Straddling the border between Canada and the United States, Niagara Falls is one of the best-known waterfalls in the world! Made up of three separate waterfalls– the American Falls and its sister the Bridal Veil Falls and the largest, the Horseshoe Falls—8 million visitors view the Falls each year. And best of all, the Falls are located in Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in the US and the home base of Falls exploration for group travelers.
Are there bigger waterfalls than Niagara Falls? Sure, but few offer the combination of sheer volume of water with 3160 tons of water rushing over the 175 foot brink each second. The natural beauty of the area, and its easy access to interstates and airports, make touring the Niagara region one of the greats of group travel. In fact, tourists have been trekking to see the Falls for
Niagara Falls Attractions and Activities
Niagara Falls State Park is the highlight of the Niagara region with its own attractions and activities. While here, your group will have an authentic, affordable American experience like none other.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
Cave of the Winds. Get closer than you ever thought possible at the Cave of the Winds where you stand within feet of the base of the Falls under the thundering water! The expedition starts with a 175-foot elevator ride down into the Gorge. Visitors will be provided with special souvenir sandals you can keep and a rain poncho because you will get wet on this tour! After following a series of wooden decks guests will arrive at the Hurricane Deck, which takes them under the pounding waters of Bridal Veil Falls. An abbreviated version of this trip, the Cave of the Winds Gorge Trip, allows guests to view the falls from observation platforms during the off-peak season.It is suggested that you call ahead to confirm dates of operation for the off season trip.
If your group has their sea legs, board the Maid of the Mist tour boats and sail into the basin of the mighty Horseshoe These iconic steamboats have been getting groups up close and personal to the Falls since the 1840s, and this ride is something that will never be forgotten.
- If dry land is more your group’s style, then head over to the Aquarium of Niagara complete with penguins and sharks and thousands of friends from the sea.
- Meet the legends and learn the myths of Niagara at the Niagara Adventure Theatre where you will view the film Niagara: Legends of Adventure Produced by Oscar-winner Keith Merrill, this film gives you a fast-paced 30 minutes of Niagara’s history, myth, and beauty. Presented on a 45-foot screen, the film brings the Falls to life. And the stadium-style seating can accommodate more than 200 patrons.
- Hiking the 15 miles of trails in the state park offers another glimpse of the area – one focusing on the sometimes-overlooked flora and fauna of the region. It’s also a good way to appreciate the park’s design. After all, Niagara Falls State Park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, the man behind New York City’s Central Park.
- Finally, don’t forget the Falls – especially at night. Illuminations and fireworks on selected nights only add to the natural splendor of the region.
Dining at Niagara Falls State Park
A hungry group is not a happy group. Fortunately, you can avoid that entirely when visiting Niagara Falls. For a unique experience, there’s the Top of the Falls Restaurant but there are several options throughout the park. (Please note that dining options are seasonal.)
Top of the Falls Restaurant serves American favorites in a totally unique setting. This show-stopping restaurant is located right on Goat Island; specifically, it overlooks the Horseshoe Falls, the mightiest of the Niagara trio of Falls. Floor-to-ceiling windows treat indoor guests to an uninterrupted view of the entire Niagara splendor. Or take your group outdoors to dine on one of the open-air decks.
- Prospect Point Café is conveniently located in the Visitor Center’s lower level. Your group can snag good old basic fare, including pizza, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. This area is also where you’ll find Prospect Point Coffee and Ice Cream Shop, the perfect spot to have a latte, a frozen drink, or some old-school hand-dipped ice cream.
- Prospect Point Grill is also located within the Visitor’s Center, this time on a covered outdoor patio. As its name suggests, grilled sandwiches of all sorts are featured on the menu.
- Cave of the Winds Snack Bar. It’s not uncommon for guests to work up an appetite on the Cave of the Winds tour; fortunately there’s this handy snack bar right on Goat Island to take the edge off with grilled sandwiches, fries, pizzas, and ice cream.
Practical Info: Getting Here
Getting to Niagara Falls State Park is easy – just follow the signs on Interstate 290 for Niagara Falls (Exit 190 North). Niagara Falls is approximately 30 miles from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and 80 miles from the Greater Rochester Area International Airport, so finding a flight into the area presents no problems.
Niagara Falls is a lot of things, from honeymoon destination to hydro-power source extraordinaire. Why not have your group experience the beauty and the power of these majestic formations firsthand at Niagara Falls State Park? Visit NiagaraFallsStatePark.com or call 716.278.1796 for more information.