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Niagara Falls

Am planning to take my wife to Niagara Falls next Autumn and could use some advice.
In particular, is it generally better to stay on the Canadian side or on the American side?
Would like to book a hotel that has views of the falls from the rooms. Any suggestions?
We'll probably plan to be there for about 3 nights. Would appreciate any suggestions regarding things to do (or avoid).
Thanks in advance.

Posted by
1172 posts

Canadian side hands down. Fallsview resort is nice and has Fallsview rooms

Niagara Falls is pretty kitschy overall... once you have done the Maid of the mist ( or whatever it is called now) and walked around a little, the best bet in my opinion is to get out to Niagara on the lake, Great boutiques and also great wines if you enjoy wine!

Posted by
8293 posts

Sharon is right. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a lovely place to spend a few hours. Also, considering the exchange rate, your American dollars will get you an Nice hotel room.

Posted by
6876 posts

I would spend up to a half day at the falls, and most of your 3 days/nights in Toronto. I've probably seen too many falls in my life, so I wasn't crazy about Niagara Falls (although it's worth seeing once in your life, even going on the Maid of the Mist boat). It's really a one-hit wonder in that area, whereas Toronto is much more interesting. The Canadian side of the falls looks much nicer, and the exchange rate really helps.

Posted by
380 posts

I agree with Agnes. Only the street right along the fall is interesting. If you go one block away, it's just loaded with tacky souvenir
shops. There're not much else to see. We just did it as a day trip out of Toronto.
On the Canadian side, you can also do Behind the Falls. You walk through tunnels to get to the back side of the fall. The advantage of this over the Maiden of the Mist is that you don't get as wet. There is a walkout where you will to be close up to the fall.

Posted by
19 posts

For theater be sure to check out the George Bernard Shaw Festival in Niagara by the Lake. It's great.

Posted by
763 posts

I totally agree with Agnes and Michelle. Stop at the Falls, it's tremendously impressive and the Maid of the Mist boat ride gets a big thumbs-up from me. I've done it twice and it's great fun. But after that, maybe have lunch with a view of the Falls and head for Toronto. It's one of the most diverse, cosmopolitan cities around. More than one day at Niagara Falls is too much.

Posted by
1017 posts

Another vote for heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake--we actually used it as our base to visit the Falls and surrounding area and loved it. I know you said you want to sleep in sight of the Falls (so, yes, the Canadian side is the place to do that) but NOTL is such a nice little town, way less hectic/kitschy than the Falls area, and an easy 15-20 minute drive along the Niagara River. Plus, if you like sweets, don't miss the Maple Leaf Fudge store in NOTL--try the blueberry fudge, and thank me later :-)

Would also second the recommendation to go behind the Falls--that was impressive!

Posted by
1058 posts

My wife and I just returned from a vacation on the East Coast including two nights at Niagara Falls. I can’t recommend it enough that you stay on the Canadian side and get room with a view of the falls. The falls are beautiful at night and constantly are changing colors from the lights. We stayed at the “Sheraton at the Falls.” Our room was on the 17 floor and had a fireplace. From our couch across from the fireplace, we had a fantastic view of the American and Canadian Falls. For two nights, we paid around $740 which include a great buffet breakfast with a stunning view. It also included parking and other perks like free wine tasting. We may have gotten a better a better deal, but booked the room the day before we arrived. I agree with the comments that once you leave the area right next to the falls, it is kind of trashy. Do not waste your time and money going to the iMAX theater. For a $12 ticket you get to watch a film made in 1967. If you don’t get a room that overlooks the falls, you will have to stand outside for hours watching the light show as it changes. I would rather watch it from a couch or bed in front of a fireplace. I think two nights is more than enough. I would splurge and spend the money for a nice room. You won’t regret it.

Posted by
3936 posts

I'll third (or 4th or 5th?) Niagara on the Lake (NotL). We revisited NF last year (after a visit in 2001 - and I visit I did there as a child back in the 80s). We stayed two nights - I had been thinking 3, but we took a night off and added it to Toronto. We were there in May, so the place was almost a ghost town compared to when we visited in July in 01. (Not tourist season yet). Two nights would be good, but NotL isn't too far away to do a day trip. We only had a few hours in NotL and I wished we'd had more time.

It def is full of tacky tourist stuff - kids would love it, adults - not so much. We visited the Bird Kingdom (I like birds) and also really enjoyed the Butterfly Conservatory (and gardens). We also lucked into a night with fireworks, which were amazing - there may be a website telling when they are having them. We did Skylon Tower as well, which gave nice views of the falls and surrounding areas. The Brock monument was interesting, and - it wasn't open when we were there - but if you want a thrill, they now do a zipline as well as whirlpool jet boats - that's too fast for us - we visited the Floral Clock

Just edit to add - on full day/night is really enough - we just stayed two nights because we were driving from Vermont and didn't arrive until 5pm or so, so the first evening was basically having supper and relaxing after a 6+ hr drive.

Posted by
2272 posts

Thanks everyone - just the advice I was looking for.
Best wishes to you all for a terrific Thanksgiving.

Posted by
3789 posts

Something to know when you go, NF Canada adds a tourist tax to the food is voluntary, so ask them to remove it. The place nickel and dimes you enough,
I went on business last year and hated the high tourism of it, but loved my room with a view and the garden walks.

Posted by
42 posts

Definitely Canadian side. We stayed at the Embassy Suites with views over the falls. I think the Sheraton also has views. It is closer to the bridge.

The drive along the Niagara Parkway is beautiful. Many orchards, wineries, botanical gardens, flower clock, etc. and Queenston Heights a lovely park on top of a hill with a nice restaurant.

Posted by
28075 posts

NF Canada adds a tourist tax to the food is voluntary, so ask them to remove it.

How does a tax get to be voluntary?