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Niagara Falls Photo Travel Guide

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Niagara Falls
I took a day trip to Niagara Falls with a tour company in Toronto (there are several to choose from). I typically don't like group tours, but it sure beats trying to find a parking place at the Falls. Although I was there on a very busy summer weekend, there was plenty of room for spectacular views along the walkway. About 28 million people visit the falls each year. See the rainbow over Horseshow Falls with the afternoon sun.

Get up close on the Maid of the Mist tour.

The view from a helicopter. I took the tour from National Helicopters at the Niagara-on-the-Lake airport, a longer ride than the
helicopter tours near the falls.
For more than 150 years, the Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist has taken visitors through the foaming waters beneath the falls. The journey begins at the bottom of the Observation Tower, where you’ll be provided with their famous, blue souvenir rain poncho. The Maid of the Mist takes you to the base of the American Falls and then to the basin of Horseshoe Falls, through the crashing waters and massive rock formations. This half-hour Niagara Falls tour allows you to experience firsthand the power and intensity of the falls.
Niagara-on-the-Lake (about 15 miles away from Niagara Falls in Ontario) is a picture-postcard small town with a very busy downtown of beautiful buildings, nice shops and the Prince of Wales Hotel. The area has many wineries to visit. Many of them produce icewine (this area supplies the world with about 80% of all icewine). Harvest of the icewine grapes occurs when temperatures have reached about 18 degrees, hand picked in the middle of night. I visited Pillitteri Winery.
More about Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls (French: les Chutes du Niagara) are on the Niagara River, straddling the international border separating the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side of the border and American Falls on the United States side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls also is located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.

From the U.S. side, the American Falls can be viewed from walkways along Prospect Point Park, which also features the Prospect Point Observation Tower and a boat dock for the Maid of the Mist. Goat Island offers more views of the falls and is accessible by foot and automobile traffic by bridge above the American Falls. From Goat Island, the Cave of the Winds is accessible by elevator and leads hikers to a point beneath Bridal Veil Falls. Also on Goat Island are the Three Sisters Islands, the Power Portal where a huge statue of Nikola Tesla can be seen, and a walking path which enables views of the rapids, the Niagara River, the gorge, and all of the Falls. Most of these attractions lie within the Niagara Falls State Park. The Niagara Scenic Trolley offers guided trips along the American Falls and around Goat Island. Panoramic and aerial views of the falls can also be viewed from the Flight of Angels helium balloon ride, or by helicopter. The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center showcases the natural and local history of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge. More info: American side

On the Canadian side, Queen Victoria Park features manicured gardens, platforms offering spectacular views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls, and underground walkways leading into observation rooms which yield the illusion of being within the falling waters. The observation deck of the nearby Skylon Tower offers the highest overhead view of the Falls, and in the opposite direction gives views as far as distant Toronto.

Along the Niagara River, the Niagara River Recreational Trail runs the 35 miles (56 km) from Fort Erie to Fort George, and includes many historical sites from the War of 1812. The Whirlpool Aero Car, built in 1916 from a design by Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, is a cable car which takes passengers over the whirlpool on the Canadian side. The Journey Behind the Falls - accessible by elevators from the street level entrance - consists of an observation platform and series of tunnels near the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. There are two casinos on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara. The former is situated in the Fallsview Tourist Area, alongside many of the area's hotels, whilst the latter is adjacent to Clifton Hill, a major tourist promenade. More info: Canada side

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