Tips from Manhattan to Niagara Falls For First Time Travelers


Niagara Falls is one of the most cherished sites in the US. The falls attract a considerable number of visitors yearly, and a sizable chunk is from outside the US. If you are visiting from outside the US and do not know how to get to the falls, this guide will be your North Star. We will be giving you the routes you can take if you are in New York and want to get to the falls. We would also highlight some activities that you must try out.

How You Can Get There

To get to Niagara Falls, there are various means of transportation you can take. In this guide, we will be focusing on two of them. The journey is approximately 400 miles long, and the means of transportation you take determines how fast you will arrive.

By Road

Driving from Manhattan to Niagara Falls will take you between 6 to 7 hours. You can take either the I-80 W or the I-81 and I-90 W. You should pack some snacks and entertainment while you are on your journey, so you do not get bored while on the drive.

By Rail

If you are going to Niagara Falls by rail, a train ride will take you around 9 hours on the Amtrak. The ride is comfortable, and you can take a nap or read a book while you wait to arrive at your destination.

Top Activities at Niagara Falls

There are different activities that you can enjoy while you are at the falls. Here are the top 5 activities that you will love:

Cave of the Winds

The cave of the winds allows you close to the breathtaking views of the Niagara Falls. The foot of the falls houses the Cave of the Winds, and it is located 175 feet deep into the Niagara Gorge. Walk along the Hurricane deck that can be accessed by walking along a wooden floor. At the Hurricane Deck, you will be a stone throw away from the Bridal Veil Falls. Allow the Veil’s most to sweep you up in its allure as you feast your eyes on the beautiful sight. The Cave of the Winds is a must-visit when you are at the falls and do not forget to take pictures that will crystallize the moment.


The Aquarium is an extremely popular attraction at Niagara Falls. It has over 1500 water animals, 200 different species, and the Penguin Coast exhibit. The Aquarium is open for people of all ages to observe the sea animals in their element surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere. The Aquarium is one of the major reasons visitors come to the falls as they can get to see sharks, tidal pools, and penguins first hand. Some of the Aquarium’s most significant highlights include Peruvian Penguins, Sturgeon, and the California sea lions. If you love water exhibitions, you will love this place.

Adventure Theater

The Adventure Theater takes you on a historical journey of the Niagara Falls. The 30-minute movie that is shown on a big screen shares so many incredible insights and fantastic stories about the history of the falls. You will get to see the falls through a new lens, and your perspective about it may just change. The film show is played in a 314 seater theater air-conditioned for your pleasure. The theater is located at the Niagara Falls State Park visitors center and the movie screens every 45 minutes, so if you miss the first show, there are many more to come during the day. The theater is named the Niagara Adventure Theater Auditorium and true to its name, it takes you on an adventure.

Observation Tower

The Observation Tower gives you views of the Niagara falls that you can not get anywhere else. The beautiful harmony of three falls with gushing white waters descending while most rises from the gorge is a spectacle you can only correctly experience at the Observation Tower. At the tower, there is an elevator that leads straight to the floor of the gorge. You can take the Maid of the Mist cruise or go up a flight of stairs to view the Crow’s Nest.

Are you are outside the US?

If you want to visit Niagara falls and you are outside the US, you will need to visit the country. If you are coming from a country that is part of the visa waiver program, you will need to apply for ESTA USA. The ESTA is a system put in place by the United States government to check and monitor the number of people who enter and leave the US without needing their visas. The form can be filled and submitted online, and the maximum approval time is 72 hours. If you do not receive any response, you can use the website to perform an ESTA check. Ensure that you have filled the form correctly so you can avoid an application rejection.

Ali Dino
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