Holidays to Niagara Falls, New York
The ESTA Visa USA and your holiday in the United States. Prior to going on your holidays to Niagara Falls, you’ll have to arrange for your US Visa. Instead of a conventional US Visa, you might consider opting for an ESTA Visa. If you want to come on vacation to Niagara Falls, those formalities have to be taken care of. You’ll either need a regular USA Visa or an ESTA Visa. You can find the online ESTA application form here. Welcome to our ESTA Visa travel guide for Portland Oregon. “ESTA” stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security manages the VWP which issues the ESTA Visa USA.
The ESTA Visa USA application for your ESTA USA
You can complete your ESTA application here on this website in minutes, and receive an ESTA US Visa by email within hours. An ESTA US Visa will be valid for 2 years and allow for multiple entries into the United States. A regular USA Visa means that you will have to pay a visit to the US Embassy to apply and it will take many days or weeks for the process to complete. So, instead of a conventional US Visa, complete the ESTA application online here and be on your way to Niagara Falls within hours.
ESTA Visa Guide to Niagara Falls, a natural spectacle
Near Buffalo, the Niagara River plunges almost 51 meters, creating one of the world’s most magnificent natural vistas: Niagara Falls. These three sets of falls sit on the US-Canada border. Bridal Veil and American Falls are on the American side while the Horseshoe Falls lie on the Canadian side. The falls started evolving about 10,000 years ago when the young Niagara River flowed out of Lake Erie. It tumbled over the Niagara Escarpment 12 kilometers to the north. The river waters slowly eroded their way back to the present-day location of the falls. Since Native Americans first laid eyes on them, the falls have been a source of wonder to all who view them. The falls are spectacular not for their height, but their panoramic breadth, mighty roar, and scenic beauty.
30 Million visitors annually
Drawn by their tumult and spray, explorers, painters, daredevils, hucksters, honeymooners, and sightseers have flocked to their banks. Niagara is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting around 30 million visitors a year.
Your ESTA Visa USA is valid for 2 years and multiple entries!
ESTA Visa Guide – Flying From the UK to New York City
As there are no direct flights from the UK to Niagara Falls, you have a stopover at New York City. From here, you have multiple options (flight, bus, train, car hire) to get to Niagara Falls. The average returning air fairs start from around $350 in the low season and $500 in the high season. A business-class round trip would set you back by at least $1600.
ESTA Visa Guide – Getting to Niagara Falls
The Buffalo Niagara International Airport, in Buffalo, New York accommodates the largest selection of airlines and is the primary gateway. It is located about 30-40 minutes from Niagara Falls, and most major airlines fly here. The smaller but closer Niagara Falls Airport serves primarily charter planes, though connecting flights from Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air arrive here as well.
Once at the airport, the ITA Shuttle runs to either the Canadian or US side for about $45 per person to the US side or $55 per person to Canada. The Buffalo Airport Shuttle can accommodate a family of four for about $22 per person, and the drivers are known for offering helpful hints about the area.
Amtrak makes a stop at the Niagara Falls station for those arriving by train. There is also a bus depot near the Falls, from where a taxi ride to the Falls costs about $10-15. Visitors who have spent time in New York City or Boston usually extend their vacation by taking a bus tour to the Falls.
Lounges at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
Air France Lounge
Location: Next to Gate 1 of Terminal 1
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and 11:30 pm to 0:30 am
Facilities: Wi-Fi, hot and cold meals, drinks, TV, computers, air-conditioning, fax, Wi-Fi, wellness spa, magazines, newspapers
Access: Priority Pass, Lounge Club, DragonPass or Diners Club membership. Air France passengers, Gold, Platinum, Silver or Ivory members of Flying Blue. First-class or executive class passengers of SkyTeam airlines.
Delta Sky Club
Locations: On the mezzanine floor of Terminal 2 and Next to door 31 on terminal 4
Opening hours: 5:00 am to 9:00 pm
Facilities: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, fax, copiers, printers, snacks, showers, Wi-Fi, telephones, newspapers and magazines
Access: Delta Sky Club members, first and executive class passengers of Delta Air Lines and SkyTeam airlines. SkyTeam Elite Plus members.
British Airways Club Lounge
Location: After the security check at Terminal 7
Opening hours: 5:00 am to 10:00 pm
Facilities: Business services, snacks, Wi-Fi, entertainment, telephones, shower, drinks, craft beer on tap, air conditioning, magazines, newspapers
Access: Priority First-class or executive class passengers of British Airways or OneWorld Airlines. Sapphire or Emerald members, British Airways Gold Executive Club or Silver
The ESTA Visa USA is valid for 2 years and multiple entries!
ESTA Visa Guide – Holiday Accommodations at the Niagara Falls
Both the American and Canadian sides have developed tourist infrastructures, so there are plenty of accommodations to choose from. From water parks to casinos to farm-to-table restaurants, the hotels at Niagara Falls are an experience in themselves. For an adventure-packed family tour or a romantic weekend break, there is something for everyone. Here are some of our favourite hotels in and around Niagara Falls.
Fallsview Casino Resort (4 Stars)
Stay amidst the action-packed center of Niagara Falls at the Fallsview Casino Resort. This hotel not only provides easy access to the falls but also keeps you close to top-notch entertainment. Fallsview Casino Resort is an ideal place for those who like to frequent casinos. All 374 rooms and suites in this casino are more spacious than other hotels in the area. For extra comfort, you can book a suite, which features large whirlpool tubs and added space and amenities. Ask for a corner suite, preferably on the higher floors, for the best opportunity to see American and Horseshoe Falls.
DoubleTree Fallsview Resort & Spa (4 Stars)
Located about ten minutes’ walk from the falls, the DoubleTree Fallsview Resort & Spa offers 224 rooms over 18 floors. The spacious and comfortable rooms with classic decorations offer a view of the American fall. Indoor saltwater swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, spa, art gallery and restaurant complete the facilities. At your arrival, you will be offered delicious cookies.
ESTA Visa Guide – The Tower Hotel (4 Stars)
Ceiling-length windows with spectacular views of the Niagara Falls are the prime lure at The Tower Hotel. With an in-house wedding chapel and romantic-themed rooms, this boutique hotel is an ideal place to stay for couples. This 42-room hotel sits on top of a tower right across the Falls Incline Railway and Lock Bridge. The tower’s circular shape compelled the architects to design relatively small, but they are not void of world-class amenities. Each room has refrigerators and microwaves, in addition to comfortable furniture and plush sheets. There are two types of rooms – Fallsview rooms and Cityview rooms. While Fallsview rooms offer scenic views, the Cityview rooms are more spacious. During summer, it’s worth splurging for the Fallsview room.
Great Wolf Lodge (4 Stars)
If you are traveling with kids, they would love their holiday at the Great Wolf Lodge. The accommodation booking includes admission to the fun and exciting indoor water park, which is accessible only to the guests. The park sports several water slides, a splash area for the young ones, a wave pool, and a whirlpool spa for adults. Besides, you can participate in the story-hour every night, which is engaging for both the parents and their kids.
Sterling Inn & Spa (4 Stars)
Sterling Inn & Spa building was once an ice cream factory, hence the tower is shaped like a bottle of milk. Rather austere from the outside, the hotel hides a superb interior combining modernity and rustic materials. The oversized guestrooms are equipped with luxuries like fireplaces, rain showers, and minibars. You can get a complimentary breakfast right in your room or head downstairs to the award-winning restaurant. Executive chef, Cory Linksonhe oversees the AG inspired restaurant which uses seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients to craft delicious dishes.
The ESTA Visa USA is valid for 2 years and multiple entries!
ESTA Visa Guide – Places to Visit at the Niagra Falls
The Niagara Falls owes its name to both the falls and the area surrounding the iconic falls. Niagara Falls is a small city located on the west side of the Niagara River, which forms the border of the Canadian province of Ontario with the state of New York. Most of the tourist attractions are concentrated around the waterfalls. You can enjoy the views from multiple vantage points – from a boat ride, the window of a Fallsview restaurant, cable car, and even from a helicopter. The Niagara Falls region is much more than the waterfalls. You can discover rich flora and fauna in its parks and botanical gardens, tour the wineries, and explore historical museums. Here are some of the best places to make the most out of your visit to Niagara Falls.
Queen Victoria Park
Since 1885, the nature surrounding the falls is protected from commercial development thanks to the creation of Queen Victoria Park. The park is a lush green oasis along the Niagara River. The Oakes Garden Theater, an outdoor amphitheater located in the entrance to the park is worth visiting. During the summer, brides and grooms take turns for the traditional photoshoots. When spring comes, more than 500,000 daffodils bloom there. Hiking and cross-country ski trails crisscross the park.
Table Rock Welcome Centre
Table Rock Welcome Center, located just upstream from the falls, houses tourist information offices. Among the observation points facing the falls, the main one is in front of these offices. There is also the Table Rock House Restaurant with a direct view of the falls along with several souvenir shops. From the outside, you can watch the falls from just about any angle. Inside, Niagara’s Fury offers a unique journey to discover the formation of Niagara Falls around 12,000 years ago. The room is specially designed for a 4D experience.
Niagara Falls State Park
Viewing the three Niagara Falls is free and merely pulling into a parking lot or disembarking from your taxi or tour bus is all that is required. You may walk up to a railing and take in the entire area. The Canadian side gives you the best perspective on all three falls. For many, this sight in itself is enough to satisfy as the view is so magnificent. The sight and sound of the rushing water, the mist rising even from far away, and the rainbow that often forms over the water on a sunny or partly sunny day is awe-inspiring.
ESTA Visa Guide recommendation – Maid of the Mist
Besides the view of Niagara Falls, this is arguably the most popular attraction. The Maid of the Mist boat trip has been a tourist attraction since 1846. Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Brad Pitt are a few celebrities who have experienced this ride. It offers visitors the chance to ride in a boat to actually “look up” at Niagara Falls.
Journey Behind the Falls
At Journey Behind the Falls, an elevator takes visitors 150 feet below the Falls to an observation deck at the foot of Niagara Falls. The journey is a way to see the massive waterfalls from behind, as the name implies. Free rain ponchos are distributed because there are considerable splashes of water.
Located between the American and Canadian parts of the falls, this the closest visitors can get to the Falls. You can board an elevator to descend 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge. From there, take wooden walkways along the river gorge to Hurricane Rock, just a few feet from the rushing water. Bridal Veil Falls is the closest waterfall from here, and it creates bursts of sprays.
Cave of the Winds
Each spring, a series of platforms linked by stairs are installed to allow visitors to get as close as possible to the American fall. The experience is memorable, and you will come out of it
Whirlpool Aero Car
In operation since 1916, the Whirlpool Aero Car is a cable car that offers a bird’s eye view of the falls. The one-kilometer route connects two points on the Canadian side of the falls. When the water changes direction as the 10-minute ride advances, it creates a whirlpool effect. The attraction has been operating since 1916.
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens offer 99 acres of gardens, featuring a section of shade trees and plants, as well as an expansive herb garden, and a rose garden with about 2400 roses. There is also an arboretum with trees such as pine, fir, elm, birch, and maple. There are seasonal displays, and the greenhouse also changes displays. Admission is free, and the gardens are open from May to October from dawn to dusk. In the center of the botanical garden, you will notice the glass dome which houses the Butterfly Conservatory. It is a gigantic aviary which houses over 2,000 butterflies. A wide variety of turtles and fish in plant and water basins recreate an environment similar to a tropical forest.
The Bird Kingdom is home to the largest indoor aviary in the world where birds fly free. Over 400 exotic birds representing countries around the world fly in nine different areas. You can feed the birds as well as hold some species such as lorikeets. The main section is a 50,000 square foot tropical rainforest setting including a 40-foot waterfall – not quite Niagara Falls but still beautiful! There is also a reptile encounter area. In the Discovery Zone, guests can meet handlers of the reptiles and birds.
Niagara Falls History museum
Located in the old Stamford Town Hall, the museum contains three galleries telling the Niagara Falls story. Constructed in 1874, the museum features relics such as guns, buttons, and archives from the War of 1812. You will also find photos and items about the geology of the area. There are usually special exhibits, and recent ones have included a mock 1850s tavern and a Gift of the Nile exhibit.
Greg Frewin Theatre
This 600-seat dinner theatre, located just minutes from the Falls, features a Las Vegas-style magic show. It is considered a “must-see” by locals and visitors alike. Magician Greg Frewin comes here after long-standing performances in other venues such as Las Vegas, the Bahamas, and Malaysia. Dinner is served at 6:15 pm, and the show begins at 7:30 pm.
The ESTA Visa USA is valid for 2 years and multiple entries!
ESTA Visa Guide – Top Restaurants in Niagara Falls
Owing to the proximity of farms and vineyards, Niagara restaurants extensively incorporate fresh, local ingredients in their dishes. Despite being a relatively small city, it offers a diverse range of international cuisines. Niagara Falls is home to several award-winning restaurants and chefs. You can dine at one of those fancy restaurants that offer privileged views of the falls. Or dig a little deeper to unearth hidden gems that have kept their old flavours well intact. To bring out the foodie in you, we have picked these five restaurants in Niagara Falls that are worth considering.
ESTA Visa Guide – Skylon Tower Restaurant (Top Level)
In addition to being a restaurant, the Skylon Tower is also a tourist spot. It sits on a 160-meter high tower with an observation deck. An exciting feature is its revolving deck from where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the waterfalls. At night, Skylon Tower is no less impressive with the colorful lighting making the falls even more spectacular. Offering lunch and dinner options, and an excellent wine list, the restaurant is on the more expensive side. The menu features American classics and comfort food, seafood, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. Remember to reserve a table, as it usually gets crowded and you might have to stand in long lines.
Elements on the Falls (Top Level)
Another restaurant in Niagara Falls with an impressive view is Elements on the Falls. Here, you can also watch the Falls while enjoying a delicious meal. The talented chefs craft the dishes with fresh ingredients sourced from the local farms and pair them with an exclusive selection of wines from the nearby wineries. The options range from fries to shrimp ravioli, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes.
Shaw Café (Medium Level)
A place of pure charm, located in Niagara-On-The-Lake, is the Shaw Café. The architecture draws attention because of its elegant design and the presence of a fountain. The little details transform the café into a super-sweet spot. It is one of the restaurants in Niagara Falls that has a simpler but delicious menu. The menu consists of appetizers and salads, such as the bruschettas and Caesar Salad, along with salmon, lasagna and hamburger.
Beavertails Pastry (Budget-Friendly)
This unusual pastry cafe has become a classic with visitors and locals. Even President Obama stopped by to try one when he visited the area in 2009. The beaver is one of Canada’s best-known national symbols and this wholewheat pastry is hand-stretched until it resembles the tail of a beaver. It is then topped with a seemingly never-ending supply of choices and served hot. Some people choose chocolate and banana, while some go for the cinnamon, peanut butter, M&Ms, hazelnut.
Flying Saucer Restaurant (Budget-Friendly)
Flying Saucer Restaurant was built to look just like a “flying saucer”, especially the take-out section. Indoors, “aliens” sit in booths amidst mysterious coloured lights. They have a breakfast special for very reasonable prices from 6 am to 1 pm. Eggs, sandwiches, and pancakes are the highlights of the breakfast menu. Lunch and dinner selections include sandwiches, soups and salads, chicken, seafood, and platters consisting of a sandwich, fries, and coleslaw.
The ESTA Visa USA is valid for 2 years and multiple entries!
When you return, you take home the memories of sight and sound of the waterfalls, the adventures around them, and the discovery of surrounding areas. These memories of visiting one of the seven wonders would last forever with you.