Niagara Falls, NY Vs. Niagara Falls, Canada
Millions of tourists , making it one of the most popular North American travel destinations. The breathtaking falls and surrounding nature attract visitors from all over the world. Whether you take your first or tenth trip, you can build unforgettable memories with family and friends.
Niagara Falls is located between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States. When planning your trip, you might wonder which location is best. Both options provide an excellent view of the falls but have some crucial differences. Learn more about the Canadian side of Niagara Falls vs. the American side to make your decision.
Niagara Falls Overview
Niagara Falls consists of three different waterfalls that span across the Canadian and American border — the Horseshoe Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls. These waterfalls cover 81.9 miles and have a water flow of 35 miles per hour. Both access points have many resorts and activities that build an unforgettable trip.
Similarities Between Niagara Falls, US and Canada
Before delving into their differences, examining the Niagara Falls American and Canadian sides’ similarities can also help you make an informed decision. On both sides of Niagara Falls, you can find aspects like:
- Restaurants: You can find many dining options on both sides of Niagara Falls. Restaurants range from small breakfast cafes to large dinner grilles. You and your travel companions can choose from many different food styles to match your specific tastes.
- Close views: No matter what side you choose, you can view the beautiful falls from close vantage points. Both sides provide walkways and observation decks for intimate viewing. They also offer trolleys, buses and other transportation services to travel around the park.
- Shopping: If you're interested in shopping during your getaway, both locations have a wide selection. Both the New York and Canadian sides feature everything from designer outlets to small antique stores.
- Activities: Both sides have many explorative and relaxing activities to fill your trip. Visitors can roam the park and gaze at the falls for free or pay for additional attractions. For instance, both the American and Canadian sides offer a boat ride to visit the Horseshoe Falls. The New York version is called , while the Canadian boat .
Differences Between Niagara Falls, New York and Canada
Learning more about the differences between the New York and Canadian access points for Niagara Falls can help you narrow your options. Here are the major differences between these destinations:
The two sides face separate points of Niagara Falls, giving visitors a different viewpoint.
The Canadian side provides a complete, panoramic view of all three waterfalls. A wide pathway called the Niagara Falls Parkway leads directly to a viewing area.
The American access point doesn’t display all three waterfalls but lets visitors get closer to the water. It contains a massive observation deck that shows a large portion of the falls at an extremely close range. The water is close enough to touch, placing a mist over the entire area.
In addition, the surrounding views are different for the two choices. The Canadian side has many nearby attractions like casinos, restaurants and souvenir shops. In contrast, the American portion has mostly natural views. It has a quieter, more intimate feeling and many hiking opportunities. If you’re more interested in nature or want a more personal experience, the American side might be the better option for you.
The two locations also differ in their accessibility to nearby cities. As you plan your Niagara Falls trip, consider how you will arrive. Many visitors fly into local airports to access Niagara Falls, while others plan a road trip. You might prefer driving or flying, depending on your current location or personal preference. Many visitors use the nearby cities for lodging, food, entertainment or transportation. The closest major city on the American side is Buffalo, New York, while the nearest in Canada is Toronto, Ontario.
Buffalo, New York, from Niagara Falls. Whether you fly or drive into Buffalo, you can access the waterfalls and nearby attractions in minimal time. There are also many things to do on the American side of Niagara Falls, from historical sites to hiking trails to shopping plazas.
The distance from Toronto to Niagara Falls is more significant — it's 179 miles or about an hour and a half away. Visitors who use the Toronto airport can use other modes of transportation, like buses and taxis, to reach Niagara Falls. However, you might have to adjust your travel plans because of the additional distance. Toronto also has a wide range of dining, entertainment and shopping options.
The Canadian and American sides of Niagara Falls also have different surrounding attractions. While both destinations offer many opportunities, they vary by specific selection.
The Canadian side focuses more on excitement and entertainment, with attractions like haunted houses, casinos, wax museums and fast food chains. While these choices are thrilling, they can also become expensive and take away from the focus on natural beauty.
The New York side of Niagara Falls is usually calmer and less crowded. The Niagara Falls State Park has many options to explore the area’s natural beauty, from hiking trails to an observation tower. The park is completely free and open 365 days a year, letting your travel group search the nearby land no matter when you visit. It also has a shuttle service connecting every part of the park.
In addition, Goat Island is only accessible from the American side of Niagara Falls. It's located in Niagara Falls State Park and has many indigenous plant and animal species. Overall, the New York point offers more for travelers wanting to explore the outdoors.
Book With Niagara Falls / Grand Island KOA Holiday
While both the Canadian and American portions of Niagara Falls offer unforgettable trips, the New York side is your best choice for an outdoor-focused adventure. You can view the waterfalls up close, wander through extensive hiking trails, explore nearby dining options and more.
If you're planning a Niagara Falls trip, book with Niagara Falls / Grand Island KOA today. We offer the perfect base camp between Buffalo, New York, and Niagara Falls. The Kampgrounds of America Campground is only 7 miles from Niagara Falls, making exploration easy.