From time to time I get asked which is the better side to visit in Niagara Falls, The Canadian or the US side. Short answer: It’s subjective. 

But no one came here for the short answer and this blog will aim to show you some of the good about both sides. In the past I would do presentations to sell the Canadian side as I’m based in Canada, and because of that it made me somewhat biased towards Canada too. I would often point out that the Canadian side would attract approx 13 million visitors per year versus the US side getting approx  8 million. Surely a difference of 5 million means it’s better? But there’s more than meets the eye to those numbers. Being a 2 hour drive from the City of Toronto gives Niagara Falls on the Canadian side a big hub nearby with a large airport. Visitors on this side would likely go to the US side in larger numbers if there wasn’t additional immigration to go through. 

 Helicopter view of Niagara from US side








Add in the fact that 3 million of the visitors come from the US side and the numbers start to get closer. An anecdote I once heard is that the age of consumption in Ontario is 19 whereas it is 21 on the US side, meaning we get lots of 19 & 20 year olds visit for the football games on Sundays. The idea of 19 and 20 year olds enjoying themselves on this side before heading back home is interesting, but I doubt that’s 3 million of them.

I’m going to take a look at the two sides of the Niagara River and share some points that can help you decide which side to go to, if you’re in a position of only being able to go to one (time factor/immigration etc). Our suggestion is to do both sides but hey ho, I’ll look at some categories and remain as fair as I can. 


Round 1: Scenic Showdown

Canadian Niagara Falls: 

On the Canadian side, the Horseshoe Falls reign supreme. With its graceful 670 meter curve and mighty roar, it's the superstar of the 3 waterfalls and by that, I mean it’s the biggest. The view from Queen Victoria Park can be somewhat surreal, a front-row seat to nature's grandeur that'll elevate the emotions and have your camera rolling with overflow. The walk from Clifton Hill to Table Rock will have you stopping a number of times to take photos and why not! It’s a great view of the Falls. On nice sunny days, it’s quite common to see a rainbow, and if you’re really lucky - A double Rainbow! Why? Well, the Falls kick up lots of Mist and when the light hits the water droplets, it refracts through it causing pretty colors!

American Niagara Falls:

Don't let the Horseshoe steal all the thunder! The American Falls have their own charm, and from the Observation Tower, you're in for an awe-inspiring sight. It’s worth noting, the Observation tower has a small fee to walk onto. The attraction bills itself as the place where you can see all 3 waterfalls. 

Plus, who could ignore the modest yet mesmerizing Bridal Veil Falls – a showstopper in its own right. What’s really great on the US side is that you can get close to the US falls and Bridal Veil falls by walking onto Luna Island. Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the US, originating in 1885. What I really like about this park is it’s abundance of greenery, which can be owed to the genius landscaping of Frederick Law Olmsted. You might know him from being the brains behind Central Park in New York and Mont Royal in Montreal. 

You can also get a great view of the Canadian Falls from Terrapin point on Goat Island, but I think the best view of the Canadian Falls is from the Canadian side at Table Rock. 

Cave of the winds 

Round 2: Immersive Adventures

Before we submerge (get it) into some of the immersive activities it’s worth noting that both sides of the river have a boat that visits the waterfalls. On the US side, it’s the famous Maid of the Mist. This was on the Canadian side from 1846 - 2014 but it was taken to the US side. On the Canadian side, it was the Hornblower but it is now called Niagara City Cruises. Both options are excellent and I highly encourage all visitors to Niagara falls to do one or the other depending on which side of the Falls you are on.  

Canadian Niagara Falls:

Journey Behind the Falls: Prepare to get wet and wild on the Canadian side! The Journey Behind the Falls lets you walk through tunnels to feel the falls' power up close. This attraction appears to have been eternalized in a famous episode of Woody Woodpecker, which apparently is a big hit in Brazil. In the episode, the ponchos are yellow which tells us it’s either the Cave of the Winds or Journey Behind the Falls, but given it’s a barrel over the Falls, and no one has been over the US Falls in a barrel, we’re giving it to Journey Behind the Falls. This attraction allows you to get close to the Falls down below on a viewing platform. I’ve even came across them doing yoga there in the past.

American Niagara Falls:

But hold onto your ponchos – the American side brings the adventure too. The Cave of the Winds experience is a heart-pounding jaunt that puts you inches from the falls. It's a soaking, thrilling, and utterly unforgettable encounter that will have you laughing in the face of mist. If you’re wondering if you’ll get wet? 

Yes, very wet. To give some context, my shower setting at home has 3 settings. One of those is Niagara Falls. From experience, I would suggest you either keep your phone in your pocket, bring some protection for it or have a big bag of rice ready as it’s going to get wet. 

Something that thoroughly impresses me about this attraction is that they knock it down and rebuild it every year. Once you see the amount of water that flows on the lumber, it’s no surprise. 

Maid of the mist & the Niagara City Cruises in one photo

Round 3: Hospitality streets

Canadian Niagara Falls:

Clifton Hill on the Canadian side is a carnival of quirkiness. From wax museums to arcades, it's a treat for both kids and the young at heart. It has been built out with human traffic in mind, as in, it’s a tourist hotspot. Think lights, sounds and a carnival like route with a number of activities to keep all entertained. 

American Niagara Falls:

Stateside, Old Falls St has a more relaxed atmosphere. Restaurants and vendors line both sides of the street. Whilst it is not as packed as the Canadian side, the space could be a positive. At the end of the street there is the large Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino. If gambling is your thing, the Canadian side has two casinos. 

Final Round: Culinary Conquests

Canadian Niagara Falls: 

Maple syrup, poutine, and the finest Canadian wines – the Canadian side is a feast for foodies. Enjoy the view with a side of culinary indulgence at one of the falls-view restaurants. And don't forget to grab a beavertail pastry for the road. There is great selection with choices to be discovered, you can find more options here. The Niagara region itself is home to nearly a hundred wineries. They really do love their wine in this area, it’s probably a good thing they can’t turn water into wine.

American Niagara Falls:

But don't underestimate the dining scene stateside. The town of Niagara Falls, USA, serves up a smorgasbord of flavors. From classic American comfort food to chic bistros, your taste buds are in for a treat. Not far away, is the city of Buffalo which has some great options for Buffalo Chicken wings and Beef weck sandwiches. One restaurant called the Anchor Bar is purported to have created the Buffalo chicken wing as we know it. They have a location in Niagara Falls too if eating chicken wings is of interest.


Conclusion: The Ultimate Verdict

In this battle of the borders, there's no loser – just two remarkable destinations vying for your attention. The Canadian Niagara Falls dazzles with its elegance, while the American Niagara Falls captivates with its charm. Whether you're drawn to the Horseshoe's allure or the American Falls' daring, one thing's certain: both sides promise a good day out. So, which falls will you choose? If you’re looking to explore some wineries, we have a tour that encompasses this. If you’d like to try some food fare, we do the US side on our Buffalo & Niagara US tour. 

I know this list isn't exhaustive, it's missing ziplines, helicopters, jet boats and more! But it's a snapshot of the two places. If you're looking for more information, give us a call on +14163423880.