day. But Niagara Falls has also plenty of activities to keep you occupied for a weekend or more, especially if you have kids, or if you want to see as many attractions as possible.
There are many other things to do in the area, too. Like Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is awesome! You could also combine the falls with trip to New York (state or city) or Toronto.
For my vacation, we combined Niagara Falls with a Canada / New York road trip with stops in Toronto, Montréal, New Hampshire, Lake Placid, and a few other places in between. It was fun, although Canada is verrry cold in winter (even when we went March). Let’s just say that my next Canadian road trip will be in summer. Ha!
Because Niagara Falls is such a popular tourist destination, you’ll find many ways to get there. This transportation guide covers all the possibilies, including planes, trains, automobiles, and bus.
Would you prefer to have someone else shuttle you around and handle all the details? Then, consider taking a U.S. or Canadian tour instead. And if you really want to splash out and are traveling from NYC, you can take a private helicopter ride to Niagara Falls for a cool $18K! Why not, right?
Niagara Falls is not a huge city (on either side of the border). Having a car during your visit is helpful, especially if you plan to venture beyond the falls.
That said, I’d recommend choosing a hotel near the falls. Park your car, then walk to the falls and the surrounding attractions. In Canada, you can also use the WeGo bus system to get around.
You’ll find plenty of paid parking around the falls (in both countries). On the U.S. side, there are parking lots (and metered parking) near the Visitors Center and in the State Park on Goat Island. You’ll find plenty of paid parking lots in Canada, too. Tip: parking at Skylon Tower is cheaper than the lots right by the falls, although you do have to walk further.
If you’re visiting from the U.S., start at the U.S Visitors Center, which is located at 10 Rainbow Boulevard. This is a good place to find info on the falls, as well as other area attractions. You can even store your luggage there for the day. The falls are also part of the National Parks System. Make sure to get your National Parks Passport stamped there, if you have one!
There are a few different Visitors Centers on the Canadian side. The Table Rock Centre at 6650 Niagara Parkway is super convenient and overlooks Horseshoe Falls.
I think it’s worth seeing the falls from both sides, especially since there are different attractions in the U.S. and Canada. But you’ll need to have the right identification to cross the border:
- Flying into Canada from the U.S. (or vice versa) – You will need a passport when flying into either country.
- U.S Citizens Traveling to Canada – You may not need a passport. Check the requirements here to learn more.
- Canadians Traveling into the U.S. – Canadians should check out these guidelines.
- Regulations May Change – Keep in mind that requirements can change at any time. A passport is probably your most hassle-free option.
Still have questions about Niagara Falls? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the falls … let me know if you have others, and I’ll try to answer them.
Is Niagara Falls open in the winter?
Yes, Niagara Falls is open year round, although some of the attractions (like Maid of the Mist) close for the season in October or November.
Is it worth seeing Niagara Falls in winter?
Yes, the falls are absolutely beautiful in winter, especially when the surrounding landscape is covered in snow and ice. As long as you’re prepared for the cold weather, it’s a stunning sight!
Is Niagara Falls in the U.S. or Canada?
Niagara Falls is located on the border of the U.S. and Canada. In fact, the powerful Niagara River, which flows over the falls, is the border between the two countries.
Is the American or Canadian side of Niagara Falls better?
While it’s definitely worth seeing Niagara Falls from both countries, you’ll get the most spectacular view of the falls in Canada. In the U.S., the view is from the side, or from behind, the falls. Check out the photos below to see the American Falls from two perspectives.
Can you go to Niagara Falls without a passport?
Depending on where you’re visiting from and how you’re getting there, you may not need a passport. However, if you’re flying into either the U.S. or Canada, you will need a passport. If you’re traveling into Canada by land, the requirements may be different, but you might not need a passport if you’re a U.S. citizen. If you’re a Canadian traveling into the U.S. by land, then check out these guidelines. Just keep in mind that requirements can change at any time, and a passport is the most hassle-free option.
Can you see Niagara Falls for free?
There’s no charge to visit Niagara Falls. However, you will probably have to pay for parking, unless you can find a free parking spot (unlikely) or park far away.
How many days should I spend in Niagara Falls?
It really depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re not into the touristy stuff surrounding the falls, you could see the highlights in a day. But there’s plenty to keep you occupied for a weekend or more, especially if you have kids, or if you want to see as many attractions as possible. There’s a lot to see and do in the surrounding area, too.
Can you walk from Niagara Falls, NY to Canada?
Yes, you can walk across the Rainbow Bridge from the U.S. into Canada (or from Canada into the U.S.). Just keep in mind that you will need the appropriate identification (see guidelines above) to cross the border. There is also a $1 fee that’s collected when leaving Canada.
Do the Niagara Falls light up every night?
The falls are illuminated every night of the year, often with special colors for notable dates or charitable causes. Check out the illumination schedule for more information on times.
Why does Niagara Falls not freeze?
The volume of water going over the falls makes it nearly impossible for the falls to freeze. Ice that builds up around and below the falls in winter can give the illusion that Niagara Falls is frozen though. Steel ice cutters have also been installed to keep ice from forming and water moving.
On March 29, 1848, the falls actually did freeze up due to an ice jam. After about 30 hours, the water found its way through though, and that’s the last time the falls have frozen over.
Can Niagara Falls be shut off?
It is possible to shut off the falls … kind of! In 1969, a cofferdamn was built to divert water from the American Falls to Horseshoe Falls, so engineers could study erosion to the bedrock beneath the falls. New York State is actually planning to do this again in the near future to rebuild a couple aging bridges leading to Goat Island.
Do they turn the Niagara Falls off at night?
The falls do not get turned off at night, however water rushing over the falls is a major source of power generation. At night, water flow going over the falls is reduced, and the diverted water goes into power plants on both sides of the border, creating hydroelectric power
Is Niagara Falls disappearing?
With such a massive volume of water flowing over Niagara Falls, the rock under the falls is in a constant state of erosion … about one foot per year. So the falls will disappear someday, but probably not for about 20,000 to 50,000 years!
I hope you found this guide helpful. Let me know if you visit, I’d love to hear about your trip!