NIAGARA FALLS – Both sides of Niagara Falls – New York and Ontario – are spectacular. We last visited the area more than five years ago. This trip was during the winter. After spending the first several days in the USA, we stopped over in Canada, settling in at the Sheraton By The Falls (www.niagarafallshotelsheraton.com).This place has a lot of things going for it, notably a passageway to North America’s largest indoor waterparks and, if you are lucky, a breathtaking view of the actual Falls.

The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark (www.fallsviewwaterpark.com) is over 125,000 square feet of water park fun across from the Falls. Located on the Falls Avenue Entertainment Complex, this is North America’s largest indoor waterpark and hotel complex. It offers 16 waterslides (some up to six stories high), a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket, a full size wave pool, oversized adult only whirlpools, the Planet Hollywood Beach Club, a beach house, a tiny tots play area, a year-round outdoor pool and sundeck, the Canadian Plunge Bowl and the Fallsview indoor beach. The waterpark features direct connections to the Sheraton, the Crowne Plaza Hotel and the Skyline Inn. Admission is $34 per person. There is also a $10 fee ($5 refundable) for a small locker.

Niagara Falls, Ontario is home to the Winter Festival of Lights from early November until the end of January each year. There are lots of events, concerts, activities. The newest other activity is skating at the TD Rink at the Brink – an ice rink right beside the Falls. (www.wfol.com)

I know that we will have to go back again in the near future during a warm weather period. With attractions like Marineland, the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour, Casino Niagara, Niagara Parks Conservatory, Skylon Tower, the Butterfly Conservatory, the Imax Theatre and the Clifton Hills “fun” district, it is no wonder why the area attracts more than 20 million visitors annually. Incidentally, when we were there the attractions were all going full tilt. Between visits to the wax museum, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, the 4D rides, the Fudge Factory and the Hershey Store and Canada’s only Ruby Tuesday restaurant we managed to spend a lot of money in a short period of time.

Tourism Niagara (www.tourismniagara.com) is responsible for promoting all 12 municipalities that make up the region of Niagara and they do a fabulous job.

Check out their website, which will lead you in the right direction. There are over 60 wineries you can tour. The performing arts in Niagara includes several facilities that offer wonderful performances, including the Niagara Symphony, Shaw Festival, and the Centre for the Arts of Brock University.

Don’t miss the historical ride aboard the world famous Maid of the Mist (www.niagaraparks.com), which is accessible via both the American and Canadian sides. Since 1846, millions of visitors have enjoyed the Maid of the Mist boat tours. The powerful diesel-engined boats take visitors to the base of the American Falls and then on to the basin of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Water rushes all around as you “soak” in the excitement and feel the thunder of the Falls. It’s a half hour thrill of a lifetime!

For more information, call Tourism Niagara toll free at 1-800-263 2988. Stop at the Niagara Gateway Information Centre located at the Casablanca exit off the QEW in Grimsby where Tourism Niagara operates a year-round information centre.

Mike Cohen’s email address is info@mikecohen.ca.
Follow his travels at www.sandboxworld.com/travel and on twitter at www.twitter.com/mikecohencsl.

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