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Our Favorite Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto – Honest Review! 

Our Favorite Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto – Honest Review! 

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Oddly enough even though we love visiting Toronto, we had never taken a day trip to Niagara Falls. So after a little research, we decided enough was enough, it was time! And wow, we hit the jackpot when we booked this specific tour to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is a natural wonder everyone owes it to themselves to see. Lucky for us (and you) I think we took the best tour available to experience it firsthand. We were seriously impressed throughout the entire day and as people who have been on a LOT of tours we know what it takes for a 5-star experience.

In this article, we’ll go through each stop, what we loved, what we think could have been better, and a few things we think you should know before taking it for yourself.

Our Itinerary on the Tour 

Pick up – Chelsea Hotel, Toronto

Our day started at 9:30 am when we were picked up from our hotel (the Chelsea Hotel) which was also conveniently one of the pickup locations for the tour. Our driver showed us to our seats on the bus where we settled in quickly. Making small talk with other passengers nearby, we sipped our coffee as we left the city and began our day of adventure!

First stop – Niagara College Teaching Winery 

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Niagara College Teaching Winery on a tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls
Cheers!
A glass of wine at Niagara College Teaching Winery on a tour to Niagara Falls
A perfect day for wine tasting

After about an hour’s drive, we pulled up to the Niagara College Teaching Winery, oh how I love it when a day starts with wine! Admiring the nearby vineyards as the sun shone brightly, we learned about their award-winning Winery and Viticulture program as we sipped several incredible wines. We especially enjoyed the rosé and may have bought a bottle (or two) to enjoy over the rest of our time in Toronto.

Second Stop – Table Rock Welcome Centre

Daniel smiling and gesturing to Niagara Falls canada
Welcome to Niagara Falls!
Bailey leans over the railing on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls
Check out these views!

With our cheeks the same color as the rosé we had been sipping, it was now only a quick 15-minute drive to the main Niagara Falls viewing area. Table Rock Welcome Center has some of the best views of the falls on either side of the border and we loved having an hour to explore on our own. Seeing Niagara Falls is mindblowing regardless of whether it’s your first or 100th time. I recommend taking advantage of your free time by checking out each of the lookouts they have there.

Third Stop – Lunch 

Bailey enjoys a glass of wine at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant with views of Niagara Falls
Enjoying a glass of wine and admiring the views while we wait for food
Daniel enjoys dessert at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant at Niagara Falls
Our 3-course meal concluded with dessert

By now we were pretty hungry, so we were grateful that the restaurant Queen Victoria Place was just a short drive down the road. While the views of the falls from the restaurant were stellar, the food we had was not. I mean, it wasn’t awful, but you don’t get to pick anything off of the regular menu and instead have to choose either a basic chicken, beef, fish, or vegetarian meal. The reason they do this is because they have to serve everyone quickly which I understand, but it was still lackluster.

Fourth Stop – Niagara Falls Cruise 

The Hornblower Cruise leaves dock headed for Niagara Falls in Canada
On our way to the falls!
Bailey smiles at the camera while getting wet at the base of Niagara Falls on the Hornblower Cruise
It was so much fun!

Oh man, this was by far the best part of the tour and I can’t wait for you to experience it for yourself! Putting on our red plastic ponchos, we climbed aboard the iconic Voyage to the Falls boat tour and journeyed right into the heart of the action.

With the water thundering down all around us, I couldn’t help but smile the entire 20 minutes we were out there as we looked up at the falls. We did get a little wet because we wanted to stand at the front of the boat, but if you want to avoid this there are splash-free zones farther back.

Fifth Stop – Niagara on the Lake 

Niagara on the lake canada
Niagara on the Lake

Our final stop of the day was Niagara-on-the-Lake, a town about 30 minutes north of Niagara Falls on Lake Ontario. Still riding the high from our adventure cruise, we welcomed the chance to explore the town by walking around on our own for a little over an hour. 

This is a great place to do some shopping or just enjoy the Victorian architecture of the buildings as you walk around. We did both of these things and made a bonus stop at Shaw Cafe and Wine Bar for some excellent cocktails before the 1.5-hour ride back to Toronto.

What we loved about this tour

Bailey sits on the bus looking out the window on her way to Niagara Falls from Toronto on a tour
The bus was super comfortable
Close up from the Canadian side looking at Niagara Falls
Don’t fall in!

All-inclusive 

I love all-inclusive because it means all I have to do is show up and the rest is taken care of – no hidden costs or extra fees! Compared to other tours where you have to pay for everything on the day of, the all-inclusiveness of this tour made the whole experience much more enjoyable and stress-free.

Got to see the highlights 

Usually, when you take a day tour to a popular attraction like Niagara Falls, you never have time to see everything. What we loved about this tour is that not only did we get to stop at all the highlights, but we got to spend plenty of time at each. This is doubly important if you only have a day to get out there and want to make the most of your trip.

Included a wine tasting 

I don’t think there’s too much I have to say about this one. Wine tastings are amazing as is, but one that’s included on a day trip to Niagara Falls? I mean come on! How great is that? The wine was fantastic and it was the perfect first stop.

A boat heading towards Niagara falls canada
Look at that water!

Fantastic guide 

I know that up until this point, I haven’t mentioned our guide, but he was amazing. Actually, he and the driver both! Providing fun, interesting, and insightful commentary when we were driving between locations meant we knew all of the interesting factoids of each stop when exploring on our own. 

Comfortable bus for the long journey 

When you’re going to be spending over 3 hours on a bus throughout the day, you need it to be comfy. I am to say that the bus we took had excellent seats with plenty of legroom for travelers on the taller side. There isn’t any WiFi, but everything else considered, it’s not a deal breaker by any means.

Lots of pickup locations 

We knew we were going to be taking this tour, so we chose to stay at one of the hotels it offers pick-up from, but if this isn’t you don’t worry! It can meet you at one of many pick-up points throughout Toronto meaning you don’t have to travel far first thing in the morning to catch your ride.

Excellent reviews

Of course, you’re reading our personal review, but you don’t just have to take our word for it! There are HUNDREDS of 5-star reviews you can check out online or just read a couple below:

“The whole day was incredible. Timing at all of our stops was just enough time, it wasn’t as if we were just sitting around waiting to catch the bus. Our bus driver and our tour guide were both exceptional. Our party of six would highly recommend this trip to anybody. Everybody on the bus was so friendly, we met new friends and we laughed the whole day!”

“A great relaxing day. My advice is to take this tour! Oh so much better than driving, if you are a tourist to the area. Loved it.”

Related Read: Before leaving the city, check out our HUGE list of things to do in Toronto!

What I didn’t like about this tour

tourists walk along niagara falls canada
What a day!

Lunch was basic 

It wasn’t the worst meal I’ve had by a long shot, but it wasn’t anything special. Maybe I’m just a picky eater (other people in our group found it delicious), but I wasn’t very impressed. However, having lunch included meant we didn’t have to figure out where to eat on our own.

Long day – (but all the tours are) 

There’s no way around this one, some tours are just long. From start to finish, this day trip clocked in at just about 10 hours. Granted we did a lot of stuff so that’s to be expected and if it was any shorter it would have felt rushed. I do recommend bringing some good shoes because you do a lot of walking!

Would I recommend this tour?

Absolutely! When it comes right down to it this tour is one of the best day trips to experience Niagara Falls. The amount you get to see and do, the wonderful guides, and the free time to explore makes it an easy pick for any type of traveler. And I mean your first stop is a free wine tasting. Seriously, how can you not love that?

Related Read: Looking for more fun experiences? Our guide on the best tours in Toronto will help you narrow it down!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Other Things to do While You’re in Toronto

Daniel poses for a photo with the current Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada
Hockey Hall of Fame!
Bailey poses for a photo at Casa Loma in Toronto, Canada
Casa Loma is such a beautiful castle!

Toronto is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So take some time to explore some of our other recommended activities:

  • Visit Casa Loma – This beautiful castle in downtown Toronto is more than just a historical museum. It’s filled with interesting exhibits, unique photo opportunities, and interactive activities for all ages. There is actually so much to do here that we wrote another blog post on all the things you should know before you visit Casa Loma.
  • Take in some hockey – Hockey is HUGE in Canada, so taking in an NHL game while you’re here is sure to be a fun night. You can buy tickets on Viator. If it isn’t hockey season, pop into the Hockey Hall of Fame to take a photo with the famous Stanley Cup and play some of the interactive games!
  • Eat great food! – With so many different cultures and restaurants, Toronto is a foodie heaven! Miku Toronto is considered the best sushi restaurant in the city. Food tours in Toronto are also top-notch and we enjoyed this walking food tour to help us try a variety of tasty dishes from butter tarts to pierogies to maple syrup and the chance to explore the iconic St. Lawrence Market.
  • Check out the view from the CN Tower -The tallest building in the city and all of Canada, heading up the CN Tower is a must! The main observation deck is on the 33rd floor and if you’re feeling brave, there’s a glass floor or the Edgewalk that takes you outside to walk high above Toronto!
  • Go sailing – For a unique cruise, climb aboard a 1930s schooner with this Toronto tall ship cruise. You’ll help the crew raise the sails for the journey from Toronto Harbor to Lake Ontario. There are panoramic views to take in and kids love it when the crew fires the ship’s canyon! Tickets are available online for only $50 CAD and cheaper for kids.

Where to Stay in Toronto

One King West Hotel & Residence
Photo credit: One King West Hotel & Residence

Let’s face it, Toronto is a huge city with practically endless options when it comes to hotels. But, not all hotels are created equal – you want to ensure you book a place with an amazing location and even better amenities, which narrows down your choices.

I’ve handpicked some of the best places to stay in the city – the below hotels all have an ideal central location as well as everything you need to have a comfortable stay! If you’re looking for more info about where to stay in Toronto, be sure to read our blog. It includes detailed info on the best area to stay, how to get from the airport to your hotel, and the top hotels!

Fairmont Royal York Hotel (Luxury Stay – $$$)

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in Toronto. With its historic ballroom, beautiful rooms, and a gorgeous skylit indoor pool, you’ll have to force yourself to leave and explore the city! But once you do, you’re steps from Union Station, so getting around via public transport is really easy. It also means that you can take the train from the airport directly to the hotel! 

The Hockey Hall of Fame is two blocks away, and you’re also about a 20-minute walk from both the waterfront and the Distillery District. Rooms usually start from around $500-$600 CAD per night and you can check availability and book the Fairmont Royal York online here!

The SoHo Hotel (Moderately-priced Boutique Hotel – $$)

The SoHo Hotel is an excellent choice for anybody looking for a centrally located hotel that is just stunning. This hotel is located only a short walk from attractions like the CN Tower, and it also has plenty of nice facilities including a lap pool and fitness center. Oh, and did I mention the rooms have heated bathroom floors?!

Room rates typically range from $300 CAD and up. The SoHo is one of the highest-rated hotels in Toronto, so be sure to book online here well in advance to secure your room.

One King West Hotel and Residences (Moderately-priced Full Apartments – $$)

If you’re looking for a home away from home, then One King West Hotel and Residences might be the best choice for you. Although a hotel, this property features fully self-contained apartments complete with a kitchen. This is perfect if you like to cook some of your own meals. On top of that, the location is ideal and you’ll also find a fitness center and onsite bar and restaurant.

For an entire apartment in Toronto, prices start at about $330 CAD. You can check availability and book online here.

Town Inn Suites Hotel (Budget Hotel – $)

You don’t have to spend a small fortune to stay in Toronto. If you’re on a tighter budget, Town Inn Suites Hotel is the best choice for you. Starting from only $170 CAD per night (in the low season), this centrally located hotel is tastefully decorated and features plenty of amenities. Rooms also feature a kitchenette, which comes in very handy. You can check prices and secure your room online here.

Samesun Toronto (Budget Hostel – $)

The Samesun Toronto is the perfect choice for backpackers or solo travelers wanting to meet others. The hostel has a great location as well as communal spaces (including a huge kitchen) where you can relax. They offer both dorm beds as well as budget private rooms, but bathrooms are all shared.

You can grab a dorm bed for less than $100 CAD per night during peak season. You can book the Samesun Toronto online on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfies as people loading onto a tourist boat at niagara falls canada
Thanks for reading!

That’s the full breakdown of our favorite tour to Niagara Falls from Toronto! While you will have plenty of options if you’re searching for tours, this specific tour stood out for us because of all the extra activities and that it includes the iconic boat ride near the falls. Plus, the fact it was all-inclusive meant there were no surprises on the day!

If you have more time in the city, check out our other Toronto blogs. We have step-by-step itineraries and tips on the best activities and tours!

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5 BEST Food Tours in Toronto +Our Review

25 BEST Free or Cheap Things to do in Toronto