Niagara Falls, only 25 minutes from downtown Buffalo, is a bucket list item for families around the world. There’s nothing quite like a boat trip on the Maid of the Mist to the base of Horseshoe Falls, where roaring water and wild winds envelop visitors for a total sensory experience. After that, walk the Hurricane Deck of the Cave of the Winds, which is as close as you’ll get to the bottom of the falls on foot. So close, in fact, that a poncho is required to avoid a complete soaking. If that’s not enough, speed across class-five Niagara River rapids on a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour.
Just a short drive from the falls is Old Fort Niagara, a preserved 18th-century fort that changed hands between France, the U.K. and the U.S. over its three centuries. You’ll see artisans at work, hear cannon and musket fire and watch battle re-enactments on the fort’s grounds. Or for our more recent military past, visit the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, the country’s largest inland naval park, and walk onboard a World War II era submarine, cruiser and destroyer.
Sprinkle in some vintage Americana – like a stop to the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum, where wooden carousels were made into the 1940s or the only metal kazoo factory in the world — and you’ve created a Buffalo Niagara vacation filled with memories that will last a lifetime!