Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful places in the world, so it’s obvious that a trip here is worth adding to your bucket list. But because it’s so close to nature, should you opt for camping near Niagara Falls, or a stay at one of the best Niagara Falls hotels? We break down the pros and cons of a Niagara Falls camping trip or RV camping stop versus staying at a Niagara Falls hotel.
If you’re going to go camping Niagara Falls, especially in a tent, it’s best to consider the weather. Most Niagara Falls campgrounds are only open from around April through October, because fall and winter temperatures can get quite chilly. We’re talking down to below 20ºF/-7ºC in January and February.
Plus, there’s rain to consider. In August, it rains an average of seven days over the month, up to around 12 days of rain in December. So even if the temperatures are nice and mild or warm, you could still get rained on in your tent.
If you’re booking a Niagara Falls trip between April and October, camping is an option. Just be prepared to equip your tent for rain and bring lots of layers to stay warm while you’re outside. Some campgrounds have cabins, which might be an option that works for your family.
All year-round, the best Niagara Falls hotels keep you comfortable at any temperature you’d like. You can take a warm soak in the tub in cooler temps, or walk downstairs for a spa day, or curl up to a fireplace in your room.
If you consider yourself low-maintenance and don’t need to have 24/7 room service at your disposal, camping may work for you. Many Niagara Falls camping sites offer daytime amenities like heated pools, kid activities and outdoor movies. Some will just be weather-dependent.
Hotels, on the other hand, provide just about anything you want with the dial of a button. Grab alcohol from the mini-bar, or head to the hotel lounge. Swim in an indoor pool, any time you want, even if it’s thundering and lightning outside. Exercise comfortably in a fitness centre. Whatever you need for an enjoyable vacation, a hotel usually has it.
For nature lovers, the ability to walk outside and go on a hike with no fuss makes camping Niagara Falls a dream. A lot of Niagara Falls campsites have pedal bike rentals so you can ride around the grounds. Many are also a walk or shuttle bus ride away from landmarks like the Niagara Falls waterfalls. You don’t have to worry about walking to a restaurant to eat. Just light up your campsite fire pit and start cooking your meal.
Niagara Falls hotels offer a different type of convenience. Most are close by to urban destinations like top restaurants, bars and Niagara Falls attractions. Some hotels, like the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, even have an indoor waterpark and casino directly connected to the hotel. And, of course, the ability to have food and drinks delivered right to where you’re staying is also a convenient service some visitors want.
Both Niagara Falls hotels and sites for camping near Niagara Falls have various social atmospheres to consider. Both usually contain group and family activities if your party is into that, like art classes at campsites and waterpark fun at hotels.
At campgrounds, you can wander from tent to RV and make friends with other visitors. You also might hear the fun your neighbours are having, especially when your tent campsites and fire pits are close by. Picnic tables at campsites are great for gathering, so if you’re the type of traveller who wants to make new friends on vacation, you might love the camping atmosphere.
Hotels let you be as intimate or as social as you want. You can go solo or with your partner and have a romantic couples stay. Or, you can wander to a hotel casino or hotel bar and chat up those you’re playing, eating and drinking with. It just depends what you’re into. One social atmosphere will be a lot more rugged and laid-back, and the other can be as dressy and cocktail-ready as you want.
Finally, one of the biggest considerations travellers have when deciding between camping and a hotel is cleanliness. It’s an issue that led to the birth of glamping, which is the presence of cabanas, cabins and cottages on campgrounds, all of which you’ll find in Niagara Falls.
Most Niagara Falls campsites have warm showers on site. But if you’re in a tent, you’ll likely have to walk on paths right by dirt, insects and trees to get to them. If you don’t mind, then no worries.
You also might be RV camping and have a shower in your vehicle. Daily showers might not even be a requirement for some people, which makes saving money with camping something that might make sense.
If you have to have a warm shower (or bath) or several a day, a hotel beats camping for cleanliness. There’s nothing quite like spending the night in nature, but you can always hike during the day and come back to your hotel later for a shower if you want.
Should You Do Both?
Both camping and a hotel stay offer lots of comparable experiences. If you want to explore the great outdoors, you can still do that but stay at a hotel. If you want to camp, you can still grab a ride to get a good restaurant meal and check out Niagara Falls attractions. It all depends on what amenities you crave, what kind of social atmosphere you want to be surrounded by, and whether or not roughing it is something you truly enjoy.
Why not try both? If you’re headed to Niagara Falls in the spring or summer, you can spend a night camping and book a hotel for the rest of your stay. Find the best Niagara Falls hotels here.