Niagara Falls, Ontario is so much more than the natural wonder it’s named after. The town, which shares a border with the United States, is full of bustling stores, high-class restaurants and exciting tourist attractions. One could spend a weekend or longer getting to know this invigorating town and unearthing its local gems.

Here are a few of our favourite attractions for you to explore on your next visit to world-renowned Niagara Falls.

2 Niagara Falls Cruise
Chase waterfalls on a thrilling ferry ride. Credit: Getty Images/​EyeEm.

See the Falls up close by boat

If you’re in Niagara Falls, you shouldn’t leave without taking a cruise out to the foot of its famed waterfalls. Hornblower Cruises gives visitors an up-close-and-personal view, getting them soaked with mist in the process. Head out in the day to get the fullest experience or opt for an evening tour to see the falls lit up in an impressive technicolour light show.

3 Skylon Tower Observation Deck
Ride the yellow bug elevators to the top of Skylon Tower for fantastic views. Credit: Getty Images/​iStockphoto.

Marvel at the view from Skylon Tower Observation Deck

If you’d rather check out the phenomenon from a safe distance, head to Skylon Tower to make use of the observation platform. Look out across the town and waterfalls from 233 metres up, or take it slow and have dinner with a view in the Revolving Dining Room. The spinning restaurant seats 276 people and each rotation takes an hour. On a clear day, you can see over 100 kilometres outward.

4 Butterfly Conservatory
Can you spot the green-banded peacock butterfly at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory? Credit: Picfair.

Flit over to the Butterfly Conservatory

Take a walk through the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and you’ll soon stumble upon the Butterfly Conservatory. The huge glass structure is filled with tropical plants, turning it into an exotic habitat for the insect residents. Many of the 2,000 butterflies come from Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Philippines. There’s 45 different species to feast your eyes upon, and a special emergence window that looks out into the area where these critters emerge from their cocoons.

5 Nightmares Fear Factory
Scream as loud as you like at the Nightmares Fear Factory. Credit: Nightmares Fear Factory.

Get spooked at Nightmares Fear Factory

Experience true terror at the Nightmares Fear Factory. A maze runs through this haunted house and visitors are plunged into the dark with only a trail of red lights to follow. Visitors walk through in small groups and get to experience the horror-movie ambience first-hand. There’s always a chance to chicken out if you get scared: over 140,000 people have decided to call it quits mid-maze. Enter at your own peril.

6 The History Museum
Explore local history at the Niagara Falls History Museum. Credit: Cosmo Condina.

Dive into the past at the History Museum

The Niagara Falls History Museum has recently had a facelift. The building is easy to spot: it’s sleek and angular with large glass panes that show off what’s in store for guests. Three galleries are filled with fascinating exhibits that share the history of the town. Learn about the bloodiest battle from the War of 1812, which happened just steps away, or listen to tales of daredevils who tried to take on the mighty falls.

7 Sampling The Regions Best Vineyards
Refine your taste for wine on a vineyard tour. Credit: Getty Images/​iStockphoto.

Sip wine from the region’s best vineyards

The Niagara Region is at the heart of Ontario’s wine country. Within 20 minutes are 25 wineries waiting to be explored. When the crowds at Niagara Falls get too much, head to quiet Niagara-on-the-Lake to see the different vineyards. Try a bottle from the Niagara Falls Craft Distilleries, which was the first winery to set up shop here in the post-prohibition era, or sample award-winning wines from the family-run Fielding Estate Winery.

Choice Hotels in Niagara Falls