Skyline Hotel & Waterpark Niagara Falls

Cheap, Delicious Places to Grab a Bite in Niagara Falls

image001No matter where you are headed in Niagara Falls or what great attractions you have planned for the day, you should always be sure that your group is well-fed to avoid mood meltdowns and temper tantrums due to low blood-sugar. There is nothing worse than cutting a trip short because you didn’t plan a stop for lunch and everyone is much too tired and grumpy to keep seeing the sights.

That’s why we’re offering you a list of our favorite food stops around Niagara Falls. These cheap, delicious, and easy cafes, diners, and eateries should hit the spot, keeping you full and focused as you explore our city and surrounds.

1. Zappi’s Pizza and Subs

If you are craving familiar Italian food at a fabulous price, Zappi’s is definitely the place to go. This spot has been providing locals and tourists with fresh, fantastic pizzas and sandwiches since the 1970s, so you know you’ll be getting a quality meal when you stop in for a midday meal.

2. Savoury & Sweet

The chefs at this Niagara favorite strive for authenticity and excellence in every meal. Serving classic European dishes like goulash, schnitzel, and crepes, Savoury & Sweet effortlessly mixes traditional tastes with contemporary style and affordable prices.

3. Quesada Burritos and Tacos

image003Two borders might separate Niagara Falls from Mexico, but that didn’t stop Quesada Burritos and Tacos from opening up a Mexican food stand in the Niagara heartland. In fact, most patrons are astounded by the genuine taste of the restaurant’s fresh-daily salsas and guacamole.

4. Hershey’s Chocolate World

If your energy is flagging, you can easily renew your excitement with a trip to Hershey’s Chocolate World, one of the world capitals of rich, chocolaty goodness. This shop has everything a chocoholic needs to sustain themselves for a long vacation ahead: novel baked goods, thick milkshakes, silken fudge, and any type of Hershey’s candy you can call to mind. While you might imagine this spot as a pit-stop on your daily itinerary, it’s easy to spend hours tasting every treat you lay eyes on.

5. Rainforest Café

A favorite for kids of all ages, the Rainforest Café transports diners to the depths of the tropics with the sights and sounds of the Amazon. However, the smells will be pleasantly familiar, as the café’s available fare is crowd-pleasing food like burgers and salads.

6. Betty’s Restaurant

Travel is fun, but every so often you want to find a spot that reminds you of home. Whenever you feel homesick on your Niagara vacation, head straight to Betty’s where everything from the lighting to the food is designed to make you perfectly comfortable. Betty’s Restaurant has thrived for more than 45 years, and locals claim it is the best place in the city to enjoy a meal. Plus, Betty’s pie has won countless awards, so you should be sated from appetizer to dessert.

7. Perkins Restaurant and Bakery

Families go crazy over the delicious and nutritious dishes available at Perkins. Their entire menu is available all day long, so if you start to crave waffles and eggs after Niagara’s nightly fireworks show, you know exactly where to go.

Watching for Wildlife in Niagara Parks

SkylineBlog7Shh, did you hear that? While you are strolling through less-traveled regions of Niagara’s parks, you might happen upon a few members of Canada’s wildlife population.

Myriad wild animals call the regions around Niagara Falls home, and though most stay well away from the busy streets and pathways closest to the city center, farther reaches of the parks see abundant wildlife. If you want to go wild in Niagara Falls, here’s how to look and what you may find lurking in Niagara’s forests.

How to Watch

Most wild animals aren’t eager to come into contact with people, which means it takes ample skill and patience to spot creatures in their natural habitats. You should avoid getting too close to any member of Canada’s wildlife, from squirrels to coyotes, to protect both human and animal health. Instead of approaching any creature you spot, use binoculars or camera lenses to see animals up close.

For the best luck finding a creature outdoors, you should become familiar with common signs of various animals living in the area. For example, you can look for evidence of foods they eat or tracks they make. Written field guides can assist in this education.

Finally, make sure you adhere to common outdoor ethics and etiquette, including picking up any waste and traveling only on marked roads and paths. If you wish to venture onto private property, you absolutely must receive permission from the landowner, and if you are traveling in a group, be extra considerate, as groups have a more profound effect on the landscape.

What to Watch for

SkylineBlog8Animals big and small call the Niagara region home, and you have the opportunity to spot wildlife on land, air, or water.

Niagara Parks is especially proud of its extensive bird population, which number more than 300 different species of winged creatures. Some of the most outstanding avian animals in the parks are the large predatory birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons. However, bright, vociferous birds, like the blue jay and cardinal, are also delights to spot.

Most likely, you will find your path crossed by countless small mammals. Squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums, and more of such creatures are quick and curious; many of these native Niagara residents have lost their instinctive fear of people, bringing them close to visitors. However, you should definitely avoid touching and feeding these animals, as it disrupts their wild independence.

Some Niagara guests seek encounters with more exciting wildlife, like large predators. Though human development has diminished populations of carnivorous mammals living in the area, many still roam in Niagara Parks, including Canada lynxes and wolves.

Safari Niagara

Of course, if you strike out on your hunt for animals in their natural habitats, you can always head over to Safari Niagara to see some wild beasts in the flesh. This fantastic zoo offers sights of unknown creatures such as the African hunting dog and Asian water dragon, exotic beasts like the African lion and Andean condor, and familiar faces including the American red fox and Canadian goose. So, even if you don’t spot Canada’s wildlife in the wild, you can see them just the same from the comfort of Safari Niagara’s pathways.

The Difference Between American and Canadian Niagara Falls

SkylineBlog5Like the Grand Canyon in Arizona — which boasts spectacular yet unique views from either the North Rim or the South Rim — Niagara Falls is a vast natural wonder that comes with two distinct perspectives: the American Falls and the Canadian Falls. Often, this comes as a surprise to travelers, who visit without realizing the national divide and are forced to select one side or the other. Fortunately, we can present a guide to both sides of Niagara Falls, so travelers can make an educated decision for their Niagara vacations.

What’s on the Canadian Side?

When most people imagine Niagara Falls, they picture Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side, and it’s no surprise why. Horseshoe Falls is the largest and most stunning of waterfalls the world over: Though only 170 feet tall, the Falls pull 750,000 gallons of water over the edge every second. The sound of the water, the feel of the mist, and the sight of complete landscape around Horseshoe Falls makes it a top world destination.

Because millions of world travelers journey to Niagara Falls each year, the Canadian side has hasted to cater to their needs with abundant amenities, like luxurious resorts, thrilling attractions, and a bevy of tours. The most popular trails are paved and replete with water fountains and lookout stops for easy, excellent viewing. The Canadian side certainly offers a classy experience of this natural wonder.

What’s on the American Side?

Though the Canadian side boasts the biggest waterfall, America claims two separate falls: American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Plus, from the American side, visitors can see a panorama of all three waterfalls connected by the Niagara River. The series is magnificent to behold, as millions of tons of water rush down and down.

Niagara Falls and the surrounding region are protected areas under the New York State Park system, which means it offers fewer attractions for visitors to experience. In general, much more of the natural landscape has been preserved, which means the roads and pathways aren’t fully paved, and the forest is much taller and thicker than on the Canadian side.

SkylineBlog6There are a handful of attractions similar to those seen on the Canadian side, including the Maid of the Mist and a small historical museum, but the most common activity for the American side is walking. Hiking trails and walking paths take visitors both above and below the Falls — where they are sure to get damp from the misty spray. As a rule, those who seek vacations in the thickest of outdoor settings will likely fall head over heels for the American Falls.

Which Side Is Better?

Though we have a bit of a bias, we believe Niagara Falls north of the border offers more fun per square foot than the Falls to the south. Not only does Canada boast the most outstanding leg of the waterfalls — after all, most travelers come to see the enormous, picture-worthy Horseshoe Falls— but we also have world-class dining and entertainment to fill the rest of travelers’ vacations

However, unlike the Grand Canyon, which could take travelers hours upon hours to reach the other side, Niagara Falls can easily be viewed from all perspectives with a quick hop across the border. So, while most travelers will prefer to lodge on the Canadian side with all the bells and whistles of a luxury vacation destination, we heartily encourage travelers explore the American side, as well.

The History of the Canadian Flag

SkylineBlog3While Americans just can’t get enough of their stars and stripes, we Canadians are undeniably proud of our national flag. The Maple Leaf, or l’Unifolie (the One-Leafed), has only relatively recently become a national symbol for Canada, but it is easily recognized around the world, making it an effective marker of Canadian spirit.

Because Niagara Falls crosses the border between Canada and the United States, visitors to the area will undoubtedly see plenty of bright red Maple Leaf flags. Before you leave Niagara Falls, Ontario, be sure to pick up your own Maple Leaf and regale your friends with the story of its creation.

An Uneven Start

Canada has seen several different flags represent its lands since its discovery by the West in 1497. John Cabot (or Giovanni Caboto) was an Italian navigator commissioned by King Henry VII of England to explore the New World in the name of Great Britain; upon landing in Newfoundland, Cabot carried the flag of St. George’s Cross, which is a red cross on a white field. Commonly associated with the Crusades, St. George’s Cross was a “warrior flag,” and while today it is scorned by millions of Europeans, it was the first European banner to be flown in Canada.

In 1534, when Jacques Cartier claimed the land for France, he planted in the soil a flag bearing the French royal coat of arms and a fleur-de-lis. While the settlement of New France grew, several French military banners flew over the territory.

Meanwhile, after the first English settlement of Nova Scotia began in 1621, the Union Flag of Great Britain (the familiar red, white, and blue striped flag we see today) began to spread throughout Canada. In fact, the Union Jack would become the main flag of Canada for another three centuries.

Canadian Independence

SkylineBlog4Historians continue to debate when Canadians truly gained independence from Great Britain. Steps toward complete independence were taken throughout the 19th century, the largest of which was the signing of the British North America Act, which established a disparate parliament and prime minister in the territory. However, Canada and Great Britain maintained a close relationship for another century, and Canada continued to use British symbols, like the Union Flag and the British coat of arms.

During this period of questionable independence, several possibilities for the Canadian flag were introduced. An early contender around 1870 was called the Canadian Red Ensign, and featured the Union Flag in the upper left corner of a red field dominated by a Canadian shield, which depicted the quartered arms of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick — the most dominant provinces of the time. Significantly, this shield was surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves.

An Earnest Search

After flying the Canadian Red Ensign in World War II, Canadians began clamoring for a new national symbol. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, who held office during the 1960s, commissioned designs for a more unique and distinct flag to reflect Canada’s personality; he hoped he could showcase the new designs during Canada’s centennial celebration in 1967. The committee, led by two heraldry experts, returned with three options:

  • The familiar Canadian Red Ensign with a Union Flag and a fleur-de-lis to represent French Canadians.
  • Three red maple leaves between two blue borders.
  • One red, stylized maple leaf between two red borders.

While the prime minister preferred the second option, one expert contended that red and white have long been associated as Canada’s national colors — even since the first St. George’s Cross was planted on Canada’s shores. As a result, the committee selected the final flag design, which continues to wave over Canada’s lands, even Niagara Falls, today.

Niagara Falls in Love on Valentine’s Day

SkylineBlog1Roses, chocolates, jewelry, and paper hearts — Valentine’s Day can be one of the absolute best holidays of the year. Niagara Falls and its natives are particularly fond of the holiday of love because the city and countryside are particularly conducive to ultimate romance. If you plan your next trip to Niagara Falls during Valentine’s Day, you’ll experience a true atmosphere of passion throughout the region.

The Truth of St. Valentine

Some critics of Valentine’s Day dismiss the celebration of romantic love as nothing more than a retail holiday, Valentine’s Day has its roots in real events that occurred centuries ago.

Though the Catholic Church recognizes three different martyred men under the moniker “St. Valentine,” the most likely candidate was a priest in Rome during the 3rd century. The emperor at the time, Claudius II, believed that single men made better soldiers than husbands and fathers did because singletons were more likely to risk their lives to defend their empire; thus, the emperor outlawed marriage for men under a certain age. In defiance of the law, Valentinus continued to perform marriages until he was put to death for his actions.

A competing legend holds that St. Valentine is remembered for aiding imprisoned Christians despite his unquenchable love for their jailer’s daughter, to whom he often sent love notes signed “From Your Valentine,” a phrase mimicked by lovers today.

Even though Valentine is a slippery historical figure, historians know that Romans celebrated love in February during their festival of Lupercalia. While the carnival required many sacred rites and rituals, one of the most exciting came at the end, when single men blindly chose women’s names out of a giant urn, and resulting pairs would spend the rest of the year courting one another.

These ancient origins echo in the deep romance sought by impassioned lovers even today. Fortunately, Niagara Falls can provide everything from the ambiance to activities for travelers on Valentine’s Day.

The Best of Niagara Falls

SkylineBlog2A dreamy place to visit any time of year, Niagara Falls is especially conducive to love during the weeks surrounding February 14. Here are some of our favorite romantic activities for couples traveling on Valentine’s Day.

  • Carriage ride. Just like a prince and princess in a fairy tale, lovers can cozy up in the back of a horse-drawn carriage in Niagara-on-the-Lake as it clip-clops down cobbled streets and through fantastic parks and gardens.
  • Spa day. Christienne Fallsview Spa has some of the most relaxing and rejuvenating treatments to restore romance in any couple. Lovers can ask about partnered massages, facials, and other services, but a must is the infinity tub, which overlooks the thundering Horseshoe Falls.
  • Winery Tour. Wine is the beverage of love — writers throughout history have said it — and there is no better location in North America for wine than the Niagara region. Partners can sample some of the New World’s best wines as well as dine on fresh and delicious meals made from local ingredients.

The Art of the Proper Proposal in Niagara Falls

skylineblog18.jpegNiagara Falls is an inarguably romantic place. The mist off the three waterfalls, the surrounding natural splendor, and the unending cosmopolitan amenities combine to create an environment perfect for passion. Indeed, time and time again, the city has earned its title, “The Honeymoon Capital of the World.”

Newlyweds flush with marital bliss wish they could never leave this passionate paradise. The feelings of love and lust are so strong in this place that countless couples, long-married or just-dating, visit every year to feel the fervor.

Potential grooms looking to pop the question can find no better location than Niagara Falls. Still, the romantic atmosphere alone won’t be enough to seal the deal. Here are some tips to help future husbands het started wooing their future brides amidst the stunning scenery of Niagara Falls.

Step One: Procure a Ring

For those lacking the style gene, selecting the perfect ring for their sweethearts can be the most trying task of the entire endeavor. However, engagement ring-buying can be boiled down to a simple formula, and in no time at all any future fiancé should be able to find a piece of show-stopping jewelry.

  • The material for the band. Most jewelers will offer a selection of gold, silver, and platinum bands. Pay attention to the color of your partner’s other jewelry, and choose a material to match.
  • The gemstone for the setting. An engagement ring is iconic for its noticeable rock. Diamonds are typical but not necessary — again, consider what other gems your significant other prefers before making a decision.

If you didn’t come to Niagara Falls with marriage on the mind, yet nonetheless find yourself deciding this vacation is the right time to pop the question, there are dozens of excellent jewelry stores in the area to satisfy your engagement needs. Clifton Hill is the biggest shopping center closest to the tourist district of the city, and it might be easy to keep your honey busy with arcades and rides while you shop. Alternatively, the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls or the Outlet Collection of Niagara offer hundreds of discount designer stores where you can search for the perfect ring.

Step Two: Plan the Time and Place

skylineblog19.jpegDespite the glitz and glamour associated with a proposal, an effective asking depends on one thing only: that you know your partner. This may sound overly simplistic, but it is nevertheless true. A person who proposes on the Jumbotron to a quiet and private person will probably receive a lackluster response, as will a person who pops the question alone at home to a loud-and-proud diva. Before you plan the specifics of your proposal, you absolutely must know what kind of gestures your honey appreciates.

Niagara Falls has ample locations to suit any proposal needs. Busy lookout spots throughout the Niagara Parks system that prominently feature the Falls can be romantic areas to get down on one knee in a crowd of onlookers. Conversely, wine tastings or spa experiences offer some alone time to inquire about your marital future.

Unfortunately, Niagara Falls can’t help you when it comes to what you say and how you say it, but if you have the other elements of your proposal right and you intimately understand your one true love, your proposal should go off without a hitch.

The 5 Best Niagara Falls Souvenirs

skylineblog15.jpegSome of the most overlooked but most exciting aspects of vacations are definitely the souvenirs. Once your trip has ended and you are back firmly in the grasp of the day-to-day grind, you can glance at the fun items you brought home and remember the pleasure and exhilaration of your travels — for many, this feeling can be almost as satisfying as the trip itself.

Searching for the perfect souvenir can be tricky, especially in a place like Niagara Falls, where there are thousands of different activities and attractions worth a memory or five. Luckily, we can help you find the perfect souvenir to remember your time in Niagara Falls.

1. Maple Syrup

Most of Niagara Falls is nestled comfortably in Canadian territory, which means quintessential Canadian stuff is a must if you are interested in an authentic Niagara vacation. Maple syrup is delicious on more than breakfast foods: You can actually use our favorite condiment on meats, in salads, and on snacks — though we can never say no to some waffles or pancakes topped with the good stuff. You can load up on bottles of maple syrup before you head back home, where prices are infinitely higher and quality is much, much lower.

2. Niagara Wine

We’ve said time and time again that wines from the Niagara region rival those from more famous vineyard land in France, Italy, Argentina, and more. The fact is that it is almost difficult to make a poor quality wine in Niagara, where the fertile soils grow plump, flavorful grapes. After your tasting tour, be sure to return to your favorite cellars and pick up a bottle of your favorite varietals.

3. Hershey’s Chocolate

While Niagara Falls isn’t the home of Hershey’s, it is certainly Hershey’s favorite vacation destination. Niagara Falls hosts one of the world’s only Hershey’s Chocolate World retail stores, where visitors can overindulge their sweet teeth with more than 800 varieties of Hershey’s sweets. Plus, Hershey’s Chocolate World has a fresh bakery counter that incorporates your favorite treats into luscious baked goods as well as a milkshake counter where you can drink thick, creamy shakes flavored by your favorite candies. You can remember your near chocoholic overdose with any of the Hershey’s-themed merchandise — clothes, candles, décor — or bags and bags full of Hershey’s chocolates.

4. Photo Album

skylineblog17.jpegVisitors to Niagara Falls are usually here for one primary purpose: to see one of the world’s most amazing natural sights. Billions of photographs are taken of the iconic Falls every year, but many will remain hidden in digital archives to be unseen and unloved even by their takers. While social media provides an inexpensive and simple way to showcase one’s travel photos, the time-honored photo album is a personal and memorable place to store all of one’s cherished memories.

5. Typical Travel Souvenirs

People who travel widely and frequently tend to seek out particular items to showcase on their souvenir shelves. Whether your souvenir of choice is a T-shirt, a key chain, a shot glass, or anything in between, Niagara Falls has what you are looking for to commemorate your trip. In fact, there are more than three shops in the heart of Niagara Falls that specialize in all types of fun and funky souvenirs, and two stores in neighboring towns that are more than happy to fill your nostalgia needs.

3 Amazing Amusement Parks in Niagara Falls

skylineblog13.jpegWhile many visitors to Niagara Falls would probably (accurately) declare that our beloved city is an amusement park altogether due to its dedication to fun and excitement at every turn, the region is home to three unique amusement parks built specifically with visitors’ needs and desires in mind.

Each of our three parks boasts sights, sounds, and experiences truly unlike any other in the area, and they are bound to delight kids from age 3 to 103. After you’re done viewing the Falls during your next trip to Niagara Falls, visit one or all of our three exceptional amusement parks for a time you won’t soon forget.

1. Marineland Canada

This park is heaven on Earth for visitors looking to combine their dual loves of high-flying adventure and marine biology. Marineland Canada began as a marine zoo, where visitors could come to see and learn about various aspects of life under the sea. The park still places a strong emphasis on education, and several exhibits on marine mammals, birds, and fish are sure to teach your family about the importance of conservation and preservation.

However, Marineland also understands their visitors’ need for fun. Not only can you see the park’s animals lounging comfortably in their own habitats, but you can watch them play in a handful of carefully choreographed shows and skits designed to make you laugh — and gasp in awe. What’s more, determined visitors can even get up close to their favorite creatures. Orcas, dolphins, beluga whales, and more have distinct habitats where guests can feed, pet, and possibly even train the animals to their hearts’ desire.

Believe it or not, that isn’t all the fun Marineland can provide. In fact, this park offers visitors the most thrill rides and play areas of any park in the city, which means that you and your family could spend days here without repeating an attraction once. From simple log rides to wild roller coasters, the park’s rides are numerous, and there is destined to be one to perfectly suit the tastes of everyone in your clan.

2. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark

skylineblog12.jpeg The world may be covered in waterparks, but not one of them stands up to the amenities and wet and wild fun available at Fallsview Indoor Waterpark. This park contains all the elements you’d expect to find at a typical waterpark — slides, wave pools, play areas — but it makes them legendary to the extreme.

There are literally dozens of waterslides in Fallsview, each with its own thrills. For example, the Extreme Racing Slides will pit you against a friend in a breakneck race to the pool to the bottom, and the Canadian Plunge will see you whirling and spinning as your inner tube takes you on a wild ride down a narrow slide. Meanwhile, less adventurous guests can soak in any of the pools or lounge on the decks while ordering food and drinks from the Planet Hollywood Beach Club restaurant.

3. Safari Niagara

Most people don’t come to Niagara Falls expecting to see exotic animals like lions, giraffes, and hippos, but at Safari Niagara, that’s just what you get. With more than 500 wild and domestic animal species to see and interact with, this zoo provides Niagara visitors the chance to learn about animals they’ve never known about before. Zookeepers guide guests around the zoo, providing facts about each of the exhibits; plus, presentations in any of the park’s various amphitheaters will educate listeners on anything from the preservation of threatened species to up-close introductions of individual zoo inhabitants. On top of this, the park offers a handful of fun rides to keep little minds entertained: visit the rope course, bungee experience, or animal splash pad for extra fun.

Why Niagara Should Be Your Winter Sport Wonderland

skylineblog10.jpegWe have written at length about the absolute unparalleled beauty of Niagara Falls during the winter, but we have barely nicked the surface. Visitors can enjoy the wintertime by participating in a variety of sports perfect for this time of year. Winters in Niagara are snowy yet mild, which creates the perfect environment for any type of winter play.

Instead of waiting for the busy, hot summer months to see Niagara Falls, grab your skis, sleds, snowboards, skates, and sense of adventure for a thrilling Niagara vacation you won’t soon forget.

1. Skiing and Snowboarding

Despite being located in a region full of steep hills and gentle valleys, Niagara Falls is not particularly well-known for skiing. For skiing enthusiasts, this could be a blessing in disguise: Some of the continent’s best slopes have yet to be overrun with eager skiing greenhorns that clog up trails and ruin clean snow. Plus, these trail wholeheartedly welcome snowboarders as well. Here are two of the best undiscovered skiing spots in the area:

  • Bond Lake. A public park within Niagara County, Bond Lake offers more than 13 miles of absolutely free cross-country trails. To cool down and warm up after a long day of skiing, the site has a skating rink and a warming house as well as a tubing hill to entertain less-avid skiers.
  • Kissing Bridge. Less than 30 minutes from the city, the Kissing Bridge falls in a region called the Colden Snowbelt, which receives an average of 180 inches of snow every year. There are more than 36 downhill trails over the park’s 900 acres, and most of the trails are lit for use at night.

2. Sledding

Skylineblog11.jpegThe activity goes by a whole slew of names throughout the world, but in Canada, the proper term for riding a sled down a snowy hill is “tobogganing.” Local Canadians enjoy the sport just about year-round — grassy hills are just as conducive to tobogganing as snowy ones — but deep winter after a full night of snowfall always feels the most appropriate.

The hilly terrain within Niagara Falls perfectly suits extreme and gentle tobogganing alike, and throughout the winter, visitors are likely to see dozens of excellent toboggan spots around the city’s numerous parks.

There is near unanimous agreement that Fireman’s Park, where eager tobogganers can find a plethora of excellent hills, is the best spot. Some keen tobogganers even bring their own ramps to make their toboggan ride that much more exciting. Still, if Fireman’s Park doesn’t suit your toboggan style, you can search out the perfect hill anywhere else in the city.

Niagara Falls transforms into a winter wonderland during the coldest season of the year, which makes it a utopia for fans of frigid sports. If you are looking for a new winter vacation destination but need a spot that gives you a shot of adrenaline, look no farther than Niagara Falls.


Only If You Dare: Niagara’s Best Extreme Attractions

skyline7.jpegMost travelers enjoy calm and leisure on their vacations, finding space in quiet destinations that offer relaxing attractions to soothe nerves and abate aches. Other travelers seek out places with plenty of entertainment and attractions well-suited to families or large, rambunctious groups.

Then, there is a small fraction of travelers who look first and foremost for vacations filled with adrenaline, where every activity is white-knuckle and bravery is a must. Believe it or not, Niagara can accommodate all three types of vacations. If you want a vacation that will keep your heart racing and your teeth clenched, book a room in Niagara Falls and prepare your body for these extreme attractions.

1. Helicopter Tour

To start your trip off easy, purchase space on any one of the city’s illustrious helicopter tours. With tours departing regularly, it’s easy to schedule a quick birds-eye view of the area. If the standard family tour isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, look into companies offering adventure tours, where you’ll get access to some of the most remote regions of Niagara.

2. Skydiving

skyline8.jpegBecause Niagara is such a stunning region, it should come as no surprise that people love to see the landscape from all angles, including 15,000 feet in the air. Skydiving is a popular sport in and around Niagara Falls, and thrill seekers over 18 are welcome to jump out of a plane and float toward the verdant forests and patchwork of farmland far below.

If this will be your first jump, you’ll learn the ropes with a class beforehand and have the guidance of an instructor throughout your flight, and experienced jumpers are welcome to explore the skies as well. Many companies offer video services to record your experience for posterity.

If you don’t feel quite brave enough to tackle the real thing, you can still experience freefalling at Niagara Freefall. Instructors will educate you about skydiving, and then you’ll be let loose in a vertical wind tunnel strong enough to keep anyone floating well above ground. Though you won’t get the scenery, you will get a quickened pulse.

3. Whirlpool Rapids

If you prefer your thrills a bit wetter, the world-famous Whirlpool Rapids — widely touted as the most dangerous rapids in the world — are available for exploration. The Whirlpool Rapids are generally regarded as too violent to permit human-powered rafting, but that doesn’t mean you are forbidden from experiencing their power firsthand. The Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour will take you directly into the churning, white-tipped water so you can feel the cold spray of the Niagara River. The jet boats are safe and reliable in the chaotic water, which means you can feel secure in one of Niagara’s most perilous places.

To see the rapids from the air, schedule time for the Whirlpool Aero Car, which suspends travelers in a car far above the whirlpools and rapids. Hanging above a wild and powerful river on just two cables strung through the air, your adrenaline will kick in as you dangle directly above the rapids.

Alternatively, the White Water Walk will take you within walking distance of the whirlpool. The journey can hardly be called strenuous or heart-pounding, but the views from the bridge will amaze you as you peer right into the frenzied water.

Niagara Falls is an amazing place to test your mettle, whether you desire flying, jumping, or rafting. Plus, the best part of Niagara’s extreme attractions is that after your need for speed, height, and danger has worn off, you’ll still have plenty of serene and entertaining attractions to keep you busy.