iagara Falls can be found on many "7 Wonders" lists and with good reason. The powerful Niagara River churns 150,000 gallons of water every second that cascades 176 feet, crashing into a pool that sprays a cloud of mist so dense that it's common to observe multiple rainbows all day long. Crowds along the edge walk away happily soaked. It's a mesmerizing experience that no photo or video can ever truly capture.
Niagara Falls is actually a collection of three waterfalls: the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls on the U.S. side and Horseshoe Falls in Canada. The best view of all three is from the Canadian side of the river where there are more amenities. It's well worth getting passports and crossing the Rainbow Bridge.
There are several ways to enjoy Niagara Falls' immense beauty. A visit to Table Rock Welcome Centre supplies a complete list of local attractions, restaurants, currency exchange and other information to make the most of your trip.
Many of the local high-rise hotels boast breathtaking views through floor-to-ceiling windows in lobby areas and falls-front rooms. On weekend nights from May through October, nightly fireworks burst over the backlit falls. Beautiful landscaped parks and walkways border the parkway and riverside leading visitors right to the edge of Horseshoe Falls.
For an even closer view, board the Maid of the Mist, a ferryboat that cruises so close, you might fear the captain will detour under the plummeting water. Just as thrilling is Journey Behind the Falls, where elevators take you down through bedrock tunnels to observation decks and portals for a view of the falls from behind the thundering sheets of water. Nature's Fury is a 4-D thrill ride where water bubbles and the temperature drops 20 degrees as snow falls all around while you stand on a massive platform that tilts and trembles. White Water Walk is a boardwalk at the edge of the river where the wildest stretch of white water travels through the Whirlpool Rapids. All four of these attractions are included with a 30 percent discount when you purchase a Niagara Falls Adventure Pass. The Whirlpool Aero Car high above the raging river suspends visitors over the Great Gorge where the torrent of water in the river changes direction, creating the spectacular Niagara Whirlpool.
Bring comfortable walking shoes and a raincoat, or if you don't mind getting a little wet, just your sense of adventure to explore a natural wonder your family won't soon forget.
Where to Stay
Niagara Falls Hotels, Resorts, Inns and Motels: www.niagaraparks.com/accommodations/hotels.html
Niagara Falls Historic Bed & Breakfasts: www.niagaraparks.com/accommodations/bed-breakfasts.html
Niagara Campgrounds: www.niagaraparks.com/accommodations/campgrounds-hostels.html
Where to Eat
There is a vast array of restaurants from fast food to elegant, formal dining overlooking the falls. I'm not one to seek the "family friendly" a.k.a. "chicken nugget and fries" places that claim to cater to kids. Travel is a unique opportunity to introduce your children to new food choices and restaurant styles. Preparing your kids before you leave home will help them learn to enjoy a wider variety of dining options. Resources for dining in Niagara Falls, Ontario:
Other Popular Activities
Butterfly Conservatory: www.niagaraparks.com/garden-trail/butterfly-conservatory.html
Horse and Carriage Rides: www.niagaraparks.com/garden-trail/horse-carriage-rides.html
Bird Kingdom: www.birdkingdom.ca/
Niagara SkyWheel: www.cliftonhill.com/attractions/niagara-skywheel
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark: www.fallsviewwaterpark.com/
Skylon Tower: www.skylon.com/