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Two Countries and Three Water Falls: Niagara

The United States and Canada share more than just a border. The two countries also share a spectacular sight that attracts millions of tourists every single year. And it all started with the last Ice Age some 12,000 years ago. When the ice began to melt, it created a geological wonder of what is now called Niagara Falls.

I promised that I would one day write a post about Niagara Falls. And here it is! Comprised of three waterfalls – American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls – Niagara Falls is fueled by water from the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. An average of four million cubic feet of water falls over the crest line every minute! You can view the falls in either the American side or the Canadian side. If you live in the states, you can simply fly into Buffalo, New York. Or if you have Toronto on your travel list, you can check out Niagara Falls during your trip. A reminder, you will need a passport to cross the border into both countries.

The cities surrounded Niagara Falls tend to get busy during the summertime, when temperatures are warm enough to see the falls during both the daytime and nighttime. In fact, from the Canadian side, floodlights will illuminate both sides of the falls for several hours after the sun goes down. There are several paths that you can walk along to see the water falls and Niagara River. The oldest tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise. During this cruise, you will get an up close and personal view of all three waterfalls. Cruise boats have been operating since 1846. You can also book helicopter tours or even a helium balloon ride.

If you want to avoid the crowds and don’t mind cold (and I mean bitter cold) temperatures, you can certainly tour Niagara Falls during the winter months. The snow and freezing temperatures only enhance the beauty of Niagara Falls. Many of the abovementioned tourism options may not be available during the winter months. However, the trails are still open so you will be able to walk around and enjoy the serenity of Niagara Falls during the winter without the herds of tourists. Just be sure to dress warm.

After you have taken 500 photos of the Niagara Falls, there are other places around the falls that you should definitely check out during your trip.

·         Experience a unique view of the falls from the Niagara Sky Wheel. The 175-foot tall Ferris wheel is located in Ontario, Canada.
·         Walk through the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. The conservatory is also located in Ontario.   
·         Take a hike through the Niagara Glen Natural Reserve and explore the Niagara River.
·         Take an elevator to the observation deck to Skylon Tower.
·         Get some ideas for your garden with a tour of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.

If you need a place to stay during your visit to Niagara Falls, there are two International Vacation Home Exchange properties in Toronto. You can drive, or take a bus or train to get the water falls. Both the bus and the train have several departures during the day. Just be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. And as always, safe travels (and take me with you).

Thanks to guest travel writer Carla Pruitt. You can follow Carla on Twitter at @crobscarla


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