Niagara Falls Introduction Walking Tour, Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, Ontario, is a Canadian twin of the U.S. city by the same name, located in Niagara County, New York, just across the Niagara River spanned by the Rainbow Bridge. The two cities are named for the same world-famous Niagara Falls, one of the most extreme, awe-inspiring waterfalls on earth.

The area of Niagara Falls was originally named "Ongiara", after the indigenous Ongiara people, an Iroquois tribe, who had inhabited the region before European settlers moved in and turned it into an important site for trade and commerce. The city's economy began to grow in the mid-to-late 19th century following the development of hydroelectric power from the falls, and it has since become a popular tourist destination. The latter fact prompted the construction of hotels, parks, and numerous attractions designed to draw visitors to the natural wonder jokingly described once as "the hanging tongue on the face of the earth, drooling endlessly over its own beauty."

More commonly, however, Niagara Falls is seen as the Niagara River's vast expression of power, whose roar is like thunder and whose mist is like rain. It is truly an unforgettable experience! Thus, it is only natural that whoever visits the city is eager to get the best possible view of the falls itself. Luckily, quite a few spots in the town offer exactly that, such as the 520-foot-high Skylon Tower and Niagara Sky Wheel, a giant Ferris wheel located on Clifton Hill, a bustling entertainment district.

Other popular attractions on Clifton Hill include Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, a museum of oddities and curiosities; the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, a massive indoor water park with slides, wave pools, and other water attractions; and Birds of the Lost Kingdom, an aviary featuring exotic birds from around the world. Also, Queen Victoria Park, a 52-acre manicured garden, features platforms offering views of American, Bridal Veil, and Horseshoe Falls.

Indeed, Niagara Falls must be seen to be believed. But if you're interested in more than just natural beauty, Niagara Falls has a lot to offer in terms of historical and fun-packed attractions, too. This self-guided introductory walk is proof of that.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Niagara Falls Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Niagara Falls Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Canada » Niagara Falls (See other walking tours in Niagara Falls)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: Stella
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Skylon Tower
  • Queen Victoria Park
  • Sky Wheel
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum
  • Clifton Hill
  • Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
  • Birds of the Lost Kingdom
  • Rainbow Bridge
  • Niagara Falls
Skylon Tower

1) Skylon Tower (must see)

Skylon Tower is a must-visit attraction in Niagara Falls, Ontario, offering breathtaking views of both American Falls in New York and the larger Horseshoe Falls in Ontario. Construction of Skylon Tower began in May 1964 and was completed on October 6, 1965. The tower stands at 160 meters (520 ft) from street level and 236 meters (775 ft) from the bottom of the falls, making it the second-tallest structure in the Niagara Falls area. It was built using the slip form method, which involves continuously pouring concrete into a form moving slowly up the tower.

Skylon Tower has three outside-mounted "Yellow Bug" elevators. These elevators can carry passengers to the top of the tower in just 52 seconds and operate with a guide rail on the backside only. Special equipment is employed to prevent the cables from becoming tangled in the wind or impeded by snow and ice in the winter.

At the top of the tower, there are two restaurants: the Revolving Dining Room and the Upper Summit Suite Buffet. The Revolving Dining Room offers a unique dining experience with a 360-degree view of the Falls and surrounding areas. It rotates once every hour, allowing diners to take in the full panoramic view while enjoying their meal. The Upper Summit Suite Buffet is a casual dining option that features a wide selection of dishes and stunning views of the falls.

Despite surrounding redevelopment, the Skylon Tower complex has retained much of its 1970s and 1980s look and feel. The property has recently been expanded to include a 3D/4D Theatre, a Starbucks franchise, other quick-service franchises, and a bridge connecting the complex with the newly completed Fallsview Casino. The roof of Skylon was restored to its original bright copper color in August and September 2008, and the lights that shine up the tower at night have also been updated in recent years to showcase a selection of colors that interchange, similar to the lights that shine on the falls themselves.
Queen Victoria Park

2) Queen Victoria Park

Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls is located right in the heart of Niagara Parks and is the main area to view and experience the majestic Niagara Falls. With its spectacular scenic panoramas of the Falls, visitors can access Boat Rides, Zipline, and Journey Behind the Falls, making it the perfect destination for adventure seekers.

Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Great Britain, Queen Victoria Park was established on May 24th, 1888. It encompasses the area from the Power Station north to the Rainbow Bridge and is open year-round, making it an ideal location to enjoy the beauty of Niagara Falls in pleasant weather.

One of the unique features of Queen Victoria Park is its beautifully maintained gardens, which include a rock garden, hanging baskets, a Hybrid tea rose garden, and attractive carpet-bedding displays. Park benches and well-groomed lawns provide pleasant venues for relaxation and photography. The park celebrates every season in style, from over 500,000 daffodils in the spring to the stark branches of trees and shrubs covered in ice in the winter.

The park is also home to a valuable collection of unique native and international plants, which are labeled for the education of local and out-of-town visitors. The park offers a romantic stone garden, a rose garden, and attractive carpet bed displays. A convenient number of park benches and finely manicured lawns provide a pleasant opportunity for relaxation for the weary traveler.

Landscape illumination is an integral part of the park environment, as is the illumination of the Falls. The park is also the primary home of the Winter Festival of Lights during the winter season, transforming it into a Winter Wonderland.
Sky Wheel

3) Sky Wheel (must see)

The Niagara SkyWheel is an iconic attraction that offers visitors an unforgettable experience with breathtaking views of Niagara Falls and the surrounding area. Standing at 175 feet tall, it is one of Canada's largest observation wheels and towers over the Niagara Falls horizon, providing guests with unparalleled panoramic views of the Horseshoe and American Falls, the Niagara River, Niagara Parks, and other landmarks.

The SkyWheel's fully enclosed gondolas are each equipped with heating and air conditioning, ensuring year-round comfort and enjoyment for riders. The ride duration varies from 8 to 12 minutes, providing ample time to soak in the awe-inspiring sights in every direction. The evening rides are especially stunning, offering guests the opportunity to marvel at the glittering lights of Clifton Hill and the Niagara skyline.

Located in the heart of Clifton Hill, the Niagara SkyWheel is easily accessible and open all year round, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience no matter the season. The attraction opened on June 17, 2006. The 42-passenger cars, each capable of carrying up to nine people, were manufactured by Chance Rides and supplied by Chance Morgan.

If you're looking for a unique and exciting way to see Niagara Falls, then the Niagara SkyWheel is the perfect choice. Whether you're a local or a tourist, this attraction provides visitors with unforgettable views of one of the world's most famous natural wonders, along with a chance to take some amazing photos and quickly get the lay of the land.
Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum

4) Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum

Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Niagara Falls, Ontario is a must-visit attraction for anyone who loves the weird and unusual. The museum is named after its founder, Robert Ripley, who was an artist, athlete, and world traveler with a passion for collecting bizarre artifacts and stories.

Inside the museum, visitors will find over 500 displays of oddities from around the world. From customs and hobbies to artifacts, there is something for everyone to discover. One of the most popular exhibits is the real human shrunken heads, which are sure to give you chills.

In addition to the displays, dozens of interactive exhibits allow visitors to touch, feel, and experience the strange. Families will love learning about the daredevils who have challenged Niagara Falls and the unique and unusual hobbies that people around the world enjoy.

Located at the top of Clifton Hill, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum is one of Niagara's most popular attractions. It's a great place for the whole family to visit and be amazed by the weird and wonderful world around us. So, if you're looking for an unforgettable experience, make sure to add Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum to your list of must-visit attractions in Niagara Falls.
Clifton Hill

5) Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill, situated in Niagara Falls, is a popular tourist destination that boasts an array of attractions including gift shops, wax museums, haunted houses, video arcades, restaurants, hotels, and themed experiences. It is a bustling entertainment hub and a lively nightlife destination, particularly for families and teenagers.

In the 1920s, Clifton Hill experienced a significant surge in tourism. The Foxhead Inn was established in 1925 by Howard Fox at Falls Avenue, while on the north side of the hill, Charles Burland opened the Niagara Falls Tourist Camp. Earl McIntosh opened two camping grounds, the Clifton Touring Camp and Clifton Camp, on the south and north sides of the street respectively. Reinhart's Riverhurst Inn was also constructed between the Niagara Falls Tourist Camp and the Foxhead Inn.

During the 1950s, two hotels, the Park Motor Hotel, and the Quality Inn Fallsway Hotel were established and continue to operate to this day. From the 1960s onwards, Clifton Hill witnessed the opening of several museums such as the Houdini Hall of Fame, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Louis Tussaud's Waxworks, House of Frankenstein, and the Guinness World Records Museum.

Popular attractions on the street include the Niagara SkyWheel, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum with the 4D Moving Theater and Louis Tussaud's Waxworks, which used to feature a model of Charles Blondin that was once suspended above Clifton Hill and is now a local landmark on Victoria Ave. There are also numerous 3D motion simulator rides.
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark

6) Fallsview Indoor Waterpark

In May 2006, the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark was officially opened. The facility utilizes over 200,000 US gallons (760,000 l) of water and boasts a 125,000 square foot (2.9 acres) water oasis that includes exhilarating high-speed water slides and other water-based attractions. Additionally, guests can enjoy an interactive Atlantis-themed aquatic play area, an indoor wave pool, six swimming pools, and multiple areas for water-related sports. Furthermore, the park offers an outdoor activity pool that is open year-round.

For younger guests, there is a jungle-style beach where they can play, as well as a beach club-style restaurant and bar for adults. In comparison to similar waterparks in Ohio and Indiana, the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark has been consistently rated as superior in terms of cleanliness and spaciousness, earning it a reputation as one of the best waterparks in North America.

Located near Clifton Hill, visitors of all ages can enjoy nearby museums and attractions on foot after drying off from their water-based adventures.
Birds of the Lost Kingdom

7) Birds of the Lost Kingdom (must see)

Located just a 5-minute walk from Niagara Falls, Bird Kingdom is a world-class attraction that offers an unforgettable adventure for all ages. It boasts of being the World's Largest Free-Flying Indoor Aviary, where visitors can discover hundreds of tropical birds as they explore the pathways throughout the multi-level rainforest. The pathway that begins at the aviary's top level takes visitors behind a magnificent waterfall and down to the jungle floor.

The journey to the Lost Kingdom begins at the mysterious Old Museum, where visitors can get a glimpse of the past. As the adventure continues, visitors can meet friendly parrots and exotic animals at Bird Kingdom's Animal Encounters. The Night Jungle is a must-visit attraction, where curious owls, bats, and fascinating creatures call it their home.

For an unforgettable experience, visitors can head to Lorikeet Landing, where they can feed and interact with playful lorikeet birds. Another fascinating attraction within the jungle is the rare Javanese House from the 1800s, the only one of its kind in all of North America. The architectural masterpiece is entirely hand-carved solid teak and was incredibly constructed without nails.

At Bird Kingdom, visitors can also explore various aviaries that house different species of birds from around the world, including the Small Bird Aviary, Lorikeet Aviary, and Main Aviary.

Whether you are a bird enthusiast or looking for a fun family adventure, the Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls is a must-visit destination. Don't forget to bring your camera as you encounter exotic birds and animals up close in their natural habitats. Bird Kingdom is open all year round, making it a perfect activity for any season.
Rainbow Bridge

8) Rainbow Bridge

Connecting the Canadian and American cities of Niagara Falls, the Rainbow Bridge is a renowned arch bridge that serves as a vital transportation link between the two countries. The bridge, spanning 1,450 feet (442 meters) across the Niagara River and standing at a height of 202 feet (62 meters), was constructed between 1940 and 1941, and designed by architect Richard (Su Min) Lee, with William Lyon Somerville responsible for the Rainbow Tower and Canadian Plaza.

As a beloved symbol of Niagara Falls, the Rainbow Bridge attracts countless tourists each year, offering spectacular views of the famous falls. Its name is derived from the rainbow frequently seen above the falls, and as a connector between two nations, it is also referred to as the "Rainbow International Bridge."

The bridge is open 24/7 and is heavily utilized by both commuters and tourists, making it one of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the United States. Its construction has been instrumental in promoting tourism and trade between the two nations.

The Rainbow Bridge is also famous for its nighttime illumination, with dynamic, colorful lights that change every few minutes. This illumination is a joint effort between the Niagara Falls Illumination Board and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

The Rainbow Bridge is an iconic landmark and a symbol of the enduring friendship between Canada and the United States. Its significance has earned it a place among the top attractions for visitors to Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls

9) Niagara Falls (must see)

Niagara Falls is a collection of three waterfalls situated at the southern tip of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border of Ontario in Canada and New York State in the United States. The largest of these is the Horseshoe Falls, which straddles the international border and is also referred to as the Canadian Falls. The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are the smaller waterfalls that lie entirely within the United States. Goat Island separates Bridal Veil Falls from Horseshoe Falls, while Luna Island divides it from American Falls, both islands located in New York.

The combined falls, which are formed by the Niagara River that flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America with a vertical drop of more than 50 meters (160 feet). As measured by flow rate, Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America. Niagara Falls is known for its stunning beauty and also serves as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. The management of the falls has been a challenging task for stewards since the 19th century as they strive to balance recreational, commercial, and industrial uses.

Located between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York, Niagara Falls is situated 27 km (17 miles) northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 69 km (43 miles) southeast of Toronto. The falls were created as glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation, and the water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path over and through the Niagara Escarpment before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

Walking Tours in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Create Your Own Walk in Niagara Falls

Create Your Own Walk in Niagara Falls

Creating your own self-guided walk in Niagara Falls is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Niagara Falls Historical Buildings

Niagara Falls Historical Buildings

Despite being a small town, Niagara Falls, Ontario, is home to several significant pieces of historical architecture reflecting the city's unique character and heritage. Indeed, from the grand Gothic-Revival Railway Station to the charming Queen Anne-style Doran-Marshall Residence, the old buildings of Niagara Falls offer a colorful display of masonry craftsmanship whose intricate carvings,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles