Niagara Falls is proud of its heritage as the Honeymoon Capital of the World but that title doesn’t exactly attract all of us solo female travellers out there. But being home to one of the most majestic wonders of the natural world, and one of my favourite waterfalls, Canada’s natural wonder does have a lot to offer solos.
Whether this is your first visit to the falls or your second; there are a few attractions that are always worth doing especially ones that get you the best views of the falls. If you’re planning a trip here, I’ve included some of the best attractions for solos including where to stay in Niagara Falls.
- Maid of The Mist
- Journey Behind The Falls
- Skylon Tower & SkyWheel
- Niagara at Night
- Walk Through Nature
- Trekking in Niagara
- Bruce Trail
- Dufferin Islands
- Goat Island
- Niagara Falls on a Budget
- Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
- Queen Victoria Park
- Winter Festival of Lights
- Is Niagara Falls Safe?
- Accommodation in Niagara Falls
Take a Trip on the Maid of The Mist
One of the activities that you can’t miss during your time in Niagara Falls is take a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist. Having been operating for well over a century, this iconic boat ride is the most popular attraction in the area giving you a 15-minute ride on a boat directly to the Falls.
There is nothing quite like getting right next to the waterfalls and feeling their incredible power as you listen to its roar. This is an unforgettable experience but do be prepared to get wet as you do get close to the falls. (They give you a poncho to try to keep you dry). I recommend buying your ticket online well in advance to ensure that you don’t miss out.
Journey Behind the Falls
Journey Behind the Falls is a tour organised by Niagara Parks. It takes you down 13 stories into old tunnels carved into the rock behind the falls for an unprecedented look at the world’s second-largest waterfall. It’s a completely different experience from Maid of the Mist.
Head To The Skylon Tower & SkyWheel
Both of these attractions send you up above (rather than down or around) the falls, for birds-eye views of the entire Niagara region. The Niagara SkyWheel is the largest observation wheel in Canada, whereas Skylon Tower offers a rotating dining room that provides 360-degree views while you enjoy a gourmet meal.
The Skylon Tower and Observation Deck is one of the most popular attractions in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. At 160 metres tall, this is the tallest entertainment building in Niagara and gives you outstanding views of the Falls.
In Niagara at Night
Head up to the Skylon Tower by night to see the Falls lit up in beautiful colours. There’s also a 4D cinema as well as a food court and shopping to keep you entertained too.
If you've any energy left after exploring the Falls, there’s no shortage of nightlife. Whether you're looking for a restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere or dancing to the sounds at the Hard Rock Cafe, there is something to keep you entertained as a solo.
Take a Walk Through Nature
In the 12,000 years since forming Niagara Falls, the Niagara River has been busy. Not only has it carved a beautiful gorge that has since been crisscrossed with hiking trails, but its waters have formed fascinating rapids and a natural whirlpool.
As well as observing the Falls from the Maid of the Mist and the Skylon Tower, you can also take a walk along the Niagara Gorge Trail to view the Niagara River along with incredible whirlpools (as well as the Falls themselves).
Trekking in Niagara
While many people associate the Niagara Falls with the Ontario region of Canada, the Niagara River – where the falls are situated – actually runs through both Canada and New York State. There are three sets of falls along the length of the river and these are American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls.
There really is no shortage of trails to follow in and around Ontario region and most of them offer a professional guide service. If you want to start trekking on your own then choose a short trail to begin with. The Millennium Trail is an easy to walk trail because it is only two kilometres long and asphalted.
The trail runs from McLeod Road to Lundy's Lane and if you're a real nature lover then you'll find a variety of wildlife and birds along this particular trail.
If you prefer a trail that will take you through some local woodland, the John N Allan Park is located at the north turn of McLeod Road. Simply turn off of the asphalted path and stroll through the natural woodland area if you want to see even more beauty and wildlife. For those who want to start with a longer trail, the Niagara Parkway is a six-kilometre trail, which crosses the beautiful botanical gardens. The trail ends at the Floral Clock landmark. If it's your first time trekking then you might want to think about a guide for this longer trail.
There is also a trek where you can have an overnight stay. The Niagara River Recreation trail is 35 miles (56 km). People run, walk and bike along this trail so if you feel like cycling the distance and getting back to your accommodation on the same day, it’s definitely doable or you can stay overnight and finish the trail the following day, passing lots of local landmarks as you traverse it.
One of the oldest and longest hiking trails in all of Canada, the Bruce Trail runs over 553 miles (890 kilometres) from Niagara Falls to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. Plus, there are more than 273 miles (440 kilometres) of side trails, which will take you to caves, ghost towns, and more waterfalls. I wouldn’t recommend trying to complete the Bruce Trail but its tracks through Niagara make for a great day hike.
The Dufferin Islands are artificial islands built by European colonists in the late 18th century to harness the power of the Niagara River in various industrial activities. Today, Dufferin Islands are quiet and secluded, providing the perfect backdrop for a contemplative stroll through nature.
Goat Island is the hunk of earth that separates Canada’s Horseshoe Falls from American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. On the U.S. side, you can walk to Goat Island, where you can enjoy a few more nature trails and some outstanding views of the falls.
Niagara Falls on a Budget
Don’t think that you can’t enjoy the Falls on a budget either. There are several attractions that you can do for next to nothing.
The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
One of them is visiting the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Featuring 100 acres of picturesque flowers, plants and vegetation, the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens are home to dozens of individual gardens that are meticulously cared for by students of the horticulture college. If you love roses, you can’t miss the world-famous rose garden, with more than 2,400 beautiful roses. Admission to the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens is free year-round. You don’t need to pay for parking though.
Queen Victoria Park
Queen Victoria Park is the place for long walks and connecting with nature. This park is located along the Niagara River, the Niagara Gorge and the main viewing area for the iconic falls. As well as native and international plants, the park has meticulously maintained gardens and gives you a first-rate view of Niagara Falls for free.
Winter Festival of Lights
Visit during November to February and you may be here for the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights.
With a route that spans nearly five miles, the Festival of Lights features an eye-catching assortment of masterfully-crafted lighting displays. It encompasses Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands and the surrounding tourist district. And even the most holiday-hardened solo is liable to get caught up in the magic and feel as if they’ve stepped into a literal winter wonderland.
Is Niagara Falls Safe?
Niagara Falls is an incredibly safe place to visit thanks to security precautions designed to keep millions of tourists safe. Even so, it is possible to wander into dodgy areas of town, especially if you venture far from the falls. Hotels near Niagara Falls tend to be safest, and many offer great deals for accommodations on weekdays or during the off-season. Plus, the closer your lodgings are to the falls, the closer you are to the attractions, scenery, and fun.
Accommodation in Niagara Falls
The Falls has a variety of accommodations for all budgets whether you’re a budget solo or a luxury solo. With the right hotel, you can enjoy amazing views of the Falls all day and all night, have easy access to the waterfalls and the walking paths that surround them, and also have plenty of opportunities to wine, dine and relax after a day’s sightseeing.
If you’re planning to explore the nature trails, depending on which part of the Niagara you want to go trekking, you'll find a variety of places to stay, including campsites.
There are budget-friendly hotel resorts that offer onsite restaurants and live entertainment to keep you occupied in the evenings. For those looking for stunning views of the Falls from your hotel window, there are plenty of luxury ones too.
For a good budget option, the Kings Inn is a 3-star hotel within a 15-minute walk from the Falls. The rooms have a coffee machine and a fridge and you’re close to an Italian restaurant including a bakery. It is on a busy road and there isn’t an elevator (lift) so expect to carry your bags up the stairs or let the friendly staff help you with it.
- Prices start from £50 / $78 CAD per night for a queen room
- To book, check prices or availability for Kings Inn Near The Falls
This 3-star hotel is just a short walk from Horseshoe Falls. There’s an indoor heated pool, laundry services and a fitness centre (check if they are open before you book). Rooms include comfortable beds, a coffee machine, a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. The staff are really helpful and if you have a high floor, you may even be able to see the Falls in the distance.
- Prices start from £72 / $112 CAD per night for a junior suite
- To book, check prices or availability for Vittoria Hotel & Suites
For somewhere with a more personal touch. Serene Niagara Inn is a cosy place to stay. This 4-star inn offers free parking if you’re bringing your own car (or hiring one). There’s a shared lounge where you can interact with other guests and you can leave your luggage here too. The deluxe single room is nicely decorated and comes with a coffee machine and an ensuite bathroom. There’s a swimming pool and breakfast is also included in the rate.
- Prices start from £130 / $202 CAD per night for a deluxe double room
- To book, check prices or availability for Serene Niagara Inn
Wine lovers may even want to explore the Niagara wine region after their stay. The Niagara wine region is as abundant as Northern California’s and many Niagara winemakers offer unique varietals you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Niagara Falls is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Canada and the United States, and these are also one of the most popular waterfalls on the planet. You can enjoy the beauty of the Falls at any time of the year, whether you are viewing the Falls from the New York side or the Canadian side.
I hope that this quick guide inspired you to visit the Falls and has shown you that there is so much more to do than just admire one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.