North America is not short of spectacular natural attractions, and Niagara Falls is definitely one of them.
Niagara Falls comprises of three waterfalls that straddle the border between Canada and the United States – southern Ontario and western New York.
The American Falls is the highest, crashing down 176 feet (53.6 meters). The Canadian Falls (also known as Horseshoe Falls) is the second highest, with a vertical plunge of 167 feet (50.9 meters).
The Bridal Veil, aka Luna Falls or Iris Falls, completes the triumvirate. Located on the American side, it resembles its American counterpart, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Niagara Falls is one of the most visited attractions in both New York and Ontario, welcoming around 30 million people each year, with numbers rising all the time.
Unsurprisingly, there are many tours in and around this area.
We gathered 15 of the best Niagara Falls tours from both New York and Ontario, and here is what we came up with.
1. Niagara Falls Day Trip by Air from New York City
Niagara Falls and NYC are two lands of contrasts. But a helicopter ride from the Big Apple can get you out into nature in an hour.
This 14-hour tour starts and ends at a NYC hotel, with all transportation arranged for you.
A scenic hour-long flight to Niagara Falls is followed by a guided bus tour of both the American and Canadian sides, before breaking for an inclusive full buffet lunch as you watch the falls.
An unforgettable adventure awaits you after lunch, depending on the time of year.
Between May and October, a 30-minute cruise on board the Maid of the Mist takes you to the base of both the American and Horseshoe falls, while the Journey Behind the Falls, which takes you down 125 feet, is offered between November and April.
2. 2-Day Niagara Falls and Shopping Trip from New York City
If you’re in New York City and need to get away in nature, this two-day tour of Niagara Falls will do you the world of good.
The tour is split into two days.
Day 1 will see you leave the Big Apple in an air-conditioned van and journey north through the Finger Lakes region as you head to your destination: the American side of the falls.
You will enjoy a myriad of attractions en route, including the Watkins Glen State Park and Seneca Lake.
Day 2 starts with an inclusive breakfast at the hotel (part of the package).
You will then get up close with both the US and Canadian sides of the falls, and ride the iconic Maid of the Mist which operates from May to October. A tour of the Scenic Tunnels is offered during the other months.
You will have time to hunt for bargains at the outlet mall as you head back to the city.
3. From New York City: Niagara Falls Full-Day Bus Tour
This 19-hour tour leaves NYC in the morning aboard a deluxe bus with Wi-Fi and entertainment options.
Along the way, you will be able to catch fabulous views of the Appalachians. A pit stop for snacks will be on the cards before you reach the falls.
Once you get there, you will watch Niagara Falls from multiple perspectives, with the option to take a boat cruise along the Niagara River.
There will be time left to visit the souvenir shops once the tour is done (and have lunch if you wish), as well as stroll in the beautiful grounds of the Niagara Falls State Park.
Then, you’ll get back to New York at around 10pm.
4. Niagara Falls and Washington DC 2-Day Combo from New York
If you’re in New York City with two days to spare, why not mix it up with this tour combo that will show you the best that Niagara Falls and Washington DC have to offer?
With round-trip transportation offered, day 1 involves a tour of the top attractions in DC, including, among others, the Capitol building, WWII Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial.
You will also visit the FBI and Federal Reserve offices, as well as the Air and Space Museum.
Day 2 starts early and takes you from New York, through the Appalachian Mountains and into the upper section of Niagara Falls.
Catch views of the cascades from different perspectives, with time left over to explore the Niagara Falls State Park grounds before departing for NYC in the late evening.
5. From New York City: Niagara Falls One Day Tour
If you need ample time to explore Niagara Falls fully, this is the tour for you.
The 22-hour tour starts with a late-night departure from New York City and gets you to Niagara Falls early in the morning before the crowds trickle in.
You will revel in the sight of all three falls in perfect tranquility, and get a chance to view the Horseshoe Falls in close range aboard the Maid of the Mist.
After soaking in the majestic views of the falls, there will be other attractions along the Niagara River awaiting your exploration, including the uninhabited Goat Island and Luna Island.
6. Niagara Falls, Canada: “Journey Behind The Falls”
Available throughout the year, this magical day tour offers you the opportunity to view the Horseshoe Falls from a worm’s eye view.
An elevator will take you 150 feet below the Niagara Falls bedrock where a small tunnel opens up to twin outdoor observation decks situated right behind the falls.
In addition to experiencing the raw power of Niagara Falls from up close, this will also be an educative experience that recounts how the tunnels were carved out 130 years ago.
The Journey Behind the Falls lasts 30-45 minutes.
A free rain poncho is offered in spring or summer to shield you from the mist of the falls.
There will be plenty of photo opportunities, so make sure to bring along a waterproof camera.
7. Niagara Falls from Toronto Full Day Tour
This tour gives you a full day to explore the natural wonder that is Niagara Falls.
It starts with a pickup from Toronto and promises a slew of other interesting activities.
The 90 minute ride before the first stop is an opportune time to learn about the city of Toronto. Your first stop will be at an award-winning winery where you will partake in wine tasting.
Then, proceed to the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake for its history and bakeries, before a scenic drive along the Niagara Parkway littered with million-dollar photo stops on your way to the falls.
A host of activities awaits you once you get to the falls, with 3 hours of free time to yourself before you journey back to Toronto.
8. Niagara Falls Classic Day Tour from Toronto
This full day tour leaves Toronto on coach and takes you on an amazing discovery of the three Niagara Falls, and then some.
There are plenty of exciting activities en route to the falls, including a stop at a winery, and you will have three alternatives to choose from.
Option 1 comprises of a buffet lunch with awe-inspiring views of Niagara Falls, with a boat cruise to the base of the Horseshoe.
Option 2 gives you time to yourself so you can enjoy lunch at your leisure, as well as a thrilling boat cruise to the foot of the Horseshoe Falls.
Option 3 includes a ticket to the Niagara SkyWheel for gorgeous views of the falls, with ample time to yourself.
You will get some space to browse through souvenirs at the Table Rock Complex and explore the treasure town that is Niagara-on-the-Lake.
9. Niagara Falls Canada: Niagara SkyWheel Ticket
This is a short-lived but exhilarating package that grants you a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel, the largest observation wheel in Canada.
Enjoy an 8-12-minute ride either day or night with audio narration about the history of the falls and the SkyWheel.
Soaring 175-feet over the falls, there is no way quite like this to experience the Niagara River and its three waterfalls, not to mention other landmarks in the vicinity.
10. Niagara Falls Clifton Hill Fun Pass: 6 Top Attractions
This ticket allows you to save some dollars by bundling 6 top family attractions at Clifton Hill into a single pass.
Activities include a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel, the multi-sensory Zombie Attack adventure with 6D graphics, access to the Great Canadian Midway, a round of golf, and much more.
11. Niagara Falls Wild Magic Ticket
This 90-minute action-packed tour will get you started with an unforgettable show comprising of exotic birds, rare tigers, and colorful dancers at the Niagara Falls Theater which mirrors a Las Vegas extravaganza.
Then, you will enjoy an impressive illusions show courtesy of the one and only Greg Frewin.
Get to understand why Greg bagged the Magician of the Year award and the reason his peers have christened him The International Grand Champion of Magic.
The Wild Magic Ticket is simply hard to beat.
12. From Ontario: Niagara Falls 12-Minute Helicopter Flight
This is a 12-minute ticket that takes you on a memorable sightseeing tour of Niagara Falls and other multiple points of interest around this natural phenomenon.
The expedition starts off at the Victoria Avenue Heliport in Ontario aboard a 7-passenger Airbus H130, one of the quietest helicopters in its class.
Onboard narration is provided in 12 languages as you fly over such highlights as the Sir Adam Beck Generating Plant, Queen Victoria Park, American Falls, and Skylon Tower.
The flight path follows the Horseshoe Falls curve as you fly back, and on a clear day, you will be able to see the Toronto skyline and Lake Erie’s shore.
13. Canada Combo Tour: Above & Behind the Niagara Falls
This comprehensive tour is designed to give you the best experience of Niagara Falls.
You will see both the American and Horseshoe falls from the best possible angles, and a boat ride aboard the enthralling Hornblower Niagara Cruise (one of the biggest attractions here) gets you up close with the mighty waters.
You will also visit the Canadian and American Niagara power plants, view the stunning Floral Clock with its 16,000 carpet bedding plants, learn about Niagara Glen, and ascend the Skylon Tower for stunning aerial views, among other highlights.
14. Niagara Falls Helicopter Ride, Boat Trip & Skylon Lunch
This combo tour kicks off with a 12-minute flight that gives you unparalleled views of the waterfalls and whirlpool rapids from up above.
It is followed up by a boat ride aboard the distinguished Hornblower Niagara Cruise (April-December) that gets you face-to-face with the roaring waters.
During the winter months, you will instead enjoy the Niagara Fury, an interactive 4D show that is literally bound to give you chills and shake you up, as well as a visit to the Butterfly Conservatory.
Then, head over to the observation deck of the Skylon Tower for 360-degree views as you delight in a mouthwatering lunch at the tower’s Summit Suite Buffet.
Then, take the Journey Behind the Falls tour to view Horseshoe Falls from below and behind as you learn about the origin of the falls, the Niagara Gorge and the Whirlpool Rapids.
15. Royal Canadian Tour and Maid of the Mist Boat Ride
This is a 4-hour program laden with a little something for everyone and allows you to catch views of all three falls from the best vantage points – Table Rock and Terrapin Point.
There is an electrifying boat ride aboard the Maid of the Mist, and a trip up the Skylon Tower (complete with a free return pass), allowing you to soak in the striking views from the top.
Other top picks include Niagara River Gorge, the Dufferin Islands, Queen Victoria Park, Whirlpool Golf Course, Hydro-electric Power Plants, and a host of other highlights.
Tours don’t come as complete as this.