Perfect One Day Trip to Niagara Falls, NY
Read about the One Day Trip to Niagara Falls and how to utilize perfectly your one-day itinerary if you are short on time to visit Niagara Falls New York, USA.
One of the most visited attractions in America and on everyone’s bucket list is Niagara Falls! I Promise, If you spend One Day in Niagara Falls State Park, you may want to spend more time here!
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- 1 About Niagara Falls State Park
- 2 Few Interesting Facts About Niagara Falls
- 3 Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls
- 4 How To Reach Niagara Falls, NY
- 5 Parking at Niagara Falls State Park
- 6 Best Things to do in Niagara Falls: Quick Overview
- 7 Free Things to do in Niagara Falls State Park
- 8 One day trip to Niagara falls: Perfect Itinerary
- 9 10 AM – Head for Cave of the Winds
- 10 Other Niagara Falls Attractions
- 11 Best Tours For Your Day Trip To Niagara Falls
- 12 FAQ about one day trip to Niagara falls
- 13 Summarising One Day trip to Niagara Falls NY
About Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park is a state park located in Niagara Falls, New York, USA. It is the oldest state park in the United States and is considered one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the country.
The park covers over 400 acres and is home to the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls.
While the United States side is breathtaking, the falls’ full beauty should also be experienced from the Canadian side. So, let’s take you on the Perfect one day trip to Niagara Falls NY, one of the world’s most famous natural wonders!
Before starting this post, let me tell you a few facts about Niagara Falls which may amaze you!
Few Interesting Facts About Niagara Falls
- Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls: the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls.
- Niagara Falls is located on the Niagara River, which forms the border between the United States and Canada, with the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in the United States and the Horseshoe Falls in Canada.
- The Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the three waterfalls, with a height of 167 feet and a width of 2,600 feet.
- The water that flows over Niagara Falls comes from four of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie and it. These five Great Lakes make up almost one-fifth of the world’s freshwater supply.
- The Water from Lake drains into the Niagara River before emptying into Lake Ontario. eventually, The falls wear back a foot every ten years. In about 10,000 years, they will no longer exist!
- Niagara Falls is not the tallest waterfall in the world, but it is one of the most powerful. The volume of water that flows over the Falls is impressive, with an average of 750,000 gallons per second.
- The first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive was Annie Edson Taylor in 1901.
- Niagara Falls has been a popular tourist destination for many years, and it is estimated that over 30 million people visit the Falls every year.
- The Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States, established in 1885.
- The water at the base of the Falls is always very cold, with an average temperature of around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). This makes it dangerous to swim or boat near the Falls.
- The Niagara Escarpment, which runs through the Niagara region, is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species.
- Niagara Falls is capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, which is shared by the United States and Canada.
Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls experiences four distinct seasons. The summer months (May to August) are the warmest and busiest months, while the winter months (December to February) can be extremely cold and snowy.
During the Summer Months from May to August, you will face crowds and higher prices for the stay but you can experience all the activities that Niagara falls have to offer: Maid of Mist and Cave of Winds tour without getting frozen!
Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) offer milder weather, fewer crowds, and beautiful foliage.
September and October are great to visit if you’re a wine lover as it’s harvest season at the local wineries. Winter in Niagara Falls is good if you’re looking for affordable hotel rates!
Based on these factors, the best time to visit Niagara Falls is either during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November), when the crowds are smaller, the weather is mild, and the foliage is beautiful
How To Reach Niagara Falls, NY
The American side of Niagara Falls is located in Niagara Falls, New York, while the Canadian side is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The Nearest airport to reach Niagra Falls is Buffalo International Airport. From Buffalo Niagara International Airport, book the Private Transfer to reach Niagara Falls, because most of the time you’ll not need a car to get around!
The city of Niagara Falls, New York, is approximately 20 miles from Buffalo, New York, and 420 miles from New York City. Niagara Falls tour is the perfect day tour from New York City.
If you are driving from New York or renting a car, I suggest booking your car with Discover Cars to get amazing deals on your booking!
But if you are not driving around, you can book this Niagara Falls One Day Tour from New York City, this tour is perfect for you as it leaves early in the morning, so you can enjoy the whole day at Niagara falls.
Since Most of the trips I plan myself, I decided to create this one-day Niagara Falls itinerary and how to utilize most of it! Before reading further here I am sharing a few important travel tips and things to know before planning the Perfect Niagara Falls one day trip.
Parking at Niagara Falls State Park
The Parking is available at Niagara Falls State Park and it costs $10, on a first come first serve basis.
You can Park your vehicle at three main lots connected to the scenic viewing areas. These lots are also very close to the Niagara Falls Visitor Center entrance.
There are additional Niagara Falls city lots and ramps which cost $30 and street parking is $5 per hour.
Top Tip: If you are visiting Niagara Falls on weekend, I suggest arriving before 8-9 AM to reserve your sport for better finding your Parking with less crowd in the Morning!
Best Things to do in Niagara Falls: Quick Overview
Here is a list of the best things to do on the Niagara Falls day Trip. Of course, one can’t opt for all the things in one day trip to Niagara Falls, but you can narrow down the list as per your choice!
- Cave of the Winds
- Maid of Mist
- Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center
- Observation Tower
- Goat Island
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Horseshoe Falls
- Terrapin Point
- Visit Beautiful Vineyards
- Take Helicopter Tour
- Aquarium of Niagara
- See the Fireworks and Colorful Fall in the Evening
- Schoellkopf Power Plant Ruins Site
- Dine at Top of the Fall Restaurant
- Take a Trolley Tour
Free Things to do in Niagara Falls State Park
Viewing the American Falls in the Niagara Falls State Park and walking around the Park is absolutely Free! I loved exploring the area around the Niagara Falls State Park by walking and just watching the Falls from one of the sitting areas!
Discover Niagara Shuttle is free and you can hop on and hop off at any of the designated stops on the shuttle route. It will take you to 15 destination sites along a 14-mile route.
One day trip to Niagara falls: Perfect Itinerary
Here is a quick overview of my Niagara Falls in-a-day trip and what I did and things to do during my weekend trip to Niagara Falls.
9 AM – Niagara Falls State Park
Start your day early by visiting Niagara Falls State Park and the areas around the visiting center to get an idea of places of interest. The Niagara Falls State Park offers various activities such as hiking, biking, and boating.
You can also take a trolley ride to explore the park.
Prospect Point is the Prime viewing area for the American Falls and Rapids.
After this, take the pedestrian bridge over to Goat Island where Terrapin Point gets you close to Horseshoe Falls.
I loved the first glimpse of falls from these viewing areas and you can spend hours here! From this point, you can see the Maid of the Mist tour boat as it goes toward the falls and then again back!
But after clicking Photographs, head to Next Niagara Falls attraction.
Bridal Falls and Luna Island
After visiting Terrapin point, cross the American Rapids via the pedestrian bridge to Bridal Falls and Luna Island.
From here you can click the Ontario skyline and the American Rapids while walking to the Crows Nest Restaurant. If you walk behind the Crows Nest restaurant, you will see some of the best views of the Rainbow Bridge which crosses into Canada and the American Falls!
Walk further down the stairs to Luna Island for an awesome up-close view of the falls.
10 AM – Head for Cave of the Winds
Head to Cave of the Winds, which is located within the Niagara Falls State Park. If you are visiting Niagara Falls from May to October, you can enjoy the Cave Of Winds!
Though its name is disguised (because there is ‘no cave’ involved here), this timed ticketed US Side Niagara Falls attraction is worth to check it out.
Here, You will be outfitted in souvenir sandals and a brightly-colored poncho, and then take an elevator ride to the bottom of the Niagara Gorge.
Lastly, you walk along a series of wooden walkways to get up close leading to a “Hurricane Deck” basically right beneath Bridal Veil Falls.
Yes, you will get wet, but it’s very cool to get so close to a waterfall! You will get storm-like conditions during the Cave of Winds!
11 AM – Niagara Falls USA Observation Tower
The Niagara Falls Observation Tower offers stunning views from 282 feet above the ground of all three Niagara Falls – Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.
You can also take an elevator ride down to the base of the tower and get closer to the falls. Here is where you take the elevator to the base of the gorge to board the Maid of the Mist boat tour.
You can visit this before the Maid of Mist or after the tour!
11:30 AM – Maid of the Mist
No trip to Niagara Falls would be complete without a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist. Taking a boat tour to the base of the falls on the Maid of the Mist is one of the must-do activities during your one-day trip to Niagara falls itinerary.
The tour is a half-hour and carries approximately 500 Passengers and operates ONLY from the American side!
The experience includes access to the observation tower, an elevator ride down to the river, and then a cruise that puts you right in the middle of the thundering action of Horseshoe Falls.
You’re given a poncho for the boat ride, but be prepared to get WET!
This iconic boat tour takes you right up to the base of the falls and gives you a unique perspective of the cascading water and these operate ONLY from the American Side nowadays!
12: 30 PM – Lunch at Top of the Falls
Located on Goat Island, Top of the Falls is the only restaurant overlooking Niagara Falls. It is a family-friendly restaurant with panoramic views out towards Horseshoe Falls.
The food isn’t great here, but not every day you can eat lunch with this kind of amazing waterfalls view!!
1.30 PM – Take a Helicopter tour
After lunch, head to the town and made your way to Rainbow Air’s headquarters on Main Street near the entrance to the Rainbow Bridge. (address: 454 Main St, Niagara Falls, NY)
This is the only one operating helicopter tours from the American side of the border — and also the most affordable.
You will fly in the bright yellow chopper, which lasts 10-12 minutes and cost $105 per adult. It sounds like a lot of money, but the whole experience is WORTH the views from above!
5 PM – Visit the Niagara Falls Aquarium
The Aquarium of Niagara has more than 1500 aquatic animal species, daily penguin and seal feedings, and sea lion shows!
Here, you can see sharks, and sea turtles, and even touch stingrays. If you are traveling with kids, Niagara Falls Aquarium is the perfect place to enjoy with kids for your Niagara Falls 1-day itinerary!
6:30 PM – Niagara Falls Fireworks
Every Friday and Sunday during the summer, Niagara Falls puts on a fireworks show at 10 PM On the American side, the best spot to watch the show is Prospect Point.
But if you miss the Fireworks of a particular day, still you can see the illuminated Niagara Falls every day! You can check the colors of a particular day and read more information about Niagara Falls Illumination.
Book your Niagara Falls Night Illumination Tour Online here.
Finish your day with a relaxing stroll along the Niagara Falls Illumination, where the falls are lit up with colorful lights at night.
Other Niagara Falls Attractions
Take a Niagara Scenic Trolley Tour
This guided Niagara Falls Trolley gives passengers an overview of the park and offers historical anecdotes, fun facts, and tips for checking out the park’s most popular attractions.
The ScheSchoellkopf Power Plant Ruins Site
The Schoellkopf Power Station was constructed in three sections between 1905 and 1924, and at the time of its completion was the largest hydroelectric power station in the world.
The complex included offices, gatehouses, and other buildings at the top of the Niagara Gorge, and turbine-generator stations located at the base. But due to catastrophic collapse, the power station is now in ruins!
But before a few years, the original elevator shaft was restored and elevator access to the Gorge and the Schoellkopf site was granted. Now you can access a connected hiking trail as well.
Niagara Adventure Theater
The air-conditioned Niagara Adventure Theater auditorium features stadium seating for 314 and is located at the Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center.
“Niagara: Legends of Adventure” screens every 45 minutes, so be sure to check the schedule if you wish to attend it!
Best Tours For Your Day Trip To Niagara Falls
Book your tickets and Niagara Falls tours in advance. Here are my recommendations to save your time and money to book the tours prior to your trip:
- All-Inclusive Niagara Falls USA Tour with Boat Ride – The tour includes Maid of the Mist Boat Ride, Cave of the winds(skip the line ticket), and Discount Coupons for local restaurants and attractions in the tour!
- Niagara Falls American Side Highlights Tour from USA
- Niagara Falls USA Open-Top (Wet) Jet Boat Tour
- Skip the Line Maid of the Mist Tour
- Niagara Falls Cave of the Winds Tour
FAQ about one day trip to Niagara falls
Do You Need A Passport To Visit Niagara Falls?
If you are visiting the American Side(New York side) of Niagara Falls, you won’t need a Passport to visit Niagara falls.
If you plan to cross the border into Canada and return to the United States, you will need a Passport and Visa depending on your Passport origin country!
Is Niagara Falls Worth Visiting??
Even though Niagara Falls has become too commercialized or maybe a typical tourist destination of the United States; I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the waterfalls! The beauty can’t describe in the words!
There are so many things to do at Niagara Falls, regardless of which side of the border you explore!
So, YES Niagara Falls is 100% worth visiting attractions in the USA!
How many Days at Niagara Falls?
Pretty much one day trip to Niagara falls is enough and you can do all the above things with one day in Niagara falls. Trust me, it’s doable and one day is enough to explore it!
But if you don’t want to be in rush and want to cover both the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls, I recommend taking a 2 days trip. After all the exploration, you can cross the Rainbow Bridge to enter the Canadian side. Stay overnight Canadian side.
On day-2, visit the Canadian Side of Niagara falls and Niagara-on-the Lake. By afternoon you may be free to drive back home!
Or You can visit the Corning Museum of Glass and nearby New York state parks which are the most beautiful places to visit in the United States.
You can book this Niagara Falls(US) 2-Day Tour from New York City which includes Corning museum of glass- one of the most visited places in the USA!
Best Resources to Plan your Niagara Falls Trip
- Find and book the best hotel (My favorite booking site is Booking.com)
- Find the Best Airbnbs and Vacation Rentals (My Favorite site is VRBO)
- Research flight options (My favorite tools are Skyscanner and Wayaway)
- Book a tour ( I always use Viator and GetYourGuide to find the best tours)
- Rent a car through Discover Cars (they search for the best deals for you!)
Summarising One Day trip to Niagara Falls NY
This itinerary should give you a good taste of what Niagara Falls has to offer in one day. However, there are plenty of other activities and attractions to explore, so feel free to adjust the schedule to fit your preferences for your one-day Niagara Falls itinerary!
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