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Is a Day Trip to Niagara Falls from Toronto Fun?

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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A day trip to Niagara Falls from Toronto is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The Falls are one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world, and there is something truly magical about watching the water tumble over the edge.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the Falls, whether taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat or hiking along the Niagara Gorge. And, of course, no trip to Niagara Falls would be complete without sampling some of the delicious local wine.

There are several ways to get to Niagara Falls from Toronto. The most popular option is to drive, but a convenient shuttle service runs between the two cities. You can also take a tour from Toronto that includes round-trip transportation.

Canadian side view of Niagara Falls, Horseshoe Falls and boat tour at sunset in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

With its stunning scenery and ample opportunity for relaxation, a day trip to Niagara Falls will surely be a fun and memorable experience.

Top 10 Attractions & Things To Do in Niagara Falls

The undisputed highlight of Niagara Falls is, of course, the Falls themselves. But there is much more to see and do in this world-famous destination. Here are our top 10 picks for things to see and do in Niagara Falls:

1. Take a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat

The Maid of the Mist tour boat headed towards Niagara Falls

The Maid of the Mist boat is one of the most popular attractions at Niagara Falls. Taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist is an incredible experience. The boat takes you right up to the base of the falls, where you can feel the spray of the water and see the thundering flow of the Niagara River. The boat ride is also a great way to see the American and Canadian Falls from different angles. You might even catch a rainbow in the mist if you're lucky! A ride on the Maid of the Mist is an unforgettable experience that's sure to leave you mesmerized.


2. Visit the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory

A clipper butterfly on a green leaf. Butterfly Conservatory, Niagara Falls City, Ontario

Imagine stepping into a lush, tropical paradise where hundreds of butterflies flutter through the air, darting between vibrant flowers and cascading waterfalls. This magical place exists at the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory, one of North America's largest glass-enclosed butterfly conservatories. As you explore the winding pathways of this oasis, you'll be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors created by over 2,000 butterflies worldwide.

You might even be lucky to spot a rare Monarch or Blue Morpho butterfly! Be sure to keep an eye out for feeding trays, where you can get an up-close look at these delicate creatures. Whether you're a nature lover or need a dose of beauty and tranquillity, a visit to the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory will delight and inspire you.

3. Sample some Local Wine

Winery grapes on a farm in Niagara Falls Ontario Canada

As the leaves begin to change color and the air grows crisp, there's no better time to head to Niagara Falls for some wine tasting. With over 30 wineries in the region, you'll be spoilt for choice when sampling some of the best vintages the area has to offer. From dry reds to fruity whites, there's a Niagara wine to suit every palate. And what could be more romantic than spending a day exploring the stunning Niagara Falls landscape with a glass of local wine in hand? Whether taking in the sights from the Canadian side of the falls or enjoying a leisurely stroll through one of the many vineyards on the U.S. side, Niagara Falls is the perfect place to enjoy some of nature's finest offerings.

4. Journey Behind the Falls

Journey Behind the Falls is an attraction located beside the Canadian Horseshoe Falls

Standing at the base of Horseshoe Falls, it's impossible not to be awestruck by the sheer power of the water tumbling down from above. Journey Behind the Falls offers visitors a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with one of nature's most impressive wonders. From Table Rock Welcome Centre, a lift takes you down 45 meters to tunnels with viewing windows behind the falls and a sightseeing platform near the base of the falls. If you stand here, you can see the waterfalls and feel the mist from the waterfall. This view offers a unique perspective and a different experience than viewing the falls from above.

5. Take in the views from Skylon Tower

Niagara Falls with American Falls skyline at night, aerial view from Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Looking out from the Skylon Tower, you can see some of the most stunning views in Niagara Falls. The falls are incredible; you can also see the Niagara Escarpment and the city. The tower has an indoor/outdoor observation area and two restaurants, so you can enjoy the views while dining in style.

Aerial of the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The Revolving Dining Room is an upscale restaurant that slowly revolves, giving you a 360-degree view of the Falls. The Summit Suite Buffet is a more family-oriented restaurant with a buffet-style meal. Either way, you're sure to enjoy an unforgettable dining experience while taking in the breathtaking views from the Skylon Tower.

6. Ride the Niagara Skywheel

Niagara Falls Skywheel and other attractions during summer twilight

Standing at 175 feet tall, the Niagara Skywheel offers riders a unique way to see Niagara Falls and the cityscape. Available year-round, the climate-controlled gondolas provide an eight to twelve-minute ride that can be enjoyed day or night. At night, the city lights and illuminated falls take on an otherworldly quality, making the experience all the more dreamlike. Whether you're a local or a visitor, the Niagara Skywheel is a must-see attraction.

7. Visit the Clifton Hill District

View of Clifton Hill, known as the " Street of Fun", one of the major tourist promenades in Niagara Falls, Ontario

There's something about the Clifton Hill district that makes you happy. Maybe it's the bright colors, the fun attractions, or the delicious smells wafting from the food stands. Whatever the reason, a visit to this lively area will surely put a smile on your face. Even if you don't have time to ride the Niagara Skywheel or go go-karting, it's worth strolling down this street with family-friendly entertainment. And, of course, no visit to Clifton Hill would be complete without indulging in some sweet treats. So go ahead and satisfy your sweet tooth - you deserve it!

8. Attend the Niagara Falls Illumination Experience

Niagara Falls Illuminated at Night

At Niagara Falls, the world's natural wonders are displayed for all. And there's no better time to see them than at night when hundreds of LED lights illuminate the falls. The Niagara Falls Illumination Experience is a must-see event for anyone in the area. The falls are lit up for holidays and special occasions throughout the year and always make for a breathtaking sight. If you're looking for an unforgettable experience, check out the calendar for timing here.

9. Go on a Cave of the Winds Tour

Cave of the Winds Tour

Imagine standing at the base of a towering waterfall, the air filled with the sound of rushing water. Now imagine stepping behind that waterfall into a hidden cave. Cave of the Winds offers tours that let you do just that. Located near Niagara Falls, the tour takes you on a journey into the heart of the falls, where you can see firsthand the power of this natural wonder.

The cave is carved out of rock that has been eroded away by the falls for thousands of years. As you walk through it, you can feel the mist created by the falling water and see the rainbow-like effect of sunlight filtering through the water droplets. It's an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of nature's wonders.

10. Explore the Aquarium of Niagara

The Aquarium of Niagara is one of the best places to get up close and personal with some of the world's most amazing creatures. The Aquarium is home to various aquatic life, from sharks and stingrays to turtles and seahorses.

Visitors can explore the different habitats, learn about the animals, and even feed some of the fish. The hands-on approach makes the Aquarium an excellent place for kids and adults. In addition, the Aquarium offers stunning views of Niagara Falls, making it a perfect place to spend a day exploring the natural world.

Top 4 Day Trip Ideas from Niagara Falls

The Niagara region is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world. With its towering waterfalls, lush vineyards, and charming small towns, there's no shortage of things to see and do. If you're planning a day trip from Niagara Falls, here are four great ideas to help you make the most of your time.

1. Visit a Winery

There's nothing quite like a glass of wine at the end of a long day. But why settle for just any old bottle when you could be sipping on some of Canada's finest? On this half-day wine tour, you'll have the opportunity to explore the Niagara region's best wineries. Learn about the production process, taste some delicious samples, and even enjoy a wine and cheese pairing. At the end of the day, you'll be transported back to your hotel in a comfortable minibus. It's the perfect way to relax and indulge in all the Niagara region offers.

2. Take a Scenic Hike

The fresh air, the stunning scenery, and the sense of accomplishment of completing a hike are all great reasons to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail. And with so many different trails to choose from, there's sure to be a hike that's perfect for you. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Niagara Falls has a trail sure to please you.

3. Visit a Small Town or Village

Exploring a new town is always a treat, and many hidden gems are found in the Niagara region. Small towns offer a sense of community you can't find in the big city, and you never know what you'll discover around every corner. Whether browsing the local shops, enjoying a farmers market, or taking in a free concert, there are endless ways to spend a day in a small town. And with so many charming towns to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect place to explore.

4. Go on an Airplane Tour Around the Falls

Picture this: you're floating above Niagara Falls in a plane, the water plunging below you as you sip champagne and enjoy some chocolates. The tour guide points out different landmarks and tells you about the history and construction of the hydroelectric stations and the Welland Canal. The sun is shining, and the views are one of a kind - it's a magical experience. Airplane tours are the way to go if you're looking for an unforgettable way to see Niagara Falls. You'll be able to see the area from a whole new perspective and take pictures that'll last a lifetime.

Top 3 Places To Stay in Niagara Falls

The Niagara region is a popular tourist destination, and there are many places to stay to suit your needs. Niagara Falls will find everything from high-end hotels to more affordable options. Here are three great choices if you're looking for a place to stay during your trip.

1. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort

Are you looking for a fun-filled vacation resort that the whole family will love? Then look no further than Great Wolf Lodge! This all-suite-themed resort is located across the parkway from the Niagara River and features an expansive water park with something for everyone. From slides and splash pads to a lazy river and wave pool, there's no shortage of ways to cool off on a hot summer day. And when you're ready to dry off, plenty of other activities keep you entertained, including restaurants, a bar, a spa, and more.

2. Niagara Falls Marriott on the Falls

Looking for a breathtaking view of Niagara Falls? The Niagara Falls Marriott on the Falls offers stunning views of the falls from its high-rise hotel. Rooms are modern and chic, with flat screens, coffeemakers, and city and/or falls views. You can upgrade to a room with a fireplace, whirlpool tub, and kitchenette. The 1- and 2-bedroom suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows and water views. And there's plenty to keep you busy at the hotel, including a lobby cocktail lounge, coffee shop, breakfast cafe, restaurant with a seasonal patio and views of the falls, indoor pool, hot tub, gym, and 40,000 sq ft of event space.

3. Days Inn by Wyndham Niagara Falls

Days Inn by Wyndham Niagara Falls is the perfect place to stay if you're looking for a comfortable, convenient, and affordable hotel. The rooms are clean and well-equipped, with all the amenities you need for a relaxing stay. The hotel is also ideally located, just a short walk from Skylon Tower and the Rainbow Bridge. And if you're traveling with children, they'll be happy to know that kids 17 and under stay free with a paying adult.

Final Thoughts

Niagara Falls during the day in late summer

Niagara Falls is a great day trip from Toronto. The journey takes about two hours each way, and there are plenty of things to do in the area. You can visit the falls, go on an airplane tour, explore the small towns nearby, or stay in one of the many great hotels. Whether you're looking for an adventure or a relaxing getaway, Niagara Falls is the perfect destination.

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