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Where do you recommend we stay for our visit to Niagara Falls?

Choose a hotel that faces the Falls. Although hotels with Falls views are more expensive than ones that
donít face the Falls, why go all this way to NOT have a view??? Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites,
Renaissance, Ramada, and Radisson each have large hotels that offer Falls view. You might as well
find a post card printer if you aren't going to see the view of the falls.  I like the Sheraton (5875
Falls Ave) on the Canadian side. The Sheraton is a 22-story hotel, and the rooms facing the Falls have
Juliet balconies, and many rooms have a gas fireplace. My guests stay there when they go to Niagara
because they want the total Falls experience. The only thing I donít like about this hotel is that there
arenít enough elevators to service the hotel properly.

My girlfriend wants to go to Niagrara Falls, but I donít understand why. Can't I just buy her a
Postcard instead? All I know about Niagara Falls is from the Three Stooges. Whatís so great about

ďSlowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch.Ē My husband loves that bit and he drives me crazy with it.
I have no idea what heís talking about. We live in Buffalo, NY, BTW, but Iím answering the Niagara
questions because I love the Falls and we live real close. Living up here means we understand natureís
power, we know why the Great Lakes are GREAT, and we accept that once in awhile nature will test
us with 20 inches of snow in one day or make us live in 20 degrees below zero for a few days. We
learn to deal with nature on her terms. The Falls are beautiful in a way you canít understand until you
see them. Theyíre not man-made, theyíre not there for any human reason Ė theyíre there because
nature put them there. Thatís why the Falls are worth a visit. My opinion is you should visit the Falls in
person and buy a postcard as a souvenir.

I hear that the Canadian side is better than the American side. What does that mean?

You get a better view from Canada, thatís what that means. The Niagara River divides the US (New
York State) and Canada (Province of Ontario). The river is winding, not straight, and the Falls part is
in a bend in the river and they face away from the US. If you stand on the US side of the Niagara
River, you can see some of the waterfalls but itís at an angle. The falls face Canada, so on the
Canadian side you can see them from top to bottom in all their glory. And you get to ride the Maid of
the Mist, the boat that takes you right up inside the Horseshoe Falls. Youíll get drenched on the ride,
but they give you a groovy plastic poncho to protect yourself. If you want to stay in the US, you can
still have get the best view possible by using the Prospect Point Observation Tower, right next to the
Bridal Veil Falls where youíre so close youíll get splashed by Niagara water. Thereís also a 184-ft.
glass elevator, which you may have seen already in postcards, that takes you to the bottom of the
Niagara Gorge.

How can there be more than one waterfall?

There would be one huge waterfall except for the islands right at the lip of the waterfall line that diverts
the water around them. From the ground it looks like three separate falls. The dividing line between the
US and Canada goes right down the middle of the river but the islands donít split the water half-and-
half. On the US side of the river, there are two falls: a large ďAmerican FallsĒ and a little one next to it
called ďBridal Veil Falls.Ē On the Canadian side of the river thereís the ďHorseshoe FallsĒ, and this is
the one that everyone ooohs and ahhhs over. The waterfall line is not straight across the river, itís
jagged like when you nibble a piece of bread and leave irregular edges. The waterfall line on the
Canadian side curves into a U-shape and looks spectacular.


Do I need a passport to get to Canada to see the falls? I donít have one. Iím an American if that
makes a difference.

US citizens donít need a passport, but you need a photo ID Ė a driverís license will do. If youíre in the
USA on a visa, you need to get a "temporary resident visa" from the
Canadian consulate in Buffalo, New York before you cross the border (call 716-858 9591 Fax: 716-
852-2477). You canít get this visa at the border, you have to get it in Buffalo. But you should really
get a passport! Application is easy, it costs about $85, itís good for 10 years and will let you travel

You can stay in the US and see the Falls if you use the Prospect Point Observation Tower right next to
the Bridal Veil Falls, where youíre so close youíll get splashed by Niagara water. Thereís also a 184-
ft. glass elevator that takes you to the bottom of the Niagara Gorge. However, you wonít get a very
good view of the Horseshoe Falls, the big U-shaped fall on the Canadian side, because it doesnít face
the US.

Once youíve seen the waterfall, is there anything else to do? I have three children, ages 9 Ė 15.

Youíre in luck! Niagara is a great place for families to vacation together. Besides seeing the Falls,
there are lots of options for fun. Between the river and Bridge Street youíll find rides, souvenir shops,
restaurants, and for the adults -- casinos. Walking around this area is fun at night because itís all lit up
like a G-rated Las Vegas. The Great Canadian Midway is a huge arcade full of rides and games where
you win tickets to redeem for prizes. Thereís a Hard Rock Cafť and a Hersheyís Shop (yummy
chocolate), Ripleyís Believe it or Not, and a miniature golf course with a dinosaur theme. Thereís The
Falls Tower where youíll get an aerial panorama of the city and the Falls. The Skylon Tower is the
tallest building in the city and has a restaurant that revolves to give you a panorama view that canít be
beat. A mile away is Marineland (7657 Portage Road), a groovy aquarium thatís open between May
and Oct. To show your kids some American history, go to Fort Niagara in nearby Youngstown, NY Ė
itís a 300 year old fort preserved as it was in the 1700s.
For free, at night, the Falls are illuminated by groovy colored lights, and in summer thereís fireworks. It
sounds corny, but itís really not Ė itís worth seeing. I love them.

Is Niagara Falls a national park? Can we bring our RV? Are there cabins we can stay in, like at the
Grand Canyon?

There is a Niagara Falls Park but itís a state park, not a national one, and you canít camp there.
Niagara Park the oldest state park in the US (yay for NY!). It opened on July 15, 1885. Admission is
free and includes self-guided walking tours of Goat Island, Three Sisters Island and the American
Falls. The state parks in the Niagara region where you can camp are: Evangola State Park in Irving,
Four Mile Creek State Park east of Youngstown, and Golden Hill State Park in Barker. I hear there
are also plenty of campgrounds and provincial parks on the Canadian side of the falls, but I donít
know them. By the way, many National Parks have Gift Shops which sell breathtaking photos and
postcards to make your trip a memorable one.

Do I need to use Canadian money? Whatís the exchange rate?

You can use either Canadian or US money. Prices will always be quoted in both denominations. Donít
try to do the math and convert US dollars into Canadian dollars Ė just pay US. Tell the cashier if youí
re going to pay in US or Canadian dollars before your purchase is rung up. Regardless of how you
pay, your change will be given in Canadian coins. Just collect the change and at the end of your stay
leave it for the chambermaid in your hotel as a tip. But make sure the coins add up to at least $5 a
day! Thatís the going rate for tipping a chambermaid.  


What is the Postage rate on the Canadian side of the Falls? I'm looking forward to mailing letters and
postcards to my friends and family back home?

Postage rates change so it is best to inquire at your hotel or local post office when you arrive to the
Falls.  Don't forget those "Maid of the Mist" postcards.  They're my personal favorite!
Coming to Niagara Falls?sm

beautiful postcards of Niagara