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Niagara Falls, New York City Info
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Ithaca New York Niagara Falls
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The breathtaking beauty of the natural wonder that is Niagara Falls would be enough to attract and hold the interest of almost any visitor. Yet, there is so much more to see and do in Niagara County that one vacation isn’t long enough. Twelve million visitors arrive in the area each year. More than a tourist attraction; Niagara Falls is part of our national heritage. Along with the Washington Monument, Yosemite Park, and Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls is a place to visit with the whole family.

 

The entrance to the Falls on the United States side is through America’s oldest park, Niagara Reservation State Park. The year round spray and mist of the Falls contribute to a thriving, diverse plant life, and the trees, flowers and shrubs in the park provide a naturally occurring, incredibly beautiful background.

 

Within the park, there are a number of ways of enjoying the Falls experience. The best spot for viewing the American Falls and Upper Rapids is Prospect Point, the piece of land that juts out the farthest west over the Niagara River. The New York State Visitors Center located there provides information and a good introduction to the Falls and surrounding parks.

 

The New York State Park Observation Tower is also in the park. For an admission charge, the glass walled elevator can be taken to the area above the falls for a spectacular view. For a tour of the park, take the Viewmobile from Prospect Point. Tours by tram are offered seasonally.

 

The world famous Maid of the Mist Boat Tour is a must. Access to the tour is gained from the Observation Tower where rain gear is provided as part of the experience. The ride lasts one half hour. The boat tours run from mid May through October.

 

For the more adventurous traveler, the Niagara River can be rapidly covered on the Whirlpool Jet Boat. The Cave of the Winds trip provides an opportunity to walk through the spray at the base of the Falls. There is also a helicopter tour over the Falls with Rainbow Air. At a more relaxed pace, there are the tours of the Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara's Wax Museum of History, and Niagara's other museums and educational facilities. Casino gambling and entertainment has become a major attraction with the opening of the large Seneca Niagara Casino in downtown Niagara Falls, New York.

 

See top quality theater at Artpark and Artpark at the Church. Take a relaxing ride on board the Grand Lady Cruise Boat for a lunch or dinner cruise. Each night, take in the breathtaking view of the Falls, illuminated in vivid multicolor. During the summer months, Fireworks Over the Falls is featured every Friday evening. For winter visits, enjoy A Festival of Lights celebration, as Niagara Falls magically becomes a winter wonderland, complete with animated displays, entertainment, and daily activities.

 

Just minutes from the Falls are the charming small cities, towns, and villages where a visit to a local apple orchard or farm, exploration of historic landmarks, and shopping in picturesque craft and antique stores, as well as in extensive outlet malls, are all possibilities.

 

A fascinating vignette of our nation’s past is the extensive Erie Canal System that was hand dug in the early 1800s before the days of modern machinery. It was, and is, a marvel of engineering. Its system of locks raised and lowered the water at numerous points along the route from Albany to Buffalo to accommodate mule pulled barges carrying people and commodities. The 363-mile long canal system connected the Hudson River with Lake Erie to provide a major shipping route. A substantial height adjustment of 49.5 feet was necessary as the barges approached the Niagara escarpment. The Erie Canal Museum and two hour cruise on a surviving portion of the canal can be experienced at nearby Lockport, New York. Passengers watch the water rise as they peer from aboard the cruise boat through locks 34 and 35 at the approach to the escarpment. The cruise and museum are examples of the living history that is so abundant in the Niagara Falls, New York area, and is a priceless treasure to share with  children and grandchildren.

 

Niagara is well known as a year-round, world-class sport fishing destination. Camping and boating sites are numerous. All of this is accompanied by a friendly, welcoming, hometown feel that brings visitors back year after year.




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