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what to do in niagara falls

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Niagara Falls, ON

What to Do in Niagara Falls There are so many fun things to do on vacation here. First, sample the spectacular views along the Niagara Parkway from the Rainbow Bridge to Table Rock, and choose your favorite vantage point from which to observe the three waterfalls—American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe—known collectively as Niagara Falls .

Stroll across the footbridge over the whirling American Rapids to the wooded Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park (1 Prospect St.), New York's oldest state park, for an up-close look at the river as it plunges 184 feet into Niagara Gorge.

Cruise past the American and Bridal Veil falls with Hornblower Niagara Cruises , which can be found on the Canadian side from the dock at Clifton Hill and River Road; it'll be a drenching, deck-rocking rendezvous with the seething caldron of river water churned up at the base of the massive Horseshoe Falls.

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Slip on a rain poncho and rubber sandals in preparation for a very moist encounter at the Hurricane Deck just 20 feet from Bridal Veil Falls as part of the Cave of the Winds Tour on Goat Island. The deck is a great location for spotting rainbows.

Wander among the game-packed arcades, neon-lit souvenir shops, themed restaurants and carnival midway-style rides that crowd the Clifton Hill area, just a short walk from your best view of the American Falls. It's one of the most fun things to do with friends here.

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. The tower's revolving restaurant, a great place to eat, 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.

Add some adventure travel to your trip with a hike along the scenic Niagara Gorge Rim Trail; it extends 6 miles north from the Horseshoe Falls through three state parks, connecting to seven other trails along the way.

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 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 night in summer. This mesmerizing after-dark delight is worth waiting for the sun to go down.

Inhale fragrant botanicals as you stroll through the exquisitely landscaped gardens at Queen Victoria Park on the Niagara Parkway. Plantings vary with the seasons, but in warm months, you'll likely see daffodils, lilacs and roses as well as cherry and magnolia trees. Then 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 rainforest inside this former 1907 corset factory is the dwelling for more than 400 birds, who flit, fly and glide in a natural habitat that features a 40-foot waterfall.

Take a seat in a log cabin and enjoy a range of Canadian music, including maritime folk and pop, at Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show (8585 Lundy's Ln.), where a hockey player, Anne of Green Gables or a Mountie serves you comfort food like Alberta Grade Eh? Roast Beef.

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Niagara Falls, ON

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Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview

6361 Fallsview Blvd. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9

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Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel

6400 Lundy's Ln. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 1T6

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Sheraton on the Falls

5875 Falls Ave. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3K7

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Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa

6740 Fallsview Blvd. Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3W6

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Travel Information

City Population

82,997

Elevation

174 m/571 ft.

Sales Tax

Ontario's Harmonized Sales Tax is 13 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(905) 688-4111

Fire (non-emergency)

(905) 356-1321

Weather

(905) 562-3409

Hospitals

Greater Niagara General Hospital, (905) 378-4647.

Visitor Information

424 S. Service Rd. Grimsby, ON L3M 4E8. Phone:(905)945-6293

Air Travel

Four commercial airports serve the Niagara Falls area. See Approaches by Plane for details.

Rental Cars

Hertz, (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members. For a complete list of agencies consult the telephone directory.

Rail Service

Via Rail serves all parts of Canada as well as Buffalo, Windsor (opposite Detroit) and Sarnia (opposite Port Huron, Mich.). The station is at 4267 Bridge St.; phone (888) 842-7245.

Buses

Daily service connects Niagara Falls with all parts of Canada and with principal cities in the United States. Coach Canada, in partnership with Megabus—phone (866) 488-4452—and Greyhound Lines Inc.—phone (905) 357-2133)—operate out of the terminal at 4555 Erie Ave.; phone (888) 438-6646.

Taxis

Niagara Falls taxicabs operate on the meter system. The minimum charge is $3.50, plus $2.50 for each additional kilometre (.6 mi.). There is no extra charge for additional passengers. The meter is kept running while luggage is loaded and unloaded.

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