Are you wondering what to wear in Niagara Falls? Then you have come to the right place. Niagara Falls is certainly a stunning place no matter when you visit but it can be challenging to pack for Niagara Falls due to the climate and activities you will be doing. In this guide we tell you EXACTLY what to pack for Niagara falls no matter when you visit.
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Where is Niagara Falls?
Niagara Falls is located right on the border between New York state and Ontario, Canada. As such you can visit Niagara Falls from both the American and Canadian side.
The main section you visit from New York is the aptly named American Falls while Canada has the Horseshoe Falls. Both are amazing and you will have an amazing time whereever you are visiting.
And as the Falls is all that separates the two countries, what you wear to Niagara Falls will be the same on both sides of the border.
Note: Plan on visiting more New York or Ontario sites? Check out our other related local guides:
What to wear in Niagara Falls?
As Niagara Falls is located in Northern North America, you can expect to experience all four seasons here, sometimes even in a day.
Therefore what you need to pack for Niagara Falls will depend on when you are going. First we will give you an overview of what should be on your Niagara Falls packing list no matter when you visit before turning our attention to season specific items.
T Shirts are a great base for Niagara Falls no matter the season. For Winter you will need tees with long sleeves to use as a base layer however short sleeve tees are perfectly acceptable at all other times of year.
A Hoodie is a great pick for Niagara Falls no matter the season you visit. Niagara Falls is a relatively casual place no matter when you visit so you don’t need to worry about smart top layers for the falls themselves.
And even in Summer it can get chilly at the falls early in the morning and in the evening. Therefore you will need a casual top layer. Shop hoodies here.
If hoodies aren’t your thing then fleeces also make great top layers. I actually prefer fleeces because they tend to be thinner to pack which can help prevent overpacking but are insulating.
Also if fleeces get wet they tend to be much quicker to dry than other types of layers. Click here to shop fleeces for Niagara Falls.
Waterproof Top Layer
There is no escaping the fact that you will get wet at Niagara Falls no matter when you visit. You have to contend with the spray from the falls, mist which dampens clothes quickly and of course rain. Therefore you will absolutely need a waterproof top layer.
For shoulder seasons and summer something like above is fine if layered correctly but in Winter something thicker will be needed.
Note: on hikes such as those at Terrapin Point And Niagara River Parkway you can get notoriously damp due to the likely misty conditions so be sure to always have this waterproof top layer with you in your day pack.
But if you are worried about the effectiveness of your waterproof top layer, want something longer or just want more added protection which will be needed for boats at Niagara then a rain poncho is an absolute essential.
Of course these can be purchased locally but they are often cheaper to purchase online in advance.
However some of the attractions such as the boat rides will provide these complimentary too!
I don’t recommend denim or jeans for near the falls as these are uncomfortable when damp or wet. Both of which are likely sceanrios at the Falls.
Instead I recommend things like athleisure like leggings, quick dry shorts and waterproof walking trousers for visiting the Falls.
Dress for evenings
I don’t recommend dresses for near the Falls, hiking or on the Niagara Falls tourist boats. However a dress for the nightlife around Niagara Falls or at one of the nearby vineyards is a good idea.
Goes without saying
So now you know what should make the base of your packing list for Niagara Falls no matter the time of year we will turn our attention to the seasonal specific items to take with you.
What to wear to Niagara Falls in Winter (December, January and February)
Winter at Niagara Falls is classified as December, January and February. However November can also sometime require a Winter capsule wardrobe too!
Niagara Falls in Winter can get EXTREMELY cold. In fact the temperature range for these months tends to be around 20°F/ -6°C to 30°F/-1 °C.
In fact if you visit Niagara Falls in Winter you are likely to see a beautiful winter wonderland complete with snow and the Falls can even get frozen sometimes too!
Therefore if you want to know what to pack for Niagara Falls in Winter, the answer has to be layers and lots of them.
Alongside your regular Niagara Falls packing list we also recommend packing:
Thick Winter Jacket / Coat
Given the below freezing temperatures having a thick insulated winter coat / jacket is an absolute essential for visiting in Winter.
In fact a winter coat / winter jacket is absolutely my number one pick for any Niagara Falls Winter packing list no matter your itinerary. And the coat you pack should be very practical for very cold weather. This means a coat with plenty of insulation as well as waterproofing and wind resistance to deal with the winter weather.
Some of our favorite brands of coats for Niagara Falls in Winter include:
For more information on how to pack Winter Coats for travel check out this post
Hat, Scarf and Gloves
Winter accessories are a must for Niagara Falls in Winter.
I would recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs of the Falls which are at the most stunning in Winter.
You may also want ski gloves with another pair of gloves that are touch screen compatible underneath to cope with the extreme cold temperatures.
On top of these you may also want ear muffs to protect all your extremities.
For visiting the Falls themselves we recommend taking either walking trousers, ski trousers or some thicker lined leggings for spending time outside.
I personally would avoid jeans at the Falls as these are uncomfortable when they get wet / damp. Hpwever they are a great pick for in the nearby Falls towns / hotels.
A thermal base layer is absolutely essential for the Falls in Winter. You will get very cold when at the Falls overlooks and on the boats that take you close to the falls so having a warm base layer is an absolute essential.
Layers are absolutely essential for Nigara Falls in Winter. I would pack a mix of sweaters, hoodies and fleeces.
Hoodies are a great casual top layer for sightseeing in the day but I like a smarter sweater for evenings. I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater.
Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe. That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.
And fleeces are useful for at the Falls if you are worried about getting wet through rain, spray or even just the mist that covers the falls in Winter as they are quick to dry and are a thin but very insulating layer.
For those traveling to Hokkaido in Winter we recommend packing thicker, flannel pjs.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying. The best socks for Niagara Falls in Winter have to be either hiking socks or merino wool socks that are insulating.
Also if you plan on packing any dresses we recommend having thick tights or fleece lined leggings to go underneath them
What to wear to Niagara Falls in Summer (June, July and August)
Summer is a great time to visit Niagara Falls as you get the best weather. The temperatures in Summer at Niagara Falls tend to reach highs of 70°F to 80°F or 21 to 27° C which is pretty pleasant for sightseeing in.
For this time of year you can get away with the basic Niagara Falls packing list but you may want to add some tank tops and short sleeve t shirts for your base layer.
But don’t be tempted to leave the waterproof top layer and waterproof shoes at home as these are needed 365 days a year.
What to wear to Niagara Falls in Fall (September, October and November)
Fall is a beautiful time to visit Niagara Falls because you will get to see the Fall foliage and Fall colors which are spectacular here.
The temperatures in Fall tend to range from mid-50s to the mid-70s °F (12 to 23 °C) which obviously is a big range. Therefore it is recommended you check the weather 7 days before travel to ensure you list is appropriate.
But overall the best way to pack a successful Fall capsule wardrobe for Niagara falls is to have plenty of light layers with you that you can add and remove to cope with the changeable weather.
What to wear in Niagara Falls in Spring (March, April and May)
Spring at Niagara Falls is still pretty chilly with temperatures ranging from mid-40°Fs and mid-60°Fs °F aka 7 and 18° C.
So again the key to packing for this time of year is lots of layers. Spring is also one of the wettest times of year so you may also want an umbrella for town as well as your normal waterproof packing list for Niagara Falls.
Best Shoes for Niagara Falls
Shoes are a very important part of any packing list but even more so for Niagara Falls. There are two important factors for shoes for Niagara Falls:
- waterproof shoes – you are likely to get wet at Niagara Falls no matter when you are traveling and
- comfortable walking shoes – there are some amazing trailheads at Niagara Falls and lots of walking to be done to get to amazing viewpoints. Therefore you need comfortable walking shoes.
The shoes I recommend taking to Niagara Falls are:
Sneakers have to be the most comfortable shoe for walking anywhere. My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are are Hoka and AllBirds as these are great for walking in. However you also can’t go wrong with a plain white sneaker as they go with everything fashion wise. One of my favorite pairs of white sneakers is the Adidas Cloud Foam shoes.
The problem is none of these are waterproof. Instead Ecco is a great brand that has waterproof sneakers. However your other option is to pack watershoes or flip flops etc to change into for very wet areas.
These are useful for very wet / damp places i.e. on the Maid of the mist or any of the Niagara Falls boat trips.
They are also great for Cave of the Winds though they are sometimes provided.
Snow Boots (Winter only)
For Winter in Niagara Fall waterproof snow boots are a great choice.
These are usually fur or fleece lined for extra warmth, are waterproof and have good rubber soles for extra traction on the ice.
My favorite brands for snow boots are Columbia.
What to pack for Niagara Falls (non clothing)
So now you know what to wear for Niagara Falls we will turn our attention to what to pack for Niagara Falls that isn’t clothes.
A well packed day bag is an essential for Niagara Falls but given the activities you will be doing we recommend a back pack with a waterproof cover.
If you don’t have a cover then you could put this under your rain poncho.
Quick Dry Towel
There is no escaping the fact you will get wet at Niagara Falls. For drying off we recommend bringing a towel with you. Just be sure it is a quick dry one so it doesn’t stay damp in your pack. Shop quick dry towels here.
Waterproof phone protector
Again, you will get wet. Protect your electronics by keeping them in waterproof phone protectors.
Go Pro / Waterproof Camera
Niagara Falls is beautiful no matter when you travel and your camera will always be out. However if you are on maid of the mist or other boats your camera is going to get wet. To protect your camera and get the best pictures we recommend packing a go pro or other waterproof camera to capture those memories.
absolutely an essential to protect your lips from cracking in the cold in Winter.
Compact Travel Umbrella
Though this isn’t useful on a boat next to the falls it is useful on walks and around town for rain showers and thunderstorms.
Hand Warmers (for Winter only)
For Winter Winter we recommend packing a plentiful supply of hand warmers with you to add into your gloves.
FAQs about our Niagara Falls Packing List
What to wear on Maid of the Mist boat?
The maid of the mist boat or any boat tour near Niagara Falls is an absolute bucket list item to be added to your itinerary.
But what should you wear? We recommend plenty of light layers as appropriate for the weather alongside a waterproof top layer (ponchos are usually supplied) as well as waterproof shoes.
What not to wear at Niagara Falls?
So now you know what to wear at Niagara Falls, what shouldn’t you wear. On our list our:
- High heels or shoes with no grip – these are no good for the conditions around the fall and are quite frankly dangerous.
- Non waterproof clothes – you will get wet or damp whenever you visit Niagara so don’t travel with non waterproof clothes for your top layer.