Niagara Falls: Which Side is Better?
Because a waterfall such as Niagara Falls
spans two different countries it's natural to ask which side is better. In this case, is the American side
or Canadian side
You've probably heard that the Canadian side is better, and quite frankly, it is in terms of the photographic possibilities. But before you go off spending most of your time on the Canadian side, there are things you should know about the American side that might help you get the most out your experience here.
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The American side (New York, USA) was where we were able to get up close to all three components of Niagara Falls - Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and American Falls. This meant that unless you're going on a paid excursion
(not counting admission and parking fees), you're pretty much going to see the falls only from the top down or in profile. So in that sense, it could be underwhelming if you're not shelling out additional money to go on those excursions.
Naturally, we did go on some of those paid excursion so we were able to experience the falls from their base. Below are some photos of what you can expect to see and experience on the American side without going a paid excursion (click here
to see photos from the paid excursions)...
The overlook at Terrapin Point
The American side's view of Horseshoe Falls
View towards the Rainbow Bridge and American Falls
Looking along the brink of the American Falls
Another precipitous view over American Falls
Looking down at the catwalks of the Cave of the Winds
The edge of American Falls
Looking past American Falls towards Horseshoe Falls and the Canadian side
Looking over the brink of Bridal Veil Falls
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The Canadian side is where you get gorgeous panoamas of both the American Falls and the mighty Horseshoe Falls. While you can't get right up to the American and Bridal Veil Falls, you can get right up to the brink of Horseshoe Falls. This is the one side where you can get satisfying panoramas of both the American and Horseshoe Falls. Below are some of the photos we took from the Canada side (excluding paid excursions)...
A boat about to enter the Horseshoe Falls torrent
Right at the brink of Horseshoe Falls
Full rainbow over the Maid of the Mist
Looking downstream along the Niagara River
A commanding view of Horseshoe Falls surrounding the Maid of the Mist Boat
Looking across the river towards American Falls
A Canadian side view of all components of the Niagara Falls
View from further downstream on the Canadian side
Lots of people checking out the falls
Looking down at the lower viewing deck of Journey Behind the Falls
Looking right at Bridal Veil Falls dwarfing people on the Cave of the Winds Tour
Exclusive to the Canadian side is the ability to stay in a hotel with a commanding view of Niagara Falls. See the photos below for a taste of what you can see from the comfort of your room...
Contextual view of Niagara Falls from our room
Looking right down at Horseshoe Falls and tiny people besides it
Another look at the brink of Horseshoe Falls
Looking down at the American Falls from the hotel room
Also best seen from the Canadian side is the Niagara Falls floodlit at night. This usually occurs from the onset of darkness until midnight. They tend to change colors seemingly in random order so you can easily be mesmerized staring at what combination of colors are going to be next. See below for photos that we took of what this looks like...
Context of the lit up Horseshoe Falls
Floodlit American Falls
Floodlit Horseshoe Falls
Another look at the lit up American Falls
Looking back at Horseshoe Falls and the high rises
Floodlit Niagara Falls from the hotel room
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In our opinion, the Canadian side is better in terms of what you could do without paying extra for the excursions. However, I'd argue that it's an incomplete experience if you exclusively visit only one side. That's because in general, Canada has the panoramic views while America gets you up close and personal with the waterfalls (including American and Bridal Veil Falls). And both sides gets you up close to the Horseshoe Falls.
Besides, it's pretty convenient and straight forward to see both sides. So why not check them out? What do you have to lose?
With all the textual and visual information provided here, we hope you can decide for yourself how to plan your trip (regardless of which side you might think is better).
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