USATourist News MagazineApril 2007
In this issue:
Beautiful waterfalls are scattered all across the United States, but the largest and most famous of them all is Niagara Falls. Three waterfalls make up Niagara Falls, two of which are located in northwestern New York State (about 350 miles northwest of New York City) and the other in Ontario, Canada. While the three waterfalls are collectively called Niagara Falls each has its own name: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls (Canadian). Goat Island sits in the middle of Niagara Falls on the Niagara River and is where tourists visiting the U.S. side can get impressive views of the falls. An astounding one million gallons (4 million liters) of water fall over the cliff per second. Because the water is constantly falling and hitting the rocks below there is a constant thick mist in the air which contributes to the display of rainbows.
The winter months are so cold the falling water and mist form ice formations. Sometimes, when it is cold long enough the river will ice over forming an "ice bridge." In the late 1800's tourists walked and played on the iced-over river. That was a fun attraction until February 4, 1924, the day the ice broke and three tourists died. Since then, the ice bridge has been off limits to viewers.
Niagara Falls has been known as the Honeymoon Capital of the World since the 1900's. However, the first recorded honeymoon was taken in 1802 by US Vice-President Aaron Burr's daughter, Theodosia Burr and her husband Joseph Aliston. Don't let the nickname stop you from visiting though. There are plenty of activities for every type of traveler.
Bridal Falls, the smallest of the three falls, formerly had a natural cave behind it named Cave of the Winds. Tours of the cave were offered back in 1841 until a rock fall occurred in 1920 causing the tours to cease out of concerns for safety. Four years later the tour reopened but only offered views in front of Bridal Falls. Today guided tours are offered. Visitors are loaned a bright yellow water-proof poncho and special footwear. They then ride an elevator 175 feet (53 meters) deep into the Niagara Gorge. Tourists are guided over many wooden walkways to Hurricane Deck which is only 20 feet (6 meters) from Bridal Veil Falls. Those unable to make the walk to the Hurricane Deck are able to view the falls from another deck 150 feet from the falls.
One of the most exhilarating attractions at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat rides. Passengers are treated to an up-close look right at the foot of the falls. Like the cave tour, visitors are loaned waterproof outerwear. Boarding docks can be found on both the U.S. and Canada side. www.maidofthemist.com
You can learn more about the Canadian side from our Niagara Falls New York and Niagara Falls Ontario Canada pages. www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/newyork/newyorkcity/new-york-city-main.html/niagara.html and www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/canada/ontario/niagarafalls/niagara-falls-main.html
Located midway between Niagara Falls and Buffalo about a 15 minute drive from either city is a unique attraction, the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum. The museum is in the original Allan Herschell Company carrousel factory building and is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Sites. The museum is a series of seven interconnected structures which once housed all of the manufacturing components of the factory. The first ride was shipped from this factory in 1916. Two historic carousels are in operation inside the building complex in North Tonawanda. The 2007 general admission begins April 1. www.carouselmuseum.org
Everyone loves the dessert, Jell-O, and in Historic LeRoy visitors can celebrate and explore its history at the Jell-O Museum/Gallery. The museum is open April though December and is located in western New York, 60 minutes east of Buffalo/Niagara Falls. www.jellomuseum.com
The Pedaling History Bicycle Museum has one of the world's large collections of antique and classic American bicycles, including an 1883 Otto Dicycle (a large two wheeled bicycle). In addition, visitors can view thousands of cycling-related memorabilia and more. It is located in Orchard Park, New York 28 miles (45k) from Niagara Falls. www.pedalinghistory.com
The area is full of other museums, attractions, parks and more, such as the Aquarium of Niagara, where visitors can watch sharks and penguin shows and beginning in the spring visitors can feed the seals. www.aquariumofniagara.org
The Niagara Falls Great Gorge Adventure Pass is a great way to save money on the best attractions in Niagara Falls. The Adventure Pass includes admission to Journey Behind the Falls, The Maid of the Mist, Butterfly Conservatory, White Water Walk, all-day transportation on the People Mover and Falls Incline Railway, and money saving coupons for the Whirlpool Aero Car, Cirque Niagara and more. USATourist discount prices: Adults $38 (CDN) Children 6 to 12 years $23. (price does not include tax). Kids 5 and under are Free! The Adventure Pass offers great savings over buying all the attraction tickets individually, plus preferred access (must be booked ahead). Pass valid from 5/1/07 - 10/15/07. Click here to purchase on-line and receive your USATourist discount E-ticket instantly!
As you prepare for your trip and make reservations for accommodations don't forget the option of staying in a hostel. Hostels are an informal and inexpensive alternative to staying in a hotel. Depending on the hostel, beds are offered either in private rooms or dormitory style with separated male, female, or coed rooms. A community room and kitchen are often available to guests as are showers, bike rentals, and more.
There is one in the Niagara Falls area for only $18.00 a night. This facility is only blocks from Niagara Falls. This particular hostel offers a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, TV in common room, hi-speed internet access, parking lot, bicycle rentals and indoor bike storage. www.reservations.bookhostels.com/usatourist.com
Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair
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