Don’t have a passport? Want to avoid some of the tourist traps? Staying in Niagara Falls USA has its benefits. Here’s why the U.S. vs. Canada isn’t even a comparison when it comes to the Falls.
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When it comes to attractions, Niagara Falls, New York, boasts some of the greatest state parks of all. Forget the razzle-dazzle — there’s no better place to view a natural wonder than from your very own state park. The wooded wonderland, overlooking all three Falls, also happens to be the country’s oldest state park. Designed under the vision of legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (of Central Park fame) the 400-acre park is a true sightseeing paradise. It’s also a park for all seasons, from its wintry snowscapes of frozen falls and icicles to its lush oasis of greenery and blooms come summer.
It’s been wooing thrill-seekers since 1846 — and there’s no doubt that the Maid of the Mist is the original attraction when it comes to Niagara Falls boat trips. Since 2013, the iconic operator has been departing exclusively from American shores, allowing Niagara Falls, New York, visitors to follow in the footsteps of previous passengers like Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana. The only thing likely to upstage the historic edge is the voyage itself. Experiencing the Horseshoe Falls from the depths of the gorge is so spectacular, you’ll want to share it with the world, instantly! Thank goodness for that onboard Wi-Fi.
There’s been cross-border debate for centuries as to which country offers the best views of the Falls. But there’s just no disputing which side can get you the closest. The Cave of the Winds experience sends visitors down an elevator, out onto a wooden staircase straddling the Niagara Gorge, until you’re a mere 20 feet from the Bridal Veil Falls. Views from the famous Hurricane Deck are unparalleled — and while ponchos are provided, expect to get drenched by the thunderous Falls.
Seeing the Falls is one unforgettable spectacle. Hearing the raging rapids as you wander through serene hiking trails, is an entirely other thrill. Niagara Falls USA is teeming with outdoor activities including high-speed jet boats, helicopter rides, year-round fishing opportunities and an abundance of green spaces for hiking and biking.
The Niagara Gorge Trail System takes hikers along a scenic network of treks that parallel the Niagara River. Trails are well marked and maps are available to download, too. For a leisurely stroll, follow the Erie Canal Towpath in Lockport, New York, for a healthy mix of history and culture.
With all that gushing water, it’s little surprise that the fertile hinterland of Niagara Falls USA makes for quite the natural bounty. Niagara County is home to a vibrant viticulture scene, and the Niagara wineries are a fantastic outing for wine (beer and cider, too!) lovers. With the region rich in grapes (from riesling and pinot gris to cabernet franc and pinot noir), and two dozen wineries to choose from, a blissful bouquet awaits.
There’s so much more to explore beyond the Falls! If you’re planning a getaway, be sure to add on a few additional days to soak in the nearby towns and villages including Lewiston, Lockport, Olcott, Newfane and Wilson. Browse quaint boutique shops, dine at mom-and-pop eateries, and enjoy a variety of attractions and experiences for all ages. And if you need assistance planning your route, visit the Niagara Falls USA Official Visitor Center for area maps and brochures and itinerary support.
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