By: Ammara Younas
Planning a trip to Niagara Falls? The stunning beauty of this natural wonder will undoubtedly leave you in awe, but with so many iconic experiences to choose from, selecting the right one can be challenging. Journey Behind the Falls and Maid of the Mist are two popular attractions that offer unique perspectives and views of the Falls. In this article, we will delve into the details of each experience and help you make an informed decision. So, get ready to pack your bags and join us as we explore the best way to experience Niagara Falls!
See The Best Of Niagara With USA & Canada Combo Tour
Journey Behind the Falls provides an unrivaled opportunity to marvel at the wondrous beauty of Niagara Falls up close and personal! As you descend 125 feet into the gorge, you'll navigate through 130-year-old tunnels, feeling the thunderous roar of the cascading waters around you. The lower observation deck offers an unobstructed view of the majestic falls as they plummet down into the basin below, with a poncho provided to protect you from the mist.
(Photo via @laurie.plasse / Instagram)
The upper observation deck is open year-round, making it the perfect spot to take in a bird's eye view of the falls and the scenic Niagara Gorge. The viewing portals, cut straight through the rock, offer a front-row seat to one of the most incredible spectacles in the world. From here, you'll be able to see the famous Cataract Portal and the Great Falls Portal and capture unforgettable memories with waterproof cameras. A visit to Journey Behind the Falls will leave you feeling refreshed and energized, with memories that will last a lifetime. Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience and be sure to add it to your Niagara Falls itinerary!
While Journey Behind the Falls takes you on a tour behind the cascading waters, Maid of the Mist offers a unique perspective from the water, taking you a stone's throw away from the falls. As you board this iconic Niagara Falls boat tour, you'll receive a rain poncho at the Observation Deck, which is essential for the close-up view of the Falls you'll be getting. From there, descend to the base of the gorge via the elevators and brace yourself for the thundering roar of the crashing water as the mist drenches your skin.
(Photo via @themaidofthemist / Instagram)
As you navigate through the basin of Horseshoe Falls enveloped in dense mist, take in the breathtaking scenery and marvel at the gorgeous rock formations and the tumultuous whitewater of the waterfalls. Join the ranks of famous passengers, including Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, and Princes William and Harry, who have all taken a ride on this iconic Niagara Falls boat cruise. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with Mother Nature while visiting Niagara Falls, and create memories that will last a lifetime!
Journey Behind the Falls is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, at 6650 Niagara Parkway. Visitors can easily find the entrance at the Table Rock Visitor Centre near the edge of the falls. Once you park your car in the spacious parking lot, you can take a shuttle to the Visitor Centre to purchase your entry tickets. From there, you'll embark on a journey that will take you behind the falls and offer you an up-close view of this natural wonder.
Maid of the Mist, on the other hand, departs from the boarding docks of Niagara Reservation State Park on the American side of the falls. To get to the nearest Niagara Falls State Park parking lot, visitors can head to the intersection of Prospect Street and Mayor Michael O’Laughlin Drive. From there, they'll board the iconic Niagara Falls cruise that's been delighting tourists for over 150 years. As you cruise along the Niagara River and get close to the falls, you'll feel the mist on your skin and hear the thunderous roar of the cascading water.
When it comes to deciding between these two iconic attractions for a tour of Niagara Falls, your choice largely depends on which side of the border you're on. If you find yourself on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, then Journey Behind the Falls should be at the top of your list. But, if you happen to be on the United States side, then Maid of the Mist is undoubtedly the experience for you. Either way, both these magnificent sights offer unforgettable experiences that are guaranteed to leave you in awe. If you want to experience the best of both worlds, you can book both Niagara Falls US and Niagara Falls Canada tours and enjoy the convenience of having a professional guide take you to Niagara's popular tourist attractions from Hornblower Niagara Cruises and Skylon Tower to Cave of the Winds and Whirlpool State Park — without having to worry about transportation or parking!
See the Best of Niagara Falls Canada from the USA!
The duration of your trip is another crucial factor to consider when choosing between Journey Behind the Falls and Maid of the Mist. A trip to Journey Behind the Falls takes approximately 30-45 minutes, offering you plenty of time to immerse yourself in the stunning views, capture scenic photos, and revel in the experience of standing behind the cascading falls. In contrast, Maid of the Mist boat tours are 20 minutes in length, providing a shorter yet equally memorable experience. During this time, you'll have the chance to get up close and personal with the falls, feeling the cool mist on your skin and hearing the roar of the water as it crashes around you. Whether you prefer a longer or shorter experience, both tours guarantee an unforgettable adventure that will stay with you long after your trip ends.
When it comes to operating hours, Journey Behind the Falls takes the lead for a voyage to the falls as it remains open year-round, giving visitors the chance to experience the magnificence of this natural wonder no matter the season. The attraction operates from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, making it a perfect option for tourists who wish to visit at any time of day. On the other hand, Maid of the Mist's boat tours run from mid-May until the end of October from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm daily. However, it's important to note that the hours are subject to change, especially when weather conditions are a concern.
The experiences offered by Journey Behind the Falls and Maid of the Mist are both unique and awe-inspiring. With Journey Behind the Falls, visitors can witness the mighty Horseshoe Falls from behind and below and feel the power of the water thundering mere meters away. On the other hand, the Maid of the Mist boat ride takes you on a tour departing from Niagara Falls, New York, where you can marvel at the glory of American Falls, & Bridal Veil Falls and be surrounded by the dense mist of the Horseshoe Falls. Both attractions provide incredible views and unforgettable experiences that will leave you in awe of the natural wonder that is Niagara Falls.
Choosing between Journey Behind the Falls and Maid of the Mist can be a tough decision, especially when they are on opposite sides of Niagara Falls. But you shouldn't let borders come between your fun! Whether you're on the Canadian or American side, experiencing both attractions is possible by crossing the Rainbow Bridge either on foot or by car. And, if you're looking to explore hotspots of both American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls, a Combo Niagara Tour is undoubtedly your best bet! By booking a combo tour, you can enjoy the best of both worlds and witness the sheer beauty of Niagara Falls from every possible angle!