Niagara Falls USA is a sightseer’s dream. Niagara Falls is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. According to the 2010 census, the city had an entire population of 50,193, down from the 55,593 recorded in the 2000 census. Acknowledged in the past as the premiere Honeymoon destination, this geological wonder is not only one of the most famous tourist attractions in the state but also functions as one of the significant power providers to the state. Niagara Falls is a true natural wonder that plays Cupid to lovers, an inspiration to artists, and a pied piper to millions of visitors each year itself. Niagara Falls water stems from the upper Great Lakes and the river is estimated to be 12,000 years old.
Niagara Falls involves two waterfalls on the Niagara River, which indicates the border between New York and Ontario, Canada: the American Falls, positioned on the American side of the border, and the Canadian or Horseshoe Falls positioned on the Canadian side.
The Niagara Falls came into existence from the Ice Age when large torrents of water were discharged from the melting ice, draining into a river known as the Niagara River. The City of Niagara Falls was incorporated on March 17, 1892, from the villages of Manchester and Suspension Bridge, which were parts of the Town of Niagara. In 1927, the city annexed the village of La Salle, named for Robert de la Salle, from the Town of Niagara.
How Did Niagara Falls Get Its Name?
Niagara originates from the Neutral Indian name “Ongniaahra” meaning “Thunder of Waters”.The name Niagara was originated from a Native American word that expresses thundering water. It was named for three waterfalls, The Horseshoe Falls, which are located primarily within Canada, and the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie entirely within the United States.
Niagara Falls undergoes cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. Rainfall is moderate and consistent in all seasons, falling uniformly or more as snowfall during the winter. The hottest and coldest temperatures recorded in the past decade were 36 °C in 2005 and -25 °C in 2003, respectively.
Facts about Niagara Falls
• The first person to examine, describe, and document the area extensively was Father Louis Hennepin, a French priest who accompanied LaSalle on his exploration to the Niagara region in 1678. • Father Louis Hennepin was overwhelmed by the size and significance of Niagara Falls, and he wrote a book on his journey named as, “A New Discovery” owing to this Niagara Falls draws the attention of the western world for the first time and encouraged more extreme examination about the region. • Niagara Falls is the second largest falls in the world next to Victoria Falls in Southern Africa. • 3,160 tons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second. • The waterfalls at 32 feet per second over the falls, kicking the foot of the falls with 280 tons of force at the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 2,509 tons of force at the Horseshoe Falls. • Four of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie) drain into the Niagara River before emptying into Lake Ontario and these create around the one-fifth amount of freshwater globally. • Niagara Falls is capable of generating over 4 million kilowatts of power, being distributed among the United States and Canada. • In November 1896, for the very first time in the world alternating current was transmitted over a long distance, from the Adams Power Plant in Niagara Falls, New York to Buffalo, New York. • Almost 12 million tourists visit Niagara Falls every year.
Best things to do in Niagara Falls, NY
From historic places to a breathtaking ride through the whirlpools, these are the best things to do in Niagara Falls, NY.
Niagara Falls State Park: America’s oldest state park opened in 1885 brings you closer than you ever thought possible to the glory of the Falls. Open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, Niagara Falls State Park has breathtaking scenery! It also attributes thrilling attractions, interactive exhibits, miles of hiking trails, and mouth-watering dining options in a family-friendly environment. It’s always free to walk into the Park and experience the Falls! It is home to a trio of impressive waterfalls and five islands on the Niagara River. The magnificent Great Lakes Garden greets visitors entering the park. The visitor center grants information and documentation about the park’s history, geology, and technology.
Facts about Niagara Falls
a) Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S. Established in 1885 as the Niagara Reservation. b) Niagara Falls State Park expanses over 400 acres, nearly 140 acres of that underwater. c) No passport is required to feel an unforgettable, spectacular, and breathtaking Niagara Falls vacation. d) It’s an adventure-packed experience! e) In the park, you can ride the world-famous Maid of the Mist Boat and get wet while at the Cave of the Winds attraction. f) Visitors can enjoy a 40-minute “4-D” presentation that combines film and sensory effects, like spray from the falls, to provide an immersive experience for the whole family.
Weather conditions may vary widely from season to season and can change very quickly. SUMMER -Summer is often the best time to visit the park. Shorts and t-shirts are typical attire in the summer months. With the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, you can soak in the memories. FALL – As the temperature starts to fall, the Park’s trees change to magnificent Chromas of red and gold, and Niagara’s paths greet hikers of every kind. Peak fall vegetation occurs three weeks later than the surrounding areas, in mid- to late-October, due to the warm waters flowing out of Lake Erie. A helicopter ride provides an incredible aerial view of the Falls and the park’s foliage. WINTER – The Park’s view in winter is hypnotizing. You haven’t felt the Falls until you’ve viewed them in all their snow-white frosted majesty – and there’s no better spot to catch a view. The winter weather transforms the Park into an icy wonderland. The temperature usually stays around the freezing point, regularly dropping below 20 degrees. SPRING – It can bring a small amount of snow with average temperatures ranging from 40 to 65 degrees F. The attractions that were closed for the winter are reopened, and Niagara Falls State Park comes back to life with flowering trees, and flourishing wildlife. Blossoming gardens and abundant sunshine complement awe-inspiring scenery. Birding and hiking are in bloom during the spring season.
Maid of the Mist – It is located in Niagara Falls State Park but deserves its own spot on the list. The Maid of the Mist journey begins at the Observation Tower, where visitors are presented with a souvenir rain poncho to wear and board the double-deck Maid of the Mist tour boat. From there, the ferries passed the base of the American Falls. Then, the Maid of the Mist returns guests to shore with a newfound appreciation of the power and grandeur of Niagara Falls. Running since 1846, it is the only tour boat fleet whose captains have safely navigated the mighty streams of the Niagara Gorge for over 100 years. This iconic boat ride carries up to 600 riders and operates only in the U.S.This spectacular ride lasts for half an hour and frames a lifetime of memories with each voyage. This unforgettable tour operates in season from April till November, and tickets are available in the state park’s visitor center.
Cave of the Winds – The cave was about 130 feet high, 100 feet wide, and 30 feet in depth. It was discovered in 1834. From Prospect Point, a path crosses a bridge on to little Green Island, just above the American Falls, and then over another bridge on to Goat Island, between the American and the Horseshoe Falls. This trip brings you closer to the waters of Niagara Falls than you imagined feasible. The Cave of the Winds is a fantastic experience. The rushing waters loom above you, splashing you with a generous spray as you face the thundering Falls head-on. The Cave of the Winds and Pavilion is a timed ticketed attraction. The full Cave of the Winds tour operates from May to October.
Old Fort Niagara – It is a historic site that offers a stunning blend of authentic 18th-century buildings and fortifications enlivened by vibrant living antiquity programs. It is operated today by the Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., a non-profitable organization, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Just 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, Old Fort Niagara lies at the base of the Niagara River. The first military post was established at the fort in 1679, but it’s now best known for its role in the War of 1812. It offers visitors the chance to explore one of the most important forts, essential in maintaining control of access to the Great Lakes during the colonial wars. Guided tours are also available in-season and during the off-season. You should visit 18th-century buildings to study life in the fort and catch an artillery presentation carried out by soldiers in uniform. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy an orientation video.
Fireworks & Illumination Displays – Who doesn’t like a night with fireworks and how beautiful it is when they explode high above the sky? It is spectacular, a night with colorful firework displays high over the mighty falls! There is something eye-catching about the Park’s fireworks show, which you can undergo throughout the year when you visit the Falls. Every evening beginning at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into incredible, multi-colored water and light masterpiece. See the sky light up with fireworks over the Falls from June to September. Visitors will be thrilled by the free fireworks display. Fireworks displays continue rain or shine but may be affected by prevailing winds. You can see Niagara Falls coming alive with seasonal fireworks and eccentric, and colorful illuminations display year-round. These lights work to create a breathtaking view not to be missed and are illuminated every night of the year beginning at dusk. The “Illumination of the Falls” has been financed and operated by The Niagara Falls Illumination Board since 1925. In 2016, the existing Xenon lights were replaced with new, energy-efficient LED lighting technology. These new lights provide more than twice the previous lighting levels, programmable lighting, and a wider spectrum of color. Experience Niagara Falls as it’s transformed into a palette of breathtaking colors with millions of sparkling lights and illuminated displays, during the Winter Festival of Lights.
Aquarium of Niagara – The Aquarium of Niagara aims to expand the public’s awareness of aquatic ecosystems through innovative and exciting exhibits, displays, and educational and recreational programs that encourage conservation, protection, and support research. It was opened on June 12, 1965. The Aquarium of Niagara is a non-profit public aquarium. Open Daily from 9 a.m. till 5 pm. Here are more than 200 species of aquatic animals, more than 1,500 aquatic animals live at the Niagara Falls aquarium, as well as 30 educational exhibits. The sea lions, seals, and penguins are the highlight of this aquarium. Aquarium presentations include a sea lion show, harbor seal presentations, and the penguin feeding. It is a fun diversion for families and a great option for chilly or rainy days. It is a small place but such a nice aquarium. Though it is smaller, they have a lot of things to look at, and a nice variety as well. The place is clean and so nice to walk around. The Whaling Wall offers a glimpse of the underwater world waiting inside the Niagara Falls aquarium. Don’t forget to stop at the seal exhibit outside the main entrance.
Art Park – It was opened on July 25, 1974. It is situated in Lewiston, a picturesque town close to Niagara Falls. Art Park is a park and a cultural institution located in the Niagara Gorge, USA. It is a collaboration between the New York State Parks and the cultural nonprofit institution Art Park & Company. For over 40 years, Art Park has been Western New York’s premier summer music and theater destination. Artistic talent is nurtured and allowed to flourish in an atmosphere that is entertaining, educational, and interactive for Art park visitors. Art Park delivers more than 150 events attended by 150,000+ visitors, on 150+ acres of land over 110 days of summer. It is unique as a public park and as a scope for art. It offers a full spectrum of engaging entertainment; from productions of Broadway musicals, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performances, and concerts in the Main stage Theater to award-winning concert series featuring popular rock and pop performers in the Outdoor Amphitheater. Art Park State Park is open year-round and features nature trails, woods, picnic areas, and fishing docks.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours – The jet boat tour starts in Lewiston and leads you right into Niagara’s Devil Hole Rapids. It operates out of Niagara-on-the-Lake, a short drive from Niagara Falls. These Tours are in open boats during the summer and dome covered boats in the spring and fall. This experience is one step higher than a white-water raft trip to share its thrilling experience with your friends and family. These rapids are some of the world’s most dangerous, with 100,000 cubic feet of water running through the narrow Whirlpool Gorge each second. The waves can reach almost 20 feet in height and the currents can run as fast as 20 miles per hour. It lasts for about 45-60 minutes. You’ll get hit with some huge waves but, if you sit at the back of the boat, you’ll experience a slightly easier ride. Riders will have awe-inspiring scenery and discover the history of Niagara on a wet or dry tour. Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is also a popular way to view the falls from above, spanning the Niagara River between the United States and Canada. At the dock, all guests will receive splash gear and life jackets. Depending on the temperature more gear may be available and mandatory for guests to wear on the boat. There are free-changing rooms, lockers for valuables, and places to store changed clothes and towels at all locations. Great for ages above 4.
Rainbow Air Helicopter Tour – Rise above Niagara Falls in a helicopter and take in a bird’s eye view of the surrounding scenery. Helicopter Tours are above and around the American and Canadian Falls. Enjoy the incredible sight Falls from high above, along with a spectacular view of the many landmarks and renowned wine country of the Niagara region. It is located in Niagara Falls NY, next to the entrance of the Rainbow Bridge. Rainbow Air has quiet turbine engine helicopters, which will provide the most unique experience of your visit. It is serving the visitors of Niagara Region since 1995. The pilots are highly skilled and experienced with various Military and Medical Evacuation backgrounds and previous occupations. This scenic tour is lower and closer than any aerial tour operator in the area. During April and November Rainbow Air is open during the weekends only. From May through October Rainbow Air is open daily. View the majestic power and beauty of the Falls from the air!
Niagara Wine Trail – Minutes from Niagara Falls, and a short drive from Buffalo and Rochester, New York, the Niagara Wine Trail USA is regarded as a new up-and-coming region. It situated between the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario, the Niagara Wine Region USA. It consists of unique geographical characteristics and a micro-climate which are suitable for the production of fruit. Niagara Wine Trail features almost two dozen award-winning wineries and cideries to enjoy. One of the fastest-growing wine regions in New York State, the Niagara Wine Trail, USA is home to a diverse crop of wineries and vineyards, offering an impressive selection of traditional, native, late harvest, and ice wines. Come and taste them all! Itis the setting of year-round festivals and events. With so many wineries to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming where to begin, or how to plan a wine tour. It is now home to over 22 wineries, breweries, and cideries. Limos and bus tour packages are available to make experiencing the trail safe and easy to navigate. Niagara Falls USA is one of the few regions in the world that produces ice wine. All within a short drive to enjoy the charming towns, restaurants, historical sites, farm markets, and antique shops while you sip the fine wines our wineries have to offer.