Sometimes it’s hard to believe one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World is so easily accessible. (Of course, it can depend on what part of the country you’re in …) But overall, Niagara Falls is located close enough for a day trip for some and a fun long weekend away for others.
The actual waterfall is only one element of a region combining two cities into one exciting destination. Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, N.Y., are right next to each other on a map (visit here to see the beauty), divided by the Niagara River and in close proximity to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Between the two cities, there are certainly enough natural bodies of water to go around!
The actual falls are located deep in the Niagara River, and take up space in both New York and Ontario. On the Canadian side is the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, which are the most recognized image of the falls. There are also the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which may not be as large or round in shape, but still pump the same water as the Canadian falls. The visuals are just as stunning as they are on postcards, and are a great backdrop to the two cities.
The Falls were formed during the Ice Age due to the formation of the Great Lakes and the Niagara River. The elevation between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie is about 326 feet, including the Falls. Yes, people have tried to go over the waterfalls in barrels, but the sharp rocks at the bottom, combined with the speed of the flowing river, usually results in disaster. If someone did survive a trip down the river, the sustained injuries would likely be too much for the daredevil in question, which is why tourists should consider the cities instead of going for a steep dive.
Niagara Falls proves the twin cities aren’t just in Minnesota. The two cities of Niagara Falls work together to offer the best of everything in the region. Ontario and New York sit side by side and work together to act as a high quality tourist destination sometimes referred to as the “Canadian Las Vegas.” Yes, that can also include New York because one city is enriched by the other! Between the stores, the restaurants, the clubs and the water, there is always something to do on either side.
For girls who are into gambling, the Seneca Niagara Casino in New York and Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino in Ontario offer plenty of tables and chips. Seneca Niagara, located in the former Niagara Falls convention center, is one of the more recent attractions added to Western New York and offers plenty of games and a large buffet for those who prefer to gamble on the various offerings on the dessert table. In Ontario, newly minted 19-year-olds can gamble and drink legally at Casino Niagara and Fallsview, which are both located in the lively Clifton Hill district and offer plenty of slots, tables, and more.
If shopping is the number one priority, each side has enough outlets to satisfy any customer’s needs. New York plays host to Fashion Outlets Niagara, which offers enough stores ranging from Old Navy to Burberry and back again, and is located right off of the major highways. In Ontario, the Lundy’s Lane neighborhood offers Canada One Factory Outlet Mall. This collection of stores is excellent, including the Canadian staple Roots and an Escada outlet.
The two cities are even close enough to visit other metropolitan areas. Both Toronto, ON, and Buffalo, NY, are within driving distance from Niagara Falls. The Niagara Frontier region offers four distinct cities, two of which happen to share the same name, but easy to visit within the course of a weekend. For those who are lucky enough to spend a long weekend in the region, it is possible to travel from Toronto to Niagara Falls, ON, to Niagara Falls, NY, to Buffalo and then back again. It’s possible to see each of the cities from the top of the CN Tower in Toronto, and the Skylon Tower provides a direct view of the Horseshoe Falls in Ontario. For a true experience of a waterfall, the Maid of the Mist offers cruises going directly under the Falls themselves, and yes, you will get wet.