If you live in New Jersey, did you know that you’re just a hop, skip, and jump away from one of North America’s most awe-inspiring sights? It’s true! OK, well it’s kind of true — Niagara Falls may not be on New Jersey’s doorstep, but it is only a relatively straightforward seven hour drive away. That means you can set off in your vehicle in the early morning and, by afternoon, be feeling the cool misty spray of the awesome waterfalls by the afternoon.
If you’ve never been to Niagara Falls — or haven’t visited as an adult; many of us were dragged there as kids — then this guide is for you. We’ll run through everything you need to know about visiting this majestic natural wonder.
Where to Go
Now, you might be thinking that covering “where to go” doesn’t make much sense — you know that you’re going to Niagara Falls! However, it’s a bit more complicated than simply putting “Niagara Falls” into Google Maps and following the directions.
The falls actually span both the United States and Canada, so if you’re only planning to visit for one day/night, then you’ll have to choose between the two. However, if you have the time, then it’s highly recommended to visit both sides. They may share a name, but they’re different experiences.
If you’re after a cold, hard opinion about which is the better of the two: go to the Canada side. The views are better and there are more things to do.
When To Go
As you might expect from a region that very much has seasons, it’s important to think about when you’ll be paying a visit. You can go at any time of the year, but the timing will influence your experience. It’s one thing to view the falls in sunshine, another thing to view it in freezing, snowy weather.
The most popular time to visit is between July and August, when the temperatures are perfect for exploring. Be warned that this is also the busiest time of year. If you’re OK with slightly chiller temperatures, then go between May – June or in September; there’ll be fewer crowds and prices will generally be cheaper.
Essential: Maid of the Mist
There’s a lot of natural beauty around Niagara Falls, not just within the falls themselves. As such, there’s a whole host of fun outdoor activities you can do. But if there’s one thing that you positively must do while you’re there, it’s the Maid of the Mist tour. After all, you’re visiting to see the falls, and there’s no better way to do it than by grabbing a poncho and boarding a boat that takes you as close as possible to the gushing water. It’s fast, cheap, and a whole lot of fun — don’t miss it.
The falls are the crown jewel of Niagara Falls, but this region also offers a lot of nighttime entertainment. After all, it’s one of the most visited places in the United States. Indeed, the region is just as fun once the sun sets as it is during the day. This is a casino-friendly part of the country, so look at putting on your best clothes and spending a few hours at the poker table. You’ll enjoy the glamorous establishments even if you don’t regularly visit casinos, though do be sure to use an online poker deal so you know what to do once you sit down at the table. It’s also recommended to make a reservation at the Table Rock House Restaurant, which offers fantastic views of the falls at night.
Spending the Night
Finally, look at spending the night (or multiple!) at Niagara Falls. It’ll give you a chance to enjoy all the region has to offer, including seeing the falls from both the Canada and United States sides. For the best views, book a room (well in advance) at Sheraton on the Falls, but there are also many other budget-friendly hotels in the area!
About the Author/s
The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.