United States Or Canada: Which Side Of Niagara Falls Is Better To Visit?

The tallest waterfall in North America is Yosemite Falls at 2,450 feet, but when it comes to width and volume, there's nothing bigger than Niagara Falls, according to The Source. The water travels towards the falls at a pace of around 25mph with a top speed at the falls recorded at 68mph, and depending on the season, around 1,416 to 2,832 metric tonnes of waterfalls every second, as noted by Niagara Parks. With the intense volume of water, you'll be able to hear Niagara Falls before you can see them. The falls along the Niagara River were formed over 12,000 years ago, and, in 1885, Niagara Reservation, now Niagara Falls State Park, became the first state park in the United States, via National Park Service (NPS) and Niagara State Falls Park. Some of the early advocates for the protection of the area around Niagara Falls included Frederick Law Olmsted (who designed New York City's Central Park), Charles Darwin, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

People have come to the Niagara Falls area for centuries, drawn to its natural beauty. But there is not one waterfall called Niagara Falls. Instead, that's the name for the trio of waterfalls near the same place along the river. Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the three — the others are Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls, per Niagara Falls Canada. Both America and Canada lay claim to Niagara Falls, and both sides have beautiful views, but to be honest, one side is better than the other.

Get a panoramic view of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side

The better side of Niagara Falls to visit is the Canadian side. Here's why. Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three waterfalls at Niagara Falls, and the one that likely comes to mind when you think of Niagara Falls is predominantly in Canada. The Niagara River is split as it heads towards Lake Ontario by Goat Island with the bulk of the water flowing to the western side of the island, creating Horseshoe Falls, per Niagara Region. The way the river flows, you can see the full majesty of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side in a way that you just can't from the American side, according to Planned Wanderings.

You can also go behind Horseshoe Falls from Canada; the Journey Behind the Falls (per Niagara Falls Canada) starts with an elevator ride down 125 feet, and then you can hear and feel the power of the falling water from two observation decks near the base of the falls. For a bird's-eye view of Niagara Falls, Skylon Tower has an observation deck overlooking the falls from 775 feet up. You can even enjoy a meal and drinks with the Niagara Falls view in the tower's Revolving Dining Room.

Both Canada and America run seasonal boat tours of the falls

That isn't to say that the American side of Niagara Falls isn't worth visiting. Both the American and Bridal Veil Falls are on the American side, and while they may be smaller, they are still impressive. You can stand next to one end of Horseshoe Falls at Terrapin Point in Niagara Falls State Park and experience the waterfall's awesome power and feel the spray coming off the falls. The park also has the Prospect Point Observation Tower, where you can see all three falls at once. You can cross between the two countries to get views from both sides via the Rainbow Bridge on foot, by bike, or in a car.

If you want a closer view of the falls, both the Canadian and American sides have boat tours; both run seasonally and are closed in winter. From the Canadian side, you'll be riding with Hornblower Niagara, per ToNiagara. The American side has the more historic Maid of the Mist, a boat that's been helping travelers cross the Niagara River and see the falls since the late 1840s. When Princess Diana visited Niagara Falls with Prince William and Prince Harry in 1991 during a trip to Canada, they rode on the Maid of the Mist. Marilyn Monroe also took a boat trip on the Maid of the Mist, and fans of "The Office" may recognize it from the wedding of Jim and Pam.