The Best Time to Go to Niagara Falls to Avoid Crowds

August 7, 2014 9:37 am

FARblog3.jpegThere are all sorts of amazing things to do and see in Niagara Falls — but most visitors would not put navigating though large crowds of other tourists high on their list of vacation highlights. In fact, the prospect of long lines, endless waits for food and restrooms and photographs peppered with strangers’ faces are enough to cause some would-be travelers to say “thanks, but no thanks” to a trip to Niagara Falls.

We’re not going to lie: During high season, Niagara Falls can be a crowded place. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay home or see less than you hoped to. You can still enjoy the area along with thousands of other visitors if you plan well and make a few adjustments to your typical daily routine.

Crowd Avoidance Tip #1: Come At the Right Time

The absolute best way to avoid crowds in Niagara Falls is to visit during the winter months. Even though the Falls themselves are beautiful in a different way (Think ice. Lots of ice.) there is still plenty to do here. We understand, though, that you may prefer to visit in the summer so you can cruise on the Maid of the Mist and see the falls in their full glory. However, you don’t have to visit on the weekends, or during major holidays, such as Victoria Day (July 1), July 4, and Labor Day weekend (for American visitors.) By avoiding those times when thousands of other visitors will also be descending on the area, you can enjoy less crowded attractions.

Crowd Avoidance Tip #2: Start Early

When you’re on vacation, it’s tempting to sleep in and take your time in the morning. But consider this: While you are sleeping in, so is a large majority of the other travelers visiting Niagara Falls. So why not get a jump on them and head out early? Plan to be up and ready to start exploring by breakfast; not only will you be able to see a number of attractions before the crowds build, you’ll also have a better chance of getting some photos of the falls without other people in them. Reserve a hotel as close to the falls as possible to save on drive time and get out there early.

Crowd Avoidance Tip #3: Plan Ahead

FARblog4.jpegOne of the biggest time wasters on any trip is waiting in line to buy tickets to major attractions — and it’s no different in Niagara Falls. You could spend hours waiting in line to buy tickets for attractions like the Hornblower Cruises to the base of the falls… or you could buy your tickets in advance. Do your research before you leave home and decide which attractions are “must see,” and then buy tickets in advance. The aforementioned Hornblower Cruises even allow you to choose a time for your tickets, meaning you can buy in advance and just show up a few minutes before your scheduled cruise. Instead of spending time standing in line, you can spend that time experiencing more of what Niagara Falls has to offer.

The fact is, you’ll almost never feel like you have Niagara Falls to yourself. But with some smart planning and a little legwork, you can feel like a VIP and avoid the crowds.