What to Do in Niagara Falls Sample the spectacular views along the scenic Niagara Parkway from the Rainbow Bridge to Table Rock, and choose your favorite vantage point along the Niagara River from which to behold the three waterfalls—American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe—known collectively as Niagara Falls .
Stroll across the footbridge over the roiling American Rapids to Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park (1 Prospect St.), New York's oldest state park, for an up-close, awe-inspiring look at the river as it plunges 184 feet into Niagara Gorge.
Cruise past the American and Bridal Veil falls aboard Maid of the Mist (1 Prospect St.) for a drenching, deck-rocking rendezvous with the seething cauldron of river water churned up at the base of the massive Horseshoe Falls.
Slip on a complimentary rain poncho and pair of rubber sandals in preparation for a very moist encounter on the Hurricane Deck just 20 feet from Bridal Veil Falls as part of the Cave of the Winds Tour on Goat Island.
Wander among the game-packed arcades, neon-lit souvenir shops, themed restaurants and carnival midway-style rides that crowd the Clifton Hill area on the Niagara River's Ontario side, just a short walk from your best view of the American Falls. Experience an array of fun activities day and night.
Feel your spirits lift along with your body as you ride a glass-walled elevator to the top of Skylon Tower (5200 Robinson St.) for a fantastic bird's-eye view of the falls, the gorge and the countryside for miles around, including—on clear days—the skyscrapers of Buffalo and Toronto. Dine and shop at the tower, too. The revolving restaurant rotates 360 degrees in one hour, allowing for a myriad of views. Stock up on souvenirs and gifts at the tower shops. For the kids, there's Skyquest, an indoor arcade with rides, high-tech video games, foosball and air hockey.
Hike along the scenic Niagara Gorge Rim Trail, which extends 6 miles north from the Horseshoe Falls through three state parks, connecting to seven other trails along the way.
Niagara Parks/Niagara Parks
Glide 250 feet above the slowly revolving whirlpool formed at a bend in the Niagara River and enjoy views of the churning rapids courtesy of insubstantial-seeming steel cables supporting the Whirlpool Aero Car (3050 Niagara Pkwy.), a ride that has been safely carrying passengers between cliff edges since 1916.
Bask in the rainbow-hued glow of Niagara Falls at night when brilliant spotlights illuminate the roaring curtains of water, a sight that is accompanied by fireworks every Friday and Sunday nights in summer. This mesmerizing after-dark delight is worth waiting for the sun to go down.
Inhale fragrant botanicals as you amble languorously through the exquisitely landscaped gardens at Queen Victoria Park . Plantings vary with the seasons, but in warm months, you'll likely see daffodils, lilacs and roses as well as cherry and magnolia trees. Enhancing the experience: The falls are visible from the park. Treat yourself to the relaxing and informative Horse & Carriage Rides at Queen Victoria Park (6345 Niagara Pkwy.), where you can rest your weary feet while your driver describes the entrancing surroundings.
At Bird Kingdom (5651 River Rd.), discover a completely different environment than the one outdoors. The tropical rain forest inside this former 1907 corset factory is the dwelling of more than 400 birds, who flit, fly and glide in a natural habitat that features a 40-foot waterfall.
Take a side trip to eat at a nearby legendary food place. Anchor Bar & Restaurant, birthplace of the Buffalo chicken wing, serves its spicy chicken wings with a few celery sticks — to keep up the pretense of healthfulness — along with a side of refreshing blue cheese dip.
Niagara Falls, NY
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
The sales tax in Niagara Falls is 8 percent. An additional 8 percent is levied for hotel/motel rooms, and 14.75 percent is added for rental cars.
Mount St. Mary's, in Lewiston, (716) 297-4800; Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, (716) 278-4000.
10 Rainbow Blvd. Niagara Falls, NY 14303. Phone:(716)282-8992 or (877)325-5787
The nearest airport offering major domestic flight service is Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF), at Genesee Street and Cayuga Road in Cheektowaga, just outside Buffalo; take I-190S exit 16 to I-290E exit 51 heading east, then straight on Axis Street. Shuttle buses run between the airport and major hotels; phone (800) 551-9369. Taxi service is available with fares averaging $90. Short- and long-term parking is available at The Parking Spot at 4099 Genesee St.; phone (716) 633-6040.
Hertz, (716) 297-1800 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Passenger rail service is available at the Amtrak station at 27th Street and Lockport Road; phone (716) 285-4224.
Connections by bus may be made at Portage and Ashland roads; phone (716) 285-9319. A Greyhound bus station is at 240 First St.; phone (800) 231-2222.
Cab companies include Airport Taxi, (716) 633-8294, AA Taxi and Blue United Taxi, (716) 285-3333. Rates are $2.50 for the first half-mile, then 50c for each additional sixth of a mile.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (Metro) offers bus service within the city and outlying areas, including connections to Lockport and Buffalo. Service is generally from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fares are $2; $1 (ages 5-11, ages 65+ and the physically impaired); phone (716) 855-7300.