Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in America. It is the only place in the US or Canada where you can get up-close access to all 3 waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls: the American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil Falls. Many of The Falls’ top attractions in the USA are within the park.
Here are 10 top things to do in the park, followed by 10 more ideas, making it an even 20!
Top 10 Things to do in Niagara Falls State Park
- See all 3 Falls from Prospect Point. This is a perfect spot for your first breathtaking view of Niagara Falls, USA. See the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and a portion of the Horseshoe Falls from here.
- Take in the view from the Observation Deck. It’s worth a ticket to go out to the observation deck for a full view of all 3 Falls. This is a must if you aren’t going to also see The Falls from the Canadian side. The ticket booth closes in the late afternoon or early evening, so cross this off your list during the day.
- Look down from Terrapin Point. Goat Island’s best vantage point for the Horseshoe Falls is Terrapin Point.
- Ride the Maid of the Mist. This iconic boat ride runs Spring through Fall. There’s no better way to really get a perspective for how massive The Falls are, than looking up at them from the middle of the Niagara River.
- Descend the Cave of the Winds. Take the elevator to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls and walk the boardwalk as the spray of the Falls hits you.
- See The Falls illuminated at night. The colored lights create a view not to be missed.
- Watch fireworks over The Falls. A brief fireworks display at 10 PM on summer nights is a must. For more information on schedules, click here.
- Visit the Aquarium of Niagara Falls. Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Penguins and Jellyfish are among the creatures you’ll meet up close at the Aquarium.
- Explore the islands: Goat, Luna and Three Sisters. Walk around the park grounds on the Islands for up close views of the Niagara River right up to the brink.
- Tour the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. Learn about the geology and nature you’re seeing in the park.
Ten More Things to do in the Park
- Walk or hike into the Gorge. From the Discovery Center, find one of the trailheads to walk down the Gorge.
- Go to the park Visitor Center and watch the movie in the Adventure Theater. It’s only 30 minutes long. The visitor center in the State Park also has great information.
- Have lunch on Goat Island. Either bring a picnic basket, or order at the Top of the Falls restaurant.
- Look for the barge. There’s one that got stuck in the rapids just above The Falls.
- Watch the rapids. Before the water drops, it’s also impressive to watch the rapids churn.
- Take the trolley. Cut down on your walking and ride the Trolley through Niagara Falls State Park. You’ll learn a lot from your guide during the trip.
- Check out the old power station. It’s just outside the Discovery Center, where you can learn more about it.
- Learn about the history of The Falls. Films at some of the park attractions and signs and statues throughout the park will teach you a lot about what happened here and how it changed the world.
- Post a selfie. Tag us in your photo, @NFNYlocal and we just might repost it!
- See The Falls again at a different time of day or in a different season. Winter is just as amazing as summer and is a very different experience.
About Niagara Falls State Park
The oldest State Park in America was established in 1885. It spans over 400 acres, 140 of them covered by water. For more information on the park, visit their website here.
Local’s Tips: Purchase a Discovery Ticket Package if you want to do all the major events. Then park your car and ride the Trolley for the day. You’re going to get wet on the Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds, so take a good selfie in front of The Falls before you visit those attractions.