One of the world's most beautiful and famous waterfalls exists right here in North America. When visiting Niagara Falls, there are so many ways to experience the fun and beauty of the falls. Discover how you can get up close to this natural wonder!
Did you know that Niagara Falls is actually the collective name for three different waterfalls that straddle the American and Canadian borders?
Growing up, I visited Niagara Falls at least once a year since my family frequently road tripped to Toronto from Texas. As a child, I never really understood the difference between the falls on either side of the border. I just knew they were incredibly beautiful. Many years have passed since I've seen the falls, so this weekend, while visiting my family in Toronto, I set out to see and photograph all three falls.
Over 12,000 years old, Niagara Falls was formed when melting glaciers formed massive fresh-water lakes (the Great Lakes). According to Niagara Parks, more than 168,000 cubic meters (6 million cubic feet) of water go over the falls every minute during peak daytime tourist hours. Isn't that absolutely mind-boggling?! You must see it in person to experience its magic and beauty.
If you're visiting Niagara Falls for the first time, I highly recommend that you see it from the Canadian side if you are able to. It is infinitely more beautiful and if anyone else tells you otherwise, they are lying to you and you should laugh at them. This is also the best side from which to get all the pictures your heart desires, as you get a view of all three waterfalls.
The American Falls
Two of the three waterfalls are pictured above: American Falls (the large waterfall on the left) and Bridal Veil Falls (the smaller waterfall on the right). The crest line of the American Falls is about 260 meters (850 ft) wide and reaches heights of approximately 21 to 34 measures (70 - 110 ft).
The Canadian Falls
Furtherest to the right, you'll find Horseshoe Falls -- the biggest and most beautiful of the three! The crest line of Horseshoe Falls is 670 meters (2,200 ft) wide and drops an average of 57 meters (188 ft) into the Lower Niagara River.
How To See Niagara Falls
- Table Rock Welcome Center (Canada): Get up close and personal to the Horseshoe Falls, like I did, and watch from above as 90% of the Niagara River flows down into the basin before your eyes. I got a great view of all three falls from here! You can walk along the path until you reach The Rainbow Bridge.
- The Rainbow Bridge (USA & Canada): This arch bridge connects the cities of Niagara Falls, New York, USA and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. In order to walk or drive across the bridge, you will need a valid passport to cross the border from one country to the other.
- Journey Behind the Falls (Canada): With a tunnel behind Horseshoe Falls, take a journey down below and behind the heart of the falls and stand in the mist. Your ticket also includes access to views from the observation deck at the base of the falls.
- Maid of the Mist (USA): Experience the falls on the Maid of the Mist as you take a boat directly into the center of the swirling mist!
- Hornblower Niagara Cruises (Canada): If you're looking for a more intimate tour to get you as close as possible, get aboard the Hornblower and ride into the very heart of the falls!
- Skylon Tower: Ride to the top of the Skylon Tower for a bird's eye view of the falls from the observation deck or dine at the most famous restaurant in Niagara Falls as you look down from 775 feet above.
- Niagara Helicopters: Experience the thrill of a lifetime as you enjoy a scenic helicopter ride with a view from above the falls.