When it comes to the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls continues to intrigue. Created as water flowed into the Niagara River from the North American Great Lakes 12,000 years ago, these three spectacular waterfalls form the hub of a sightseeing and recreational area with enough outdoor and indoor activities to make a great weekend getaway or extended vacation.
Niagara Falls is actually two cities with the same name, divided by the international border between the United States and Canada. The state of New York hosts the American portion, and the Canadian portion is in the province of Ontario. As good neighbors should do, they share the beautiful river that connects the American Falls and Canada’s Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
When you’re planning a trip, the first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to stay. You’re in luck here, because Niagara Falls hotels run the gamut from luxury accommodations to very affordable choices including dozens of motels and charming bed and breakfasts on both sides of the border. There is also an array of campgrounds and RV parks in the area, including some with cabins and resort amenities.
As for what to do once you’re there, you can fill your days and nights nonstop or you can kick back and relax. Niagara Falls has something for everyone. Here are seven of them:
7 Reasons To Visit Niagara Falls
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Eat Great Food
From fine farm-to-table dining to an authentic 1950s-style soda shop, there’s something to suit every taste.
Among the array of choices, there’s the world-famous Hard Rock Café for Tex-Mex in a setting of rock ‘n roll memorabilia, and the revolving Skylon Tower restaurant with a fabulous view high above the Falls.
And if you’re a hardcore wings aficionado, you can even make the short 17-mile pilgrimage from Niagara Falls to Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, home of the famous treats.
Explore the Falls
This is the don’t miss reason of all. There are two ways to see the falls up close from different perspectives. You may get a little wet, but that’s part of the fun.
Get on board the Maid of the Mist for an exciting half-hour cruise from the Canadian docks past the base of the American Falls and onward into the basin of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
In operation since 1846, and the oldest tourist attraction in North America, the Maid of the Mist operates from about late April to mid-October every year, depending on the weather.
At Niagara Parks’ Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll take an elevator 150 feet down to a series of tunnels that open your view to the astonishing wall of water crashing down from the top to the basin of the Horseshoe Falls. This attraction is open year ‘round except on Christmas Day.
The stunning landscape of the Niagara area is home to some of Canada’s best golf courses. Be sure to pack your clubs so you don’t miss out on the many challenging courses there are to choose from.
Experience the breathtaking natural beauty of the region on one of its many scenic cycling trails. There are more than 200 trails, catering to riders of every level.
Niagara Parkway has been named one of the top 10 cycling routes in the world, stretching 58 kilometers along the Canadian side of the Niagara River, passing many wineries along the way. For a more serious trek, the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail stretches 780 km, following the shores of Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border.
Visit Great Wineries
The Niagara Region is known for its award-winning wines including the unique ice wine, made from grapes harvested in the winter when temperatures are way below freezing and sugar content is highest.
The Niagara Wine Route on the Canadian side, and the Niagara Wine Trail on the American side feature dozens of wineries with tasting rooms set amid acres of gorgeous vineyards.
Enjoy the Night Life
Two action-packed casinos bring excitement to night time in Niagara Falls, with Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort offering blackjack, roulette, poker, slots, and sports gaming along with comedy shows, and live entertainment with headline stars.
And, of Course, Do Some Shopping
What’s a trip without bringing back a little something? Popular brand name merchandise at discounted prices is found at outlet malls on both sides of the border. And there are three duty-free shops selling perfume, food, alcohol, and more to visitors from abroad.
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