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Waves of Fun in Niagara: Boating, Fishing, and Swimming

A red jet boat makes waves on the Niagara river.
Whirlpool Jet Boats offer an unforgettable ride in the Niagara region. Photo © William Klos, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

The Niagara region is a great destination for water lovers. Here are some trip ideas to get you ready to enjoy the water, whether that’s on a leisurely cruise, angling for some trophy fish, or seeking a picnic in the sand.


  • Whirlpool Jet Boats take you on an unforgettable ride through Class V white water in Lewiston, New York, Niagara-on-the-Lake, or near the whirlpool in Ontario.
  • It’s hard to think of a more relaxing way to enjoy a two-hour cruise in the Buffalo Harbor than aboard the Spirit of Buffalo, a 73-foot sailboat.
  • Try Grand Lady Cruises in Buffalo for a romantic and luxurious sunset voyage along the Niagara River.
  • Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises takes you along the Erie Canal and back in time on a leisurely two-hour cruise.
  • In Buffalo, the Queen City Ferry offers daily history tours of the Buffalo River that take you inside some of the silos that make up the “Concrete Atlantis” of Buffalo’s waterfront.
  • Want to be the captain of your own ship? Buffalo Harbor Kayaks lets you skipper your own kayak or stand-up paddleboard.


  • Some of the best freshwater fishing is in Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and in the Niagara River. The Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario are renowned for salmon, steelhead, and trout.
  • Join a chartered boat trip with Lewiston’s Niagara River Guide Service, during which the captain can help you land some trophy fish.
  • Operating out of Buffalo, Jim Hanley’s Charter will take you to where smallmouth bass and walleyes hide in the waters of the Upper Niagara River and Lake Erie.


  • The region’s best beach is Crystal Beach, along the shore of Lake Erie. This public beach lives up to its name, with beautiful sand and warm water, thanks to Lake Erie’s status as the shallowest of the Great Lakes.
  • Back on the U.S. side of the border, Beaver Island State Park is a great place to picnic and play in the sand. The beach here is large and monitored by lifeguards.

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