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Best things to do in Niagara Falls

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Where in the world: USA  /  New York State  /  Niagara Falls

Top 15 things to do in Niagara Falls

1. Niagara Falls

Straddling the border between Canada and the United States, Niagara Falls delivers water with the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. Formed by receding glaciers of the last ice age, the famous falls consist of three sets of waterfalls: the American, Bridal Veil, and Canadian Falls. Their natural beauty draws millions of visitors each year. You can view the falls from decks, vista points, and trails of Niagara Falls State Park. For the full experience, consider buying the park's inclusive package, which includes a Maid of the Mist boat ride and a trip to within feet of the Falls at the Cave of the Winds, as well admission to the park attractions Niagara Adventure Theater, Aquarium of Niagara, and Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. Consider a meal at the restaurant on Goat Island overlooking Horseshoe Falls, which are one-third in the United States and two-thirds in Canada.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino

Just steps from Niagara Falls, discover how the wonder continues at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. Beneath the bright lights, you’ll find the ultimate in gaming and comfort with more than 3,300 of the newest slots, from penny spins to $100 high-limit machines, and the fast-paced action of nearly 100 of the hottest table games including classics and interesting new twists. Pull up a luxurious seat and take a deep breath – the action is about to begin.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Niagara Falls Observation Tower

Admire the wild cascades and raging whitewater from Niagara Falls Observation Tower. Extending out over the gorge, the observation deck offers panoramic views of American and Horseshoe Falls at the same time. Take the elevator to reach the base of the gorge and the boarding site for boat tours. From there, you can climb flights of stairs to the Crow's Nest and feel the gusts of misty Niagara spray. Bird enthusiasts are drawn to the tower by good chances to spot peregrine falcons and bald eagles. On a clear, sunny morning, you can snap a picture-postcard photo of a rainbow over the American Falls.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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4. Whirlpool State Park

Whirlpool State Park is a 109-acre (0.44 km2) state park located in Niagara County, New York, north of the city of Niagara Falls. The park overlooks the Niagara Whirlpool on the Niagara River and the lower Niagara Gorge.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Cave of the Winds

Experience firsthand the cascading water and thunderous sounds of one of the country’s most famous natural wonders at Cave of the Winds. The behind-the-scenes tour takes you 53 m (175 ft) down into the Niagara Gorge to the “hurricane deck” at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. Cling tight to your hood as you walk carefully along the wooden walkway, enduring the howling wind and spraying mist of the majestic waterfall. Bring a waterproof camera to capture pictures of the action and of the breathtaking scenery. Rain gear and no-slip shoes are provided on the tour free of charge.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Bridal Veil Falls

See the smallest--but by no means the least memorable--of the three waterfalls that form Niagara Falls at Bridal Veil Falls. With its crest spanning 17 m (56 ft) wide, and its vertical fall extending to 24 m (78 ft), the cascade provides photo-worthy views. Take a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist pool and get up close to the mighty falls, then visit the Cave of the Winds and to see the base of the falls. Walk across the bridge that connects the islands, dividing these falls from the rest of the Niagara Falls. At the entrance, you'll receive slip-resistant sandals and a poncho to somewhat protect you from getting damp.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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9. Niagara Gorge Trail

Just downstream from one of the world's most famous waterfalls, Niagara Gorge Trail affords a break from crowded viewing platforms and souvenir stands. Instead, this solitary loop trail offers tranquility and views of striking rock formations, soaring canyon walls, and the many rapids on the Lower Niagara River. Following the blue river along cliffs and through hardwood tree groves, the trail is not that strenuous but it still includes some steep sections where you'll have to watch your step over slippery rocks and gnarly roots. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to refuel on your way out of the canyon.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House, Buffalo

Built between 1903 and 1905, Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House is a masterpiece from the architect's early career. The Martin family commissioned the house and developed a long-standing friendship with Wright, even offering financial support as his career began to take off. Designed during Wright's Prairie School era, the six-structure complex includes the main house, a house built for Martin's sister and her husband, a pergola, a conservatory, a stable, and a gardener's cottage. The house is in the Parkside East Historic District. Reservations are recommended for the variety of tours available.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Devil's Hole State Park

Devil's Hole State Park is a 42-acre (17 ha) state park located in Niagara County, New York, north of the City of Niagara Falls. The day-use park overlooks the lower Niagara River Gorge.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Three Sisters Island

The Three Sisters Islands are islands which lie off the south shoreline of Goat Island. The islands are part of Niagara Falls, New York.

Accessible from Goat Island, the Three Sisters Islands are located just beyond the Canada/U.S. border in Niagara Falls, New York. The islands are named after Celinda, Angelina, and Asenath Whitney (all three of whom are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, NY), daughters of General Parkhurst Whitney of Niagara Falls, New York. General Whitney (also buried in Oakwood Cemetery), was one of the more prominent early settlers of Niagara Falls, New York. The General moved to Niagara Falls, N.Y. in 1810 and is best known as the founder and operator of the Cataract House Hotel located near the upper rapids just above the falls. General Whitney's daughters are believed to be the first settlers to have trekked to the three small islands.

Before European settlers arrived in North America, Iroquois shamans made sacrifices of food and gifts on the islands and communed with He-No (Mighty Thunderer), the spirit who dwells in the mist-enshrouded cave at the base of the falls. Modern day psychics believe any one can hear the voices of the spirits if they listen carefully while visiting the Three Sisters Islands. Each island supports a variety of microhabitats and has its own floristic character. The Three Sisters Islands are connected by bridges, allowing pedestrians to walk to all three for grand views of the raging rapids in the Niagara River right before its descent over the Horseshoe Falls.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Niagara Wine Trail USA

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester

Packed with interactive exhibits, The Strong National Museum of Play is devoted to the history and importance of play. You can explore the world of Sesame Street, meet the Berenstain Bears, and witness the evolution of video games. Adults will find plenty of objects they remember from their childhood among the museum's vast collection of toys and activities. Consider taking a walk through the butterfly house, home to 1,000 free-flying butterflies. Younger children can enjoy a ride on the indoor train or carousel.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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