Local's Corner: Niagara, USA Best Kept Secrets
Nov 28, 2022 at 7:00 AM in Things to Do
It’s that time again, we've got another edition of The Local’s Corner.
Most Discovery Map franchise owners live and work in their map territories. As a result, they’re experts in all things local.
We asked Silvio Martelli from Discovery Map of Niagara USA about some of his favorite local spots.
Read on for an informed local's perspective!
What are the best kept secrets, things to do off the beaten path in Niagara USA?
Exploring the Niagara Gorge; trails run along the entire top edge, with additional trails that will take you down almost 200 feet into the gorge. Some paths get quite close to the lower Niagara River, the Niagara Whirlpool and Whirlpool Rapids - use plenty of caution, and never hike alone!
After spending time in Niagara Falls State Park, venture into downtown Niagara Falls, and beyond!
Lewiston is a must stop destination - just a short drive north. After that, continue on to Youngstown, Lockport, and the Tonawanda’s! (Depending on your length of stay)
Where is the best breakfast/brunch?
My go-to is "Como at the Airport" - nice portion sizes! I also like Flyby cafe, they're always open nice and early!
What are the best places to hear music?
During the warmer months (May - September) the options are almost endless! Outdoor weekly concerts are held in downtown Niagara Falls on both Old Falls Street and the "Concerts on 3rd" series. Artpark, in nearby Lewiston, NY is host to many concerts as well, typically they are "big-name acts!" And don't miss the Lewiston Jazz Festival every August!
A little further out, you can find Music Mania Mondays at Veterans Memorial Park in the Town of Niagara, the Canal Concert Series at Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda, and Thursdays on the water at Gratwick Park, also North Tonawanda.
What is the history of this place and what historic sites can I see?
The history of Niagara Falls begins at the Niagara Escarpment near Lewiston, NY - where the falls originated about 12,500 years ago. The position of the falls has receded upstream toward Lake Erie because of the falling waters' slow erosion of the riverbed.
Locally, nothing is more historic than Fort Niagara - a fortification originally built by New France to protect its interests in North America, specifically control of access between the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, the easternmost of the Great Lakes.
France controlled the Fort from 1678–1759. The British took over the fort in 1759 during the French and Indian War. Although the United States ostensibly ceded the fort after it gained independence in the American Revolutionary War, the British stayed until 1796, after signing of the Jay Treaty that settled the northern border.
The Fort was captured by British forces during the War of 1812, on the night of 19 December 1813. The British held the fort until they relinquished it under the terms of the Treaty of Ghent in 1815, and has remained in US custody ever since.
What makes this place special?
The natural beauty. Some travelers are accustomed to Disney-like attractions, and seek entertaining forms of leisure. But in Niagara USA, the entertainment is provided by Niagara Falls, and the surrounding river, lakes and gorge!
Any other Recommendations?
Pizza & Wings are a must during your visit, and be sure to get some Italian Food!
The Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, and Whirlpool Jet Boats / Niagara Jet adventures are all must-do's!! And don't forget about Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours!
Hop on the Discover Niagara Shuttle for free transportation all over Niagara County - all the way up to Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY - as well as nearby Lockport, NY where you can check out the Lockport Locks along the Erie Canal.
Be sure to stop by the Aquarium of Niagara to meet their rescued seals and sea lions! Then get ready to shop til' you drop at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara!
We hope you'll come visit!