Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls

The wonderful Niagara Falls can be visited at any time of the year. However, according to the travel date you choose, your experience will be different.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

6 min read

Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls View | © Salah Alawadhi

You are going to visit New York and among your list of things to do in New York is surely the Niagara Falls tour. A monumental view, great photos, the relaxing sound of the water falling over the Great Lakes.... Definitely a must for your trip.

So when is the best time for your visit? Although the Falls National Park is open 24/7, some of its main attractions are not. For this reason, the weather, the time or the day of the week may condition your choice.

Here is a guide with everything you need to know about it:

What is the best time for a Niagara Falls tour?

Maid of Mist tour from the U.S. side to see Niagara Falls| ©Sue Waters
Maid of Mist tour from the U.S. side to see Niagara Falls| ©Sue Waters

Definitely the most pleasant time to visit the falls is during the summer. You avoid the rains and take advantage of the longer days during this time. Also, at this time all the attractions are open to the public. However, this is also the time when you encounter the most people. After all, how can you not take advantage of your days off with a nice trip to Niagara Falls?

If you want to avoid the long lines to get on the Maid of the Mist, the attraction you definitely can't miss, I suggest you take the tourin late May or early June.

Another good option is the months of September and October. You don't need to carry a coat, just comfortable enough clothes. And you can take pictures and enjoy the views without so many people around you.

Choose the excursion that best suits your itinerary and enjoy this wonder of nature.

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Summer is the best time to enjoy all the attractions and clear skies

Travel on the Maid of the Mist| ©Rémi Boyer
Travel on the Maid of the Mist| ©Rémi Boyer

Although the Falls National Park is open all year round, it is during the month of June when you can take full advantage of this natural paradise and its attractions.

The arrival of summer brings pleasant temperatures to northwestern New York State. We are talking about an average of 21 to 25 °C during the day. Also, the month of June is when we have the most hours of sunshine, as you can see on this weather site. The perfect time to take advantage of the natural light and capture the beauty of these waterfalls with your photographs.

Also very important are the opening times of one of the main attractions: the Maid of the Mist. This boat sails on both the American and Canadian sides so that you can appreciate the falls from up close. Its services, however, are only available from May to November. Travel with the least amount of objects and clothing during this tour. And, of course, don't forget to protect your cell phone and/or camera, as the humidity can affect your equipment.

Crowded, cramped: the dark side of summer

As mentioned above, since this is a month when weather conditions are ideal, it is very likely that you will encounter large groups of tourists with the same objectives as you. Attractions and hotels fill up very quickly during this time, which is why prices tend to go up.

In addition, this is the time of year that many families choose to visit Niagara Falls. This is because many tourists plan their trips around their children's school schedules.

Tips for visiting the Falls in summer

The main thing to make the most of this visit is to avoid booking your excursions on holidays or weekends. I recommend the first half of June as the ideal time. You enjoy the pleasant summer weather and escape the large crowds that arrive with the start of the school vacations at the end of this month.

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Autumn, the ideal time to escape the crowds.

Fall scenery at the Falls| ©Ken Lund
Fall scenery at the Falls| ©Ken Lund

If you are one of those people who can't stand large crowds, the beginning of autumn is the ideal time for you to plan your visit to Niagara Falls. As well as the temperature, a high of 22°C and low of 8°C, attraction prices and crowds begin to drop with the change of season. A relief for your pockets.

The good thing, too, is that you still have until November to get on board the Maid of Mist. You don't have to wait in long lines like in the summer, so you can enjoy the scenery and colors that come with the change of season even more.

Tips for visiting the Falls in autumn

With the arrival of autumn the days are getting shorter and shorter. Therefore, we recommend that you take it easy. Choose a two-day excursion, for example, and appreciate the falls at different times of the day. You can take pictures that portray each of these landscapes and take advantage of your free time to taste and discover the delights that autumn brings to the region. It is said that there is nothing like experiencing wine or fruit picking during autumn.

Of course, it is important that you pack your coat and jacket, as the nights tend to be chilly at this time of the year.

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Enjoy the wonders of nature in springtime

Springtime at Niagara| ©Belinda Fewings
Springtime at Niagara| ©Belinda Fewings

In addition to being an important source of energy and fresh water in the world, the Great Lakes region is home to many species of plants and animals that can be seen during your tour of the Falls National Park.

For example, with the end of the last snowfall in mid-April, migratory species such as the monarch butterfly return to the region. Also, starting this month you see how the rivers begin to thaw. A wonderful opportunity to observe and photograph the effects of nature during the change of season. And if you are a fan of bird watching, your spring visit is sure to be even more enjoyable. During this time of year, most of the attractions return.

But be careful, because even though temperatures have started to rise, they are still between an average of 19 to 8 °C (68 to 68 °F). In addition, during the spring there is a high probability of rain in the area. Don't forget your raincoat at the hotel.

Tips for visiting the Falls in spring

An interesting event at this time of the year is the Niagara Folk Arts Festival held on the Canadian side. During almost the entire month of May you have the opportunity to learn about culinary specialties from around the world and to attend free performances of music, dance, theater, etc. as you can see in this video.

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Niagara Falls in the winter: for cold weather lovers

Winter in Niagara Falls| ©Christian Collins
Winter in Niagara Falls| ©Christian Collins

Unfortunately the Maid of the Mist and other attractions are closed because of the big freezes that occur at this time of year. But if you are someone for whom cold temperatures are not a problem, you might get lucky and see the falls covered by snow. Besides, you can still enjoy the scenery from the panoramic tunnels.

Pack some good thermal tights and a thick coat because temperatures can reach as low as - 7 °C (-4 °F). The good thing is that at this time of year you won't have to worry about large groups of tourists.

Tips for visiting the Falls in winter

If your trip to New York is designed to enjoy New Year's Eve celebrations and you love light ceremonies, this may be the ideal time of year for your visit to Niagara Falls. We assure you that the charm of the Winter Festival of Lights will dazzle you.

On the Canadian side, for 101 days, you can enjoy a special illumination linked to the Christmas spirit so characteristic of North America. A good way to make the short duration of the days during the winter more bearable. You have the opportunity to take unique photos to remember, like the ones you can see here.

As you can see, every time of the year has its own thing. Now is the time to think calmly and schedule your visit in the season that best meets your expectations.

  • Summer
  • June - August
  • Weather: Hot
  • Best: Clear skies, open attractions
  • Worst: Long lines, crowds
  • Fall
  • September - November
  • Weather: Mild during the day, cool at night.
  • Best: Fewer crowds, fall delights (wine, fruit, etc.)
  • Worst: Somewhat chilly at night,
  • Spring
  • March - May
  • Climate: Cool
  • Best: Change of season, nature, cultural festivals
  • Worst: Still cold nights, attractions return in May
  • Winter
  • December - February
  • Weather: Very cold, frequent frosts
  • The best: Christmas spirit, very few people, festival of lights
  • Worst: Temperatures below freezing, closed attractions

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