Have you always dreamed of taking a trip to Niagara Falls and seeing the natural wonder that is famous around the world (and on the bucket list of many)? If so, it’s important to make sure that when you finally get to this Canadian-American hotspot, you see its splendor from all angles. Read on for some of the ways to get a great view of the Falls when you’re there.
Take a Boat Tour
The most famous way to see Niagara Falls would have to be on a boat tour, where you can get up close to the waterfalls and feel the spray on your face and hear the power of their roar. There is a boat tour operator on both sides of the border. On the American side, there is Maid of the Mist, while on the Canadian side, you can ride with Hornblower Niagara Cruises.
Both companies operate similar tours. Maid of the Mist has been operating for a long time, having first begun taking passengers back in 1846. It has carried famous faces over the years, including Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry, Marilyn Monroe, One Direction, Stephen Hawking, Brad Pitt, Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman, Stephen King, Diane Sawyer and Sir Richard Branson.
Hornblower Niagara Cruises uses a state-of-the-art, 700-passenger catamaran and takes passengers close to each of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls: Bridal Veil Falls, Canadian Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. Tours run for approximately 20 minutes and are available night and day. There are also extended, 40-minute trips at certain times.
Journey Behind the Falls
For a unique view of the Falls that also takes you up close, buy a ticket for the Journey Behind the Falls experience. This tour goes underground, via an elevator that travels down around 150 feet. From here, you step out into purpose-built tunnels which are more than 100 years old. The tunnels lead to observation decks which are situated right behind the Falls, around 13 stories down.
Once you’re within the viewing “cocoons” you will hear the water as it launches over the cliffs above, and, in winter, you can watch the mist from the Falls freeze before your eyes and make stunning ice formations. During your time exploring, look out for posters on the walls of the tunnels which detail some of the history of the hallways, too.
In addition, there is a Night Lights: Journey Behind the Falls After Dark experience which runs from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weeknights and holidays throughout the summer months.
To see Niagara Falls from all angles, don’t miss a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel. This Ferris wheel, located in the hip suburb of Clifton Hill on the Canadian side of the Falls, stands 175 feet high and is the largest observation wheel in all of Canada.
The SkyWheel is a fantastic choice if you want to get memorable photographs of the Falls and the area surrounding them. During the four-plus rotations the wheel takes, you’ll be enclosed within glass gondolas (these are heated and cooled for year-round comfort) and have lots of photo opportunities at various angles as the ride progresses. To ensure you get the best possible shots, check out the Niagara Falls’ webcam before you go, as this will give you an idea of the weather conditions around the Falls.
Lastly, another iconic attraction in the Niagara region is Skylon Tower, a historic Canadian landmark that opened in 1964. This tower stands 775 feet tall and is the perfect choice for people who want an all-encompassing view of not just the waterfalls but also the surrounding area. From the tower you can see the Niagara River, plus the skylines of Buffalo in the United States and Toronto in Canada.
Skylon Tower is known for its signature bright-yellow, glass-enclosed lifts. There are three within the tower, and they look like yellow bugs but were actually the first of their kind when building began. Today, the elevators take passengers up to the Observation Deck of the tower in just over 50 seconds.
If you want to enjoy the view while you have a meal, head to Skylon Tower’s Revolving Restaurant, which rotates 360 degrees over the course of an hour. The building’s Summit Suite Buffet also has great (although stationary) views. In addition, if you want to learn more about Niagara Falls and its history, plus that of the Niagara River and the evolution of the Great Lakes Basin, go and watch the new 3D/4D film, “Legends of Niagara Falls”, which screens within the tower.