The first words that come to mind to describe Niagara Falls are breathtaking and overwhelming. As indeed, it really is both. Niagara Falls is a voluminous waterfall that straddles the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and New York State. The Falls are renowned for their beauty and as a valuable source of electromagnetic energy that is used throughout New York State and the Ontario Region of Canada. While not exceptionally high, the Falls are very wide. More than 6 million cubic feet of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and 4 million cubic feet on average. The word “Niagara” is derived from the Iroquois Indian
Word “Onguiaahra” meaning “the strait.”
Visits to Niagara Falls were first reported as far back as 1604 and explorers from across the Atlantic Ocean continued to discover the region till the 18th Century when tourists began flocking to the area. By the middle of the century, tourism had become the area’s main industry, with newly married couples choosing this spot for their romantic honeymoon visits.
Niagara Falls has long been a source of inspiration for artists, explorers, travelers, filmmakers, residents and adventure seekers. When the movie, “Niagara” with Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotton was released in 1950, visits to the fall zoomed up. Other films about the area have been produced over the years and a musical composition, “the Niagara Falls Suite,” was commissioned in 1960 in honor of the completion of the first stage of the Niagara Falls Power Generation project.
There have been several attempts to go over the Falls and many daredevils have lost their lives trying to doing so. According to historical records, the first person to go
over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old female schoolteacher.
The Niagara Falls are categorized by three waterfalls: the Horseshoe (or Canadian) Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The largest fall is the Horseshoe Falls which is separated from the American Falls by Goat Island. The smallest fall is the Bridal Veil Falls also located on the American side and separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. The best view of the Falls is from the Canadian side where visitors can experience the breadth of all three waterfalls all at once.
To see the power of the falls from behind the wall of water, you can don a rain coat and board the Hornblower Cruise which passes below and behind the heart of Niagara. From this viewpoint you can see how the mighty Horseshoe Falls tumbles from 13 stories above! You can’t get any closer to the Falls than this.
White Walk Way
Less adventurous visitors can choose to take a leisurely walk along a boardwalk at the very edge of the Falls. From this angle, you can marvel at the relentless power and beauty of nature and see how the deep and narrow Great Gorge was created. The spectacle will take your breath away.
Niagara Falls offers a host of other attractions and activities for visitors of all ages throughout the year.
The Butterfly Conservatory, located on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens features over 2,000 colorful tropical butterflies made up of 45 different species. Several paths weave through the rainforest setting, and converge at the Emergence Window where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight.
Recent added attractions include the Niagara Skywheel, towering 175 feet (53 meters) over the Niagara Falls horizon, and the Skylon Tower which includes an indoor/outdoor observatory of the Falls from 233 meters (775), both available from the Canadian side.
Children as well as grownups can enjoy the Fun House where they can crawl through the Fish Bowl room, go to jail, visit the rainforest walk or play with the giant balls. And the indoor Waterpark features a retractable glass roof for year round fun, a wave pool, water slides up to 3 stories high, a kiddie pool, giant tipping bucket and more.
Casino gambling was introduced in the area in the early 1990’s and was an immediate success, drawing thousands of visitors all year long. There are several casino hotels on both sides of the Falls and gambling has become a major income-producing industry on both sides.
Niagara Falls is more than just a romantic getaway. It’s a fun-filled experience for everyone.
Cina Coren is a contributing editor at DailyForex. She writes freelance for many publications and tries to find the humor in life’s challenges.