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Pocket Guide: Niagara Falls, USA

Travelling to Niagara Falls (USA)

Tell most people that Niagara Falls is in New York and they’ll probably look at you like you’re talking nonsense. Although the falls and the area surrounding them couldn’t be more different from the noise and clamour of New York City, however, the fact of the matter is that the world-famous natural wonder is located in western New York, 17 miles southeast of Buffalo and 70 miles east of Rochester.

Bearing that in mind, it would be possible to explore the grandeur of the falls while staying in a New York hotel or one of the hotels in Rochester, but a Niagara Falls hotel will put you right in the heart of everything this iconic landmark has to offer.

At the centre of everything when you stay in hotels near Niagara Falls is the falls itself. Although many falls around the world are higher than those at Niagara, few can match the sheer weight of water which drops from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. At its height, during the summer, more than 750,000 gallons per second are plunging over the falls and there are a variety of ways in which you can enjoy them. The Maid of the Mist steam boat tours run throughout the day and take you as close to the bottom of the falls as it is possible to safely get. Rest assured you’ll get wet, but also that it’s worth it to get so close to the sheer force of nature at its most basic. For another perspective on the falls you can pay a visit to the Cave of the Winds. This involves taking an elevator down to a walkway which leads out to the back of a section of the falls know as Bridal Veil Falls. Standing behind the falls like this is as close as you can safely get to the water as it thunders past you at a distance of just 20 feet.

Where to stay in Niagara Falls (USA)

The key to Niagara Falls hotels is that they offer somewhere to stay while you’re busy exploring the natural beauty of the area and everything else it has to offer. The Aquarium of Niagara is located at 701 Whirlpool Street and is home to a wide variety of aquatic creatures like otters, penguins and sealions. Highlights of any visit will include the chance to watch penguins being fed and to learn about conservation and the natural species to be found living in the nearby Great Lakes. What many people might not realise is that the area around Niagara Falls is one of the largest wine-producing regions in the US. Many of the eight vineyards close to the falls are open to public tours, and several companies even go as far as offering limousine-guided tours which include lunch. From the hotels in Niagara Falls you’ll doubtless be guided by the size of your party and the budget which you have to spend. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, everything else which the wider Niagara Falls New York area has to offer, and the ease with which you can explore from a base in the right hotel.

Different types of hotel

The hotels around Niagara Falls, New York, cover all the bases, from luxury accommodation through to clean but basic bed and breakfasts. For a taste of luxury, stay at the 4 star Sheraton at the Falls hotel, which is conveniently located just a short walk from both the falls and the Seneca Niagara resort and casino. The hotel offers three restaurants, an indoor pool and a 24-hour business centre. If you’re working to a lower budget, then the Holiday Inn Niagara Falls Scenic Downtown, located on Buffalo Avenue, offers everything you need just one block away from the falls themselves. All rooms come with Wi-Fi and there’s an indoor swimming pool and arcade for when you want to relax after a day exploring the falls.

What to do during your stay in Niagara Falls New York

Any trip to Niagara Falls is all about getting up close and personal with the water. You’ll certainly do that when you take the Niagara River Gorge Jet Boat Adventure. It’s all about the adrenaline rush as your expert captain guides you at speed along Niagara Gorge, performing high-speed, 360 degree turns as you fly across the raging torrent of the whitewater rapids. For perhaps the most exciting view of the falls, take a Helicopter Tour, flying over the falls in a state-of-the-art Bell 407 helicopter. Extra-large viewing windows will allow you to capture images to impress the people back home, while a multilingual commentary will ensure you understand exactly what you’re looking at.

To save money and start planning your Niagara Falls New York trip straight away, book your hotel and flights together at Expedia.

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