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Your guide to Niagara Falls
All About Niagara Falls
Located on the border between New York state and Ontario, Canada, and sitting between the deep waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, the city of Niagara Falls offers peaceful nature reserves, historic forts, and fertile surrounding vineyards. It’s also famously home to some of the most powerful and beautiful waterfalls in North America — some 6 million cubic feet of water gush through the falls every minute. The falls themselves are a set of three separate waterfalls — American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls — all emanating from the southern end of Niagara Gorge.
Away from the water, there are lots of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Niagara Falls, from admiring spring flowers in DeVeaux Woods State Park to snowshoeing at Royalton Ravine, and relaxing with a round of golf at one of the nearby courses. The nearby Niagara River is known for its abundance of birdlife, with great blue herons a regular fixture. In town, Art Alley is the canvas for a public mural project showcasing local artists, while the restored Old Fort Niagara provides an insight into Native American life with original artifacts and reenactments.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Niagara Falls
Summer is the peak season in Niagara Falls, with warm daytime temperatures occasionally tempered by the cooling mists and spray emanating from the falls and kayaks peppering the river. Fall is an excellent time to cozy up at a vacation rental in Niagara Falls and explore the surrounding New York wine region, as this is when the local wineries begin their grape harvest. Niagara Falls State Park also looks resplendent at this time of year — the Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike is a good vantage point for admiring the changing foliage. Winter, and the holiday season in particular, is special in Niagara Falls, when the falls are lit up at night. When spring rolls around, the city’s green spaces burst into life with purple martin birds flying overhead and vibrant displays of tulips on the ground.
Top things to do in Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls from the water
Whether it’s the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario, or the falls themselves, this region is dominated by water. One of the most popular ways to feel the power of Niagara Falls is seeing them from underneath on a boat. Several local operators run boat tours that will bring you close enough to the thundering cascades that you’ll be soaked from the spray. But don’t worry, most tours come with a waterproof poncho to keep you at least a little dry.
Niagara Falls State Park
With the roaring falls at its center, Niagara Falls State Park is the country’s oldest state park. Since 1885, visitors have been drawn to this unique vantage point overlooking the Niagara River. Today, the park’s 400 acres include an observation tower and the remains of the Schoellkopf Power Station, accessed by an elevator ride deep into the Niagara Gorge.
The area around Niagara Falls is one of the biggest wine-producing regions in North America, with dozens of wineries specializing in everything from Riesling and Pinot Gris to fruit wines, mead, and even ciders. Lewiston is known for its IPA, while alcohol-infused frozen custard is on the menu in Barker, which boasts most of the area’s apple orchards.