A trip to the Niagara, USA, region wouldn't be complete without visiting Niagara Falls, which powers through Niagara Falls State Park. With more than 750,000 gallons of water flowing over the falls each second, it's no wonder Niagara Falls attracts more than 8 million visitors each year. You can even walk, bike or drive to the Canadian side of the Falls — just don't forget your passport.
Plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, boating and fishing abound in Niagara Falls. Visitors will marvel at the 400 acres of protected wildlife and the towering ancient oak and maple trees in Niagara Falls State Park, America's oldest state park. The park is open year-round, 24-hours a day, for visitors to take a brisk stroll or hop on the Niagara Scenic Trolley ride. For active travelers, a variety of hiking trails run throughout the Niagara Gorge. And adrenaline junkies will be thrilled by the Maid of the Mist boat ride.
About 10 miles from Niagara Falls, Bond Lake Park is a well-maintained public park in Ransomville, New York. During cold weather months, the 531-acre park offers options that aren't available anywhere else in the Niagara County region, including 13 miles of cross-country trails, an ice skating rink and tubing hill. Guests can take a restroom break, warm up in front of a roaring fire and unpack their picnic lunch at the on-site Warming House. There's no equipment rental facility, but use of the trails is free to visitors.
Located along the lower river below the roaring waters of the falls, the Niagara Wine Trail is the fastest growing wine region in the U.S. Thanks to a unique microclimate, fertile soil and adequate rainfall, the picturesque Niagara USA region is known for producing world class wines, particularly deliciously sweet Ice wine. Niagara wine tours, events and festivals are held year-round. Limos and bus tour packages are available to make experiencing the Niagara wine trail and Niagara wine tours more enjoyable. For $25, visitors can purchase a Niagara Wine Trail Vino Visa Passport that includes free tastings and coupons.
Take a break from sightseeing to savor gourmet cuisine at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. The institute's fine dining restaurant is run by NFCI students and features an in-kitchen chef's table, open-hearth oven and exhibition style cooking. Other impressive features include an ice sculpting lab, a wine boutique, a European-style pastry cafe, a New York-style deli and a culinary-themed Barnes and Noble store. Guests can tour the school, attend guest chef lectures and take a hands-on class in the community education kitchen.
For many runaway slaves, the path to freedom ran through the Niagara region. Freedom fighters like Harriet Tubman risked their lives to aid thousands of fugitives by hiding them in churches, basements and attics. The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University offers the exhibit "Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad in Greater Niagara," and Murphy Orchards provides a guided tour of buildings used to hide fugitive slaves.
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