If you’re planning a trip to Niagara Falls, you almost certainly have a lovely experience in the future. Niagara Falls is a collection of three waterfalls at the southernmost end of Niagara Gorge that has the highest flow rate of any waterfall in all of North America. They have a vertical drop of more than 50 meters (or 160 feet) resulting in over 5.9 million cubic feet of water diving over the crest of the falls every minute.
Besides being a powerhouse of nature, Niagara Falls is famous for its beauty. Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind to help ensure you make the most of your visit to Niagara Falls.
Select Your Country of Approach
Niagara Falls is situated right on the border between Canada and the United States of America, within the province of Ontario and the state of New York. Depending on where you’re starting from, this is probably going to inform which side of the falls you approach.
You can always drive to the falls yourself, but it might be worth looking into the various tours from nearby large cities. For instance, if you’re in New York City (or will be as part of your travels), you might want to search for all Niagara Falls Tours from NYC and you might be surprised by how affordable pre-organized trips are. You can find similar tours from other major cities nearby. The benefit of a tour is that not only is your travel all arranged, but you’ll also likely learn more about the falls from your tour guide.
If you do decide to drive yourself, make sure that your vehicle is well-maintained and able to make the journey. It may also be helpful to drop your bags at the nearest luggage storage in Niagara Falls for more convenience and an enjoyable trip.
Dress for the Weather
Whether you’ll be approaching the falls from the Canadian or American side of the border, you need to know that the climate and temperature might be different than you’re expecting. There’s a fantastic Danish proverb that says, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad outfits,” and when it comes to Niagara Falls, this is especially important.
The area can be mighty hot in the summer and absolutely frigid in the winter. Dress appropriately with lots of light layers so you can alter your clothing to suit subtle changes in the weather.
Research the Amenities
Given the popularity of the sight, restaurants, shopping locations, and other forms of entertainment have gathered around Niagara Falls. Some of these venues are well worth your visit, but during busier seasons can get booked rather quickly. If there’s a particular restaurant that calls to you or a show you’d love to see, it’s a good idea to make a reservation or book your tickets in advance.
Likewise, if you’re planning on staying in the area overnight, you’ll want to book accommodations. There are lots of options available, so you should be able to find something that suits your taste and budget.
Give Yourself At Least Half An Hour Near The Falls
Studies repeatedly find that being near water (whether that be an ocean, lake, river, or waterfall) produces some stellar health benefits. Humans have intuitively known this for ages—we built our cities around bodies of water, and even in eras where healthcare was, by today’s standards, lacking, people were sent to places like Bath in the UK, where they could experience the healing benefits of water.
Poetry from all over the world describes the sensations of wellness and peace that come over people when they’re near water. The sight and sound of water actually trigger a flood of neurochemicals that encourage wellness, promote blood flow to the heart and brain and produce feelings of relaxation. Being near bodies of water has been shown to ward off feelings of depression and anxiety.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of the health benefits that the falls can offer and spend at least half an hour near them. For bonus points, stay off your phone for that time. Enjoy the sound of the water, the feel of the spray, the sights all around you.
Don’t Get Risky with Photographs
Niagara Falls, much like other natural wonders, is vast and awe-inspiring and hard to take pictures of, given its grand size. There are several lookout points that make for good photos, but you need to know that the full extent of the majesty of this wonder is hard to capture. Don’t put yourself or anyone else at risk by climbing out beyond safety barriers for what you think is going to be the perfect photo. Given the extreme height and the force of the water, the safety barriers are there for a reason.
The above tips should help you make the most of your visit to Niagara Falls. If you’re someone who likes to paint, sketch, write or otherwise create art, you might want to bring your supplies with you. Inspiration has been known to strike those looking at the force of nature that is Niagara Falls.
Have you ever planned a trip to Niagara Falls? What were the highlights of your visit?