“Wet” and “wild” aren’t commonly used adjectives to describe Canada, but Niagara Falls knows moisture—and a good time. The three waterfalls that straddle the U.S. border comprise one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks, and it’s famous for good reason. The towering waterfalls churn over 3,000 tons of water each second, with vertical drops of over 50 m and some of the loveliest rainbows you’ve ever seen. Even if you only have a weekend to spend in the area, there’s still plenty of time for an incredible trip. Here’s a helpful guide for spending 36 hours in Niagara Falls.
Feeling lucky? Or just have a few extra dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Make your way to Fallsview Casino Resort on Friday night. Let’s spit out some numbers, shall we? There are over 3,000 slots, dozens of table games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette, and so many varieties of poker that you’ll find yourself piling up stacks of chips long into the night (gamble responsibly, of course). And if you consider yourself a pro, the casino plays frequent host to a bevy of poker championships with more than a pretty penny on the table for winnings. If you’re not the gambling sort, you can catch a coterie of Fallsview casino shows during the weekend. Just remember to book a Fallsview hotel if you want a quick walk from the concert hall to your bed.
Pretty bodies and brightly coloured wings are the name of the game at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. Featuring over 2,000 tropical butterflies that represent nearly 45 species, the centre is an immensely popular attraction. As you walk through the exhibit, the path winds through a variety of ponds, waterfalls, exotic flowers, and plants while butterflies land on your arms and head. The tour is self-guided and wheelchair-friendly.
By the afternoon there’s really one place you absolutely need to be: the Falls themselves. Check out the views of the Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and the American Falls. Furthermore, you’ll understand the term “baby got back” when you see Niagara Falls from behind the scenes. The Journey Behind the Falls tour allows you a firsthand view of the crashing water when you take the elevator down 45 m through bedrock to the tunnels, where you can walk behind the falls themselves. The thundering H20 plummets at 65 kph, with enough mist to make you grateful for your complimentary yellow poncho.
Most of the time, things that only last 52 seconds are a disappointment—but not in Niagara Falls! Book a trip up the Skylon Tower with the Ride-to-the-Top Yellow Bug elevators. Once you get to the summit, there are unparalleled views of the waterfalls themselves, along with skylines of Buffalo, New York, and Toronto. Need some points in the romance department? Make reservations at the luxurious Revolving Dining Room Restaurant for award-winning dinner and views of the water. If your dinner companions are more at the chicken finger level, there’s always the Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room, the affordable family option of the two Skylon Tower restaurants. You might also want to make a date at the 3D/4D movie “Legends of Niagara Falls,” which is an interactive experience around the history of the landmark.
You simply can’t leave Niagara Falls without a visit to the Niagara SkyWheel. Standing roughly 53 m above the falls, the heated gondolas offer stunning views. This ain’t no quickie, however. The ride up the only Niagara Falls Ferris wheel lasts between 8-12 minutes. Keep your eyes open for sights of Clifton Hill, Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and the Niagara Parks. Up and down and all around—it’s a hell of a ride and view.
Niagara Falls has earned its legendary status. From waterfall mist to poker chips, put this area on your to-do list.
What are your recommendations for spending a weekend in Niagara Falls?