Toronto To Niagara Falls Road Trip – It’s no surprise that Niagara Falls is such a popular weekend getaway, especially for those who live in or near Toronto. After all, how many world-famous natural wonders are located so close to a major city? Whether you’re a lifelong Torontonian, a traveler looking to explore Canada, or something in between, the two-day trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls is on almost everyone’s bucket list. Here’s how to make the most of your weekend getaway to “the Falls.”
This is the most popular transit option for weekend travelers in the summer. For $35 per person or $65 for a group, GO travelers get:
Toronto To Niagara Falls Road Trip
Megabus services between Toronto and various places in the Niagara Region, including the Niagara Falls bus station, with a one-way ticket usually ranging from $15 to $25 CAD.
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From there, visitors can take a short ride on the WEGO bus to Niagara Falls’ tourist district, Clifton Hill. The walk to Clifton Hill from the bus station is about a 30 minute walk.
The trip to Niagara Falls from Toronto usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, depending on traffic. The most direct route to Niagara Falls from Toronto is via Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). However, adventurous road trippers can get off the highway early to enjoy the roads of Niagara. When you see the signs for “The Falls / Niagara Falls U.S.A”, you have arrived.
If you choose to drive to Niagara Falls for the weekend and want to stay close to the tourist district, expect to pay for parking. Most hotels charge for overnight parking, so before booking your travel plans, check with your hotel about their overnight parking rates. Those visiting for a single day can park in Niagara Parks lots for $26.55 + HST. For this reason, most visitors to Toronto opt to take transit for their weekend trip to Niagara Falls. However, it might be worth having a vehicle in hand if you plan to do a walk or visit wineries elsewhere in the region.
Niagara Falls has something for everyone, from a bird sanctuary to casinos to ziplines. For the best weekend itinerary, mix these must-see attractions with some of your personal picks:
End Of The Season Road Trip, Days 1 4
There is nothing like taking in the view of Niagara Falls from the top. The Niagara Skywheel is a 175-foot ferris wheel that offers riders stunning views of the American and Canadian falls. Located in the heart of Clifton Hill, the Skywheel is a short walk from some of the other top attractions in Niagara Falls. So, if you’re looking for a thrill or just want to take in the beauty of the Falls, be sure to add the Niagara Skywheel to your weekend itinerary.
There are many ways to visit Niagara Falls, including by boat, helicopter, and even under the falls. One of the most popular options is the Niagara City Cruises boat tour, which gives amazing views of the Niagara Gorge, American Falls, Canadian Horseshoe Falls, and more! This 20-minute journey departs from the Canadian and will bring you face to face with these natural wonders.
Niagara Falls State Park is located on the American side of the Falls and is one of the oldest state parks in the country. The park offers many opportunities for walking, picnicking, and simply taking in incredible views. Do not miss the opportunity to visit some of the highlights of the park, such as Goat Island and Luna Island.
Old Fort Niagara is a historic fort located on the Niagara River. The fort has a long history, dating back to 1679, when French soldiers built it for the first time. Today, visitors can explore the buildings and grounds of the fort, which offers a stunning view of Lake Ontario. The fort is open year-round and also hosts special events throughout the year.
Day Ontario Family Road Trip
Niagara Falls, United States, is home to plenty of great shopping and dining options. For shopping, head to Rainbow Boulevard, where you’ll find everything from souvenir shops to high-end retailers. And for dinner, be sure to try some of the area’s famous chicken wings or the local ice wine. Visitors can also find many other great things to do on a weekend visit to Niagara Falls, USA, such as visiting museums or walking in nature. No matter your interests, there is something for everyone in this vibrant destination.
Journey Behind the Falls is an attraction located on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. The attraction allows visitors to descend 150 feet into the Niagara Gorge and then walk behind the Horseshoe Falls. Journey Behind the Falls is open year-round, but hours vary seasonally. Combined tickets that include this attraction + the popular boat cruise can be purchased here.
Niagara Falls is treated to an incredible fireworks display every Friday and Sunday night during the summer months. The best place to see the fireworks is from Queen Victoria Park in the Canadian Falls. Visitors can also get a great view of the fireworks from Goat Island or Prospect Point Park on the American side. No matter where you choose to watch, make sure you get there early to get a good seat. The Niagara Falls Fireworks Show is always a highlight of any weekend visit to Niagara Falls. Find a spot to watch on land, or better yet, watch the action from aFalls Fireworks Cruise.
If you choose to take a transit option such as the GO Train or a Megabus to Niagara Falls from Toronto, you will have to limit your luggage. Luckily, a trip to Niagara Falls requires very little equipment. Here are some “must-haves” when packing your weekend bag:
Holiday Weekend Alternate Routes To Qew To And From Niagara Falls
The weather in Niagara Falls is remarkably similar to that of Toronto, although more rain and slightly warmer temperatures can occur. In the summer, pack light clothing to wear during the day, a sweater for the evening, and an umbrella or rain jacket to prepare for the occasional downpour. If you’re visiting during a colder time of year, prepare for fluctuating temperatures by packing extra layers.
Niagara Falls offers many food options, ranging from budget options, such as Tim Hortons and the Riverside Patio, to fine dining. If you choose to bring your own food, be sure to pack it in a waterproof container or, better yet, leave it in your hotel room.
Your cell phone is a must to capture photos of your experience. Be sure to protect your phone with a waterproof case and have a safe place to stow other electronics. While you’re unlikely to get soaked, be prepared to face some fog as you approach the Falls.
Save on buying sunscreen at an expensive tourist store by bringing some along for the trip. Hats, sunglasses and other protective measures are also a good idea!
That Time When Toronto Was In Love With Niagara Falls
While it’s definitely possible to have a great weekend getaway without visiting the American side of Niagara Falls, crossing the border on foot over the Rainbow Bridge is a pretty unique experience. This border crossing may not be traditional, but customs rules still apply – make sure you have your passport in hand and be prepared to answer any questions from border security. Also, bars and casinos on both sides of the border often ask for two forms of identification before allowing entry, so be sure to bring at least several government-issued ID cards with your date of birth, such as and a driver’s license, passport and health card.
The first day of your itinerary will almost certainly be spent in the Clifton Hill / Niagara Falls area, but what about day two? Many people choose to venture a little further from the central tourist area to enrich their weekend visit. Here are some of the top picks to end a weekend trip to Niagara:
Niagara has two distinct wine regions: Twenty Valley, which boasts more than 50 vineyards, and picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake. Companies like Niagara Vintage Wine Tours offer a variety of full-day and half-day tours to local wineries, including pick-up and drop-off from most Niagara Falls hotels. If you have your own vehicle, you can also call a designated driver and go to any cantina you want!
WeGo’s Niagara-on-the-Lake shuttle provides transit to various heritage sites, including Laura Secord Homestead, MacKenzie Printery, McFarland House and Fort George. Click here for more information on this fascinating, but often lesser-known route.
Winter Road Trips Close To Toronto To Go On With Your Significant Other
Where there is water, the beaches can’t be too far! Port Dalhousie, Lowbanks, Crystal Beach… there are many places to catch some rays and take a dip in the lake. Here is a list of some of the most popular places for fun in the sun.
If you prefer to stay closer to Clifton Hill on day two of your trip, consider taking in a show, trying your luck at the casino, or just enjoying one of the many scenic walks available near the Niagara River.
Finally, here are some of the best general tips we have to share about planning your Niagara Falls weekend from Toronto:
We recommend combining the Niagara Parks Adventure Pass with the best savings available with the Niagara Parks Travel Package.
Canada Road Trip: Niagara Falls, Toronto And Montreal
Lineups on Niagara City Cruises and Journey Behind the Falls can grow by the day. Consider taking an earlier bus, train, or