July 2010
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The Niagara Falls (US) – An Amazing Spectacle of Mammoth Proportions

Located right on the international border of North America and Canada lies a very delightful and amazing spectacle of nature known as the Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls are gigantic waterfalls on the Niagara River, situated between the two cities of New York on the American side and Ontario on the Canadian side. The falls are divided into three parts by Goat Island: The huge Canadian falls, with their distinct curvy shape, also known as the Horseshoe Falls, lying on the Canadian side and the American Falls, lying on the American side. Majority of the falls lies on the Canadian side. The third part is the smaller Bridal Veil Falls, on the American side, separated by Luna Islands from the two main falls. The Falls were formed when at the end of the last ice age, glaciers receded, leading to the formation of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment on their way to the Atlantic Ocean, giving birth to the Niagara Falls.
The Niagara Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America. For most people, it is an experience of a lifetime, to see three quarters of a million gallons of water explode every second over the edge of the American Falls. The height of the American Falls varies from 70 to 100 feet and width is 1060 feet .Revered for its beauty, as it is, the Falls have also been utilised for commercial and industrial purposes, the main being hydroelectric power.
The Niagara Falls became a popular tourist attraction in the 18th century, and is now the main attraction of Niagara Falls (the city in New York), which is named after the falls itself. It has been a hotspot for honeymooners for a long time now. Jerome Bonaparte (Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger brother) honeymooned here with his bride in the early 19th century. The waterfalls have also been a favourite with movie makers. The visits to the Niagara Falls rose considerably in 1953 after the release of the movie, “Niagara” starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten.
The views of the Niagara Falls are such that leave everyone spell bound. You have volumes of water gushing down, and the ways that are available to get you closer to the action like boats, helicopters etc. makes everything much more exciting. At night, the falls are illuminated with floodlights, giving the falls a divine look. During winters, the whole scene changes as everything freezes to ice, forming mammoth razor sharp icicles.

Best time to visit / climate:
Best time to visit would be during summer, which is from mid May to September. That’s when the water flow is at its peak, the sky is blue and clear and all the attractions are open. People also come to visit Niagara Falls during winter and fall (October to February) when everything is covered in ice, but the falls look very romantic and picturesque. Most of the attractions are closed during this period.
The climate is mostly bright and sunny during summer with temperatures ranging from highs of 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) to lows of 50 degrees F (9 degrees C). July is the hottest month. The only drawback of summer is that it can get very hot and humid. Winters are cold with temperatures ranging from highs of 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) to lows of -10 degrees F (-23 degrees C). February is the coldest month.


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How to get there :
If you like to drive, it’s a 6.5 hour drive from New York City. Air travel takes 45 minutes, but going from terminal to terminal, checking in and out, and finally driving to the falls takes 3 to 4 hours. You can also take a train or a bus. Check with your local travel and tours provider to explore your options.

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Places to stay (Restaurant’s, Hotels (with website / contact numbers):
There are many options for tourists in staying and eating at Niagara Falls. There are camp grounds available for backpacker’s and many two or three star hotels for people looking for budget accommodation. Some of the area’s top rated hotels are mentioned below:
1. The Giacomo, 222 First Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Phone : 716-299-0200

2. Seneca Niagara Hotel, 310 Fourth Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14303

3. Days Inn Niagara Falls Buffalo, 2821 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Niagara Falls, NY 14304

4. Comfort Inn The Pointe, 1 Prospect Pointe, Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Most popular Bed and Breakfast places:
1. Hillcrest Inn, Hillcrest St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Contact number: +1 716-278-9676

2. Butler House Bed and Breakfast, 751 Park Place, Niagara Falls, NY 14301
+1 866-706-8199

Top rated restaurants:

1. Caffe Lola, 507 Third Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14301
2. Wine on Third, 501 Third Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Price range: $15 to $20
3. La Galera, 6621 Niagara Falls Blvd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304

Source: http://www.tripadvisor.com

Apart from the names mentioned above there are a number of other eating joints like McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bells etc. for the junk food lovers and a number of other restaurant’s offering ethnic cuisines like Indian, Chinese, Italian etc.

Blogs / Sites about Niagara Falls (and small excerpts):

1. Formation of the Niagara Falls: (http://www.niagara-usa.com/)
Although the Falls at Niagara are about 12,000 years old, the story of their formation can be traced back hundreds of millions of years into the past. Five hundred million years ago the Earth was very different from the way it is today. Its climate was mostly tropical, and the land masses that would one day become North America and Eurasia were still in the process of separating from one another.
Most of the western and central portions of what was to become North America (including the Niagara region) lay underneath shallow tropical seas and brackish ponds. The eastern part of this future continent was dominated by the Taconic Mountains, a range that was taller than the still unformed Rockies would ever be.
The Taconic’s no longer exist in our world. Five hundred million years of erosion have reduced them to the Appalachian, Allegheny, and Catskill Mountains that we know today. The silt and minerals that were worn away from the Taconic’s, however, provided the materials that formed the Niagara region and (much later) the Niagara Falls.
Read more: http://www.niagara-usa.com/about_formation_of_the_falls.html

2. Sight-Seeing, attractions, what-to-do:
• “Niagara Falls will impress the nature lovers in the family and convert the ones who aren’t. Choose an adventure. You’re bound to get wet. Why Go? An up close and personal look at Niagara Falls. Who cares about getting wet even with the poncho on? Why…”
Read more: http://attractions.uptake.com/new_york/niagara_falls/961790070.html#ixzz0tg5Oz9S1

• “Niagara Falls State Park draws millions of visitors each year who want an opportunity to view the spectacular falls from one of the many outlooks. But there are many more Niagara Falls attractions to experience while you’re here. Get up close and personal with the Niagara Falls by taking a short walk to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls to feel the mist during the Cave of the Winds tour. Or take a Niagara Falls tour of a different sort with the Maid of the Mist® boat ride, which takes you right down to the base of the falls.”
Read more: http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/Activities.aspx

• “Niagara Falls has many attractions from museums to the Maid of the Mist, to free concerts and events. Whether you want to absorb the beauty of the rushing waters of the falls or simply enjoy the historical sites, you will find and assortment of attractions and things to do in Niagara Falls. Visiting Niagara USA is an exciting adventure that can take you across many of Niagara’s regions. Niagara Falls attractions and museums like the Castellani Art Museum, the Native American Museum of Art, or the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum are sure to leave you with the culture of Niagara”.
Read more: http://www.niagara-usa.com/attractions.html

3. Map of Niagara Falls, NY.

4. A description along with many photo’s of the Niagara Fall’s.
• http://www.niagarafallslive.com/Facts_about_Niagara_Falls.htm
• http://mappery.com/Niagara-Falls-Map

5. Photo / Image Gallery:
• http://www.planetware.com/pictures-/niagara-falls-us-ny-nf.htm
• http://jboyd.net/Niagara.html


1. Video of Niagara Falls in action on youtube

2. Niagara Falls on the US side

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