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Are you thinking of visiting Niagara Falls? This awe-inspiring destination is one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations. The Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls — the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. The longest waterfall is at least 2,600 feet or over 792 meters.
The Niagara River was created around 10,000 years ago after glaciers formed during the last Ice Age began to change into new landscapes and rivers. Niagara River emerged, and shortly after, the famous falls were born.
According to Ontario parks officials, the fame and history of the Niagara Falls bring at least 4.4 million people each year, but New York State claims the site sees at least 9.5 million annually.
Niagara Falls straddles two countries – the United States and Canada. Different agencies use different methods to record attendance numbers from both sides of the borders. Some rely on counting tickets sold, while others add informed guesswork to their counts.
Determining the best time of year to visit depends on what you and your family want to see and achieve.
Weather conditions can change very quickly at Niagara Falls. Tourists who want warmer weather should visit from June through August. However, the summer also brings in thousands of people so you may need to spend more money.
The crowd thins out in the spring and fall when temperatures typically run between 30°F to 60° F. During the winter season, the temperature often dips to below freezing and freezing mist coming from the falls can make it feel absolutely arctic!
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Boat tours are extremely popular from May through October. Some tours last for 20 minutes and bring passengers within close proximity to the falls. Organizers hand out plastic ponchos to keep visitors from getting wet. Avoid long lines by lining up before 11 am and after 4 pm.
The park also offers an elevator ride that descends behind the waterfalls. On the Canadian side, visitors can access observation decks at the foot of the Horseshoe Falls. Tourists on the American side of Niagara Falls are taken through a series of walkways that bring them within feet of the Bridal Veil Falls.
Every evening, a special light show enhances the Niagara Falls experience. The event was first held in 1925. Special occasions and holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day and the 4th of July, are marked with custom colors during the nightly illumination. Check the schedule here.
The park is considered an important area for birds. Throughout the year, countless bird species, such as bald eagles, ducks, and geese, fly in from different parts of North America. The Niagara Falls Observation Tower has bird-friendly glass with a special design that prevents birds from colliding into it.
The number of tourists that start coming to see the Niagara Falls rises in May. The numbers generally peak in July and August and begin to drop in September. During the cooler months, some attractions are inaccessible to the public. Those brave enough to visit during winter may see the otherworldly beauty of the frozen falls.
Based on the 2017-2018 data collected by Skyscanner.com, flights from New York and Los Angeles are cheaper in January. Flight prices drop in September and October for those coming from Chicago.
Note: All family members are required to present their passport to access the Canadian side of the falls.
According to Priceline, hotel rooms are most expensive in July, no matter which side of the border you choose to stay. During summer, tourists may be charged anywhere between $168 to $179 USD. Prices begin to rise in May. During cooler months, hotels typically charge $106 USD.