Niagara Falls is one of those destinations that everyone should visit during their lifetime. There are many ways to appreciate and absorb this incredible creation of Mother Nature.
Start by visiting Niagara Falls State Park, which encompasses 400 acres of lush terrain. The park offers an array of exciting activities and attractions; in addition to well-manicured gardens, visitors will find more than 15 miles of challenging trails and stunning views throughout. Many protected wildlife also call this park home.
The park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. However, some park attractions are seasonal and have their own schedules.
Options for exploring Niagara Falls
The Niagara Scenic Trolley offers passengers a guided overview of the park and also includes historical anecdotes, fun facts, and tips for checking out the park’s most popular attractions.
As the only restaurant overlooking Niagara Falls, Top of the Falls Restaurant will give you a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The Top of the Falls menu offers modern American cuisine and classic dishes, and spectacular waterfall views. The venue, located within Niagara Falls State Park on Goat Island, overlooks Terrapin Point and features panoramic views of Horseshoe Falls through floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor dining decks.
Nighttime viewing of the Niagara Falls offers a completely different experience. Capturing photos of the stunning visuals provided by numerous colorful lights belongs in every visitor’s scrapbook.
You can experience the falls up close and personal with a boat trip aboard the Maid of the Mist, which drives right into the falls! The Maid of the Mist boat tour of Niagara Falls has been in existence since the original boat was christened in 1846.
The tour begins and ends on the American side of the falls while crossing briefly into Ontario. Though the boat tour starts off in the calm waters of the Niagara River, things get a little more exciting near the Rainbow Bridge. From this point, it takes passengers past the American and Bridal Veil Falls, then into the dense mist of spray inside the curve of Horseshoe Falls, which is also known as Canadian Falls. Don’t be fooled by the term “mist” because the amount of water that sprays you is anything but a gentle mist. This trip is unforgettable!
History of Niagara Falls
The first European to document the area was a French priest, Father Louis Hennepin. After a 1678 expedition to the area, he later published an account of his travels in “A New Discovery.” The book brought Niagara Falls to the attention of the western world for the first time and inspired further exploration of the region.
It wasn’t until the development of the rail system in the 1800s that Niagara Falls would be introduced to visitors, making it a prime destination for travelers from all over the world.
Niagara Falls is roughly 12,000 years old and is actually made up of three waterfalls: The American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
For a home base while visiting the area, consider staying at Branches of Niagara Campground and Resort in Grand Island, NY. Located just 10 minutes from the falls, this resort offers plenty of amenities that make for a comfortable stay. Featuring full hookup RV sites, the resort also offers Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, a camp store, recreational trails, a nearby casino, and fishing.
If you want to leave the driving to someone else, Gray Line Bus Tours will pick you up right at the resort. Their itinerary includes several attractions in and around the falls.
Another falls viewing opportunity can be experienced on the other side of the border. Just show your passport and walk across the footbridge into Canada. The views are equally stunning.
Tee it up
With more than a dozen golf courses in the Niagara Falls area, it’s easy finding a place to tee off, whether in the U.S. or Canada. One course that’s located a short distance from Niagara Falls is Hyde Park Municipal Golf Course. Measuring 6,320 yards from the tips, Hyde Park Municipal Golf Course offers terrific views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level. The 18-hole, par 70 course opened in 1928 and is one of the popular tracks in Niagara Falls, NY.
When it comes to witnessing the awe of Niagara Falls, there’s never a bad seat in the house! For more information on the area, visit NiagaraFallsUSA.com.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, The 19th Hole, for RV Life. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.