formed eons ago during a period of ice age glacier movement -
followed by gradual melting - the falls epic journey from Great
Lakes runoff to a roaring waterfall rose to national prominence
as a prime tourism spot only in the 19th century.
New York State's most popular tourist attraction, the number of visitors later
increased tenfold with the rise of the early 20th century automobile
as the falls' popularity grew steadily as an iconic symbol of
nature's might and power.
Falls continues to roar to the delight of travelers who come to ogle
one of America's most impressive natural wonders lying majestically
(and conveniently) on the New York - Canadian border, Needless to say, today Niagara Falls also remains one of the nation's top honeymoon destinations.
Getting to Niagara Falls
You can still get to Niagara by car with easily marked highways pointing directly at Niagara Falls, i.e., from New York, Boston, and the East Coast, take I-90 W towards Buffalo to the 290 W. Exit onto the 190 N towards Grand Island and Niagara Falls. From Chicago and the Midwest: take I-90 East towards Buffalo to the 190 W. and follow signs for Grand Island and Niagara Falls.
Visitors further afield can fly into the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport with flights bookable across the United States, followed by an easy half-hour car ride to the falls. To visit the Canadian side of the falls, frequent flights are available into Toronto Pearson International Airport, but from there expect a 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport to reach the falls by car.
What to see and do at Niagara Falls
For the easiest and most spectacular views, simply follow the crowds to the falls, and walk around the clearly marked walks and pathways.
Also don't miss the pedestrian path across the bridge to Goat Island for different photo opportunities and vantage points. Of course, no visit to Niagara Falls would be complete without a scenic boat ride on the Maid of the Mist tour for an up-close, breathtaking and very wet) excursion to the base of the falls. Although a
thin poncho is provided, extra rain-proof clothing is always recommended!
A view of Niagara Falls at night.
For another less tumultuous look at Niagara Falls, take the Cave of the Winds elevator ride down to the American Falls, although here, too, expect to get wet during the guided walk provided around the base. Later, dry-off with a very relaxing and narrated trip aboard the Niagara Scenic Trolley with hop-on, hop-off stops throughout Niagara Falls State Park.
With a gaggle of kids in tow, also don't miss the Niagara Adventure Theater (located at main the visitor's center) for an IMAX-size hour-long film presentation of the falls' place in history and pop culture. Just outside Niagara Falls State Park, the Aquarium of Niagara also comes highly recommended with feedings of shark, seals and
penguins on the hour.
Where to stay at Niagara Falls
As a major tourist and honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls accommodations range from major hotels to family-friendly motels to bed and breakfast establishments.
Downtown, the most modern hotels are the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel and The Red Coach Inn. On the Canadian side, Sheraton
Fallsview Hotel & Conference Center sits on Horseshoe Falls and is only minutes away from Maid of the Mist. Nearby, the small town of Niagara on the Lake in Ontario is another notable place to stay while on a visit to the falls offering a network of fine hotels and B&B's.
DID YOU KNOW? Niagra Falls Fun Facts
Superman to the rescue!
• Niagra Falls has been the movie back drop for scenes from "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", "Superman", and "Niagara" starring Marilyn Monroe.
• True fish story: About 90 percent of fish that travel down Niagra Falls survive thanks to the foamy cushion on the way down.
• The first person to ever go over the Niagra Falls was 63-year-old teacher Annie Edson Taylor who traveled down the Falls in a barrel.
• Act fast! At the current rate of erosion, scientists believe that Niagara Falls will be gone in around 50,000 years.
• From about noon onwards, you are almost always guaranteed to see a rainbow if you’re on the Canadian side of the Falls.
More about Niagara Falls vacations & travel around the Web:
Falls State Park -
The official New York site with extensive information on vacation
packages, hotels and honeymoon bookings, restaurant guide, online
purchase of discount Discovery Pass, major attractions, history
and fun facts, photos.
Parks.com - The Canadian Falls, covered extensively with
information on vacation packages, hotel booking, guides to major
and nearby attractions, live webcam, photos and video.
Falls - Wikitravel - Excellent overview with guides to
getting there and getting around, including suggested restaurants
and hotels, what to see, nearby attractions, with related resources