10 Best Things To Do in and Around Niagara Falls, New York

Last Updated on October 03, 2023 by Nikki Jain

You don’t realize how big the Falls are until you see them in-person. There is more here than just taking a ferry ride to see them from above or below, but you can certainly fill up a good chunk of your day doing just that. There are a ton of activities and landmarks surrounding Niagara Falls in New York, you could vacation over the weekend and still not hit all the major tourist spots.

Here’s just a sample of what you can see and do at Niagara Falls.

Things To Do in Niagara Falls

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1: Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist

You haven’t been to Niagara if you don’t ride the best and longest running ferry ride. This is as close as it gets to be at the foot of the falls, without actually drowning. You will definitely get wet, and you will feel the power of the falls through your entire body. It truly is mesmerizing.

Address: Niagara Falls State Park, 1 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303

2: Goat Island

Goat Island

This is one of the cool spots in the middle of the falls, which is located in between the bridge to the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls. It’s a beautiful place to stop and take in the sights around you. It is kind of a hub between a bunch of other neat little stops along the rapids, like the next stop on our list, which is a magical nook of turbulence and beauty.

Address: Goat Island, Niagara Falls, New York

3: Cave of the Winds

Cave of the Winds

If the boat ride next to the falls left you wanting more, don’t worry, the Cave of the Winds will take you right inside the falls. Just follow the path on Goat Island, down a bunch of stairs, where you’ll end up on a platform that puts right underneath a waterfall.

You can watch as millions of gallons flow over and under you while on the deck, it’s almost like being encapsulated by a river. You will get wet here, the powerful mists of water will quickly turn you from damp to dripping in just a few minutes.

Address: 333 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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4: Niagara Falls Jet Boats

Niagara Falls Jet Boats

If the misty boat ride was too pedestrian for someone who is a bit more of a thrill-seeker, don’t worry, Niagara has the fix for you. Along the lower Niagara Falls, you can hop on the high-speed and exciting whirlpool jet boats and ride the rapids in style! The ride is very smooth, but fast, so you’ll get the fun of being on a rollercoaster, with the added bonus of being on one of nature’s greatest tracks!

Address: 115 S Water St, Lewiston, NY 14092

5: Whirlpool Rapids Bridge

Whirlpool Rapids Bridge
Wikimedia/Detroit Publishing Co.

An exciting event happens at the foot of the American Falls, when the river gets whipped into a frenzy caused by the positioning of tectonic plates, forming a perfect natural crater to create a turbulent whirlpool that churns like it has a mind of its own. Definitely worth stopping by on your way down the rapids.

Address: 2250 Whirlpool St, Niagara Falls, NY 14305

6: Skylon Tower

Skylon Tower

After seeing Niagara falls from its most intimate locations up-close, head over to the 775 foot tall Skylon Observation Deck. This full-service tower has the best view of the Niagara area, multiple restaurants, and plenty of fun entertainment. Those who have a fear of heights should not be deterred; this sky view does not need to be enjoyed on the edge of the glass; it is quite literally a room with a view.

Address: Prospect St, Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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7: Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls State Park
Wikimedia/Ad Meskens

The Falls provide a flourishing and vibrant life to all of its surroundings. The Niagara Falls State Park is the showcasing of all the nearby plants, animals, and trails to be explored by anyone who is in love with nature. It includes a large section of land found on the mainland, plus the islands on the river itself, providing plenty of places to hike, bike, and learn all about the surrounding wildlife.

Address: 332 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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Also Read: 25 Best State Parks in the US

8: Aquarium of Niagara

Aquarium of Niagara

A great place to take the whole family, the Niagara Falls aquarium brings both local and international wildlife together under one room; everything, from penguins, sharks, pelicans, and giant grouper. Watch live animal shows with sea lions and penguins to bring out the inner-child in everyone.

Address: 701 Whirlpool St, Niagara Falls, NY 14301

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Also Read: 25 Best Aquariums in the U.S.

9: The Castellani Art Museum

The Castellani Art Museum

This museum houses both old and new, contemporary and classic, prominent, and newly discovered talents. It’s a great place to visit for both art enthusiasts and those new to art museums. You get a wide range of styles, mediums, and eras, which allows for a greater appreciation of fine art, as a whole.

Address: 5795 Lewiston Rd, Niagara Univ, NY 14109

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10: Niagara's Wax Museum of History

Niagara's Wax Museum of History
Niagara Wax Museum history

Don’t judge a book by its cover, which should be the motto of this museum. Look beyond the waxy veneer, the often attributed creepiness, and consider a great opportunity to learn history from a more personal perspective. While the wax figures will always look slightly ‘off’ from a typical human point of view, the history that compliments it makes for a vibrant experience.

Address: 303 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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