The area around Niagara Falls is a wonderful place for a family vacation in the summer for some obvious reasons and some not so obvious ones. The world-famous Niagara Falls, the waterfall with the highest flow rate of water in the world was an obvious reason to visit. Still, the area surrounding the falls is a nature and history lover’s paradise. Here are the top 10 reasons that your family should visit it this summer.
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1. The American Side of Niagara Falls-
On the American side, you can explore the Niagara Falls State Park which has miles of great hiking trails and an aquarium. There you can also find The Maid of the Mist boat, which will bring you right to the foot of the falls and the not-to-be-missed Cave of the Winds, which allows you to explore the foot of Bridal Veil Falls.
2. The Canadian Side of the Falls-
The Canadian side of the falls is a bustling, touristy city with tons of opportunities for family fun and the best views of the falls. My favorite thing was seeing the fantastic fireworks over Niagara Falls. I love water in every form, and I also love fireworks. The fireworks over Niagara Falls are some of the best I have seen in the world- a long, grand fireworks show set over the kaleidoscope-lighted falling water. It is stunning and something that should be on your bucket list.
3. Buffalo, New York
Did you know this was where President Theodore Roosevelt took his oath of office? You can also try Buffalo wings at The Anchor Bar, where they were created after you catch a local sporting event.
4. Olcott Beach, New York
This is a little fishing town on Lake Ontario, which was voted the “Ultimate Fishing Town” in 2012 by the World Fishing Network. There are many areas to catch many varieties of fish in this area, so whether you are a family interested in catching warm or freshwater species, there is something for everyone.
5. The Great Lakes
Speaking of Lake Ontario, did you know that Niagara Falls is on the Niagara River, which is where Lake Erie drains into Lake Ontario? Be sure to take advantage of the ability to visit these substantial freshwater lakes where you can rent a sailboat or even surf if conditions are right.
6. Niagara Gorge
Numerous hiking trails are leading down the Niagara Gorge around the falls and throughout the Niagara Gorge system, and this is a great place to do some kayaking.
7. The Erie Canal
Before visiting, I didn’t realize how vital the Erie Canal was to the expansion of the United States. We all learned a lot from our boat ride on the Erie Canal. It was enjoyable to ride up and down the lock system.
8. Niagara Wine Trail
OK, the wine tasting may be mainly for the parents. Still, the Niagara Wine Trail is full of cute little towns, most notably Niagara-on-the-Lake, farms for the kids to enjoy, and many wineries making traditional vinifera style wines for mom and dad.
9. Martin’s Fantasy Island Amusement Park and Beaver Island State Park
There is even a reasonably priced family amusement park in the area- something my kids can always agree on- or Beaver Island State Park, where you can hike, spend a beach day or boat on the Upper Niagara River.
As you can see, Niagara Falls is so much more than just the falls, and whether you are sports lovers, foodies, nature or history lovers, this is a great place to spend a lot of time enjoying your family.