Niagara Falls Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Pick a side You can view the falls from either the Ontario or the New York side. Most visitors prefer the Canadian side, which also has a nicer selection of restaurants and hotels.
- Monetary issues Canada's official currency is the Canadian dollar, but U.S. dollars, as well as major credit cards, will be accepted on the either side.
- Monetary power On the other hand, exchanging money before crossing into Canada and taking advantage of the exchange rates isn't a bad idea, depending on the fluctuating currencies.
It's not hard to understand why many consider Niagara Falls a top natural wonder of the world. Or why it has been the location of some incredible (and now illegal) daredevil antics over the years. The second you see the mammoth Niagara River rumbling toward a 170-foot waterfall at about 20 to 30 (and up to 68) miles an hour, your mouth will drop. The speed at which the river falls creates a misty fog and an unmistakable roar heard from miles away. From the top, crowds flock to the railings to feel the mist on their faces. As you follow the water's path downward, boats, platforms and observation decks support colorful poncho-clad visitors.
Over the years Niagara has gone from classic honeymoon spot to cheesy honeymoon spot, and, now, an odd mix of the two. In addition to the stunning waterfalls, there is a large concentration of quickie wedding chapels and hotels backlit in blaring neon. But strolling through the icewine vineyards of the nearby Inniskillin Winery is truly romantic, as is enjoying the lush landscape at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. If you have the kiddos, you can bring them to the Aquarium of Niagara or MarineLand. So hop in the two-seater with your special someone or pack your family in the minivan and take a spectacular daytrip to the majestic Niagara Falls.
How To Save Money in Niagara Falls
- Falling for it In the fall, the room rates have decreased with the descending temperatures, but the attractions are still all open.
- Falling for it again Around the falls, eager vendors sell kitschy souvenirs and bottled drinks at high prices. Don't be a sucker for them.
- Be wary of Lady Luck Trying your hand at a blackjack or the slots can be very dangerous for your wallet.
Niagara Falls Culture & Customs
Despite its somewhat cheesy reputation, Niagara Falls harbors a history dating back thousands of years. The falls themselves were formed by the Wisconsin Glacier during the ice age, and the area was settled by numerous groups, including the Iroquois Native American nations, the French and the British. Visitors can learn more about Niagara Falls' history at the several museums and historical sites in the area.
U.S. travelers will feel a sense of familiarity crossing over into the Canadian half of Niagara Falls. Although Canada has two official languages, English is more prevalent than French in Niagara Falls.
Similar to the United States, it is customary to leave a 15- to 20-percent tip for quality service at restaurants, though larger groups will find it included in the fee. A small tip is also appreciated for hotel workers.
Niagara Falls Dining
Those looking for a gourmet dining scene will be disappointed in Niagara Falls. The majority of dining options in the area are fast food and chain restaurants. A handful of more upscale establishments and international restaurants are available, though mainly clustered on the Canadian side.