Where to Book a Stay in Niagara Falls for a Local Experience

The powerful Niagara Falls sit on the US-Canada border
The powerful Niagara Falls sit on the US-Canada border | © Dennis Cox / Alamy Stock Photo
Sandra MacGregor

Coming to Niagara Falls? Where to stay will be one of your first concerns. And if you’re looking for a lesser-seen angle on the legendary waterfalls, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re planning to base yourself in Canada or America, we’ve rounded up some choice properties on both sides of the border that will help shine a light on the region’s more laid-back and family-friendly side.

1. Sterling Inn and Spa

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Four-poster bed, two cushioned chairs and kitchenette in a wooden-beamed Sterling Inn and Spa room
Courtesy of Sterling Inn and Spa / Expedia
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.

2. The Giacomo

Boutique Hotel

Marble interiors, including floors, walls and staircase, in the plant-lined lobby of the Giacomo; a sofa is in a room beyond
Courtesy of the Giacomo / Expedia

This lovely boutique hotel is where to stay in Niagara Falls, New York, for thoughtful amenities such as custom chocolate and fresh cookies – plus proximity 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.

3. Serene Niagara Inn

Independent Hotel, Guesthouse

Large bed, TV, armchair, desk, chair, mirror and overheaad fan in white-painted room at Serene Niagara Inn
Courtesy of Serene Niagara Inn / Expedia

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.

4. Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls


Brown corner sofa by a small wooden table in social space at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls
Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls / Expedia

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.

5. Niagara Crossing Hotel and Spa

Independent Hotel, Spa Hotel

Double bed in carpeted room with chair, TV and fireplace at 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.

6. Alida’s Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast

Two sofas and an armchair in a neutral-toned living room with wooden flooring at Alidas 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.

7. Red Coach Inn

Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Four-poster bed, cream sofa, two cushioned chairs and antique wooden furniture in opulent room at the Red Coach Inn
Courtesy of Red Coach Inn / Expedia

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.

8. South Landing Inn


Double bed on patterned rug in white-painted room at South Landing Inn
Courtesy of South Landing Inn / Expedia

This beautiful historic inn is within a 30-minute drive of Niagara Falls; where to stay, too, if you’d enjoy being 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.

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