- By kevin
- On May 28, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
The Niagara Falls area hosts several family-friendly attractions, including Old Fort Niagara and the Niagara SkyWheel. We'd rather to share the best destinations & its neighborhoods with you here. The second you see the mammoth Niagara River rumbling toward a 170-foot waterfall at about 20 to 30 (and up to 68) miles an hour, your mouth will drop. And you can find the right tour from Chicago to Niagara Falls on the Globerouter.com website.
Destinations & its Neighborhoods:
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & Butterfly Conservatory
(Parks and Gardens Type, 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend)
To escape the thunderous falls and tourist crowds, take an afternoon and lose yourself in the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. If you like nature, the gardens are a must-see. This 100-acre space is home to dozens of meticulously maintained gardens – cared for by students at the on-site horticulture school – featuring thousands of species of plants. During the summer, guided horse-and-carriage tours allow you to explore the gardens in style. The gardens are also home to the Butterfly Conservatory, where several thousand butterflies flit and flutter among brightly colored flowers.
Recent visitors said a visit to the gardens and the butterfly conservatory provided a nice respite from the kitchsy atmosphere around the falls. Reviewers cautioned that the butterfly conservatory can get crowded, but noted that the gardens were quiet. Travelers also recommended bringing your camera, as the conservatory offers plenty of photo ops.
The Botanical Gardens are located on the Ontario side just north of the falls; the butterfly conservatory is located on the grounds of the gardens. The Botanical Gardens are open every day from sunrise to sunset and admission is free (though you will have to pay for parking), while the Butterfly Conservatory charges an entry fee of CA$15 (about $12) for adults and CA$9.75 (about $8) for kids 6 to 12. The Butterfly Conservatory's hours of operation vary depending on the season.
Old Fort Niagara
(Sightseeing Type, 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend, Robert Moses Pkwy N Youngstown, NY, 14174)
If you enjoy history, make sure to save time for a visit to Old Fort Niagara. Located on the U.S. side of the falls, this 17th-century fort has changed hands between French, British and American troops. This site has seen action during numerous wars, including the American Revolution and the French and Indian War, making it the longest operational fort in North America. Today, the fort occupies one of the most scenic areas in western New York, overlooking both Lake Ontario and the Niagara River. Inside, you can explore underground gunpowder rooms, old army barracks and ancient cannons. If you're looking for a more in-depth history, make sure to stop by the visitor center.
Recent visitors raved about the well-preserved buildings and clean grounds, and were especially impressed with the re-enactors. Many also said they initially only planned to spend an hour exploring the grounds, but ended up staying half the day thanks to all the interesting demonstrations and exhibits.
Old Fort Niagara is perched on the banks of both Lake Ontario and the Niagara River just north of Youngstown, New York – across the river from Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you don't have your own set of wheels, you can use the free Discover Niagara Shuttle to reach the fort during the summer season. The fort welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 or 7 p.m. daily, depending on the season. Admission costs $12 for adults and $8 for kids 6 to 12.