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Top 8 Non-touristy Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Top 8 Non-touristy Things to Do in Niagara Falls

You’ll surely be blown away by the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of one of the world’s most famous natural wonders on a Niagara Falls adventure. But guess what?

The fun doesn’t have to stop there! I know you’re itching for more ways to make the most of your trip, and we’ve got your back. So, let’s dive into a list of non-touristy things to do in Niagara Falls.

That’s right, I’ve handpicked some off-the-beaten-path activities you can enjoy while you’re exploring this incredible destination. Read on!

Explore the Niagara-on-the-Lake 

Website: https://www.niagaraonthelake.com/ 

Directions

Niagara-on-the-Lake is basically like stepping into a life-sized postcard. The town is chock-full of quaint shops, beautiful historic architecture, and colorful flowers everywhere you look.

This place is also a hub for wine enthusiasts (and I know you are too). The area is famous for its world-class wineries and ice wine, so make sure to treat your palate to some delectable wine tastings while you’re there.

Who said non-touristy stuff couldn’t be fancy?

Local tip: Looking for some ambrosial ice cream to cool off? Stop by Cows Niagara on the Lake for a scoop (or two!) of pure, creamy goodness!

Ride on the Whirlpool Aero Car 

Website: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/whirlpool-aero-car/ 

Address: 3850 Niagara River Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON 

Contact details: +1 877-642-7275

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 8 PM

Whirlpool Aero Car is an antique cable car that suspends you high above the Niagara River and gives you a bird’s eye view of the whirling rapids below. 

As if that’s not adrenaline-pumping enough, wait until you reach the middle and the car actually swivels around to head back.

Don’t worry though, it’s not just all nerve-wracking thrills. The Aero Car ride offers some of the most breathtaking scenery you can find around Niagara Falls City.

Local tip: Once your heart rate settles after this sky-high adventure, be sure to stop by the Butterfly Café nearby. They’ve got some amazing cappuccinos to warm you up and a variety of quick bites to refuel! 

Visit the Welland Canal 

Website: http://www.niagarawellandcanal.com/  

Address:  8 Merritt Island, Welland, ON

Contact details: [email protected] 

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – Open 24 hours

You might be wondering, “What’s the big deal about a canal, huh?” Well, this particular canal is an engineering feat that allows ships of all sizes to bypass the Niagara Escarpment.

That’s right, it’s like a giant aquatic elevator for boats! As you watch the ships glide through the canal and marvel at the series of locks that raise and lower these massive vessels, you’ll realize you’ve stumbled upon something magical.

The Welland Canal is not only a crucial part of international trade but also a fascinating display of human ingenuity.

Local tip: Got a hankering for some good food after exploring the canal’s grandeur? Swing by the nearby Minor Bread Café in St. Catharines for some scrumptious sandwiches and desserts.

Head to White Water Walk 

Website: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/white-water-walk/ 

Address: 4330 River Rd, Niagara Falls, ON 

Contact details: +1 877-642-7275

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 8 PM

The White Water Walk isn’t your average leisurely stroll. Nope, this path runs alongside the Niagara River and gives you an up-close look at some of the world’s wildest whitewater—we’re talking Class 6 rapids!

And it’s not just the raging rapids that are a spectacle. As you navigate the boardwalk, you’ll be surrounded by the calming presence of the verdant gorge while the river thunders beside you.

Local tip: Once you’ve wrapped up your whitewater adventure, head to Whirlpool Restaurant for a meal. Overlooking the rapids, their patio is an awesome spot to continue enjoying the river’s roar while you dine!

Explore White Meadows Farms

Website: https://whitemeadowsfarms.com/ 

Address: 2519 Effingham St, Pelham, ON

Contact details: +1 905-682-0642 

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM

You might not associate Niagara with maple syrup, but let me tell you, White Meadows Farms has the goods. They’ve got a ‘Sugar Bush Trek’ that’s an absolute must; it’s like an educational treasure hunt where you get to learn all about maple syrup.

There’s also this super kid-friendly adventure playground that the young ones (or the young at heart) will love. On top of that, if you’re looking to shop for some unique local products, the farm shop is for you.

They have a wide range of homegrown goodies, from maple butter and maple leaf-shaped candies all the way to their signature maple syrup. You’re definitely going to want to bring an extra suitcase!

Local tip: Try their maple sugar candy—it’s a delight that’ll have your sweet tooth thanking you.

Visit the Bird Kingdom 

Website: http://www.birdkingdom.ca/ 

Address: 5651 River Rd, Niagara Falls, ON

Contact details: +1 905-356-8888

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday  – 9 AM to 6:30 PM

Bird Kingdom is the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world. Now, how cool is that? They’ve filled this giant 50,000-square-foot space with beautiful tropical plants, waterfalls, and over 400 birds from around the world.

It also houses other animals like bats, spiders, snakes, and even some cheeky lorikeets you can feed with nectar (if you dare). There’s also a nocturnal zone that replicates the nighttime for its inhabitants, so all you night owls out there, this one’s for you!

Lastly, you’ve got to check out their ancient Javanese house. It’s over 125 years old and entirely constructed with no nails! It’s intriguing to explore and makes for the perfect backdrop for that Instagram pic.

Local tip: Try to time your visit with one of the aviary’s interactive animal encounters; trust me, it’s a real hoot.

Hop on the Niagara SkyWheel

Website: http://www.cliftonhill.com/attractions/niagara-skywheel 

Address: 4960 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, ON

Contact details: +1 905-358-4793

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 2 PM

Niagara SkyWheel is one of those places you wouldn’t necessarily find in your standard tourist guide, making it a unique adventure for visitors of all ages. 

With heights of up to 175 feet, the SkyWheel offers a whole new perspective of the breathtaking Niagara Falls that’s typically reserved for the birds. 

Whether you go during the day or at night to witness the Falls illuminated in a myriad of colors, it’s an experience that’s absolutely, “refill-my-heart-with-awe” worthy. 

The gondolas on the Niagara SkyWheel are fully enclosed, climate-controlled, and designed to provide an amazingly comfortable experience all year round. 

Local tip: As a local, we usually get our tickets online ahead of time. It skips the long queue and trust me, those extra minutes add to the enjoyment of the ride.

Enjoy craft beers at Niagara Vintage Wine Tours

Website: https://www.niagaravintagewinetours.com/ 

Address: 7500 Lundy’s Ln, Niagara Falls, ON

Contact details: +1 866-628-5428

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM

Niagara Vintage Wine Tours is an expert in curated experiences, offering exquisite pairings of fine craft beers with delicious local cuisine. It’s a match made in heaven that you won’t find at those crowded tourist spots.

Being a wine tour company, the team at Niagara Vintage Wine Tours also offers exceptional wine tasting experiences at their many partner vineyards. 

So, while you’re sipping on some incredible craft beers, you can also sneak in a glass or two of the region’s renowned wines (win-win, eh?).

Local tip: Don’t miss out on the chance to visit the unique craft beer taprooms in downtown Niagara Falls, like the Taps Brewhouse & Grille. It’s an excellent spot to meet fellow beer enthusiasts.

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