Niagara Falls is one of the southernmost points of Canada and is just a hop, skip and a jump across the Niagara River from the border of New York State.
Niagara Falls consists of a group of 3 different water falls that make up the entire Niagara Falls. These are the American Falls, The Bridal Falls and the Canadian Falls (otherwise known as the Horseshoe Falls because they are in the shape of a horseshoe). The Falls were undoubtedly caused by the last ice age (as were all the Great Lakes) and started to become a tourist destination as early as the mid 1800’s. The city of Niagara Falls was also site of a battle from the War of 1812 (the battle of Lundy’s Lane).
Enough history for now. Since Niagara Falls is such a tourist site, you would think there are lots to do there, right? Well, you are correct! There are tons of great hotels to stay in and some even look out over the falls. Hotels such as the Ramada, Sheraton and the Holiday Inn are usually within most people’s budgets and have indoor swimming pools and pretty much everything one would look for in a hotel.
Eating out isn’t a problem because there are so many great restaurants. One memorable experience you might want to try is eating at the top of the Skylon Tower. It features a revolving restaurant that turns every 15 minutes and since the Falls are illuminated at night, it is truly an experience to remember.
Up for a little adventure? Why not try the Maid of the Mist boat ride? This small boat takes passengers on the Niagara River and up under the Horseshoe Falls (raincoats are provided). Or how about walking under the Falls? How about being suspended over the Falls? There is a ride called the Spanish Areo Car that takes passengers on a round trip from the Canadian side to the US side and back over the Falls. This ride is not for the faint of heart! If you come in the summer, you are in for a treat. The City of Niagara Falls holds fireworks over the Horseshoe Falls which are cool to see. Also during the Christmas season, they hold a large light display which features Disney charachters and hold night parades (yes, that’s what I said) with about a dozen floats and fireworks as well.
There is a lot to do and see in Niagara Falls if you don’t want to get wet. Check out Louis Tussauds’s Wax Museum or how about the Guinness Book of World Records or Marineland Canada or Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory? There are two Casinos in Niagara Falls if winning or losing money is more to your taste. Niagara Falls is also home to a Hard Rock Café and many other places of note such as a Hershey’s store. There is an IMAX Theatre that is also worth checking out to see what’s playing. Hordes of busloads come to visit the Floral Clock that is in the City of Niagara Falls, built in 1950 by Ontario Hydro, it is quite a site to see. If you still want to get wet, the Falls is home to a new indoor water park called Great Wolf Lodge Water Park. This short list only scratches the surface of things to do and see in Niagara Falls, so be prepared to spend some time when you come.
The Falls can also be viewed from the US side. There is a State Park on the New York side that offers a good view of the Falls (not as good the Canadian side, though). My family and I have crossed the border to view the Falls in the winter from the state park. It was cold, but worth it!
If wine and wine tasting is more up to your liking and you have a car or can rent one, it is a good day’s trip to visit the various wineries that are located within the Niagara Region. There are about forty-two wineries in and around Niagara Falls that give free tours and wine tasting. Interested in some history? There are a few forts around Niagara Falls, Fort George is in Niagara on the Lake(a short drive up the Niagara Parkway); Old Fort Erie is in Fort Erie (just a short drive down the Niagara Falls Parkway).
If you are looking for a quaint village to visit, look no further than the village of Niagara on the Lake. Niagara on the Lake was a fort during the war of 1812 and remains today to be a small and interesting town. It features little boutiques, parks and fabulous restaurants and can be a little pricey, but is worth visiting.
The Welland Canal Corridor is also quite interesting place to visit. The 27 mile long Canal is literally a ship elevator that take both Lakers (Great Lake ships) and Salties (ocean going ships) from one lake to another. The Canal runs between Lakes Ontario and Erie and quite interesting to see as well. If you want to visit this, you will want to head towards Lock 3 with its viewing tower (located in St. Catharines, Ontario)
So why has Niagara Falls been called the “honeymoon capital of the world”? It is because in 1802, the daughter of US Vice President Aaron Burr’s daughter celebrated her honeymoon in the Falls, followed by Jerome Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon. The phrase ‘honeymoon capital of the world’ began being touted in the early twentieth century and still lives up to this reputation today.
Whether you come for a few days to the Niagara region of a little longer, it is an experience that you will remember for a lifetime!