Without a doubt, the Niagara Region attracts the greatest number of tourists between the months of June to August. These are the months that see the highest temperatures, with average highs between 77 – 81 F, and lows between 56-61 F. Even on the hottest days, you can walk alongside the Horseshoe and American Falls and catch a comfortable breeze and mist to cool you off. Another prime reason to visit in the Summer is the atmosphere of large crowds, and you will get full advantage of all the attractions.
All great reasons to visit Niagara Falls in the Summer, but did you know that visiting Niagara Falls in the Fall has a number of beneficial reasons to plan your trip here as well? Maybe even more of an incentive. Here are some prime reasons to start packing your bags:
Plummeting Hotel Rates
Fall sees daily highs ranging from the low 40s to the mid 70s. In some cases, it’s not unusual to see snow as early as the end of October. Room rates have dipped since the Summer and will continue to dive as the Fall goes on. Expect to see rates slashed in half. Even on the weekends (when there all still plenty of activities and events to take part in), the rates are generally 50-60% off what they normally are during a weekday in the Summer.
The best way for getting around Niagara Falls is on foot. Most of the attractions and businesses are compacted together in such a way that it makes it easier (and cheaper!) to travel about this way. There are two prime areas that are ‘must-sees’ when visiting the Niagara Falls in the Fall, and anytime for that matter: Clifton Hill and the Niagara Parkway. Clifton Hill is known as the “Street of Fun by the Falls” for good reason. It’s a street lined with attractions with something for everyone — every ethnicity and every age group to enjoy. Think giant arcades and a “Fun House” for the kids, FIVE Haunted Houses from low on the scare chart to petrifying (hello, Nightmares Fear Factory!) and miniature golf courses for the teenagers, to the Niagara SkyWheel for the Adults, and even a scenic stroll through the historic Oakes Garden Theatre for the Seniors. All these plentiful and varying attractions are steps from one another.
As for getting around the popular Niagara Parks attractions that lie along the Niagara Parkway, the two main draws: Hornblower Niagara Cruises and Journey Behind the Falls, are just minutes from each other and the others are easily accessible by purchasing a WEGO pass for the day for much less than driving and having to pay parking fees (think the Whirlpool Aero Car, Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, Butterfly Conservatory and the White Water Walk).
The Comfort Inn Clifton Hill for example is situated in a prime location for accessibility and convenience. Literally right on Clifton Hill and with WEGO stops along the way, this hotel has room rates for as little as $76.50/night for a standard room during the Fall season. Click here to view the rates.
*Pictured Above: Step outside the Comfort Inn Clifton Hill lobby and you are immediately confronted with the Dinosaur Adventure Golf attraction*
The Harvest and Festivals
Niagara is also the home of Ontario’s grape wine harvest celebration. The 64th annual Niagara Wine Festival, based in Niagara on the Lake and historic Montebello Park in Downtown St. Catharines, features more than 100 events between Sept. 12th and 27th, 2015, which includes winery tours, tastings, concerts, Niagara cuisine, wine seminars, live entertainment and one of the largest street parades in the country. The Meridian Grande Parade hosts an outstanding procession of marching bands, drum corps, community groups, majorettes, floats and amazing performances, attracting upwards of 100,000 spectators to the streets of downtown St. Catharines each year. This year’s Grande Parade theme is “Harvest Street Party” and occurs on Saturday, September 26th at 11:00 am.
Another world-known festival that Niagara Falls brings is the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights – November 21, 2015 – January 31, 2016. Since its inception in 1983, it has grown to be Canada’s largest illumination festival and the premiere illumination festival in North America which attracts well over 1.5 million visitors. It was recently included in the Top 10 Canada’s best winter festivals by canoe.ca and recognized as a Festival of Distinction by Festivals & Events Ontario and a Top 100 Internationally Known Event in North America by the American Bus Association.
Let’s also not forget the Niagara Falls International Marathon. This is the only marathon of its kind that starts in the U.S.A. and finalizes in Niagara Falls, Canada. What better scenery than running past one the world’s most amazing sights? I actually did this race before (read: My First Marathon Experience!), and it’s an experience that entrants will never forget, and the beautiful landscape of the Niagara Falls in the Fall is something the spectators will enjoy as they wait for their family and friends to cross the finish line.
Line up? What line up?
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of the Niagara Falls in the Fall is the fact that the majority of attractions remain open, with the others closing late in the season (mid to end of November). 90% of the Clifton Hill attractions stay open year-round, with the only closure being the outdoor play areas (Mystery Maze, Bronto’s Playland) and the outdoor 36-hole miniature golf course, Dinosaur Adventure Golf. Even those attractions can see late closures dependant on the weather. To verify, check their websites, or click here for the opening/closing dates and times of the Clifton Hill attractions on the south side of the street.
Autumn sees little to no wait times at attractions, and if you are visiting scenic rides to capture the beauty of the Niagara Falls in the Fall, you are in for a treat! The changing colours are astonishingly beautiful. Catch a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel to photograph pictures from 175 feet in the sky on top of Canada’s largest observation wheel already being situated on the peak of Clifton Hill.
Photos such as these:
Probably the best way to tour the Niagara Falls in the Fall is from directly above with an aerial view on the Niagara Helicopters. Check out some photos and video that I personally took from my ride aboard the helicopter this year by clicking the image below– what an unbelievable experience!
Get up close and personal on the Hornblower Niagara Cruises. This awesome boat tour unlike any other will get you up close and personal with the Niagara Falls well into November. Voyage to the Falls daytime tours are available as well as the unique Falls Illumination/Fireworks Cruises. Not only is the Hornblower a relatively new attraction (just over a year old), but 2015 now features an extension of the Niagara Falls Fireworks. These displays happen on Friday’s beginning on September 11th, 2015 until October 9th, 2015.
Depending on the hotel that you choose to stay at, driving around is not required. However if you do choose to take your car, you can enjoy many parking fees slashed in half as well. This is the beauty of traveling to the Niagara Falls in the Fall — Inexpensive hotel rates, harvest time in Niagara, many popular festivals and events, little to no line-ups, beautiful changing foliage, and parking fees cut dramatically.
For a reasonably priced Niagara Falls parking lot situated in a prime location to the most popular Niagara Falls attractions, and the driving directions (with video) on how to get there:
Welcome to Niagara Falls!