Niagara Falls - An overview - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Niagara Falls straddles the border between the USA and Canada and covers part of the province of Ontario in Canada and New York State in the USA.
When tourists refer to Niagara Falls they are often referring to Horseshoe Falls which is actually only one of three waterfalls which make up Niagara Falls.
Horseshoe Falls is situated mainly in Canada, whilst the other two waterfalls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are situated totally on the US side of the Niagara River. The Falls are formed where Lake Eerie Falls up to 188 feet into the Niagara river and Lake Ontario.
Niagara Falls also refers to the twin cities on each side of the border where the Falls are situated.
It is possible to see spray rising from the Falls well before they come into view and depending on your location the views are fantastic.
Head on views of the Falls are better from the Canadian side but you are able to get very close to the American and Bridal Veil Falls on the US side where there is a viewing platform situated between the two waterfalls. Also on the US side you can walk through the country park to the unfenced, edge of Lake Eerie, just above Horseshoe Falls, a scary thought that you could enter the lake here and be swept over the Falls a few hundred yards downstream!
It is possible to walk across Rainbow Bridge between the two countries but tourists need to be mindful of visa requirements. UK tourists need to be aware that an ESTA does not cover them to enter the USA by land from Canada and they will need to complete an I 96 visa waiver form (see separate article).
In addition to taking in the fantastic views there are several ' Falls based' tourist attractions.
From both sides of the border it is possible to take a boat tour to the base of the Horseshoe Falls. At one time ' The Maid of the Mist' carried tourists from both sides of the border but nowadays the Canadian franchise is operated by Hornblower Cruises.
On the US side it is possible to take the Cave of the Winds tour which takes you close to the base of the American Falls via an elevator and then on foot to the Hurricane deck where a soaking from Bridal Veil Falls awaits. Luckily you will be decked out in your blue souvenir poncho!
On the Canadian side one of the big attractions outside of the ferry to the base of Horseshoe Falls is the ' Behind the Falls tour' . This tour, run by the Niagara Parks Commission involves walking through a series of tunnels to a viewing deck right on the edge of Horseshoe Falls from where it is possible to look directly up into the waterfall itself. Again, you will get wet and your yellow souvenir poncho is essential!
Both the aforementioned tours involve walking on slippery walkways and stairs so you need decent shoes and to be firm of foot!
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