Visiting the Niagara Falls – 5 great tips for an amazing day

Hey travel lovers!

If you’re following my Instagram @karoadores you know that we had an amazing time during our US East Coast Road Trip.

The Niagara Falls were the first of ten stunning destinations and in this blogpost I want to give you 5 essential tips to plan your own visit.

Due to our 3,5 week – schedule to see the most stunning places on the US East Coast, we only had one full day to explore the Niagara Falls. Obviously we wanted to make the most out of our 24 hours and we had the best day!

So keep reading if you want to know how you can have a great experience in one day!

Here is a short overview of my essential tips for your 24h visit to the Niagara Falls:

  • Visiting the Niagara Falls by car will save lots of time & energy!
  • Arrive before 10am to get the best pictures!
  • Don’t buy an expensive activity pass – It’s a waste of money!
  • Make sure to visit both the US and Canadian side
  • Save the boat trip until the end!

1.) Visiting the Niagara Falls by car will save lots of time & energy!

Since we were on a road trip we obviously had a rental car available. However, I would definitely recommend arriving at the Niagara Falls by car.

It will definitely be easier to have water, different clothes, sunscreen etc. available and will save tons of time that are not wasted walking around in the tourist areas. The distance between the different „stations“ is quite big and you can either walk all the way or take the car.

We took the car because it was insanely hot and we didn’t want to lose our energy by walking around in the heat. It was more important to us to spend as much time close to the Falls as possible.

Niagara Falls American side KaroAdores

Bridal Veil Fall (American Side) – As you can see, the walking distances are quite big, so going by car will save your energy.

2.) Start before 10am to avoid masses of tourists!

Starting early in the morning is definitely your best option if you want to avoid tourist masses and get stunning pictures and video material.

We arrived at the American Falls around 9:30am and still had the luxury of not having to deal with many tourists. Two hours later the whole place was crowded and taking pictures became so much more difficult.

Furthermore it might be a great idea to start with the observation platform at the Horseshoe Falls (American side), so you can continue to see the Bridal Veils afterwards (two different parking lots!) and cross the Rainbow Bridge to go the Canadian side later on.

Obviously, if you start your trip from the Canadian side, you can finish at the Horseshoe Falls.

Niagara Falls KaroAdores American Side Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls (American side) – Arriving before 10am makes taking pictures etc. so much easier!

Niagara Falls American Falls Bridal Veil

Bridal Veil Fall – American side

3.) Don’t buy an expensive adventure pass!

We were looking into different options on how to plan our day and the adventure pass is definitely quite expensive. You’ll easily spend 100 Dollars for two persons and in my opinion it’s simply not worth it.

The pass includes lots of activities like the aquarium etc. that basically don’t have much to do with the actual Falls. If you want to make the walking tour of the caves etc., it will be easier for you to purchase a ticket separately.

In our case we only spent money on the parking lots (10Dollars for the first lot, second lot will be free if you show ticket), on the border to go to Canada and the boat tour (45 Dollars for two persons).

Since parking etc. is not included, you’ll pay all of this extra and your day will be super expensive.

We also didn’t visit the observation platform on the US side since we were planning on going to the Canadian side anyway and I don’t have the feeling we missed anything. The views were breathtaking from every point we visited for free!

Niagara Falls KaroAdores

Bridal Veil Falls (American side) – The view from the free observation platforms is stunning!

Niagara Falls Bridal Veil Karoadores

Tickets for the cave tours can be purchased separately.

Bridal Veil Fall (American side)

4.) Definitely visit both the US and the Canadian side!

After visiting the Horseshoe Falls observation platform and the Bridal Veil fall on the US side, we got our car from the second parking lot and crossed the Rainbow Bridge to Canada.

Make sure to bring your passports no matter if you’re in your car or crossing the border on the walkway!

The views from the Canadian side were equally stunning and I would not be able to choose one side if I had too.

In my opinion, visiting both sides is absolutely essential to get the best impressions!

We finished the day by doing the boat tour on the Canadian side and it was so much fun!

Horseshoe Falls from Canadian side

You’ll get a full view of the Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side!

Bridal Veil Canadian side

Bridal Veil Fall – Absolutely breathtaking!

5.) Save the boat trip until the end!

After a very hot day of strolling around and enjoying the fantastic views, it was so refreshing to take the boat trip!

You should definitely do it because nothing compares to experiencing the power of the water masses while being on a boat.

However, I would recommend saving the boat trip until the end because you’ll definitely get soaked!

So if you want to take pictures of yourselves it’s a great idea to do that before going on the boat. We also brought an extra pair of shoes for each of us that we left in the car which was parked in a lot on the Canadian side.

It’s not fun to walk around if your shoes and clothes are completely wet and your hair is messed up so we don’t regret saving the boat trip until the end of your day. You’ll have so much fun enjoying the stunning views and it’s such a unique experience!

Boat trip Niagara Falls

The boat trip is an experience you shouldn’t miss!

Have you ever visited the Niagara Falls? Which extra tipps would you like to share?

Feel free to leave a comment and stay tuned for the second part of our US East Coast Road Trip – the amazing city of Boston (coming soon)!




This Article Has 7 Comments
  1. Annick sagt:

    How timely! I’m going in 2weeks and kept going back and forth on whether to do the US or Canadian side. You’ve definitely convinced me to do both and save money by highlighting all the free spots. Thanks so much!

  2. Yukti sagt:

    I can related to most of the tips as I followed most of them during my last summer trip to Niagara Falls. I too went before 10:00 to avoid huge crowds and I enjoyed all peacefully. But I forgot to take change, so all shoes were soaked and we have to purchase those 5$ slippers from nearby hypermarket. Also one more thing the light show in evening is worth.

  3. Lisa sagt:

    I’ve been here on both the US and Canada side and agree wholeheartedly! I also saved the boat till the end as I knew we’d be soaked. The adventure pass isn’t worth it, I don’t know who’d buy it!

  4. Marlies sagt:

    I have visited Niagara Falls three times already. I didn’t mind the walking.
    I understand that it’s easier but I would think it would be more expensive to do it with the car and didn’t crossing the boarder take a lot of time?

    I also liked the fireworks and the end of the day.

  5. Jackie sagt:

    I have never been to Niagra Falls and it’s really not all that far away from me in Boston! I learned so much from your post, especially about saving money and viewing from both sides. The boat ride looks just amazing and really not all that expensive for two people. I would have never thought about bringing a second pair of shoes. Brilliant!

  6. Shaily sagt:

    Niagara Falls is an enchanting art of Nature. I haven’t visited the falls yet and I’m glad I came across this post before my visit. You’ve listed very helpful tips for anyone visiting the place for the first time. Your beautiful pictures have completely swayed my heart and I’m dying to visit the falls now. The boat trip looks and sounds like an exhilarating experience.

  7. Lisa sagt:

    Love this post, photos and your video. I have always wanted to go to Niagra Falls, but I haven’t had the opportunity yet. You have some fantastic tips on here, I would do the same as you did see Niagra Falls from both the USA and Canada and what a great experience on the boat ride.

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