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The world has been beating a path to the Buffalo Niagara region since shortly after Father Louis Hennepin became the first European to describe the “prodigious cadence of water” that is the mighty Falls in 1678. That early trickle of tourists became a steady stream after the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 and a torrent when the railroad linked Western New York with points east. Today, millions of tourists from around the world continue to come by plane, train and automobile to experience the grandeur of Niagara Falls.

World-class attractions like the Maid of the Mist, Hornblower Cruises and the Cave of the Winds await the visitor who makes the short 20-minute drive from downtown Buffalo to Niagara Falls. You’ll savor the spectacular views, the thundering roar, the delicate mists and shimmering rainbows of this true national treasure.

Take a family photo overlooking the Falls at Terrapin Point in Frederick Law Olmsted’s lush, beautiful and natural Niagara Falls State Park. Amid the distractions and developments of modern life, the Park still provides a glimpse of the original splendor that awaited the first visitors to the region. This is the Falls at its best.

Maid of the MistStep aboard the legendary Maid of the Mist or Hornblower Cruises and experience the power and majesty of the combined waters of four Great Lakes. You’ll be ferried to the base of the Horseshoe Falls and feel the rush of the water as it pounds the rocks below. From the moment you put on your giant blue poncho you’ll know you’re having a one-of-a-kind experience.

Next, be sure to visit the awe-inspiring Cave of the Winds. As you make your way to the Hurricane Deck, you’ll get an up-close-and-personal view of the roaring waters pouring over the precipice of Bridal Veil Falls. On a hot summer day, this is the ultimate run-through-the-sprinkler.

Nearby, you’ll find all manner of ways to experience this world wonder: helicopter rides, observation decks and towering vantage points that will give you a bird’s eye view of one of nature’s universally-acclaimed masterpieces.

Bring plenty of film or an extra memory card. You’ll need it.

When you’re done with your day at the Falls, peek in on the penguins at the Aquarium of Niagara or hop in your car and head north on the Robert Moses Parkway towards Youngstown and Old Fort Niagara. Stop at Whirlpool State Park, the Niagara Power Vista or Artpark for the scenic views of the spectacular Niagara Gorge.