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Things to Do in Niagara Falls After You See the Falls

Jun 22, 2018

Hikers looking at map

For decades, families and honeymooners have traveled to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York, to see the region's signature attraction: three picturesque waterfalls cascading into the Niagara River. But once the photo ops are done, how do you spend the rest of your trip? We've rounded up a list of things to do in Niagara Falls on both sides of the border so you can spend your days exploring Ontario, New York, or a mix of the two. Just don't forget your passport!

Tour Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries

Grapes on the vine at a winery

The region's climate and rich soil have created a booming Niagara Falls winery business on both sides of the border, but especially in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. More than 20 wineries occupy this small town (pop. 17,000), which is located about a 30-minute drive north of the Falls. Each January the region hosts the Icewine Festival, a celebration of a special type of dessert wine made with grapes that were frozen on the vine.

Best time to go: Before the fall harvest, so you can see the grape bunches on the vines

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Take the Kids to an Arcade

Kids playing Skee-Ball

Although casinos started popping up near Niagara Falls in the mid-90s, it remains a largely kid-friendly area. Tourists on family vacations flock to arcades featuring video games, laser tag, mini golf, and other attractions. Many local hotels even offer packages that include tokens at nearby family fun centers.

Best time to go: Year round

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Hike the Niagara Gorge Trail System

If you can't imagine going to Niagara Falls and not seeing rushing water, a hike along the Niagara Gorge trail system may be the answer. It comprises more than 15 miles of trails between Niagara Falls and Lewiston, New York. Keep an eye out for peregrine falcons, chickadees, and other birds as you make your way through the woods.

Best time to go: Summer, when you can enjoy guided hikes from the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center

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See the Falls Again—From the Sky

Helicopter over Niagara Falls

Say you've already seen the Falls from the many ground-level viewing spots in Niagara Falls State Park. Maybe you've even taken the Maid of the Mist boat tour to their base. There's still one perspective missing: a bird's-eye view. There's no shortage of services willing to take you soaring above those rushing waters in a helicopter or airplane—you can find tours that leave from the Canadian side, the American side, or a bit further south in Buffalo.

Best time to go: Tours are available year round, but you'll have an easier time booking outside the peak tourist season of June to August

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Visit a Museum or Zoo

Man feeding giraffes

Lots of the most popular Niagara Falls activities take place outdoors, so it's good to have a few indoor ideas in case of a rainy day. The region is home to history museums, a giant indoor aviary, and even an unclassifiable collection of oddball artifacts (that would be at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum).

Best time to go: It depends; while museums are an ideal winter activity, zoos may be closed at that time. Safari Niagara, for example, is only open from mid-May to mid-October.

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Go Biking in Niagara Parks

Bike along the Niagara River Recreation Trail, a paved path that winds along the waterfront for a whopping 33 miles. Each of the trail's four routes takes about one to two hours to complete; make it a day trip by connecting to a longer trail system, such as the 87-mile-long Greater Niagara Circle Route. You'll find plenty of bike racks in and around Niagara Parks, making it easy to take a break and stop at restaurants, stores, and other Niagara Falls attractions.

Best time to go: Summer and fall

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This article was originally written by Rashawn Mitchner; it has since been updated by our editors.