Where to Stay in Niagara Falls for a Local Experience

The powerful Niagara Falls sits on the US-Canada border
The powerful Niagara Falls sits on the US-Canada border | © Dennis Cox / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Sandra MacGregor
8 January 2021

If you’re looking to discover a lesser-known facet of the legendary waterfall, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re planning to explore the Canadian or American side of Niagara Falls, here are some select properties on both sides of the border that will help shine the spotlight on the region’s more laid-back and family-friendly side.

Sterling Inn and Spa

Get to know a more intimate, quiet side of Niagara Falls at this charming property on the Canadian side. Housed in a historic dairy factory, the calming jewel tones and elegant aesthetic of the inn offer a welcome refuge from the casinos and often crowded falls, which are a surprisingly short walk away. The fine-dining AG Inspired Cuisine restaurant highlights the abundance of the region’s local farms and wineries.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Wheelchair accessible (may have limitations)
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Limo or Town Car service available
Fitness facilities
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

The Giacomo

This lovely boutique hotel in Niagara Falls, New York, has thoughtful amenities such as custom chocolate and fresh cookies, and a stay here gets you up close to all the watery action. You can easily walk to the falls, as well as the Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist and Niagara Falls State Park. The hotel is also just a short drive to the Canadian side, where you can shop and enjoy attractions such as casinos, wineries, the famous Butterfly Conservatory and more.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
In-room accessibility
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Multilingual staff
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Serene Niagara Inn

If you’re looking for a less touristy, more relaxed way to experience Niagara Falls, look no further than this small, quaint inn. Just a 10-minute walk from the falls and other popular attractions, the five-room guesthouse is set in a century-old renovated Victorian home. The thoughtfully decorated rooms and interactions with the friendly homeowner will give you the impression of staying with family. Be sure to save time for a stroll along the nearby bucolic Niagara River Gorge.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Express check-out
Smoke-free property

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

This unique lodge offers a one-of-a-kind way to experience the family-friendly offerings of Niagara Falls. It’s under a 10-minute drive to the area’s star attraction, but you may find yourself hard-pressed to leave the lodge. Activities within the property include an indoor water park, interactive water treehouse and the legendary Canada Vortex slide. If you still have energy, then grab the kids and check out the indoor bowling alley, mini-golf range or huge, 24-hour arcade.

Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
In-room accessibility
Full-service spa
Wheelchair accessible (may have limitations)
Express check-out
Conference space
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Fitness facilities
Multilingual staff
Smoke-free property

Niagara Crossing Hotel and Spa

Independent Hotel, Spa Hotel
Map View
Niagara Crossing Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Niagara Crossing Hotel and Spa / Expedia

In Lewiston, New York, this property is a great spot from which to explore the American side of Niagara Falls. The historic town said to be the last US stop on the Underground Railroad is just a 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls and has a treasure trove of activities. Visit the nearly 300-year-old Old Fort Niagara to learn more about some of North America’s most significant colonial battles, or relax with a round of golf at Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course.

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  • Alida’s Bed and Breakfast

    Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Alida's Bed and Breakfast
    Courtesy of Alida’s Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

    What could be a better way to experience Niagara Falls like a local than by staying in the cozy confines of a B&B? This European-style guesthouse features individually styled rooms and a complimentary breakfast. The friendly host may join you by the fireplace in the comfortable common room to offer advice on under-the-radar dining and attraction options. Plan your itinerary from the outdoor gazebo overlooking the garden.

    Red Coach Inn

    If you like your Niagara Falls experience with a side of Old English charm, you’ll enjoy a stay at this picturesque inn on the New York side. The Red Coach Inn overlooks the Upper Rapids, just 500yd (457m) from the edge of the waterfall. Modeled after the famous Bell Inn in England, the property has a distinctive English Tudor exterior and a welcoming British ambience. With its authentic wooden roof beams and roaring stone fireplace, the atmospheric restaurant is a favorite destination for locals looking for traditional fish and chips.

    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Restaurant
    In-room accessibility
    Concierge services
    Bar/lounge
    Smoke-free property

    South Landing Inn

    Inn
    Map View
    South Landing Inn
    Courtesy of South Landing Inn / Expedia

    This beautiful historic inn is less than a 30-minute drive from Niagara Falls and is set in the middle of one of Canada’s most prestigious wine regions. The property has been in operation since 1827, providing a perfect base to discover the enchanting village of Queenston and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Book a show at the renowned Shaw Festival Theatre, enjoy fine dining at nearby vineyards and try to leave time for a wine tour.

    These recommendations were updated on January 8, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.