Niagara Falls, NY, is undoubtedly photogenic. I mean, if the sun is shining, you’re bound to get a photo with a rainbow in it. But where are the hot spots? Where are there best locations to score the pretty photos? Here are the six best photo spots in Niagara Falls State Park!
I’ve been visiting Niagara Falls USA for a few years and each visit has always been a fun one. If I’m being honest, I really don’t know why I waited so long to check it out. But a couple of recent trips to the area have made me fall in love with Niagara Falls State Park and its scenic, photography-worthy views. I’ve narrowed it down to six places that are must-sees, including photography tips to keep your equipment safe. Yep, there’s water involved.
1. The Best Photo Spots in Niagara Falls State Park: Cave of the Winds
The Cave of the Winds, located on Goat Island, is a must-see, even if only once. With your ticket you’ll get a water poncho and a pair of sandals to protect your shoes. Yes, plenty of water everywhere, so bring a waterproof bag to keep yours dry.
Before you actually head 175-feet down into the Niagara Gorge to see the American Falls up close, there’s a fun film showing the history of the area and how Nikola Tesla harnessed its power to create AC power. With the recent update, you really should give it a watch.
Once you’re down in the Niagara Gorge, that’s when the fun begins. You’ll either be walking on cement paths or sealed wood walkways, neither of which I found particularly slippery. In any case, be careful. The path winds down, around, and back up to the funnest spot: the Hurricane Deck. If you’re standing on it, you probably won’t get much of a clear shot compliments of the mist and wind, so ask someone in your traveling party to stand down and take your photo.
Tip: You will get wet if you head to the Hurricane Deck, but on hot, humid days, it’s lovely. If you’re taking your camera, make sure you have it protected in plastic. If using your cell phone, check the waterproof/water resistant specs before you visit.
2. The Best Photo Spots in Niagara Falls State Park: Walking Paths Beside Maid of the Mist Entrance
Either before of after you visit Maid of the Mist, if facing the falls, head along the walking path to the right. There are steps and small inclines, but the view is absolutely breathtaking. You’ll be able to see Maid of the mist boats heading to and from the Horseshoe Falls, the Rainbow Bridge, and the pretty close view of the American Falls as well.
Tip: There’s no cost involved to check out this path, but there’s plenty of walking.
3. The Best Photo Spots in Niagara Falls State Park: Maid of the Mist
Remember when Maid of the Mist was on the Canadian side? A few years ago, the famous title officially came to Niagara Falls USA and it was then that I had my first trip to see the Falls up close.
When it gets to the point that there’s really not much to photograph compliments of the mist and wind, you can always take silly photos. Thanks goes out to Nedra McDaniel from AdventureMom, Karon Warren from This Girl Travels, Britni Vigil from PlayPartyPlan, and Tania Lamb from Lola Lambchops.
The boat ride itself was fun (it’s maybe 20 minutes long) but the views are gorgeous, particularly at the beginning and ending of the ride. Once you’re up near the Horseshoe Falls it’s much like being in a cloud, so you won’t see much. What you will do is feel the mist on your face and the wind blowing off your hood. On warm days, it’s heaven.
FYI, You’ll need to head to Prospect Point to ride Maid of the Mist. The boat ride is open seasonally, so please make sure to check the hours and times on the official site before you visit. You’ll also get very wet! If you’re taking your camera, make sure you have it protected in plastic. If using your cell phone, check the waterproof/water resistant specs before you visit.
4. The Best Photo Spots in Niagara Falls State Park: Maid of the Mist Walking Path
A bonus to riding the Maid of the Mist: the walking path up the side of the gorge. Of course, you don’t have to take it (head straight back to the elevator to instead), but it does offer some beautiful views.
5. The Best Photo Spots in Niagara Falls State Park: Observation Tower
There’s a small charge to visit the Observation Tower at Prospect Point if you’re not riding Maid of the Mist. During peak months, it’s $1.25 per person. When Maid of the mist is closed for the season, it’s free.
6. The Best Photo Spots in Niagara Falls State Park: Terrapin Point
At Terrapin Point on Goat Island, you’ll get more of a view of the Canadian side, but you can score a photo of yourself above the Horseshoe Falls. There’s also a walking path with a couple of pay binoculars so you can get a closer view.
On chosen nights, there are fireworks that light up the sky and Terrapin Point is a great place to view them. There are trees that block the path in some spots, so make sure you’ve got a clear view before they start: everyone runs to get a view when they begin!
Disclosure: I was hosted by the fine folks at Niagara Falls USA to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes it so fun to visit. All opinions are my own!