If you're visiting New York for a few days, then you might want to add a day trip to the famous Niagara Falls to your travel itinerary. Situated 400 miles from New York City, the drive to Niagara Falls is 6-7 hours long, lending itself as a beautiful day trip destination from the Big Apple. If you have plans of visiting Niagara Falls from New York City, then a planned day tour is the perfect way for you to experience this wonder of the natural world. In this guide, we will look at all there is to know about going on New York to Niagara Fall Day Trips.
Why Visit Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls are a sight to behold. A collective name for three neighboring waterfalls, the cascading water of the Niagara falls over 160 feet at the head of the Niagara Gorge and straddles the US-Canada Border. Over six million cubic feet of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute, making it the most powerful waterfall in all of North America.
The three waterfalls that make up Niagara, from the smallest to the biggest, are the Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. The largest of the three, Horsehoe Falls lie on the US-Canadian Border while the other two falls are entirely within the United States. The Horseshoe Falls drop about 188 feet (57 m) while the American Falls' drop lies between 70 and 100 feet (21 and 30 m).
There are many vantage points on both sides of the border allowing you to catch some spectacular vistas of the waterfalls. The width of the falls span the entire panorama and offers a breathtaking sight unlike any other. The water appears a startling green as it falls over the crest and is a testament to the erosive power of the falls, itself a factor of the speed the water is flowing at.
New York To Niagara Falls Day Trip - Tours From NYC To Niagara
1. USA Secret Caverns/Watkins Glen + Niagara Falls 2-Day Tour
Embark on an enchanting trip to Niagara Falls from New York and visit top attractions including the Secret Caverns, Watkins Glen, and the Maid of the Mist on this mystical 2-day tour. This 2 day trip makes for the perfect break from the Big Apple - a scenic taste of Greater New York.
- Hop on a bus from New York to Niagara Falls and spend 2 days and one-night exploring famous attractions
- On your first day, behold an illuminated Niagara Falls in the night as it lights up in the colors of a rainbow
- On your second day, enjoy an in-depth tour of the stunning waterfalls, including two popular attractions: Whirlpool Park and Old Fort Niagara
- During the summer, witness the natural beauty of Watkins Glen State Park with its picturesque waterfalls and gorges, and visit the Secret Caverns from the Ice Age during the winter months
- Watch the Niagara IMAX adventure movie and get up close and personal with the falls at the Maid of the Mist, available during the summer months
Niagara Falls 2-Day Tour Itinerary
Due to the extreme weather conditions, summer and winter sees a separate itinerary for this tour.
- Summer Itinerary
- Day 1 : Corning Museum of Glass (Optional, 75 mins) → Watkins Glen (Optional, 60 mins) → Niagara Falls Illumination and night view
- Day 2 : Niagara Falls In-depth Tour (Optional, 120 mins including Old Fort Niagara and Whirlpool State Park) → Niagara Jetboat (Optional, 45 mins) → IMAX Movie (U.S. side) (Optional, 30 mins) → Maid of the Mist (Optional, 30 mins) → New York
- Winter Itinerary
- Day 1 : Secret Caverns (Optional, 60 mins) → Niagara Imax (Optional, 30 mins. Only when the time allows) →Niagara Falls Illumination and night view
- Day 2 : Niagara Falls In-Depth Tour (Optional, 120 mins including Old Fort Niagara and Whirlpool State Park) → Niagara Jetboat (Optional, 45 mins) → Corning Glass Museum（Optional, 60mins）→ New York
- Dates & Timings : Daily, Pick-up at 6:45 AM from New York
- Trip duration : 2 days
2. New York To Niagara Falls Day Tour
Escape the hustle-bustle of the ‘Big Apple’ and discover one of the prettiest sights in all of the USA, the Niagara Falls. Enjoy a trip to one of the most impressive natural wonders, and relax on this day tour from New York City with your friends and family. If you're short on time and have just one day to spare, this day tour is the perfect comprehensive tour from New York to Niagara.
- Discover one of the most scenic panoramic views on the border between USA and Canada: The Niagara Falls.
- Round trip transfers between NYC and Niagara Falls aboard a fully fitted coach with onboard Wi-Fi.
- Free time at Niagara Falls, where you can indulge in a whole plethora of activities, like cycling, boating, hiking, and more, at your own cost.
- Stroll through the magnificent Niagara Falls State Park and relax in the vibrancy of nature.
- Experience the beauty of the three waterfalls that form the Niagara Falls on board of the Maid of the Mist boat cruise (May – October), or the Cave of the Winds Gorge Walk, when the Maid of the Mist is not opened, (subject to weather conditions), or other accessible observation points.
The New York To Niagara Falls 1-Day Itinerary
Your day tour to Niagara Falls from New York begins at the crack of dawn at 4:00 AM. The common meeting point for the group departing from New York is the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel. The Renaissance Times Square Hotel is situated on 714 Seventh avenue, Times Square, New York.
The group then departs from NYC in an air-conditioned coach with free on-board Wi-Fi for you to enjoy. There will even be movies for you to watch. On the way from New York City to the falls, the drive will take you through some of the most beautiful locales in the North West. The drive through upstate New York and the Applachian Mountains is specially beautiful.
Upon arriving, a tour guide will lead you to visit the upper part of the falls. From here, you will be able to admire different panoramic views of the three falls, and all of them are equally stunning. Depending on the time of the year, you will be able to experience the Niagara Falls from different angles. During the summer months, you will feel the strength of the torrent as you get super close to the falls. The winter months will have a different vantage point for you to enjoy the falls from.
After the initial guided tour, you will be left with plenty of time to enjoy what the Niagara Falls State Park has to offer. You can enjoy a lunch at the Top Of The Falls restaurant (at your own expense), buy souvenirs, head to the observaiton tower or down into the gorge to soak up the mist. The group will then return to New York at 10:00 PM with unforgettable memories to hold onto forever.
Day Tour Details
- The entire tour is 19 hours long. This tour is available on Thursdays only and begins at 4 AM from NYC. Expect to be dropped back in the city at 11 PM.
Top Things To Do At Niagara Falls
Hold onto your seats as you go on a historic journey of the Niagara Falls on the big screen. This 30-minute movie presentation will tell you some incredible stories and share the history of the falls. You will witness the Niagara Falls with a new perspective, going over the crest with daredevils from history. The show plays at the 314-seater air-conditioned Niagara Adventure Theater auditorium. The show screens every 45 minutes and the theater is located at the Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center.
Another extremely popular attraction at the Niagara Falls is the Aquarium of Niagara. Featuring over 1,500 aquatic animals from 200 animal species, including the new Penguin Coast exhibit, the Aquarium is a lovely feature to visit for people of all ages coming to view the falls. You also get to witness daily penguin, shark and tidal pool feedings. Highlights of the Aquarium include California sea lions, Peruvian penguins, sturgeon and more.
Cave of the Winds
Get closer to the Niagara Falls than you would have ever imagined at the awe-inspiring foot of the Bridal falls. Put on your souvenir sandals and poncho and descend 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge. You will then walk along a wooden deck until you reach the unbelievable “Hurricane Deck”. Here, you will be within an arm's reach of the Bridal Veil Falls. Let the Veil's mist wash you up as you take in the absolute awe-inspiring sight that you're presented with.
The view from Niagara Falls USA Prospect Point Observation Tower is simply unmatchable - the rampaging descent of all three individual falls and the rushing white water below while the mist fills the gorge up. You can take the elevator of the Observation Tower to head to the floor of the gorge. From here, you can either board the Maid of the Mist cruise or walk up a flight of stairs of the side of the cliff to view the falls from the Crow's Nest.
Maid of the Mist
Ready for the ultimate Niagara experience? Nothing allows you to "feel the roar" as much as a mist-soaked cruise aboard the Maid of the Mist. Taking tourists to the feet of the falls for over 150 years, the Maid of the Mist cruise begins at the base of the Observation Tower, goes past the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls to the basin of the Horseshoe Falls. You are bound to return with a new found appreciation for the Niagara Falls.
The illumination of the Niagara Falls at night - a symphony of of multi-colored light on the dancing curtain of water makes the sight breathtaking beyond par. The Niagara Falls is illuminated on holidays & special occasions from hundreds of LED lights laced throughout the gorge.
Top of The Falls
Located on Goat Island between the Horseshoe and Bridal Veil falls, Top of the Falls is the only restaurant in the Niagara State Park that gives every patron a breathtaking view of the falls while they enjoy delicious American and classic dishes.
Visiting Niagara Falls - Practical Information
Niagara Falls State Park 24x7 throughout the year.
The journey from New York City to Niagara Falls is 400 miles long. If you're driving from NYC, then the drive will take 6.5-7 hours. You can either take I-80 W or go via I-81 N & I-90 W.
A train ride from NYC on the Amtrak takes about 9.5 hours.
The closes city to Niagara Falls is Buffalo, NY and is located 23 miles away. The flight takes under an hour, but including check-in and boarding, it should take 3-4 hours each way. It still remains the fastest way to get o Niagara Falls from New York City.
Getting Around in the Park
Enjoy the ease and convenience of a hop-on/hop-off shuttle that will take you to 15 exclusive sites along the 14-mile route from the "Falls to the Fort." Stops include Niagara USA Visitor Center, Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara View Points, Castellani Art Museum and the Old Niagara Fort among others. Check out the full list here.
Niagara Falls Reviews
I visited this truly amazing place with my wife on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-August and really enjoyed it. This place has been on my bucket list for years and I am glad to have finally visited it and crossed it off. The Falls are one of the most unique places to visit in North America and are one of nature’s true Natural Wonders. I think this place should be on everyone’s bucket list. The Waterfalls are magnificent and are not to be missed. All three of the waterfalls are cool but I think the Horseshoe Falls was the best. I ranked this attraction a 5 but would have gone up to 6 if that was allowed. I laughed when I read several people rated this natural wonder as a one 1 star attraction due to some minor inconvenience that had nothing to do with the Waterfalls. My wife and I agreed to come back and explore the entire area and do some hiking (we plan on staying on the Canadian side next time). I would also like to come back during the winter and see the water frozen solid.
Niagara Falls is amazing and is a must see attraction if you are visiting upstate New York. In addition, I think that everyone should see this place at least once in their lifetime. I have seen lots of Waterfalls in my life but nothing like this.
There are some places that you have to see for yourself: descriptions, pictures, even videos do not get the job done. Niagara Falls is one of them, the Grand Canyon is another. Go out of your way, 100's of miles is necessary to see the falls. This place is great; any time of the year. On a warm summer day, you can stand in the mist and feel the cool. On a cold winter day, you can see the giant icicles, and see snow.
Read what others have to say about the Niagara Falls on TripAdvisor.
Tips For Visiting Niagara Falls
- Your clothes are likely to get wet at the Niagara Falls. Shorts and quick dry trousers are much better than jeans. At the same time, sandals are better than wearing shoes and socks.
- Choose the right time to visit. During the summers, the falls have a heavy flow and the park gets crowded.
- During winters, the falls freeze and present an outworldly site. The crowds are much lesser as well. However, getting drenched in the mist is how you actually visit the Niagara Falls.
- Unless you have your own car, traveling from New York to Niagara by public transport is quite the hassle. The public transport within Niagara is practically non-existent; hence getting from one place to the other via local taxis can cost you a lot. We recommended taking an organized tour from New York to Niagara for the optimal experience.
- Outside the Niagara Falls entrance, there is a mall complex with multiple food kiosks and souvenir. You have cuisine options from Indian to Chinese and Arabic.
Are there 1 day tours to the Niagara Falls from NYC and back?
Yes, there are multiple day tours to Niagara Falls from New York City. You will travel to the falls in a comfortable coach, spend some quality time at the Niagara Falls and then head back to NYC in the evening.
Are there doorstep-pickup tours to the Niagara Falls?
While there aren’t any doorstep-pickup tours, you can board the buses at various conveniently located points across the city, including Times Square and the city center.
How far is Niagara Falls from NYC?
The journey from New York City to Niagara Falls is 400 miles long. If you're driving from NYC, then the drive will take 6.5-7 hours.
Can I use public transport to travel to Niagara Falls?
Unless you have your own car, traveling from New York to Niagara by public transport is quite the hassle. The public transport within Niagara is practically non-existent; hence getting from one place to the other via local taxis can cost you a lot. We recommended taking an organized tour from New York to Niagara for the optimal experience.
Are there trips to Niagara Falls for more than a day?
Headout offers exciting tours to Niagara Falls that stay overnight at the falls. You also get to visit other top attractions in the region like the Corning Glass Museum or cruise on the Niagara Jetboat!
Is the Maid of the Mist cruise included in day tour packages from NYC?
You can experience the Maid of the Mist boat ride during the months of May-October. The cruise is also dependent on the weather conditions.
How much time will I spend at the Niagara Falls?
Our day tour lasts for a total of 19 hours, inclusive of travel to and from Niagara Falls.