6 Things to Eat, See & Do in Niagara Falls, Canada

Jessica Peterson

Niagara Falls aerial view, Ontario, Canada

It is both terrifying and hypnotic to behold.

3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. The falls are made more spectacular at sunrise when the golden orb pushes through mile-high mist.

Watch my film, Niagara.

I first visited Niagara Falls in 2009. I was one week married and honeymooning in New York. On a road trip, the Hubs took a detour for a surprise trip to Niagara Falls in Ontario. I was a bit distracted during that whirlwind trip.

This summer, we decided to revisit the falls. This time I would fly my new drone over the falls. (That is, after I crashed it in a tree and a neighbor’s cherry picker was the rescue vessel.)

We arrived in time for Wednesday night fireworks and it was spectacular. The fireworks are launched in front of American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. The falls are illuminated nightly.

There are two sides of Niagara Falls. No, I don’t mean New York and Canada, but the kitschy side (I’m putting it nicely) and the serene side. Standing at the falls is an awe-inspiring experience. Fittingly, the surrounding area is a national park. It’s beautifully manicured and gorgeous when the daffodils are in full bloom. Queen Victoria Park stretches behind Horseshoe Falls (the big one) so it can be admired from the Niagara River.

The alternate side of Niagara Falls is the tacky casinos and American burger joints. Avoid that and head to these awesome spots instead.

Where to Stay

Stay at Sterling Inn and Spa, which is off the main strip, but still close enough to the action. Sterling is clean, modern, and has large rooms. The front desk was friendly and there is (paid) parking on site. The two-person jacuzzi is the perfect solution to a day pounding the pavement.

Sheraton On The Falls Hotel is another excellent choice when staying in the area, as it is closer to the action, since it sits right on the water, and features luxurious rooms, high-end dining options, a shopping concourse, and two swimming pools. What separates this hotel from others is the view, as many of the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that are perfect for gazing at the Falls. Many of the restaurants, both pools, the lounges, and the spa also feature views of the Falls that make the Sheraton unlike any other Niagara Falls hotel.

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Where to Eat

Across the street from the Sterling is a modest restaurant with dynamite Indian food. Shiv Kirti is a casual diner with decent prices. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to Indian food so I always order the paneer tikka masala, but the fish pakora was a tasty surprise for an appetizer.

Niagara Harvest Salad at Queen Victoria Palace Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Dining with a view of Horseshoe Falls is a must, but of course it will cost you. Nevertheless, Queen Victoria Palace Restaurant is worth the splurge, both for the views and the food. We stopped there twice — once for quick drinks before I did a live Facebook broadcast (a drink is always a great idea first!). The second time we perched ourselves on the open-air balcony lined with fresh flowers and I had a divine Niagara harvest salad, chock full of plump berries, pecans, and goat cheese.

Clam Pasta at Carpaccio Italian Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

If you’ve got a car or an Uber driver, head to the chic and delicious Italian restaurant, Carpaccio. Order the linguine alla vongole with succulent clams and tender, roasted tomatoes in olive oil.

What to See

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Once you’ve had your fill of the crowds, take a scenic drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The winding Niagara Parkway is a two-lane highway that weaves through countryside. New England-style architecture and flower-lined streets make up the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Wine shops, restaurants, and shops that most likely accept AARP cards. Baby Boomers stroll the clean, pedestrian friendly streets.

The Main Attraction

Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaSkylon Tower at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaSkylon Tower at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaNiagara Falls at night, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaHorseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, CanadaSkylon Tower at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Watch my Niagara Falls film

Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • Jet Set Brunette

    Niagra Falls looks so incredible, and you did a great job taking some fantastic photos! Crazy that SO much water flows through every second!

    • Thank you. What’s crazier is how many people have tried to go over the falls!

  • Your photos are stunning! Niagara Falls has been in my list for quite a long time now. This is a good guide for when I finally get there. The linguine alla vongole made me hungry for pasta right about now.

  • Khansa Bint AJ

    The Niagara Falls are so overwhelming even in pictures. Am sure being there in real life would have been ever more amazing!

  • Rashmi & Chalukya

    Beholding the majestic Niagara falls, the spectacular fireworks and the colorful lighting is a dream come true. An absolute delight. We hope we make a trip soon to this amazing wonder.

  • Your pictures of the falls are incredible. I haven’t been there in so long, but I absolutely adored Niagra-on-the-lake! It’s such a charming place.

  • Arzo Travels

    The pictures are gorgeous. I visited a few years back and do not have that great shots. Making me wanna go again.

    • Don’t worry, I have plenty of trips to “retake” so I can get better photography.

  • Pack Your Baguios

    Great pictures and video. I haven’t been to Niagara Falls since I was in high school. It’s high time to go back! Pinned this!

  • I was in Niagara Falls for the first (and only!) time about 5 years ago. I loved the falls but no so much the food. I had arguably the worst meal if my life at Appleby’s there. I had no idea what it was before we are there (I’m Aussie), we were hungry, cranky and tired and this was close. It was simply an awful mess of grease. Never again. Will be following your tips if I get back there.

    • Hi Sydney. I don’t eat at Applebee’s. It’s typical American “fast casual” dining and not something I’d ever recommend. Niagara has plenty of that junk, unfortunately, but there are also some great restaurants.

  • Breathtaking!!! Those photos are so stunning! I have always heard of Niagara Falls but never knew they light up like that!

    Nadine Smith | ScenesFromNadine.com

  • Punita Malhotra

    Those light effects are stunning..had never seen pictures of those. Niagara never gets out-of-fashion!

  • WOW! That photo of Niagara falls with the sunset in the background is the BOMB! Just wanted to say! Thanks for sharing all these beautiful images and your suggestions for travelers to the area! Will definitely take yours when I go!

    • Hi Sarj. That’s the sunrise. I struggled with the idea of waking up at 5am to photograph it, but was totally worth it!

  • Lianna

    Such beautiful photos! I’ve really been wanting to go to Niagara Falls, hopefully I’ll get to go soon! I’ll be keeping this post in mind, you provided some great info 🙂

  • Stephanie Frias

    You’re video is breathtaking. Honestly, I feel like I lost everything I wanted to leave in my comment because I am just so blown away by that video. This could be a sales pitch for that drone that you are using because I really just want to go buy one right now! I’ve always wanted to see Niagara Falls but have partially steered away from it because of my hesitation for touristy excursions. I love your tips for seeing Niagara in a different way!

    • Oh wow. What a nice comment, Stephanie. I’m all for visiting touristy destinations and finding some hidden gem, but with Niagara, the falls are heavily visited because they are just gorgeous.

  • Johann Kuruvilla

    Absolutely stunning! Both day and night. Amazing photographs and the video too. The Niagara Falls has always been on my bucket-list and your post just wants me to go there like asap at least before the world ends! 🙂 Great choice with the Paneer Tikka Masala. I’m an Indian.

  • We have been wanting to go to Niagara Falls for ages. Once we get back to Canada it is the first thing on our list. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos, and that video was just the icing on the cake.

  • Marinel de Jesus

    I have been to Niagara. It’s an awesome short getaway. I took photos then and they’re not as captivating as yours. Love the post. Cheers.

  • I loved the pictures and then I get to the movie. Its great and the music gives it such an emotional note. Must get myself a drone 😉 . Niagara its such an amazing place and you make want to go there asap (with a drone ;))

  • What you didn’t go to Madam Tussauds sorry just kidding. I spent many happy times taking our English and Irish family to see the Falls so many times I lost track of them all. My fave time though is in winter when they are frozen over and the lights are spectacular. Love the place.