One of the main requirements to cross the Rainbow Bridge, Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, or Peace Bridge, which go through the Falls, is to have a passport or visa, depending on your nationality.
The Best Niagara Falls Experience
The best way to admire the Niagara Falls is by taking a tour on the Maid of the Mist. Don’t miss the chance to discover this natural tourist attraction shared by the United States and Canada.
Why Visit Niagara Falls?
Traveling to Canada is an opportunity to enjoy the urban environment inmmersed in nature, as we mentioned in our previous articles about Ottawa and Vancouver. If you are addicted to travel and nature, you’ve surely heard about Niagara Falls. But if you still haven’t visited them, keep reading to know more about this spectacular attraction, an eastern natural border between Canada and the United States. Apart from admiring the waterfalls’ beauty from afar, there are many other activities you can enjoy in just one day of tour. In DINKtravelers we’ll tell you how you can make the most of your visit to Niagara Falls. Get ready to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime tour aboard the Maid of the Mist.
Niagara Falls’ Characteristics
As we have mentioned, Niagara Falls are an important natural border between the United States and Canada. They are a series of waterfalls that formed 10,000 years ago due to glaciation. They are constituted by the Bridal Veil Falls, the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. Their height of approximately 177 feet does not make them compete with the highest waterfalls of the world. However, they do stand out for their width of almost 3280 feet. Also, they have a flow rate of 35,314 cubic feet of water per minute. Its flow comes from the Great Lakes. Like Victoria Falls in Africa, Niagara Falls were named by the local native population. In this case, the Iroquois called them “Onguiaahra” which means “thunder” or “rumble”. Later, around 1678, they were discovered and renamed by European explorers.
Where are Niagara Falls Located?
As we said, Niagara Falls form an important border between the United States and Canada, between the states of New York and Ontario, respectively. There are several ways to get to Niagara Falls, and DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, will share them with you:
If you are coming from Canada, the easiest way to get there is by taking a bus that takes the Queen Elizabeth highway, at the Toronto International Airport. Another great option to see Niagara Falls is by following a route through Highway 52. We wrote about this route in a previous article you can check here.
From United States
The distance from New York City to Niagara Falls is 661 km, so your road trip could take from 7 to 8 hours, depending on your speed and traffic. For this reason, we suggest you take a flight to the airport of Buffalo. Once there, you´ll be just 3 km away from the Niagara Falls. You can even hire the boat tour here, so you can easily enjoy the Maid of the Mist experience.
Maid of the Mist Experience
This ferry has become a must-visit attraction for anyone who wants to see Niagara Falls. The first Maid of the Mist’s trips date back to 1846, when the local population needed to taken from one side of the river to the other. A few years later, with the construction of bridges between the two countries, the boat tour became a tourist attraction that placed the two cities that share the Niagara Falls on the tourist map. This Maid of the Mist experience became so famous it has only improved with time. Its main goal is to take thousands of passengers as close to the waterfalls as they can so they can admire their beauty.
Today, the Maid of the Mist VI is completely made of steel. It has a horsepower of 350 and can transport more than 300 passengers thanks to its wide top deck. Your tour will start following a route along the American Falls. The mist and the noise that the falling water causes will become more intense as you get closer to the Horseshoe Falls. But the Maid of the Mist won’t stop until you are practically under the waterfalls. That is the best point to enjoy this wonder of nature! When you return to the dock, you will be completely soaked, but we assure you that it will be an experience you will never forget.
4 Recommendations for the Best Niagara Falls Experience
Since Niagara Falls is a completely natural spectacle, the attractions are subject to weather conditions. For this reason, not all of them are available throughout the year. Moreover, as they are a border, the attractions also change depending on the country you are on. To plan your trip according to your needs, DINKtravelers gives you the following tips:
- Check the dates of your flight and tour to the see Niagara Falls. The Maid of the Mist experience is not available in winter (from November to March) because there are ice blocks that might break apart.
- The Maid of the Mist tour costs are around 20 US dollars per person. However, we recommend buying your tickets in advance on official websites. That way, you can get a discount or even buy special passes that include other attractions. We recommend you the Journey Behind the Falls tour that takes you behind the Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side.
- There’s no need to pack a raincoat. Before boarding, the ferry will give you one of their famous Maid of the Mist raincoats. You can even keep it as a souvenir of your visit. However, if you want to take photos or record videos, protect your camera or cell phone with a waterproof cover.
- Take into account that if you want to cross from one side of the Falls to the other, bringing your passport is important. You might also need a visa, depending on the country you come from.
No matter if you do the tour from Canada or the United States, the Maid of the Mist experience will be the perfect opportunity to make the most of your visit to Niagara Falls. Enjoy this ecotourism experience and soak yourself in the beauty and wonder of these waterfalls. And don’t forget to share your travel adventure with us when you come back.