Niagara Falls which comprise three waterfalls – Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Side) are some of the biggest and most impressive in the world. Little wonder, they welcome over 12 million visitors every year from all over the world. On the American side of Niagara Falls, there are plenty of interesting must-do activities for visitors in addition to seeing the breathtaking Falls.
No matter when you visit, there are lots of things to see and explore, ranging from history, culture, outdoor games, hiking and biking adventures, outdoor concerts to shopping and festivals. So, let us see some of the interesting must-do activities at Niagara Falls USA side:
What to Do at Niagara Falls USA Side – Interesting Must-Do Activities
- Maid of the Mist Boat Tours
- Cave of the Winds
- Niagara Old Fort
- Acquarium of Niagara
- Niagara Falls State Park
Maid of the Mist Boat Tours
One of the most memorable ways to experience Niagara Falls, USA side, is to hop on a Maid of the Mist boat. Maid of the Mist boats shuttles visitors to and from the base of the American Falls. Get ready to be drenched as the Maid of the Mist boat will practically dunk you under the Falls. You don’t have to worry. You will be provided with a souvenir poncho, rain gear, and waterproof shoes.
Visitors are not only amazed at the incredible views they get on the boat tour but also pleased with the modest ticket price and the tour length (30 minutes). In a bid to beat the crowds, it’s best to get to the place very early in the morning.
Hours of Operation:
- The tours start around 9 am and leaves the base every fifteen minutes
- Tickets cost $18.25 for adults and $10.65 for kids between 6 to 12 ages.
Cave of the Winds
Exploring the Cave of the Winds is one of the interesting must-do activities on the USA side of Niagara Falls. You will get on an elevator going 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge and walk through a series of wooden walkways bringing you to the feet of the Bridal Veil Falls. It’s called “Hurricane Deck”.
Recent travelers don’t mind the saturation. But rather, they are excited at how close they could get to the falls and directly feel and experience the mighty rush of the water. The attraction spot opens throughout the year. However, the walkways can only be accessed between April and October. During every winter, the decks and walkways are removed to be protected from ice buildup.
- From May to September, tickets for Cave of the Winds cost $14 for kids (age 6-12) and $17 for adults. If you visit the attraction in the winter, you can still access some sections of the park including the elevator going down to the gorge. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for children.
Hours of Operation:
It opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Niagara Old Fort
If you love in-depth history, you will have a great time at Old Fort located on the USA side of Niagara Falls. This site has witnessed action during many wars, including the French and Indian Wars as well as the American Revolution. Today, the fort has become one of the most scenic spots in western New York, overlooking the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.
On this historic spot, you will get to see and explore old army barracks, underground gunpowder rooms, and ancient cannons. The sights of well-preserved buildings, clean grounds, and other interesting demonstrations and exhibits will make your day.
If you don’t have a car, you can opt for the free Discover Niagara Shuttle to get to the fort in the summer.
Hours of operation:
The fort opens daily from 9 a.m. to 5 or 7 p.m. depending on the season.
Tickets cost $8 for kids and $12 for adults
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Aquarium of Niagara
The aquarium of Niagara is a great place for families. Here, your family will get to see over 200 species of aquatic animals and over 30 educational exhibits. Aquarium presentations include penguin feeding, harbor seal presentations, and a sea lion show. You can take the fun to a whole new level by having a behind-the-scenes look at the training, social lives, and care of Humboldt penguins and seals.
The aquarium also serves as an animal rescue center for injured wildlife. Exploring this aquarium is one of the interesting must-do activities for visitors on the US side of Niagara Falls. Their daily schedules include Penguin Feeding (10:00 pm), Sea Lion Show (11:00 am), Rescue Harbor Seal Presentation (noon), Meet the Expert at the Discovery Cart (12:30 pm), Sea Lion Show (1:00 am), Rescue Harbor Seal Presentation (1:00 pm) and Penguin Feeding 2:30 PM
- Senior (Ages 60 and over): $17.95
- Child (Ages 3-12): $14.95
- Adult: $19.95
- Infant (Ages 2 and under): Free
Hours of Operation
- 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (daily)
Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest park in New York. The Park sits on 400 acres that boast picnic facilities, hiking and biking trails, and scenic photo-ops. From gift shops, amazing dining options, historical exhibits, multiple Restaurants, museums to Adventure Theater, the Park has so much to offer you in addition to watching Niagara Falls.
At the park, you will enjoy a 40-minute “4-D” presentation that combines film and sensory effects like spray from falls to entertain visitors. You can also take a hike into the Niagara Gorge or explore the ravages of the Schoelkopf Power Plant.
Hours of operation:
The park opens 24 hours every day. Niagara Falls State Park. However, the schedules of park attractions vary depending on the season.
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