The powerful Niagara River, a vestige from the Ice Age, has funneled glacier meltwater through North America for thousands of years. The magnificent propulsion of Niagara Falls attracts 12 million visitors each year to gape, snap photos, tour the falls by boat and learn about the geological events that shaped them. Niagara Falls waters travel 15 miles before dumping into Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes. Although the falls don’t completely freeze over, cold weather sometimes creates an “ice bridge” across the river that tourists were permitted to explore until 1912, when three visitors drowned. Today’s visitors can stay warm and dry in Canada’s numerous Niagara Falls hotels and casinos.
After gazing at roaring rapids all day, vacationing kids may want to do some splashing of their own. The Niagara Falls Hotel Sheraton has an indoor water park designed for kids, with colorful water slides, sprinklers, and games. Hotel packages incorporate magic shows, Ferris wheel rides with views to the falls, carnival tokens and Niagara Falls gondola rides. Families can book two-story loft suites for extra elbow room.
Niagara Falls takes center stage in the region, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other interesting attractions to check out. The Niagara area is also home to a tranquil wine region, with 80 vintners scattered between Niagara Falls and Ontario. The Baymont Inn & Suites offers wine packages, including half-day wine-and-cheese tastings led by a local wine educator. Some rooms feature Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces, and the hotel serves complimentary continental breakfast. On-site swimming pool, hot tub and fitness center round out amenities.
Canada’s Fallsview Casino Resort’s gaming center is roughly the size of three football fields, with multiple bars, high-limit slots, poker rooms and occasional tournaments. Previous live entertainment performers include Ringo Starr, Jay Leno and Dolly Parton, and the casino’s performance calendar brims with more than 250 seasonal performances, star appearances and dance shows each year. The AAA-rated four-diamond venue features close-up views of Niagara Falls, an on-site spa and designer boutique shopping.
Guests who’ve worked up an appetite after hours spent strolling Niagara Falls or staring down opponents at the poker table can choose from nine different eateries at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel. Coffee shop snacks, deli counter bites, all-you-can-eat buffets, simple country food, Pan-Asian cuisine, steakhouse plates and burgers with homemade brioche buns can be purchased on-site. The AAA-rated four-diamond casino’s on-site spa offers massage, body wraps and aromatherapy treatments, and rooms include oversize showers, comfy pillowtop mattresses and Internet access.
- Niagara Falls image by Alla Podkopaeva from Fotolia.com