Old Fort Niagara#3 in Best Things To Do in Niagara Falls
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. For more information, check out the Old Fort Niagara website.
More Best Things To Do in Niagara Falls
#1 Maid of the Mist
The main reason to visit Niagara Falls is to see the falls and one of the most memorable ways to do just that is to sport a poncho and hop on a Maid of the Mist boat. These boats have been shuttling visitors to and from the base of the falls since the 1840s. Be prepared to get wet: the Maid of the Mist practically dunks you under the falls, but rain gear is provided and many say that this is one of the best ways to experience the splendor of Niagara Falls. In fact, it's one of the region's best guided tours.
Recent visitors said you can't leave Niagara Falls without taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist. Aside from the incredible views, reviewers were also pleased with the tour length (20 minutes) and the modest ticket price. Though you are provided with a poncho, you should plan to wear waterproof shoes and gear, according to travelers. To beat the crowds, some visitors suggest getting to the attraction first thing in the morning (trips begin at 9 a.m.).
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