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View of Niagara Falls on the American Side at Night

Niagara Falls on the Maid of the Mist

Written by Julie Greiner

Come see one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Niagara Falls. The Falls are referred to as the honeymoon capital of the world and are the most dramatic four seasons tourist destination. More than 18 million tourists visit the Niagara Falls region each year and the numbers and attractions are increasing annually. Viewing the sheer power and size of the falls is breathtaking and a dramatic backdrop for a wedding ceremony. The view seems to tell you that it will remain with you forever. The hotel accommodations View of the Maid of the Mist Sight Seeing Tour Boat Going Under Niagara Falls are as varied as the colors of the rainbow that settle over the mist of the falls. One must visit the attractions and views on the American and Canadian sides of the falls to get a clear image of the full picture. The Falls has something for just about everyone: Niagara Falls is an affordable theme park for families; for history buffs it has 20 historical museums and two reconstructed forts; for the sportsmen it offers some 40 golf courses, fishing on Lake Ontario and Erie, plus 30 private campgrounds; the view of the Horseshoe Falls illuminated every night year round is awesome; and for thrill-seekers there are the casinos, Fort Erie Racetrack and a boat ride right under the falls.

Niagara Falls Ontario Canada

The City of Niagara Falls in New York on the American side offers many and varied attractions along with viewing the falls. Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest State Park in America. Niagara Parks Conservatory, Skylon Tower, Niagara Lake, the Shaw Festival, Fort George, Niagara Freedom Trail and the Niagara Wine Route are all major attractions. A boat ride that takes you right under the falls on the Maid of the Mist is probably the most famous attraction.

The Daredevils of Niagara Falls

The Peace Bridge from Buffalo to Canada crosses at Fort Erie. The town View of Niagara Falls on the Canadian Side originated in 1764 as a British military outpost. From Canada Day, July 1st to Independence Day, July 4th, the Fort Erie Friendship Festival celebrates the USA/Canada partnership with festivities that include concerts and fireworks on both sides of the border. Together with the Botanical Gardens which are located on the Niagara Parkway, the smell of ripening fruit from the vineyards, dinner theatres, fantastic shopping and the Falls, there is something for everyone.

A Short Synopsis of Niagara Falls

The legends of the daredevils who sought to go over the falls and live to tell about it have been many. Annie Taylor was the first person to successfully ride over the falls in 1901 inside an airtight wooden barrel. She thought it would bring her fame and fortune, however, she Annie died in poverty. In 1911 Bobby Leach went over the Falls in a steel barrel and only suffered minor broken bones, but died years later from complications of slipping on an orange peel. Since there have been regular attempts, some successful, some not. There is the Daredevil Museum in Niagara Falls New York where you can see remnants of the actual trips over the falls.

The formation of the Falls began at the end of the Ice Age, about 12,300 years ago. The Falls of Niagara were first described by Father Louis Hennepin, a Roman Catholic priest accompanying LaSalle on his expedition in 1678. The railroad opened Niagara Falls to visitors on a grand scale in the 1800s. Jerome Bonaparte (Napoleon's brother) took his American bride to the Falls in 1804 and it is said this started the honeymoon visits to Niagara Falls. The Falls produce over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, which Canada and the United States share. Hydroelectricity was invented by Nikola Tesia in 1896 and was first used in transmitting electricity from the Falls to the City of Buffalo some 30 miles away. Niagara Falls extended seven miles down the river at what is now Lewiston, New York and Queenston, Ontario some 12,000 years ago. Over the years, it has eroded as much as six feet per year to its present location. Gradual erosion and torrents of water from melting ice is what originally made the Falls and is still forming and moving the Falls today.

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