Anyone planning flights on a budget and following the North American tourist trail is certain to stop off at Niagara Falls as part of their adventure. An easy mistake, however, is to think that all there is to the place is a spectacular waterfall and that you can see it, tick it off the list and move on in the space of an afternoon.
This would be to miss out on one of the most entertaining tourist spots on the continent, and you should really allow yourself at least a couple of days to fully take it in.
So phone ahead to the hotel, make sure you are booked in for a minimum two nights and prepare to be amazed. If you are not sure where to stay, the best views by far are to be had from the marriottonthefalls.com. There are plenty of other hotels around, but this is the one that is directly overlooking the Falls.
Once you have checked in, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do. Here are five experiences you really shouldn’t miss.
1) The falls
Fairly obvious, this one, after all, it is the main reason you are there. However, there are a number of ways to do it. The original and best is to take the Maid of the Mist Steamboat, and get up close and personal with Mother Nature. These boats have been plying their trade since the 1840s, so they know what they are doing. Be warned, though – you will get wet.
2) The Casino
Niagara Falls is almost as famous for the casinos as the waterfalls, and even if gambling is not usually your thing, you should at least pop in and take a look. The main casino is on Fallsview Boulevard and is home to 150 gaming tables and literally thousands of slot machines. Be aware that you need to be 19 or over to gain admittance.
3) The Winery
The region is renowned for its wine industry, and if you are fond of a glass of good vino, don’t miss out on a visit to the Inniskillin Winery. It is a short drive from your hotel and located at Niagara-on-the-Lake. There are free tours every day, and the opportunity to taste the vineyard’s unique Icewine. Definitely a good day to leave the car at the hotel and take a cab!
4) The Aquarium
The Aquarium of Niagara has a deserved reputation as one of the best attractions on the US side of the Falls. This is a perfect place to visit if you have youngsters with you, who might have been less than enamored with the wine tour. There are all the usual opportunities to interact with and feed the various creatures.
5) The Old Fort
Every expedition should include a little look at history, and Niagara has plenty of it. While you are on the US side, a visit to this 17th-century fort provides an intriguing insight into the past, with its underground rooms and ancient weaponry.