Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic and often-visited tourist spots in the world. Made up of three waterfalls that straddle the border between the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls consists of Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
The view isn’t the only thing that’s breathtaking about Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, and the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. Over six million cubic feet of water flows over the falls every minute. And that water doesn’t go to waste — Niagara Falls provides 4.4 gigawatts of hydroelectric power on the American side, providing electricity to over 160,000 homes.
With such unparalleled natural beauty and raw majesty on display, it’s no wonder Niagara Falls has been a magnet for tourists, explorers, and thrill-seekers since before the turn of the century. Daredevils have been going over the falls (often in barrels) since as far back as 1829, and as recently as 2012.
Others have walked across the gorge on wires or tightropes, though that tradition was outlawed in 1896, and only recently found exception in 2012 when Nik Wallenda received special permission to walk across the gorge on a tightrope. A law-abiding citizen in every respect, Wallenda carried his passport and presented it when he arrived on the Canadian side of the gorge.
Most of us, however, will probably settle for seeing the glory of Niagara Falls from behind a safety rail. But what are the best ways to see Niagara Falls? Definitely not on a tight rope! Metropolitan Shuttle is here with a definitive guide on how to visit and take a charter bus to Niagara Falls.
Maid of the Mist
One of the most iconic and recognizable means of seeing Niagara Falls is the historic boat tour known as the Maid of the Mist. On this ride, you’ll get up close and personal with Niagara. You’ll start off sailing past the American and Bridal Veil falls, then venture into the thundering mists of Horseshoe Falls, getting wet in the process. The tour provides waterproof ponchos, and you’ll need them. The Maid of the Mist tour is a great destination for corporate retreats or family reunions, and has been taken by public figures from Marilyn Monroe to President Jimmy Carter and has been featured in movies like Superman II.
The Rainbow Bridge (aka the Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge) spans Niagara Gorge, connecting New York and Ontario. The state built the bridge to replace the Honeymoon Bridge, which collapsed in 1938 due to ice in the Niagara River. There’s a small toll to get across the bridge, which allows both foot and vehicle traffic, and, like Nik Wallenda, you’ll need your passport to cross over to the Canadian side of the gorge. But you can literally straddle the border between two nations and get an amazing view of the falls while you do it.
Journey Behind the Falls
Formerly known as Scenic Tunnels, the Journey Behind the Falls is a series of tunnels and observation platforms near the bottom of Horseshoe Falls. The tunnels are accessible by elevator, and visitors are free to take an unguided tour of the observation decks.
Guests are given plastic raincoats so they can get a unique perspective of the waterfall from behind. The views are amazing, but since this attraction is on the Ontario side of the border, you’ll need your passport if you want to see it. While you’re on the Canadian side, consider the Whirlpool Aero Car for a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
The Niagara Gorge Trail
If you’re more of a hiking type, you can’t get a much more spectacular view than the Niagara Gorge Trail, which offers fresh perspective on this national landmark. On these easygoing two- or three-mile hikes, you’ll discover views of abandoned power plants, the Devil’s Hole and Whirlpool rapids, and more. If you want to get the most out of the experience, you can stop by the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, which offers interactive exhibits and information on the local geology, natural history, and the aforementioned hydroelectric power stations. Both the Discovery Trail and the Discovery Center are perfect for a student outing or field trip, just a school bus ride away.
If you’re looking for a great way to spend your family reunion or big get-together with friends, consider Goat Island. The island is an addition to Niagara Reservation State Park, located on the Niagara River. It’s situated right between Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls and offers some of the most breathtaking views available. It’s connected to the American side by two bridges that allow foot, car, bus, and train traffic. You can also get there from the smaller Luna Island by a pedestrian bridge. The best views are from Terrapin Point, on the northwestern corner of the island which overlooks the gorge. While you’re there, check out the Nikola Tesla Memorial, the Cave of the Winds Complex, have a meal in the Top of the Falls Restaurant, or relax in the picnic area.
So what’s the best way for you and your friends and family to get to Niagara Falls? With a party bus or limo bus from Metropolitan Shuttle! We’re a reservation service for charter buses, and we’ll find you vehicles from the best charter bus companies in New York City and Rochester, only hours from Niagara Falls. If you’re coming from Toronto or Buffalo, NY, you’re already super close to take a short trip on a charter bus to Niagara Falls.
Ready to see one of America’s most majestic national treasures? Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or contact us today for pricing on your next party bus to Niagara Falls.