Niagara Falls is both the name of a group of waterfalls and of the cities that surround them. The Falls are part of the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The border between Canada and the United States lies along the centre of the river.
These cities are on the American side and the Canadian side of the falls, respectively. They are connected by the Rainbow Bridge and the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge.
The Niagara Falls consist of three sections. The large Canadian falls – with their distinctive curved shape – are also known as the "Horseshoe Falls". They are separated by Goat Island from the American Falls, which are separated by a small island at their south end, from the narrow Bridal Veil falls. Each side offers a different perspective. The American side offers great views of the Canadian Horseshoe falls and the hotel skyline on the Canadian side. The Canadian side offers views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls. The Canadian side is usually the most popular due to its view of both falls and the number of attractions and hotels. Although the Canadian side of the falls has more to do and see, it is always best to visit both sides to maximize your experience.
Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (Code: BUF), in Buffalo then drive, bus, or taxi to Niagara Falls (about 20-30 minutes).
Niagara Falls Intl Airport (code: IAG) is the closest airport to the falls, but it is only for chartered and private flights.
Toronto Pearson International Airport (Code: YYZ), in Toronto is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from the falls.
From New York, Boston, and the East Coast: Take I-90 W towards Buffalo to the 290 W. Exit onto the 190 N towards Grand Island and Niagara Falls. Follow highway through Grand Island, than take the exit immeadiatley after the North Grand Island Bridge (as you're leaving the island) for the Robert Moses Pkwy. Continue until in downtowan Niagara Falls.
From Chicago and the Midwest: Take I-90 East towards Buffalo to the 190 W. Follow signs for Grand Island and Niagara Falls. Follow highway through Grand Island, than take the exit immeadiatley after the North Grand Island Bridge (as you're leaving the island) for the Robert Moses Pkwy. Continue until in downtowan Niagara Falls.
From Buffalo-Niagara International Airport: Take the I-90 East to the I-290 West to the I-190 North. Take the I-190 North (over both Grand Island Bridges, $0.75 toll) to the Robert Moses Parkway.
From Toronto Pearson International Airport: Take HWY 427 S to QEW towards Hamilton. Drive for about 100 km and then keep left to take the Provential Route 420 E toward Niagara Falls Bridge to USA. Provential Route 420 E becomes Roberts St. Stay straight to go onto Falls AVE. Turn sharp left onto Rainbow Bridge.
Trentway-Wagar and Coach Canada offer a joint service to Niagara Falls (Canada side) from Toronto via St. Catharines. Adult same-day return fare is roughly $30. There are several departures to and from Niagara Falls per day. Phone: 1-800-461-7661, web: http://www.coachcanada.com/
Visitors staying in Toronto can catch a tour from various Niagara Falls tour providers. The following tour companies offer pick-up from all hotels in Toronto:
Jojo Tours, phone: 416-201-6465, . Picks up at Toronto hostels and is geared to budget travellers.
It's about 9 hours direct to Niagara Falls, NY from Penn Station in New York City and about 2 1/2 hours from Toronto Union Station.
During the busiest tourist season (May - October), The Parkway along the Canadian side of the falls can become very crowded and finding a "picture perfect" view of the falls can be hard to do, walking to the attractions can also be slow during peak tourist season with thousands of people bustling by. There is a "People Mover" system which runs on the Parkway along the river. There are pickup points all along the parkway, including near the bus terminal. There are also several tour services that offer the option to buy a hop on hop off pass, which allows you to board any of the tour buses at any stop point thoroughout the day.
Skylon Tower, . Tall tower that has an observation deck and revolving restaurant with a great view of the falls. There are arcade games in the base.
Maid of the Mist. A boat that takes tourists to the foot of the falls, where you can better appreciate their thunder and spray. Only runs in the summer.
Greg Frewin Dinner Theatre, . Illusionist Greg Frewin presents his Las Vegas style magic show.
Flower clock. A clock made entirely of flowers, near the Whirlpool.
Niagara Botanical Gardens (at their best in the summer)
Butterfly conservatory. Lots of butterflies in an enclosed space.
Clifton Hill Niagara Falls, . A hill, and a street, full of exciting and fun tourist attractions such as wax museums, Ripley's Believe it or Not, haunted houses, and gift shops.
Imax theatre, . Has a great movie about the history of the Falls.
Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort A splendid new (June 2004) Vegas style Casino.
Casino Niagara The old but nice casino near Clifton Hill.
Seneca Niagara Casino on the American side.
The Bell Aerospace Museum on the American side.
Fort Niagara, . in Youngstown a 10 minute drive from the falls.
Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, . in Lewiston a 10 minute drive from the falls.
Bedore Tours, 1-800-5368-8433, . We offer sightseeing tours of Niagara Falls USA and Canada.
Magic Mist Limousine, 1-800-689-8189, . Private Sightseeing tours with picnic at Niagara Falls.
Car-Go Audio Tours offers an audio driving tour in a 2 CD set called "Niagara...More Than The Falls". The inexpensive guided tour takes you through 20 sites along the Niagara Parkway from north of the Whirlpool Bridge to Niagara-on-the-Lake and back, including the village of Queenston. All you do is put the CD in your car player, follow the directions and learn about the many wonders of Niagara, including it's history, geology, agriculture, horticulture and much more. An audio driving tour gives you the freedom to go when you want and the choice to go where you want. Pick all 20 sites or just the ones you want. Visit a winery, learn about the Shaw Festival, War of 1812, Major General Sir Isaac Brock, power production and much more. Take time to shop and/or dine in Niagara-on-the-Lake and then begin part 2 of the tour. You can do it in one day or more and the entire tour can be done on less than 2 gallons of gas. Included is a digital photo album at the end of the part 2 disk, valuable money saving coupons, and a map of the tour. The tour starts at Souvenir City on River Road and can be purchased there or on the internet at  Car-Go Audio Tours offers free shipping as a holiday special.
Casinos in Niagara. Visit three casinos in the Niagara including; Seneca, Casino Niagara, and Fallsview Casino Resort.
Just a short drive from Niagara Falls is a small pizzaria called Papa Vince Pizza. Papa Vince has great pizza and wings, but where it really stands out is with their steak sub. You need to try a fatty! They deliver to hotels outside of Niagara Falls.
Suisha Gardens, 5701 Lewis Ave., Niagara Falls, Ontario, (905) 354-1500, Very pleasant Japanese restaurant. They cook, Teppanyaki-style, at your table.
Taki, 5530 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, (905) 357-7274, "Taki" means "Falls" in Japanese. Very authentic-style Japanese restaurant. Great food, great atmosphere. Pricy, but it's worth it.
Table Rock Restaurant, Niagara Falls, Ontario, (905) 354-3631, Very good view of the Falls.
Secret Garden, 5827 River Rd. Embraced by the beautifully manicured Oakes Garden Theater.
Carpaccio Restaurant, 6840 Lundy's Lane. 2003-04 Award Winning Restaurant & Wine Bar.
A Cut Above Steakhouse 6755 Fallsview Av., (905)358-4720, Open 7-10 and has some nice pieces of steak at a fair price, reservations welcome.
Basell'S, (on Victoria Ave.). A super cheap restaurant that may look like "a litle hole in the wall" but the food is delish... try the special: soup du jour (try the vegetable), coleslaw, potatoes or fries, tea or coffee, the special, AND frozen yogurt or icecream for the end.... all of that for only about 8 bucks.