If you're visiting New York for a few days, then you might want to add a day trip to the famous Niagara Falls to your travel itinerary. Situated 400 miles from New York City, the drive to Niagara Falls is 6-7 hours long, lending itself as a beautiful day trip destination from the Big Apple. If you have plans of visiting Niagara Falls from New York City, then a planned day tour is the perfect way for you to experience this wonder of the natural world. In this guide, we will look at all there is to know about before going on a New York to Niagara Fall day trip.
Why Visit Niagara Falls?
The Niagara Falls are a sight to behold. A collective name for three neighboring waterfalls, the cascading water of the Niagara falls over 160 feet at the head of the Niagara Gorge and straddles the US-Canada Border. Over six million cubic feet of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute, making it the most powerful waterfall in all of North America.
The three waterfalls that make up Niagara, from the smallest to the biggest, are the Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. The largest of the three, Horsehoe Falls lie on the US-Canadian Border while the other two falls are entirely within the United States. The Horseshoe Falls drop about 188 feet (57 m) while the American Falls' drop lies between 70 and 100 feet (21 and 30 m).
There are many vantage points on both sides of the border allowing you to catch some spectacular vistas of the waterfalls. The width of the falls span the entire panorama and offers a breathtaking sight unlike any other. The water appears a startling green as it falls over the crest and is a testament to the erosive power of the falls, itself a factor of the speed the water is flowing at.
The Best New York To Niagara Falls Day Trips
Niagara Falls in one day from NYC
Escape the fast-pace of New York and enjoy a trip to one of the most impressive natural wonders in the world, the Niagara Falls.
- Enjoy panoramic views of the Niagara Falls as you stand on the border between the USA and Canada
- Learn all about the history of the region with the help of your expert bilingual guide (English/Spanish)
- Stroll through the magnificent Niagara Falls State Park and relax in the vibrancy of nature
- Experience no-fuss round trip transfers from New York City on a fully-fitted motor coach
Best of Niagara Falls - USA
Enjoy a Niagara Falls experience from the American side of the border! Sail on the iconic Maid of the Mist boat, visit the thrilling Cave of the Winds, explore Goat Island drop by the Whirlpool State Park.
- Enjoy unobstructed views of the wild cascades of Niagara Falls from the Prospect Point Observation Tower
- Step aboard the famous Maid of the Mist and experience the power of the Niagara Falls
- Descend 175ft. into the Niagara Gorge, and onto the “hurricane deck” at Cave of the Winds
- Your ticket includes round-trip hotel transfers and the company of an expert guide
Maid of the Mist Boat Ride from NYC
Experience one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders onboard the USA’s favorite boat ride: the Maid of the Mist.
- Hop onboard a spacious, open-air boat that allows for breathtaking views of your surroundings
- Delight in an all-inclusive sensory experience at the Falls on this 20-min boat ride
- Feel the excitement as you ride directly into the swirling mist of the mighty Niagara Falls
- Enjoy free Wi-Fi onboard and upload your Instagram-worthy shots of the Niagara Falls immediately
Two day Combo: Niagara Falls + Washington Tour
Visit several important structures in Washington D.C and Philadelphia, along with the ever-mighty Niagara Falls for an unmatched tour!
- Explore some of the can't-miss sites in the United States of America, all within 2 days
- Start your tour on a high note by visiting the ever-gleaming Niagara Falls- a landmark soaked in history and charm
- Day 2 is a spirited walking tour of popular landmarks in Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
- Enjoy the company of a tour guide throughout and round-trip transfers on comfortable coaches on both days
Top Things To Do At Niagara Falls
Hold onto your seats as you go on a historic journey of the Niagara Falls on the big screen. This 30-minute movie presentation will tell you some incredible stories and share the history of the falls. You will witness the Niagara Falls with a new perspective, going over the crest with daredevils from history. The show plays at the 314-seater air-conditioned Niagara Adventure Theater auditorium. The show screens every 45 minutes and the theater is located at the Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center.
Another extremely popular attraction at the Niagara Falls is the Aquarium of Niagara. Featuring over 1,500 aquatic animals from 200 animal species, including the new Penguin Coast exhibit, the Aquarium is a lovely feature to visit for people of all ages coming to view the falls. You also get to witness daily penguin, shark and tidal pool feedings. Highlights of the Aquarium include California sea lions, Peruvian penguins, sturgeon and more.
Cave of the Winds
Get closer to the Niagara Falls than you would have ever imagined at the awe-inspiring foot of the Bridal falls. Put on your souvenir sandals and poncho and descend 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge. You will then walk along a wooden deck until you reach the unbelievable “Hurricane Deck”. Here, you will be within an arm's reach of the Bridal Veil Falls. Let the Veil's mist wash you up as you take in the absolute awe-inspiring sight that you're presented with.
The view from Niagara Falls USA Prospect Point Observation Tower is simply unmatchable - the rampaging descent of all three individual falls and the rushing white water below while the mist fills the gorge up. You can take the elevator of the Observation Tower to head to the floor of the gorge. From here, you can either board the Maid of the Mist cruise or walk up a flight of stairs of the side of the cliff to view the falls from the Crow's Nest.
Maid of the Mist
Ready for the ultimate Niagara experience? Nothing allows you to "feel the roar" as much as a mist-soaked cruise aboard the Maid of the Mist. Taking tourists to the feet of the falls for over 150 years, the Maid of the Mist cruise begins at the base of the Observation Tower, goes past the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls to the basin of the Horseshoe Falls. You are bound to return with a new found appreciation for the Niagara Falls.
The illumination of the Niagara Falls at night - a symphony of of multi-colored light on the dancing curtain of water makes the sight breathtaking beyond par. The Niagara Falls is illuminated on holidays & special occasions from hundreds of LED lights laced throughout the gorge.
Top of The Falls
Located on Goat Island between the Horseshoe and Bridal Veil falls, Top of the Falls is the only restaurant in the Niagara State Park that gives every patron a breathtaking view of the falls while they enjoy delicious American and classic dishes.
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Visiting Niagara Falls - Practical Information
Niagara Falls State Park 24x7 throughout the year.
The journey from New York City to Niagara Falls is 400 miles long. If you're driving from NYC, then the drive will take 6.5-7 hours. You can either take I-80 W or go via I-81 N & I-90 W.
A train ride from NYC on the Amtrak takes about 9.5 hours.
The closes city to Niagara Falls is Buffalo, NY and is located 23 miles away. The flight takes under an hour, but including check-in and boarding, it should take 3-4 hours each way. It still remains the fastest way to get o Niagara Falls from New York City.
Another convenient option of commuting to Niagara Falls from New York is by opting for tours that include return transfers. With Headout tours, your commute is made considerably easier as you will be picked up and dropped off at your hotel in a comfortable coach. With return transfers, you don't have to worry about planning the commute from scratch.
Getting Around in the Park
Enjoy the ease and convenience of a hop-on/hop-off shuttle that will take you to 15 exclusive sites along the 14-mile route from the "Falls to the Fort." Stops include Niagara USA Visitor Center, Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara View Points, Castellani Art Museum and the Old Niagara Fort among others.
Recommended Niagara Falls Tours
Niagara Falls Reviews
Everyone should visit this miracle of nature at least on time in their life. The feeling can hardly be describerd with words. DEFINITELY take the boat and get wet!
We have been at Niagra falls several times over the years and always love to go back. It is beautiful and has a nice vacation feel to it. Highly recommend it.
Tips For Visiting Niagara Falls
- Your clothes are likely to get wet at the Niagara Falls. Shorts and quick dry trousers are much better than jeans. At the same time, sandals are better than wearing shoes and socks.
- Choose the right time to visit. During the summers, the falls have a heavy flow and the park gets crowded.
- During winters, the falls freeze and present an outworldly site. The crowds are much lesser as well. However, getting drenched in the mist is how you actually visit the Niagara Falls.
- Unless you have your own car, traveling from New York to Niagara by public transport is quite the hassle. The public transport within Niagara is practically non-existent; hence getting from one place to the other via local taxis can cost you a lot. We recommended taking an organized tour from New York to Niagara for the optimal experience.
- Outside the Niagara Falls entrance, there is a mall complex with multiple food kiosks and souvenir. You have cuisine options from Indian to Chinese and Arabic.
New York to Niagara Falls Day Trip FAQs
Are there 1 day tours to the Niagara Falls from NYC and back?
Yes, there are multiple day tours to Niagara Falls from New York City. You will travel to the falls in a comfortable coach, spend some quality time at the Niagara Falls and then head back to NYC in the evening.
Are there doorstep-pickup tours to the Niagara Falls?
While there aren’t any doorstep-pickup tours, you can board the buses at various conveniently located points across the city, including Times Square and the city center.
How far is Niagara Falls from NYC?
The journey from New York City to Niagara Falls is 400 miles long. If you're driving from NYC, then the drive will take 6.5-7 hours.
Can I use public transport to travel to Niagara Falls?
Unless you have your own car, traveling from New York to Niagara by public transport is quite the hassle. The public transport within Niagara is practically non-existent; hence getting from one place to the other via local taxis can cost you a lot. We recommended taking an organized tour from New York to Niagara for the optimal experience.
Are there trips to Niagara Falls for more than a day?
Headout offers exciting tours to Niagara Falls that stay overnight at the falls. You also get to visit other top attractions in the region like the Corning Glass Museum or cruise on the Niagara Jetboat!
Is the Maid of the Mist cruise included in day tour packages from NYC?
You can experience the Maid of the Mist boat ride during the months of May-October. The cruise is also dependent on the weather conditions.
How much time will I spend at the Niagara Falls?
Our day tour lasts for a total of 19 hours, inclusive of travel to and from Niagara Falls.