- Buffalo is an excellent place to stay for a Niagara Falls vacation due to its proximity and many tourist offerings.
- If you plan to take one of the Canadian tours, make sure to bring proof of citizenship and proof of identity for the border crossing.
- The evening tours offer a completely new view of the falls, which are illuminated by colored lights.
Niagara Falls is a popular tourist destination, and it’s easy to see why: the thundering falls are breathtaking. Most visitors take one of the many tours that offer a picturesque view of the falls and recount the history of the area.
Of course, if you’re from out of town, you’ll need to find a place to stay. Fortunately, Buffalo, NY, is incredibly close to Niagara Parks and offers a variety of comforts. Additionally, you can arrange for Buffalo Niagara Falls tours, which include transportation from Buffalo to the falls.
What Niagara Falls Tours Can You Take From Buffalo?
Buffalo is only 30 minutes away from Niagara Falls, and most tours are happy to provide transportation via bus. In fact, many offer to pick you up from your hotel. Once at the falls, you can participate in some of the most popular tours:
- Maid of the Mist
- Journey Behind the Falls
- Cave of the Winds
Before you arrange for a tour, however, it’s important to make one decision: Do you want to be on the American or Canadian side? Both sides offer a variety of activities, tours, and beautiful sights, which means it can be difficult to make a decision. We’ve broken down what each tour has to offer to help out.
Day Tour of Niagara Falls in Ontario
It’s relatively easy to cross the northern border — in fact, thousands of people do it daily. If you’d like to tour the Canadian side of the falls during the day, you’ll need two things: proof of identity and proof of citizenship. According to the U.S. Department of State, any of the following will work:
- NEXUS card
- Passport card
- U.S. passport
Of course, crossing the border is only one part of this four-hour scenic journey. On your way to the falls, you’ll cross the aptly named Rainbow Bridge and travel along the Niagara River. The first stop is the Horseshoe Falls and Table Rock Center, where you’ll be able to take pictures and learn about the falls. From there, your Buffalo Niagara Falls tour guide will take you to several other stunning locations:
- Niagara Glen
- Niagara Whirlpool
- Floral Clock
- Botanical Gardens
Additionally, you’ll have the chance to take the Horn Blower Niagara Boat Cruise, which brings you incredibly close to Horseshoe Falls.
Day Tour of Niagara Falls in New York
Individuals who plan to stay on the American side don’t have to worry about travel paperwork — just bring what you would normally carry on vacation. Like the Ontario tours, the New York option takes about four hours and largely follows the same itinerary.
Once you’ve boarded your designated tour bus, you’ll make a stop at the Whirlpool State Park to see the famous Niagara Whirlpool. You’ll then have a chance to stop at Prospect Point, which provides a scenic view of Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and American Falls. From there, you can take part in a variety of boat or hiking tours, including Maid of the Mist.
In addition to the falls, you can explore the following:
- Aquarium of Niagara
- Luna Island
- Terrapin Point on Goat Island
- Crow’s Nest
Falls Illumination Evening Tour in Ontario
Visiting Niagara Falls during the day is a great way to spend your vacation, but going in the evening is a completely different experience. The water is illuminated, creating a massive rainbow. Like the daytime option, this tour takes around four hours, so make sure you’re rested. Generally, the tour begins at 5 p.m., but that can vary depending on when sundown occurs. Unfortunately, this tour is only available from May to October, so plan accordingly.
The evening tour hits most of the sites covered in the daytime option, so there’s no risk of missing out if you only go on one. We recommend visiting Skylon Tower if you take an Illumination Evening Tour, as it will give you a bird’s eye view of the falls glowing with color.
Niagara Falls Evening Tours in New York
The final option is to take the evening tour on the American side of Niagara Parks. Again, this tour follows the same path as the daytime version, allowing you to experience every aspect of the falls. This includes a ride on the Maid of the Mist, which gives you a chance to experience the illuminated falls up close and personal.
The final stop is Prospect Point Observation Tower, which provides a scenic view of Niagara Falls from the American side. It’s the perfect place to take pictures or video.
Why Stay in Buffalo for Your Niagara Falls Vacation?
It’s possible to fly into Ontario and stay in a hotel there, so why should you choose Buffalo instead? First and foremost, it’s less expensive to stay in Buffalo, which has a very reasonable cost of living. In fact, many Canadians cross the border just to shop and take advantage of American prices.
Additionally, Buffalo caters to tourists with a variety of comfortable hotels and amazing restaurants. If you head downtown, you can eat practically any type of cuisine, from Southern comfort food to Italian pasta to Vietnamese sandwiches. There are also several well-known taverns, pubs, and breweries, including a few historic establishments that are local favorites.
Finally, there’s so much to do in Buffalo that you’ll want to take a whole week to explore the city. You can attend concerts, see the famed architecture, visit art galleries, go kayaking on the Waterfront, stroll through the gorgeous public gardens, and more.
If you’re making plans to take one of the Buffalo Niagara Falls tours, Ellicott Development invites you to stay at one of our hotels. We own and manage a variety of hotel locations, all of which deliver the very best service. To see our available rooms, give us a call at 716-854-0060 or visit us online.