If you only have one day to spend at Niagara Falls, you’ll want to make the most of it. There’s so much to see and do – from the breathtaking natural splendor of the Falls, themselves, to the Fallsview casino, to the many family-friendly attractions in and around the city. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon hike or a round of mini-golf, you’ll have no trouble keeping yourself busy. In fact, you’ll probably have to do some picking and choosing, because you won’t have time for everything! Let’s take a look at some of the top attractions in Niagara Falls, so you can plan your 24-hour trip itinerary.
See the Falls
You could probably spend the entire day just doing Falls-related activities. The Falls straddle the U.S.-Canada border, with the famous Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and the less-well-known American and Bridal Veil Falls on the American side. You’ll definitely want to view the Falls from the Niagara Falls Promenade. Take a Hornblower Cruise and experience the power and majesty of the Falls from up close. Make time on your itinerary for the Journey Behind the Falls, which will allow you to truly feel the strength of the Niagara River as it tumbles over the Falls.
If you want to spend more time exploring the Falls, visit the White Water Walk, a quarter-mile riverside boardwalk that lets you to view the river’s class 6 white water rapids and the 410-million-year-old Niagara Gorge. Alternatively, you could ride the Whirlpool Aero Car for a bird’s-eye view of the Niagara Whirlpool.
Relax in Nature
Once you’ve spent the morning taking in the Falls, you can spend the afternoon absorbing the sights and sounds of the Niagara Glen Nature Preserve. Purchase refreshments and souvenirs at the Nature Centre, and spend a couple of hours hiking on some of the trails. Guided hiking tours are available, and bouldering supplies can be rented at the Nature Centre.
If hiking isn’t your thing, visit the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory for a more sedate communion with nature. The Butterfly Conservatory is home to more than 2,000 butterflies of more than 45 species from all over the world.
Test Your Luck
After a full day in the outdoors, you may want to spend your evening at the Fallsview Casino, which is conveniently located downtown, near many of the best hotels in Niagara Falls, Canada. The Fallsview Casino features thousands of slot machines and 150 table games, but gambling isn’t the only thing there is to do here. The building is also home to a spa, a golf course, over a dozen restaurants, a 225,000-foot shopping mall, and the Avalon Theatre, where you may be able to take in a show.
Get in a Round of Mini-Golf
If you’re not interested in gambling or shopping, head to Clifton Hill instead for some cheesy, family-friendly fun. Clifton Hill’s attractions include the Niagara Skywheel, a 175-foot (53 meter) Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the city and the Falls.
Clifton Hill caters to visitors of all ages. Enjoy Dinosaur Adventure Golf or Wizard’s Golf, magic shows at the Greg Frewin Theatre, Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, Ripley’s Odditorium, and the Rock Legend’s Wax Museum. If you change your mind about the gambling, Casino Niagara is nearby, with two floors of slot machines and 30 card tables. You’ll also find plenty of bars and nightclubs in the surrounding streets, if you’re in the mood for a more adult kind of nightlife.
Grab a Bite to Eat
You’re going to need to eat more than once during your one day in Niagara Falls, which is just as well, because the town is home to a surprising array of great dining options, from fast-casual to fine dining. Choose a dining establishment like Weinkeller that offers an ambiance you won’t easily find elsewhere – located in a brick-walled wine cellar, Weinkeller offers craft wines and prix fixe menus made with locally-sourced ingredients. Sit down to breakfast at the Blue Line Diner or the Flying Saucer, and lunch at the Picadilly Restaurant or the Tide & Vine.
There’s a lot going on in Niagara Falls, but you can cram most of it into a 24-hour trip. Make sure to check the most popular attractions off your list first, and then you can pick and choose what to do with the rest of your afternoon or evening in this bustling, fun-loving town.