I’m showing my age by admitting that I’d been dreaming of seeing beautiful Niagara Falls since I was a child. I had seen it as a luxurious travel giveaway on The Price is Right game show and I dreamed about the romance and mystery of it ever since.
How to Enjoy Niagara Falls, New York in 24 Hours
Luckily, I got to check off Niagara Falls, New York from my bucket list when I went there for a travel conference. Though our time was limited, it was magical seeing the amazing falls. I didn’t realize how many other outdoor opportunities were around the city or what a cool food scene it had. I was happily surprised.
This slice of paradise is somewhere you should at least visit once in your life and here is what I recommend you doing in Niagara Falls, New York in 24 hours.
Thanks to the Destination Niagara Falls USA and Travel Media Showcase for hosting my visit to upstate New York. As always, opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased. To plan your complete visit to Niagara Falls USA visit the Niagara Falls tourism website.
Viewing the Falls
First things first, when visiting Niagara Falls, New York, the most important thing is to get to the falls to appreciate its gorgeous scenery. You will want to take the Maid of the Mist boat tour of the Niagara Falls basin for the best views of the falls and a legendary boat ride. The ride starts and ends on the American side of the Niagara Falls State Park (America’s oldest state park!), but crosses into Ontario for a bit. You will most likely get wet on this awesome and thrilling ride.
While the boat doesn’t feel unsafe at any time, the waterfall sprays’ strong forces make it hard to miss getting wet. Never fear, as blue rain ponchos are provided to help keep you somewhat dry. Niagara Falls has 600,000 gallons of water falling every second!
Maid of the Mist has been running continually since 1846 and holds 600 passengers. The three waterfalls you will see on the ride are Bridal Veil Falls, the American Falls, and Horseshoe Falls (the Canadian falls and the largest).
Be sure to take the Cave of the Winds tour at Bridal Veil Falls, which is separate from Maid of the Mist. From observation platforms at the base of Bridal Veil and American Falls, you’ll have fantastic photo-ops at these favorite tourist attractions as you walk down wooden platforms to get up close and personal with the falls.
Rubber sandals and ponchos are provided, while a museum (World Changed Here Pavilion) explains how Nikola Tesla’s AC current powered the mighty falls.
Where to Eat in Niagara Falls
A great lunch option in Niagara Falls is the tantalizing lunch buffet from Zaika Indian Cuisine & Bar. Choices may change or rotate day-to-day, but you will find several main entrées to choose from, a handful of veggie side dishes and accompaniments, and plenty of vegetarian fares. Zaika offers free parking and has a noteworthy happy hour. Save room for the Carrot Kheer or Rasmalai sweets for dessert.
The mother of all bar, ballgame, get together, and munchies food was created by accident, or sheer genius, in Buffalo, New York by Teresa Bellissimo—the iconic buffalo wing. While we aren’t in Buffalo, Niagara Falls is blessed to have a second location of Anchor Bar in Niagara Falls serving up the mouthwatering appetizer favorite. Have the wings served with the flavor you want (mild, medium, honey-garlic, hot, spicy-hot, bbq, suicidal, chipotle BBQ), paired with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, or try the buffalo wings on a salad, which is how I prefer them.
Did you know that you could gamble in Niagara Falls, New York? I loved Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. This casual high-rise has a glitzy, glamorous feel to it with awesome shopping, restaurants, and a spa. Slots (3600), poker, keno, table games (90)—they are all available in this 147,000-square-foot gaming floor. You may even want to take in a musical performance at either the intimate Bear’s Den Showroom or in the 2,400- seat Seneca Niagara Events Center.
Be sure not to miss eating TimBits from Tim Horton’s Cafe and Bake Shop while you are there, but don’t make the mistake of calling them donut holes. I learned this one the hard way.
Where to Stay in Niagara Falls
We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Niagara Falls and it was a perfect choice. The hotel is within walking distance of the falls and Anchor Bar as well as downtown and is nice and new. The Doubletree’s rooms are spacious and have comfy beds with nice linens. I enjoyed having a mini-fridge in my room and stellar views from the enormous windows. The lobby bar is swanky, and you will want to stop by for a drink.
Niagara Falls: An Iconic American City
It only took 50 years for me to make it to Niagara Falls, New York for a look at the famous falls. Better late than never! I hope you, too, will get to visit this fantastic wonder. You are going to be amazed!
Niagara Falls Fun Facts: Four of the Five Great Lakes (minus Ontario) water flows over Niagara Falls. The water then travels to Lake Ontario, followed by the St. Lawrence River, and then empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Niagara Falls Photo Gallery
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