Riverfront Hotel Minutes from Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls flows along the border between New York and Canada, and it’s essentially consensus that Canada has the best panoramic view of the cascades. But where the Canadian side features fun houses, high-rise hotels, and sprawling commercial sites, Niagara Falls, New York, taps more into the area’s rough-hewn wilderness. You can sense the rapids’ raw power in the winter, when attractions close, ice bridges form over the Niagara River, and the surging mist crystallize on the surfaces of trees and railings.
Situated right along the river, Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls is about 5 miles east of Niagara Falls State Park. After you explore the natural wonderland, the hotel is a comfortable home base: there’s a fireplace in the lounge, and the heated pool is housed in a glass atrium overlooking the river.
Upon arrival at Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls, you’ll get a bottle of wine and an appetizer at the onsite Bella Vista Ristorante. All the wines hail from CK Mondavi Family Vineyards—a third-generation family winery that uses cold fermentation and sterile filtration techniques to create bold, crisp varietals. Feel free to enjoy a meal on a seasonal patio overlooking the Niagara River or in a casual dining room, where you can catch sports on large flat-screen TVs. Included with this getaway are wine-tasting passes for two, good for use at nearby wineries in the United States.
Niagara Falls, New York: Spectacular Waterfalls at United States–Canada Border
Every second, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water cascade down Niagara Falls. You can watch the water spill over jagged cliffs from pedestrian bridges and observation decks. The best view, though, might be from the Hurricane Deck, a wooden platform located 20 feet from Bridal Veil Falls. From spring to fall, you can access the platform by taking the Cave of the Winds tour, during which professional guides lead poncho-clad visitors to Bridal Veil Falls via wooden pathways. For an up-close encounter with the falls, you can book a ride aboard the Maid of the Mist; the tour boat shuttled sightseeing guests to the base of the thundering Horseshoe Falls for more than 100 years and continues to operate on the American side of the falls.
Millions of tourists have flocked to Niagara Falls since the early 1800s. Around that time, Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger brother honeymooned in the area with his American bride; scores of newlyweds followed in their footsteps, earning Niagara Falls the nickname of “Honeymoon Capital of the World.” Throughout the 19th century, massive crowds also came here to watch daredevils perform high-wire stunts above the rapids.
In the late 1800s, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted led a group that lobbied politicians to create a park that would protect the falls from further development. Today, the 400-acre Niagara Falls State Park, the first of its kind in the country, sits directly on the border between Canada and the United States. Miles of hiking trails wend through the scenic park; along the way, you can learn about the area’s history at the visitors’ center. There’s also plenty to do indoors around Niagara Falls. The area has remained a family-friendly destination, with indoor water parks, an aquarium, arcades, and casinos for the 21-and-older crowd.