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Niagara Falls is one of the world’s best-loved destinations and a popular choice for those booking a flight to Canada. Of course, the stunning waterfalls from which it gets its name are a major draw, providing a picture-perfect backdrop for your holiday snaps. But the city has a lot more to offer, with a whole host of attractions waiting to be discovered. If you’re hoping to visit soon, this guide to 48 hours in Niagara Falls will highlight the best things on offer.
If this is your first time on our blog, take a look at some of the other helpful guides, including how to spend 48 hours in Tofino.
Our suggested itinerary
Morning – Discover the falls and enjoy a splash at the waterpark
Afternoon – Explore the fascinating Niagara Falls History Museum
Evening – Views of the falls/dine at Skylon Tower
Morning – Journey behind the falls and experience Bird Kingdom
Afternoon – Enjoy the thrills of the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
Evening – Dine at AG Inspired Cuisine
Discover the falls
Why not spend your morning aboard the iconic Hornblower and take a Voyage to the Falls, a legendary VIP boat cruise offering 360-degree views of the torrent? Or alternatively take a thrill ride over the waterfall with a Niagara Falls helicopter flight, giving you the opportunity to get a birds-eye-view of the falls and the surrounding area.
Rebecca, from the parenting and lifestyle blog, Bit of Mom Sense, has loved her time visiting Niagara Falls. She shared her tips for the best possible experience: “Firstly, for us, we find the best way to get a great view of the Falls is to go early ahead of the rush that tends to come as the day continues on. It makes it easier to grab the perfect family photo along the wall overlooking the Falls, and to really take in the sights.”
Have a splash at a waterpark
Since you may have spent part of the morning getting splashed by the waterfall rapids, why not make a splash yourself at one of Niagara Falls’ incredible waterparks. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark would be a perfect choice, where families can enjoy a massive three acres of indoor fun with 16 waterslides, a huge indoor wave pool, hot springs, two oversized adults-only Jacuzzis, and an outdoor sundeck. Further still, it’s just a two-minute walk from Niagara Falls. This would certainly be a fun option for the whole family to enjoy during your first morning in the city.
Explore the fascinating Niagara Falls History Museum
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This souvenir plate was purchased in the 1960’s from the original Niagara Falls Museum, located closer to the Falls. When in operation, the Museum was the oldest in North America having been founded in 1867. Does anyone remember visiting Museum ? #Souvenir #Niagarafalls #Tourism
Why not return to dry land for your first afternoon in the city and explore the fascinating Niagara Falls History Museum. Comprised of three galleries, the museum delves into the Gale Family War of 1812, exploring the global conflict that impacted the lives of all those living in Niagara during the period. The museum also looks at Stories of the City, giving insight on the area’s history and telling tales of local businesses and entertainers.
“Visitors get a sense of all of these facets of our past in Niagara Falls that can lead them into a greater understanding of our community—one that they think they know. We do this in our galleries, as well as with our permanent and temporary offerings. But it is also a great place to take in our programs that change every week and offer a deeper understanding of this great area.”
Views of the falls and dine at Skylon Tower
After a busy day enjoying the falls, having a splash at the waterpark and visiting the museum, why not finish your first day in this magical location with dinner at the majestic Skylon Tower, a staggering 233-metre-high structure with two great dining rooms overlooking the falls.
As you can expect, the views of Niagara Falls are stunning. There is truly no better or more desirable backdrop for a lovely meal than what is available at Skylon Tower. Right at the top, the revolving dining room will prove to be a true highlight of your holiday, offering award-winning cuisine across a number of menus, accompanied by international and a local Ontario wine. There’s even a children’s menu to help make this a true family occasion.
SEE ALSO: 48 hours in Ottawa
Journey behind the falls
So, day one is complete, but there’s still so much more to enjoy. The perfect way to begin day two of your adventure is to take a Journey Behind the Falls and see the waterfall from a whole new perspective. This walking tour allows visitors to descend 125-feet below the rim of the gorge, behind the falls themselves and explore the 130-year-old tunnels through the bedrock, where the thundering majesty of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls can be experienced to the fullest. This awe-inspiring experience showcases the power of this natural wonder with some unforgettable views of the water crashing down in front of you.
Experience Bird Kingdom
The Journey Behind the Falls is magnificent but it certainly won’t take up your entire morning, so why not then head to one of Niagara Falls’ most beloved attractions—the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary known as Bird Kingdom. Families will love getting to visit exotic birds, animals and reptiles around this delightful attraction, with opportunities to feed the amazing Rainbow Lorikeets and enjoy an array of wonderful animal encounters that you are unlikely to forget.
Rebecca from ‘Bit of Mom Sense’ has also enjoyed time visiting Bird Kingdom with her family and spoke to us about what they loved about the attraction: “As a family, we have loved going to Bird Kingdom on multiple occasions. It seems that no matter the age of the kids, they enjoy exploring and learning about the animals and birds at Bird Kingdom. I always love hearing the sounds of the bird calls, and seeing so many special creatures, not to mention the joy on my children’s faces. A highlight for us has been feeding the Lorikeets.”
Cameron and Nicole from the travel blog, Traveling Canucks, say the following about their visit to Bird Kingdom and what visitors can expect to enjoy: “We spent about an hour inside Bird Kingdom. It’s a good size facility—not too big—but enough variety to keep things interesting. The full tour takes you through a series of different rooms, each with different animals and birds. Our boys had fun feeding the Lorikeets (an Australasian parrot) at Lorikeet Landing.”
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
During your second afternoon in Niagara, why not spend some time experiencing the Falls with another exhilarating activity? A little further down the river at Niagara on the Lake and set among the rapids, you’ll find Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. Speaking to us about what makes this particular tour such a must-try, the team at Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours said:
“A Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour is the only way to truly experience the magnitude of the Class V rapids of Devil’s Hole in the Niagara Gorge. As an Ontario Signature Experience, our jet boat tour is one of the best and most unique tourism experiences in the province. Over the past 12,000 years the turbulent currents from Niagara Falls have carved out an 11 km gorge, and this is the water playground for our fleet of nine boats that are ready to take guests on an experience of a lifetime.
“On this 45-60 minute fully guided tour, guests will experience awe-inspiring scenery, the history of the Niagara Gorge, Niagara Falls & the War of 1812 and feel the rush of the Class V whitewater rapids. The fully guided tour starts on the lower Niagara River into the Niagara Gorge at 55mph. We then take you up to the famous Niagara Whirlpool and through the Class 5 ‘Devil’s Hole’ rapids. Guests have the option of getting soaked on the Wet Jet or choosing wet or dry seating on the Freedom Jet and experience this whitewater playground like you never have before.”
Dine at The Watermark
The quality of the food always ends up being a memorable component of any trip, so why not finish off your time in Niagara Falls with a delicious meal at another of the city’s excellent restaurants. Your last evening in Niagara will be served very well indeed by securing a table at The Watermark, an exquisite restaurant location that is reminiscent of the majestic Niagara Falls itself, which is showcased from every angle in the dining room. Their executive chef utilises fresh and seasonal ingredients to craft creative dishes such as their Ontario lamb rack and roasted bird’s-eye chilli-marinated chicken.
The team at The Watermark spoke to us regarding what they believe visitors will enjoy most about dining with them: “The Watermark elevates guests’ dining experiences to new heights with inventive cuisine and stylish design that is only surpassed by the stunning floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls. On weekends and every summer night starting in June, you can get the best seat for fireworks over the Niagara Falls.”
SEE ALSO: 48 hours in Montreal
A memorable 48 hours in Niagara Falls
As you can see, Niagara Falls is truly a destination to savour, with a number of wonderful activities and attractions to enjoy and several ways to experience the wondrous falls themselves. So, if you are planning to spend a couple of days in the city of Niagara Falls, consider our suggested itinerary and look forward to a memorable holiday.
If this has left you inspired to start planning your holiday to Niagara Falls, take a look at some of the incredible holiday options we have available.