Niagara Falls State Park
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Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara Falls New York
© Mike Leco / USATourist.com

The Cave of the Winds attraction allows visitors to travel the wooden walkway to the base of Bridal Veil Falls.

Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls is one of the great natural wonders

Niagara Falls is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Over one million gallons (4 million liters) of water per second pour over a 180 feet (60 m) high cliff that is nearly 0.6 miles (1 km) wide. The incessantly pounding water forms a continuous spray that enshrouds the Niagara gorge in a perpetual mist decorated with shining rainbows. It is a spectacular sight.

It is located in the middle of a city

Niagara Falls is located about 15 miles north of Buffalo, New York, 150 miles south of Toronto, Canada and about 350 miles northwest of New York City. Unlike other natural wonders that are in isolated inaccessible locations, the Niagara Falls are located in the center of a small city. Actually, there are two cities surrounding the falls. Niagara Falls, New York lies on the US side of the river and Niagara Falls, Ontario is on the Canadian side.

They are called the Honeymoon Cities

The twin cities of Niagara Falls are known as the "Honeymoon Cities" because of their past popularity as a honeymoon destination for newly wed couples. The best time to visit is during the summer when all of the attractions are open, but try to avoid weekends. Weekdays are usually much less crowded. During cold winters, the river below the falls freezes and the spray forms 100 feet high ice mountains that are quite spectacular to behold.

See it from both the USA and Canada

The Canadian side has the best panoramic view of the entire falls and has many commercial tourist attractions. The US side has many nice walks along the rim of the falls, great picnic areas and less commercial tourist attractions. To see them best, you need to view the falls from both sides of the border. Don't forget your passport!

Canada has the best view and for free

The best attraction at Niagara Falls is completely free. Just go to the Canadian side of the border across the Rainbow Bridge and walk the length of the promenade for the most spectacular views of the falls. Be sure to visit after dark when they illuminate the falls with changing colored lights.

Maid of the Mist tour boat of Niagara Falls © Broderbund
The "Maid of the Mist" boats are an exciting way to experience Niagara Falls.

Ride the "Maid of the Mist" boats

The "Maid of the Mist" boats are an exciting way to experience Niagara Falls. They take you right up to the base of the falls. The excursions depart from docks on the Canadian side and the US side of the river every 15 minutes from 9AM until about 7PM during the summer months. Cost of the ride is about $10. Waterproof outer clothing is provided.

Don't miss the "Cave of the Winds" tour

The "Maid of the Mist" boats are an exciting way to experience Niagara Falls. They take you right up to the base of the falls. The excursions depart from docks on the Canadian side and the US side of the river every 15 minutes from 9AM until about 7PM during the summer months. Cost of the ride is about $10. Waterproof outer clothing is provided.

The "Cave of the Winds Tour" at Goat Island on the US side is another exciting experience. An elevator takes you to the rocks at the base of the American falls where you can walk within 25 feet of the cascading water and feel the tremendous power of the wind and spray. It is open from 9:30AM until about 7PM every day during the summer months and admission is only about $5. Waterproof outer clothing is provided.

Also on the US side, walkways along the rim of the gorge and on Goat Island offer many scenic overlooks to view the falls from the top rim. They are free.

Many commercial attractions are on the Canadian side

There are many other commercial tourist attractions at Niagara Falls especially on the Canadian side of the border where you can view the falls from the top of several towers or from a helicopter. They also offer a variety of museums, amusement arcades, and exposition halls. They have a large gambling casino. All of them cost money and none are quite as spectacular as the three attractions listed above.

Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Mike Leco / USATourist.com
Photo Description: A Maid of the Mist tour boat takes its passengers for an up close view of Horseshoe Falls.