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Niagara Falls Points of Interest

Posted on | July 31, 2011 | Comments Off on Niagara Falls Points of Interest

Niagara Falls Floral Clock

North of the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station along Niagara River Parkway is the Niagara Falls Floral Clock. The attraction is a popular photographic stop along the Niagara Parkway.

Completed in 1950, the Floral Clock was inspired by the Princes’ Street Gardens Edinburgh clock in Scotland. The original was completed in 1903 and is about 10 feet in diameter. The Niagara Falls Floral Clock is 40 feet wide and covers a 38 foot wide planted area. The face of the clock is filled in twice annually with a fresh carpet plants and colorful annuals.

It takes about 15,000 to 20,000 plants and flowers to fill it in and create unique designs from twice a year. The Niagara Parks Commission Parks Department is responsible for the design of the Clock’s face each year. A maintenance worker visits the site regularly to make sure the clock is keeping correct time.

Visitors may make a wish in the 10-foot wide water garden that curves 85 feet around the clock face. Bedding displays are featured around the Tower where historical photographs of each clock face design are featured.

Considered one of the most photographed attractions in Niagara Parks, visitors enjoy the timeless beauty of the Floral Clock. The Niagara Parks Centennial Lilac Garden is located nearby along with restrooms, parking and a gift shop for visitors to pick up souvenirs of their visit. The Floral Clock is a frequent stop for local and long distance travelers passing through the area.

Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls, NY

Visitors to Niagara Falls can stand in the spray of the Falls with a trip to the Cave of the Winds. For a small fee, visitors are allowed to take an elevator 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge. Visitors are provided a yellow poncho and specialized footwear to protect their clothing. Once dressed, a tour guide leads visitors over a series of wooden pathways to the Hurricane Deck.

On the Hurricane Deck, visitors will be standing just 20 feet from the water spilling over Bridal Veil Falls. The waters spill overhead and down spraying visitors with water. What makes the Cave of the Winds so remarkable is that rainbows are visible, night and day. The deck is just 150 feet from the Falls’ base and is designed to accommodate parents carrying children as well as visitors of all types of mobility.

The original Cave of the Winds was a natural cave located just behind the Bridal Veil Falls. Called Aeolus’ Cave when it was discovered in 1834, the cave was named for the Greek god of the winds. Tours to the area began as early as 1841. In 1920, a rock fall in the area called a halt to visits because it was deemed unsafe. In 1954, a large rock fall closed the cave permanently.

In 1924, the tours were reopened and instead of taking visitors behind the Bridal Veil, they were taken in front of them along man made walkways and wooden decks.The tours are open 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 7 days a week.

Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls, NY

Millions of visitors visit Niagara Falls State Park in New York each year. Niagara Falls are the main draw for visitors, but the State Park boasts a multitude of attractions to experience. Visitors to Niagara Falls can feel the mist of Bridal Veil Falls during a visit to the Cave of the Winds or take a ride to the base of the Falls on the Maid of the Mist. The Top of the Falls Restaurant offers diners a romantic and scenic setting to enjoy their meal.

The Visitor’s Center and Niagara Gorge Discovery provide visits with a history of the region. For kids, a visit to the Aquarium of Niagara allows them to feed the seals and enjoy more than 1500 aquatic animals from coral reefs to the Great Lakes while 14.5 miles of trails invite nature lovers to explore the beauty of nature that surrounds the Falls.

Niagara Falls State Park is designed to encourage interaction with nature. The beauty of the Falls region was threatened during the early part of the 19th century when industrialists began building factories and mills along the river in order to utilize the power generated by the Falls. A Free Niagara movement launched in the 1860s and it took about 15 years for them to convince New York State to reclaim the area. The Niagara Appropriations Bill became law in 1885. The preservation of the Niagara Falls reservation led to the Niagara Falls State Park.

The Parks are open year round, although many of the facilities are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY

Located in Niagara Falls, the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel features nearly 100 gaming tables and more than 4,000 slot machines. Originally built to compete with casinos on the other side of the Falls in Ontario. The Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel is also the largest hotel in the state of New York to be found outside of Manhattan.

Part of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Seneca Nation of Indians are aboriginal to Western York. Referred to traditionally as the Keeper of the Western Door, the Seneca protected the trade in the Western Territories of the Iroquois nation. The Seneca currently occupy the land that was set aside in the 1794 with the Treaty of Canandaigua. The revenues generated by the Seneca Niagara Casino are funneled directly into the Nation where the money pays for services and programs.

The Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel features 9 restaurants, 6 retail shops and much more. Located in the Buffalo Niagara area, visitors to the casino can take side trips to Niagara Falls where they can see the natural beauty of the Falls, hike the nature trails and much more. The casino and hotel also boast 30,000 feet of convention area perfect for company meetings.

The region’s rich history is a lure for visitors along with the shopping, entertainment, premier roller coasters, beaches and accommodations. For vacationers, the luxury offered by the hotel and spa facilities (featuring facials, Swedish massage, aromatherapy and more) is ideal for getting away from it all, first and second time honeymooners and much, much more.

Niagara Gorge Trail in Niagara Falls, NY

The Niagara Gorge Trail in Niagara Falls offers a system of trails for hikers to lose themselves on. The naturally stunning scenery is ideal for nature lovers who want to photograph the wildlife, flora and sedimentary systems of the area. A camera is one must have for this trip. The Niagara Falls Discovery Center serves as a trailhead for visitors to start from. For a small fee, visitors can enjoy a guided tour or purchase a map to hike on their own.

Parents, take note that different routes along the Gorge Trail system are more difficult than others. In the case of steeper hikes, children should 9 or older before attempting them. The trails in the actual gorge are the most difficult, while those nearer to the top are more easily traversed.

The trail system is about 14.5 miles and each segment provides visitors with different views of the river, the beauty of the region and of course, the stunning Niagara Gorge itself. Be aware that some trails are closed during different times of the year. Rock falls are common in the winter and early portions of Spring, so hikers are recommended to wait until mid-May to early November for their hiking plans. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended for all hikers, but those planning to descend into the gorge should invest in hiking boots and have some relative experience with hiking.

First time visitors will prefer the trails at the top as they are well developed and parallel the river gorge providing a variety of trail sections, picture opportunities and observation points.