Niagara Falls are probably the most well-known of all waterfalls in North America. Niagara Falls consist of three falls – the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls that all straddle the border between US and Canada. Horseshoe Falls has the largest flow rate of any waterfall in North America and is predominately in Canada, although a small portion is considered to be part of the US. The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are completely on the American side. The falls are so popular that there are cities named Niagara Falls on either side trying to capitalize on tourism from this natural wonder – Niagara Falls Canada and Niagara Falls USA.
While there are fantastic views of Niagara Falls from both New York and Ontario, I have only been to Canadian side, which offers panoramic views of each of the falls. It is also known for its casinos and tourist attractions available in the city built up on the west bank of the Niagara River. Niagara Falls Canada was successful in its marketing efforts to become the self-proclaimed “honeymoon capital of the world.” It was one of parents’ post-wedding destinations, along with many of their peers and continues to be a popular tourist destination.
In 2015, we booked a direct flights to London via Toronto at substantial savings and decided to break our four and a half hour car journey at Niagara Falls to take advantage of one of the world’s best pit stops. We found a parking lot just across the street from the falls and headed to the observation area to take a look at this natural spectacle. This trip was two years before our visit to Iceland where the kids became waterfall aficionados, so this was the first major waterfall that they had ever seen. Not surprisingly, they were totally amazed by the beauty and power of the falls. We were also lucky to visit on a sunny day and find many rainbows.
My husband viewed from the American side when his relatives were in town a few weeks before our family visit. From Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in the US, there is a phenomenal close up view of the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
From the American side, there is also a great view of the you can see the city of Niagara Falls Canada and also a partially obstructed view of Horseshoe Falls. For a complete panoramic view of Horseshoe Falls from the American side, it is necessary to take a trip on the Maid of the Mist. The Maid of the Mist has been a major tourist attraction since the mid-19th century and departs from both he US and Canadian sides of the Niagara River. The boat ride is only 20 minutes but provides a very close up view of Horseshoe Falls. The hooded rain ponchos are not merely for show. This is not a dry experience.
- Kid Facts: Niagara Falls were created by glaciers about 10,000 years ago. An estimated 90% of the fish that travel over Niagara Falls are believed to survive.
- Kid Caution: While kids of all ages are welcome on the Maid of the Mist, strollers are not recommended.
Niagara Falls is definitely a natural wonder that people of all ages enjoy, even just for a stop on the way to Toronto. If you have stayed for more than an hour or two, please let us know in the comments what activities you’ve enjoyed in Niagara Falls Canada or Niagara Falls USA!
Every so often, we encounter a place that is so fabulous for those traveling with kids that it is worthy of being featured on its own. For more fabulous locations, please check out our other Spotlight features!
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