Whether you’re seeking adventure or craving some R&R, Niagara Falls USA is a sightseer’s dream. Here’s your guide to the can’t-miss attractions in and around the Niagara Falls, New York — as well as some lesser-known gems you’ll be thrilled to uncover.
FALL FOR THE FALLS
Start at the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Niagara Falls State Park, a 400-acre gateway to the Falls. If it’s winter, you’re likely to catch the Falls in all their snow-white frosted majesty — and there’s no better place to catch a view (and a selfie!) than the park’s Prospect Point. In season — that is to say, late spring, summer and early fall — you can delve a little deeper into the Falls experience. Consider a trip to the base of the Falls on the Maid of the Mist boat ride, or a heart-pounding walk along the wooden walkways to the Hurricane Deck at Cave of the Winds, where you’ll get an up-close feel for the powerful Bridal Veil Falls. And be sure to circle back in the evenings, when the Falls are illuminated — and, in season, when a fireworks show sparks up the night.
Up for more adventure? In season, you can book a helicopter tour to see the Falls from a different vantage point.
GET A HISTORY LESSON
Niagara Falls USA played a pivotal role in early American history, with lookout points belonging to the French, the British and eventually the Americans. Take a step back in time at Old Fort Niagara, where you can trace the first several hundred years of the area’s military history — check for days when they do reenactments for the full experience. If you’re more interested in nautical history, you’ll want to take a day trip to see the Erie Canal, originally completed in 1825. Taking a leisurely boat cruise to see the Lockport Locks is a great way to get to know the canal better.
Visit the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center to better grasp the stories of abolitionists and freedom seekers in Niagara Falls.
Take a spin on an authentic Herschell wooden horse at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, which preserves the factory that produced wooden carrousels into the 1930s.
SEEK OUT SOME CULTURE
If you’re more of a culture vulture than an outdoor adventurer — or if you just need to counter all that adrenaline with a dose of aesthetics — Niagara Falls USA is brimming with opportunity. While out and about around Niagara Falls, New York, be sure to keep an eye out for the plentiful street murals, many of which are located in the Art Alley NF, just moments from Niagara Falls State Park. For live music and theater, be sure to browse the calendar at the Riviera Theatre & Performing Arts Center in North Tonawanda, and, in summer, at Lewiston's Artpark, an innovative outdoor venue perched atop the Niagara River Gorge. For shopping, be sure to hit the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA, and the many charming antique stores around the county.
TAKE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Just a short drive from Niagara Falls, New York, you’ll find some of the most exquisite landscapes in the country. The Niagara Wine Trail, USA is not only a great way to experience the local wines (the ice wine and fruit wines are specialties of the area) but also to tour the area outside the city. It’s easy to arrange for a driver to take you, or the wineries will generally welcome your sober driver for free. You can also experience local breweries or cideries if that’s more your tipple of choice. In the summer and fall, you can go to local farms for family-friendly fun, like the fall mazes and pumpkin picking.
TAKE A TOUR
No matter your interests, there’s so much to experience in Niagara Falls USA. If you want to relax and let someone else plan your excursions for you, consider opting for a guided tour.
View a full listing of things to do below and plan your Niagara Falls USA adventure.