One day in Niagara
Niagara Falls is an exciting, year-round destination with no shortage of things to do. Aside from the obvious draw that calls to visitors from around the world, you’ll find authentic attractions, fascinating heritage sites, pristine natural spaces and locally sourced culinary experiences. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re short on time. To help, here is a suggested one-day itinerary to get the very best of Niagara Falls while you’re here.
It’s true, there’s a lot to see and do in Niagara. While a longer stay in definitely recommended, sometimes you only have a few hours, so let’s make the most of them:
8:00 AM – Start with the best part
Let’s cut right to the chase. You’re here to see Niagara Falls, so what better place to start your day? The brink of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls features a pedestrian promenade next to the historic Table Rock Centre. Grab a coffee and step out into what will surely be the most memorable moment of your trip. The sight, sound, smell and feel of Niagara Falls is unforgettable.
9:00 AM – Now journey below
Now that you’ve gotten a look at the brink, how about a trip to the base? Just inside Table Rock Centre, Journey Behind the Falls takes you down historic tunnels into the bedrock next to the Horseshoe Falls. You’ll explore tunnels with openings behind the crashing sheets of water, but most importantly you’ll step out onto the lower observation deck that sends 13 storeys of water crashing down from above. If you thought they were loud from above, wait until you’re standing beneath them!
11:00 AM – Come sail away
If you think you’ve now seen Niagara Falls, think again. No visit to Niagara Parks is complete without a trip on the iconic boat tour, past the American Falls and into the incredible mist of the mighty Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The Voyage to the Falls boat tour from Hornblower Niagara Cruises is the next must-see, bucket list stop on your adventure.
1:00 PM – Lunch with a view
There’s no shortage of options for places to eat in Niagara Parks. What’s more, you’ll find something for every budget. Looking to grab something quick and casual? Grand View Restaurant is just steps from the exit after your boat tour. Whether it’s a blue cheese bacon burger or sriracha chicken flatbread, you’ll also enjoy a panoramic view of the American Falls.
If you’d prefer a full-service atmosphere, Queen Victoria Place Restaurant is just a short walk away, with a locally sourced menu, craft beers on tap, and a terrace that overlooks both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Luckily, reservations can be made online for this popular lunch spot.
3:30 PM – At the water’s edge
It’s ancient history, but years ago the falls weren’t where they stand today. Take a walk along a boardwalk next to some of North America’s fastest rapids at White Water Walk. This best-kept-secret is a short drive or moderate walk north from the core of Niagara Parks.
Get there on the hop-on, hop-off WEGO bus system or take your own car (parking is free with admission to the attraction). There are also racks nearby if you’re taking Niagara by bike.
5:00 PM – Back where it began
Head back to Table Rock Centre and the brink of the Horseshoe Falls, where your adventure began. You’ll want to explore this incredible space some more, perhaps checking out the nearby Floral Showhouse gardenscapes or just poking around some of the shops and experiences inside.
If you’re staying for dinner, head upstairs to Table Rock House Restaurant, a “brand new” flagship restaurant launched in 2019, taking back the building’s historic roots of Table Rock House with a modern flair. Chef Elbert Wiersema and the Niagara Parks Culinary team are always hard at work designing and preparing locally sourced dishes to try and compete with the view of the falls only a stone’s throw away.
To make the most of your time, many Niagara Parks attractions offer timed ticketing to skip some of the line-ups you’ll encounter. If you package your attractions as part of an Adventure Pass, staff can even book everything at once, including your lunch and dinner reservations. You’ll also save on attraction admission and have access to the hop-on, hop-off WEGO bus system.
It was a long and hopefully unforgettable day, but you’ll likely agree that you barely scratched the surface. With so many things to see and do in Niagara Parks, you’ll be planning your next visit before you know it!