(BPT) - While some people like to relax and see the sights while traveling, others prefer to go and do. If you fall into the latter category, take a trip to Niagara Falls USA, where adventure comes naturally. Known for its iconic waterfalls, leisure and business travelers may be surprised by all there is to see and do in the diverse destination. With fewer crowds, cool breezes and bold colors, fall is an ideal time to experience the destination. Check out these four reasons to visit Niagara Falls USA this autumn.
1. Niagara Falls State Park
If you want to enjoy the beauty of nature, visit Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in America. Don your poncho and get closer than you ever imagined to the mists of the American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil Falls aboard the Maid of the Mist. If you want an incredibly close encounter with the Bridal Veil Falls, visit the Cave of the Winds, where you’ll be a mere 20 feet away from the Falls.
Afterward, explore the area by following the walking path that winds throughout Niagara Falls State Park, designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Take a stroll and discover over 400 acres of natural, lush terrain and protected wildlife.
2. Outdoor adventures
There are plenty of outdoor adventures to discover in Niagara County. For example, hikers can explore the scenic Niagara Gorge Trail System, which runs parallel to the Niagara River Gorge, which is especially breathtaking as the leaves change color.
For birdwatchers interested in the New York State Birding Trail, Niagara Falls State Park is a designated stop, and the nearby Niagara River Corridor is a globally significant Important Bird Area. In fall and winter, you can see Bonaparte’s herring and ring-billed gulls that arrive at the park each year, as well as a large population of waterfowl.
If you’re interested in a guided tour, check out Niagara Outfitters, which provides New York State-licensed guides for scenic hiking, biking and kayaking tours of the many parks and waterways in the region.
3. Beyond the Falls
Downtown Niagara Falls is very walkable, with nearly a dozen accommodations within steps of Niagara Falls State Park, dining and attractions.
When you want a break from nature, visit the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. This full-amenity resort features 10 restaurants, multiple shops, more than 2,500 slots, over 80 table games, a full-service spa, entertainment and more.
On the National Register of Historic Places, The Giacomo Hotel has 44 rooms offering a boutique, luxury experience in an art deco-style building. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a weekend away with your friends, you can live like a local at one of the many quaint and cozy accommodations in Niagara Falls USA.
No matter where you stay, you’ll be near some great shopping areas. Niagara County has several antique shops where you can find vintage items and collectibles. Take a trip to the North Tonawanda City Market, a year-round farmer’s market that has provided fresh regional produce, specialty baked goods, and handmade crafts for over 100 years. Finally, for the savvy shopper, don’t forget to visit the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA, where you’ll find bargains for all your favorite brand names.
4. Sip and savor
Whether you enjoy a bold cabernet, a hefty stout or a sweet cider, you’re sure to find a spot you like at one of Niagara County’s more than 2 dozen wineries, breweries and cideries.
Located along the Niagara Escarpment, head to Niagara County’s expansive wine region to enjoy sipping specialties from several wineries in the area. When planning your trip, check out the Niagara Wine Trail, which hosts many seasonal events. This November, you can enjoy a wine pairing dinner and celebrate the trail’s 20th anniversary.
Niagara Falls USA also has a thriving brewery scene. You can sip a Niagara Lager at Woodcock Brothers Brewery, the first brewery in Niagara County. Or, if you’d like a little education with your brews, take an entertaining brewery tour at New York Beer Project, complete with a short history and science lesson and beer sampling.
For those interested in something crisper, head to BlackBird Cider Works, Niagara County’s sole craft hard cider producer. The estate orchard grows the apples needed to produce all of its ciders, including the seasonal pumpkin spice cider that can be enjoyed at the on-site tasting room.