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A Day in Niagara Falls

By: Cityseeker
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Motherland Connextions

Casting conductors in period clothing, this tour takes you back to the days of the Underground Railroad through passageways, tunnels and cellars. You get a feel for what runaway slaves went through to escape into Canada. The journey begins at the Michigan Street Baptist Church, home to parishioner William Wells Brown, the first African-American to publish a novel. It then moves Broderick Park, where Web DuBois crossed into Canada. The tour ends at Murphy's Orchards where you will be part of a live Underground Railroad re-enactment.

Niagara Falls, NY, United States
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Niagara Falls State Park

Holding the distinction of being the oldest state park in the nation, this 221-acre preserve (89.4 hectares) as its name suggests also contains what has been called one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World: Niagara Falls, its undoubted centerpiece. Also home to the Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls, the state park is a land of cascading natural wonders. Studded with a complex set of trails that lead to the spectacular beauty of the Three Sisters Islands, followed by Goat Island, which is the park's most highly-regarded picnic spot. The Cave of the Winds excursion is the nature reserve's most frequented expedition tour. The site's visitor's center features interactive displays, a movie theater for the Niagara Wonders big screen film and a virtual reality helicopter ride above the Falls.

Niagara Falls, NY, United States
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Maid of the Mist

What do Teddy Roosevelt, Marilyn Monroe and Diana, Princess of Wales, have in common? You guessed it. They've all taken rides on the Maid of the Mist—or rather one of seven Maids, which first launched its boats in 1846. This world-famous boat takes its passengers right into the heart of the Falls. You can catch the boat on either the American or Canadian side, with boardings every 15 minutes between April and the end of October.

Niagara Falls, NY, United States
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Niagara Falls State Park - Observation Deck

The Observation Deck in the Niagara Falls State Park is the perfect place to simultaneously view all three waterfalls - the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls that together make up the Niagara falls. The Deck at a staggering height gives an unrestricted view of the thundering waters, and is also a good spot for some birdwatching. The Bald Eagle, falcons and gulls are some commonly spotted birds here. The Observation Deck has both an indoor and an outdoor area with numerous restaurants also lining the deck. A little known fact about the Observation deck is that the decks are rebuilt each year, and due to the ice - cold waters, each team of labor can work for only 20 minutes at a time!

Niagara Falls, NY, United States
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Cave of the Winds

Located on Goat Island, this attraction was once a cave but water erosion has made it difficult to explore. An elevator takes visitors to the base of the American Falls where wooden stairs and pathways bring them within 25 feet of the falls. You're advised to wear the raincoat and foot coverings as splashes from the falls are frequent. There is also a walk called the Gorge Trip with an incredible view.

Niagara Falls, NY, United States
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National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima

What started as a devotional center for Our Lady of Fatima in 1954 has blossomed into a 20-acre outdoor shrine, with over 125 life-sized statues, a glass-domed basilica, and a rosary shaped pond. Located in Lewiston, the center was the creation of the Barnabite Fathers, an Italian order hoping to spread the message of Fatima to North America. The center features a 13-foot granite statue of the Virgin Mary atop the Dome Church as well as Carrara marble statues of Jesus and a replica of the original Chapel of Apparitions.

Youngstown, NY, United States
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Grand Lady Cruises

This floating hall will take you down the Niagara River and Lake Erie as you eat, drink and party. A terrific concept in boat charters, the elegant yacht features a full-scale, glass enclosed dining room, hardwood furnishings and unbeatable service. There's a bar area and an aft deck veranda, where guests can enjoy the breeze. The 80-foot vessel holds 95 for dining, and is fully air-conditioned. Bookings are seasonal (May-Oct) and depart from the Grand Island Holiday Inn Resort and Conference Center.

Grand Island, NY, United States
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River Lea House

Located at the tip of Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island, this historic farm house, originally built in 1849 and restored by the Grand Island Historical Society, contains memorabilia from U.S. President Grover Cleveland (who worked on his uncle's farm as a young man) as well as Victorian furnishings. The Cleveland material includes a library with books, documents and photos connected with Grand Island. Tours of the house are conducted the second Sunday of each month with volunteers dressed in Victorian outfits. Group tours may also be arranged by appointment.

Grand Island, NY, United States
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Old Fort Niagara

Originally built by the French in 1726, this New York State Historic Site features pre-Revolutionary War stone structures and the oldest building in the Great Lakes area. Located in Fort Niagara State Park, the fort stands as a monument to living history with re-enactments of famous battles, musket demonstrations and ever-changing exhibits. Guided tours of the fort are conducted by period-dressed guards, supplemented by recorded messages in English and French.

Youngstown, NY, United States
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Niagara County Historical Society Museum

Close to Lockport's historic Erie Canal district, this museum, a complex of historic buildings, features a comprehensive history of the region over the last two centuries. By constantly updating displays and tours, the museum includes everything from toys and medical memorabilia to a Victorian parlor and Civil War room. Among the buildings on the complex are: Pioneer and Transportation with the first air-conditioned car; Fire House with antique pumper; and Yates Farm Barn with blacksmith display and old sleds.

Lockport, NY, United States
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