On my first visit to Niagara Falls, I didn’t take advantage of any of the best Niagara Falls tours from New York. Instead, I did it the wrong way. I showed up with no plan and no idea of what I would be missing by doing so.
Niagara Falls is absolutely incredible—a sight you can’t really appreciate in pictures but must see (and hear) up close for yourself. I never got as close to the Falls as I would have liked and I didn’t get to learn anything about them either.
For those reasons, I bring you a list of the best Niagara Falls tours from New York so you can have the ideal Niagara Falls experience that I missed.
Visiting Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a unique attraction in that you can visit from both Canada and the United States, seeing different things from each side. If you plan on checking out both, remember you must have your passport to cross the border and back. (I didn’t have my passport with me on my visit so I was restricted to the New York side of things.)
This post is going to specifically focus on the best Niagara Falls tours from New York only. If you’re a U.S. resident planning to take these tours, you do not need a passport. But, I can’t stress enough you should take one anyway in case the day takes you across the border as there’s a lot of cool stuff to see over there too.
Why take a tour of Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is massive. Like, way bigger and more terrifyingly powerful than you could ever gauge from just looking at pictures. Niagara Falls is also America’s oldest state park (established in 1885) with an interesting history all its own.
I recommend taking a tour of Niagara Falls to:
- Get up close views of the Falls like none other
- Check out some of the lesser-known parts of the Falls—not just the most famous and most recognizable areas
- Really get a sense of the power of the Falls (the sound will astound!)
- Learn about the history of the Falls and the surrounding areas from expert guides
- See the highlights if you’re short on time
If you’ll be visiting Toronto before or after your visit to Niagara Falls, be sure to pick up a Toronto CityPASS to save a bunch of money on the city’s popular sights (including a trip up the CN Tower).
Where to stay at Niagara Falls (on the U.S. side)
To get a good sense of what Niagara Falls is all about, you really need to stay overnight and give this natural wonder its due. Here are some great places to stay in Niagara Falls (New York).
Hyatt Place Niagara Falls
This 3-star hotel is a favorite among visitors in large part because of its ideal location. From the Hyatt Place Niagara Falls it’s just a 3-minute walk to Niagara Falls State Park, 7 minutes to the famous Rainbow Bridge (you can walk to Canada!), and half an hour to Horseshoe Falls—the most famous section of Niagara Falls.
They offer free WiFi, it’s pet-friendly, and reviewers love the staff and ease of check-in.
Book your stay: Hyatt Place Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls area has its fair share of hotel chains, but I love the Giacomo and its grand art deco feel. This downtown Niagara Falls hotel is just a 10-minute walk to Niagara Falls State Park and many of the sights.
Reviewers love the beauty and cleanliness of this hotel along with the helpfulness of the staff. They also claim the Giacomo has the best view and location on the New York side of the Falls.
Book your stay: The Giacomo
The Red Coach Inn
For something a little different, check out the Red Coach Inn. It has a “Superb” rating by reviewers and has such a cozy vibe you’ll feel right at home.
Like the two above, the Red Coach Inn is within walking distance of many of Niagara Falls’ most popular sites: 1 minute to Niagara Falls State Park, 9 minutes to the Rainbow Bridge, and 35 minutes to Horseshoe Falls.
They offer a free cooked-to-order breakfast, free parking, and free WiFi. Reviewers also note that it’s safe, quiet, and convenient.
Book your stay: Red Coach Inn
7 of the Best Niagara Falls Tours From New York
Let's get to it! For when you want to get the most out of your visit to the incredible Niagara Falls, here are some of the best Niagara Falls tours (from New York ) according to reviewers.
Niagara Falls American Side Highlights Tour
This highlights tour has nothing but 5-star reviews (over 500 of them)! It lasts between 4-5 hours so you know you’re seeing all the best spots in one go.
This guided tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, your own knowledgeable tour guide, a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist, and entrance to more of the most popular and interesting spots.
You’ll see to see the most beautiful spots of the Falls like Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Goat Island, and more. This is as close as you can get to the Falls!
Niagara Falls Winter Wonderland USA Tour
Another awesome tour with all 5-star reviews is this Winter Wonderland tour of Niagara Falls. One of my bucket list items is to see Niagara Falls in the winter when the falls freeze into beautiful ice formations.
This 3 to 4-hour tour includes stops at five of the most popular Niagara Falls viewing spots including the Niagara Falls Observation Tower for amazing aerial views of this natural wonder.
A Walk in the Park tour of Niagara Falls, USA
If you have only a limited amount of time to check out Niagara Falls, this tour provides a great way to experience what you can in Niagara Falls State Park.
This fully guided walking tour last about an hour and a half and makes four fabulous stops for great views of the Falls and to learn some cool history.
Niagara Falls American-Side Tour with Maid of the Mist Boat Ride
The Maid of the Mist is absolutely iconic and is definitely one of the best Niagara Falls tours from New York you shouldn’t miss.
This highly-rated 4.5-hour tour takes you as close to the Falls as you can get, short of going over in your own barrel (kinda frowned upon nowadays methinks). You’ll get to see all the top spots, visit the Observation Tower, explore the caves, and more.
This half-day tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off as well as the opportunity to skip the line at two of Niagara Falls most popular locations.
Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour
This 3-hour tour takes visitors on a historical journey through the Underground Railroad network in the Niagara Falls area. Led by expert guides, you’ll learn all about the stories and key areas where 19th-century slaves were led to freedom in Canada.
Reviewers love the professional, knowledgeable guide (Kevin) and learning how the Falls themselves played a part in this history.
Niagara Falls Open Jet Boat Tour from US Side
Maybe you’re tired of learning and just want to play? This 45-minute tour is perfect for adventure-seekers! Hop aboard a jet boat and speed down the whitewater rapids of the Niagara River—including 360° spins and a wee bit of sightseeing thrown in.
You’ll get unique views of the Falls and an entertaining guide throughout the whole thing. This tour adds some adventure to all the beauty. The reviewers have nothing but great things to say!
Lewiston New York Food Tour
Is there a chance you’re sick of looking at water yet? Well, just in case that’s so, check out this Lewiston, NY food tour.
For something a little less nature-y and a little more tasty, this Lewiston, NY food tour takes place just a short drive from the Falls in an adorable upstate New York village. This small-group walking tour will allow you to sample food and drinks from delicious local eateries with a local guide.
Heading to Niagara Falls? Find the perfect hotel room here!
Check out the best rental car deals here.
Heading to NYC? The New York CityPASS saves you 40% on the city’s top attractions.
Love guidebooks? Check out this Niagara Falls guidebook.
What else have I covered in the area? Check out these posts.
Like this post? Have questions? Hit me up on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Save this info, pin this image: