Niagara Falls, USA, is visited every year by millions of tourists from all over the world. It is in New York State and lies on the international border between the USA and Canada.
The raw power of tonnes of water cascading down and the beautiful rainbows is a breathtaking sight. Some of the must-see sights and attractions in Niagara Falls, NY, are listed below.
1. Maid of the Mist
This seasonal boat tour, which generally operates May to October, should not be missed. Starting from the base of Niagara Gorge in Niagara Falls State Park, this boat ride takes passengers past the American and Bridal Veil Falls and into the basin of Horseshoe Falls. Free ponchos are provided to protect passengers from the spray from the Horseshoe Falls!
2. Niagara Aerospace Museum
This lovely aviation museum is located in Niagara Falls, New York, in the old terminal building of Niagara Falls International Airport. The museum tells the story of the many aerospace companies that existed in the region including the Bell Aircraft Corporation and Curtiss-Wright Corporation. On display are many aircraft including early Bell helicopters.
Western New York has a lot of aviation history and this museum highlights the many people who contributed to US national air and space power. You can learn about the evolution of flying from the early airplanes to modern rocket engines.
3. Cave of the Winds
This exciting activity is located on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park, New York. You first descend into the gorge in an elevator and then emerge out near the base of the gorge. Wooden walkways take you to the base of the gorge near Bridal Veil Falls and then to the Hurricane Deck, which is just a few feet from the Bridal Veil Falls. The cascading water from the Falls will drench you and the conditions near the Falls are like in a tropical storm. This seasonal tourist attraction remains closed in the winter.
4. Explore Niagara Falls State Park and all its attractions
It is the oldest state park in USA and is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The American and Bridal Veil Falls are located in the park and the Horseshoe Falls can also be viewed from here. When you buy the Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass, you get a one-time admission to attractions such as Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara Adventure Theater, the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center and unlimited rides for the day on the Niagara Scenic Trolley.
The view from Prospect Point Observation Tower in the Niagara Gorge is amazing. The view from Luna Island and Goat Island is also breathtaking. Watch as thousands of gallons of water cascade into the gorge below.
5. Jet Boat Ride on Niagara River
This boat ride takes passengers into the Niagara Whirlpool and over the class 5 whitewater rapids of the Niagara River. You will not be seeing the Niagara Falls on this boat ride. Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours operates a ride from Lewiston, NY, and Niagara Jet Adventures operates from Youngstown, NY. There are open jet boat and closed dome jet boat tours.
6. Niagara Falls Helicopter Tour
The lush green landscape and the massive waterfalls and river look breathtakingly beautiful from the sky. You can even take photos from the helicopter. You can also view other landmarks in both Canada and USA such as Skylon Tower, Rainbow Bridge, Prospect Point Observation Tower, the power plants on both sides of the river and Niagara wine region.
7. Falls Illumination and Fireworks
Every evening, hundreds of LED lights located across the Niagara Gorge in Niagara Falls, Canada, light up Niagara Falls in a wide spectrum of colors. You can watch this light show from Niagara Falls State Park. From May-September, there is a fireworks display at 10:00 p.m. on weekends (Friday-Sunday) and on holiday Mondays. During summer, the fireworks display is daily. To know more details about the illumination and fireworks schedule, please click here.
8. Explore Old Falls Street
The three-block radius of Old Falls Street has many hotels, restaurants, shopping and family-friendly activities. You can watch outdoor movies, live music events, and participate in fun family activities.
9. Old Fort Niagara
Step back in time and see how soldiers lived in the 18th and 19th centuries in the garrisons. There are hourly musket demonstrations all year round and battle reenactments for special events. There are many exhibits and period rooms throughout the fort. Get to know more about the fort’s daily programs here.
10. Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station and abandoned Schoellkopf Power Station
The Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station is located 4-1/2 miles downstream from Niagara Falls in Lewiston, NY, and is a great place to visit. Learn how power is generated and supplied to New York State. The power station offers fabulous views of the Niagara River.
From within Niagara Falls State Park, you can take a free elevator ride into the Niagara Gorge and emerge at the base of the gorge to view the Schoellkopf Power Plant ruins, which collapsed in June 1965. The site is now used to store Maid of the Mist boats in winter.
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