Niagara Falls and Western New York Sights

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Niagara Falls State Park

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Niagara Falls State Park Review

This park hugs the Niagara River bordering the Horseshoe and American and Bridal Veil falls. It includes several islands: Goat Island—with several attractions—Luna Island, and Three Sisters Islands. Established in 1885 to protect the public's access to the land surrounding the falls, this is the oldest state park in the country. It was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York City's Central Park.

Hours of operation for all park attractions change according to weather and season. It's best to call ahead to make sure your timing is right.

The Niagara Scenic Trolley travels a 3-mi route through the park, picking up and dropping off passengers at six locations. $2.

The Niagara USA Discovery Pass includes Niagara Scenic Trolley tickets and admission to the Aquarium of Niagara, Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, the Prospect Point Observation Tower, and the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. It's available from the Prospect Park Visitor Center. $33.

The Prospect Park Visitor Center is surrounded by gardens and has tourist information, exhibits, and a snack bar. The visitor center's Adventure Theater shows the "thrill film" Niagara: Legends of Adventure ( $11), on a 45-foot-tall screen. 716/278–1796. Free. Hrs vary; call ahead.

The 282-foot-tall Prospect Point Observation Tower offers dramatic views of all three falls from an observation deck high above the gushing waters. When the Maid of the Mist is in operation, you can take a glass elevator to boat launch at the base of the tower. 716/278–1796. $1; free with Maid of the Mist ticket. Hrs vary; call ahead.

The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center explains, through interactive exhibits and a multiple-screen movie, the natural history of the falls and the Niagara Gorge and their formation. 716/278–1070. $3.

Fodorite Reviews

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    DO CAVE OF THE WINDS!!!

    FAR superior to the Canadian side. The Cave of the Winds is way way way better than its Canadian counterpart called Journey Behind the Falls because with Cave of the Winds you climb a deck that actually takes you under the waterfall--we will never forget the water gushing down our heads (of course, you'll get soaked). With Journey Behind the Falls you just stand on a platform behind the fall--Cave of the Winds is far superior and a MUST DO.

    by Golnarsarge, 12/17/08

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