If you are going to visit Niagara Falls, then there is a good chance that you know what the Maid of the Mist is and already want to go. This famous boat ride, which takes you directly into the mist of Horsetail Falls is one of the best things I did during my time there and even though it is busy I highly recommend it. Check out all the information and my tips below.
- Cost: $18
- Hours: 9 AM–5 PM
- Location: American side, inside of the Niagara Falls State Park
Maid of the Mist is located in the shadow of the Rainbow Bridge, right in the middle of the Niagara Falls State Park. The ticket booth is at the top with the observation deck; then you have to take an elevator down to the boat.
Ticket Tips – You can’t reserve a particular time online, but the boat does run every 15 minutes. If you go during a holiday weekend though I recommend you get there right when they open as the tickets often reach capacity pretty quickly. You can buy a ticket online if you want to skip the line but they are not time specific, so you can’t guarantee that you will be able to get the time you want this way.
Honestly, I just recommend going early during the day as getting on one of the first two boats (before 10 AM) usually means that you will get a pretty good ride that isn’t too full.
Maid of the Mist
Once you get your ticket and make it down the elevator, you will be given a poncho and loaded onto the boat for your 20-minute ride.
I recommend grabbing the bottom level at the front of the ship as it is an excellent viewpoint and not as busy as the top deck that everyone wants to be on.
The boat heads out and goes past the American Falls first. You get a great view of the falls and can see Cave of the Winds as well.
Proceeding onward, the boat inches towards Horsetail Falls. It doesn’t take long to get there, and before you know it, you are surrounded by the mist.
While you don’t get crazy wet on this trip, you will definitely be a little wet, even with the poncho.
Also, I recommend bringing a GoPro; there are times you can use your phone without it getting wet, but a lot of the time you will want to keep it under the poncho.
After sitting in the mist for 5 minutes, the boat turns around and takes you back to the dock. Also of note, if you are on the Canada side, you can do the same thing, it is called the Hornblower Cruise.
When you get back to the dock, be sure to walk up the steps to the platforms they have made near the American Falls. It is a cool addition to the trip to see the falls like this.
When you get back up to the top of the elevator, be sure also to check out the observation deck.
The deck is one of the better views on the American side of the falls. Let me know what you think of this boat ride in the comments and be sure to have fun with this unique experience.