Niagara Falls is the second-largest waterfall in the world, and it is located in the North American continent, specifically on the common border between New York City in the United States of America and Toronto in Canada.
Niagara Falls is divided into three main waterfalls which are, Horseshoe Falls located between Goat Island and Table Rock, the Bridal Veil Falls between Goat Island and Luna Island, and the American Falls between Prospect and Luna Island.
- Horseshoe Falls: It is the largest of the three waterfalls, its width is 792 meters and its height is 48 meters. The waterfall receives the largest share of the water coming from the Great Lakes that feed the waterfalls. It was also named after the arched shape of its top.
- American Falls: Its height reaches 51 meters and its width reaches 323 meters.
- Bridal Veil Falls: This waterfall is located on the American side and is also called the Luna Waterfall. Its height is 55 meters and it is the smallest waterfall located there.
The falls were first discovered by the Native Americans who inhabited the area, it was documented as an area with distinctive characteristics when a Belgian priest named Father Louis Heinen visited it. Then he mentioned all this in his book titled A New Discovery, and this inspired many people to visit the place.
Since the 19th century, the falls became a tourist destination, and the railway system was developed there, it is believed that the name Niagara is derived from the indigenous people of the area.
Niagara Falls was formed with the era of glacial immersion in Wisconsin, with the passage of glaciers over the region, it created holes in the rocks and formed new terrain, and the Niagara River is the most important thing there. After the formation of the Niagara River, its water became subject to freezing and melting annually, and this led to revealing the erosion of the rocks as they began to fall against the direction of the river and that formed the Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls was exploited to generate hydroelectric power due to the strength of its waters, and the first station to generate electrochemical power was built there and became the first source of hydroelectric power in North America in 1895.
With the construction of this station, entire cities were supplied with electricity for the first time heavy industries appeared that needed great energy, so Niagara Falls became an important industrial and scientific center.
There are many general facts that you can know about Niagara Falls such as:
- In the area, there is the oldest park in the United States of America, the Niagara Falls State Park, which was opened in 1885.
- The waterfalls are exposed to continuous erosion, so scientists expect that the waterfalls will disappear after 50 thousand years, but the presence of electrochemical energy has contributed significantly to reducing the rate of erosion.
- The waterfalls are visited by a large number of tourists during the summer and to keep the view of the strong flowing water from the waterfalls, the hydroelectric power stations located in the area convert less water during the summer.
Weather in Niagara Falls
The climate of the Niagara Falls region is considered to be mild in summer and cold in winter, and the summer season is three months from May to September, and the temperature is 21 degrees and may rise more than that.
In the winter, the weather is freezing and dry and lasts for three months, from December to March, and the temperature is 5 degrees and it can drop more than that.
Things to do in Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is an annual tourist attraction, with many tourist services that any tourist needs, including hotels, restaurants, and parks. Maay has considered it as one of the natural wonders of the world because of its beautiful landscapes and it is also a great outgoing with the family, there are many things that you can enjoy doing there such as cycling, fishing, and golf.
In the coming part, we will get to know more about Niagara Falls, things to do there, and places to stay in, so sit back and enjoy!
Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park as we said before is the oldest state park in New York, it was opened in 1885 and it includes some lovely waterfalls and also five islands on the Niagara River. The park has an area of 400 acres of bike trails, picnic facilities, and much more.
The park also contains many attractions such as the Observation Tower, from the top you can see a magnificent view of the three waterfalls and also there is the Adventure Theater where you can see a 4D presentation that displays films and wonderful effects such as spray from the falls. Besides that, there are restaurants, gift shops, exhibits and at night you can find the waterfalls lit, and fireworks presentations are held throughout the year.
The Skylon Tower is located above the falls in Canada at a height of 235 meters, from the top you will see a beautiful view of Niagara Falls and the city. The tower also includes an indoor and outdoor observation with also two restaurants, the first one Revolving Dining Room which is an upscale revolving restaurant, and the other one the Summit Suite Buffet is a mid-range family-oriented establishment.
The Niagara Skywheel is considered the largest observation wheel in Canada, and also a new attraction built at Niagara Falls and it is 175 feet tall. The ride in the sky wheel can last from 8 to 12 minutes, you can ride it whether in the day or night but at the night you can see a spectacular view of the city lights and also the Niagara Falls lights.
Goat Island’s Cave of Winds
Cave of Winds can be visited by starting from Prospect Point, where there is a path that crosses a bridge on the Green Island which is above the American Falls, and over another bridge on the Goat Island between the American and the Horseshoe Falls. When you are at the Goat Island, at the American Falls you will find the Cave of Winds which leads you to the under part of the falls and it is located in the New York part.
Before entering the 175-feet cave, the visitor will be provided with sandals and ponchos, and there is a hurricane deck that was named after its constant state of stormy conditions and it is a wooden platform that stands 20 feet from the tumbling water of Bridal Veil Falls.
Aquarium of Niagara
The Aquarium of Niagara is one of the perfect places to visit there for families, you will find it in Niagara Falls in New York, where you can find more than 200 species of marine animals and also about 30 educational exhibits.
In there you can have a great time seeing the sea lion show and penguin feeding. Also, you can have a closer look at the animals, especially in caring, training, and many other things.
Whirlpool Aero Car
The Whirlpool Aero Car is one of the oldest things that you can try in Niagara Falls in Canada, it is an antique cable car that started working since1916 above the rolling waters of Whirlpool Rapids. It is about 10 minutes trip over the Niagara River with a lovely view beneath you. The cable car is about 1 km from one side to the other and it takes about 35 people per trip.
The Niagara-on-the-lake is a beautiful town located on Lake Ontario, it is just about 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls and the town was built in a magnificent design in the 19th century.
Most of the town was ruined in the war of 1812 and after that, the original architecture was built again and when you are there you can have a tour in the horse-drawn carriages through the town streets to see the spectacular buildings there.
Old Fort Niagara
The Old Fort Niagara is one of the most important forts in the 18th century that is located in the Canadian part, it is a great place to explore and it used to control access to the Great Lakes during the colonial wars. When you are there you can visit the visitor center that includes exhibits and artifacts.
The fort also hosts many events the entire time and tour guides are available in-season and off-season too, and you can enjoy orientation videos too.
The Niagara Parkway is a beautiful place for nature lovers, it is located in Canada, where it passes through Niagara Falls to Fort Erie following the gorge, while walking you will see many green spaces with many beautiful sights to stop and see besides taking many pictures.
There are other attractions you can see while walking on the parkway such as Floral Clock, Whirlpool Rapids, and also the Butterfly Conservatory.
Clifton Hill is a famous attraction in Niagara Falls, it is also a part of the town of Niagara Falls and it is also known as Niagara’s Street of Fun. There you will be able to see the Niagara sky wheel, Niagara Speedway, family attractions, and also restaurants. For kids, they will love the ice-cream shops, cotton candy, and many other things.
The Butterfly Conservatory is located on the Niagara Parkway in the Canadian part and it includes about 2,000 butterflies. The place there is a wonderful closed glass conservatory with waterfalls and tropical plants containing more than 40 species of butterflies.
It is one of the perfect places for bird lovers, it is considered the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world and it is also a great place to visit it in winter. There you will see many colorful tropical birds that you will love and you will be able to take some wonderful pictures.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour
It is a short drive from Niagara Falls, the tour starts from Niagara-o-the-lake ad you will go o a wonderful ride through class 5 whitewater rapids. The tour will give you some information about the history and geology of the area, and in the summer the tours on the boat are open, while in the fall the tours are in dome-covered boats.
Maid of the Mist
The Maid of the Mist is the longest-running boat tour in Niagara Falls, it started in 1846 and it is one of the famous attractions at Niagara Falls State Park.
The tour takes about 30 minutes to see both American Falls and Horseshoe Falls riding up close to the base where hundreds of thousands of gallons of water crash down each second. The tour always starts from April till November every year.
Hornblower Niagara Cruises
The Hornblower Niagara Cruises gives you a closer tour to the base of the three falls and it takes about 700 passengers, and the cruise runs all day. It is a great experience to do, and it is considered the only boat that tours from the Canadian side that takes the visitors to the base of the fall.
Places to Stay in Niagara Falls
Most of the people who visit Niagara Falls might not know that there are many hotels that you can stay in and relax from the activities and touring all day in the falls, so let us see some of these hotels.
- Sheraton, Niagara Falls: It is one of the best hotels that are located near Niagara Falls with a beautiful view of the falls. The hotel includes a big indoor water park that you could enjoy, a spa and many restaurants. Most of the rooms there give you the view of the falls, and also gardens and parks.
- Hilton Niagara Falls: It is a 52 story tall hotel, located in the middle of the Niagara Falls tourist area and near the Skylon Tower. The hotel includes top floor lounges that give you a beautiful view of the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls, also there is a fitness center, swimming pool, and restaurants.
- Holiday Inn Niagara Falls: It is a famous mid-range hotel for families, it is located near the falls and surrounded by green space. The hotel includes large suites for families with private bathrooms ad mini-fridges.
- Americana Resort: The hotel is located on Lundy’s Lane, it is also a perfect hotel for families near Niagara Falls. It includes a water park, restaurants and also a spa.
- Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls: it is located about 15 minutes away from Horseshoe Falls, it has suitable rooms and suites for families that have a lovely view of Niagara Falls.