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By: Adriana Belmonte

For someone traveling outside the United States for the first time, Niagara Falls is the perfect destination to get a feeling  of what it’s like without being too far away from home. The culture and lifestyle of Canada, specifically in this area, is extremely similar to the United States. Aside from slight accents and very friendly personalities, Canadians are the perfect neighbors and make you feel at home.

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Three waterfalls come together at the border of New York and Ontario, Canada to form a panoramic view from both sides of the border. Two of the falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, are on the American side, but the real beauty is Horseshoe Falls which is on the Canadian side. Visiting these falls gives first time travelers the chance to cross the border and embark on territory outside of the United States.

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Take a boat tour to get a close-up view of Niagara Falls. On the Canadian side, tourists can use Hornblower Niagara Cruises to see Horseshoe Falls. Don’t forget to bring your camera! There’s a good chance you will see a rainbow or two while you are there because of how sunshine reflects off the falls. This is a rare sight and one you will never forget.

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Once your boat tour is done, venture out to the White Water Walk which allows you to not only stroll alongside the falls, but also lets you take a look behind the scenes. The peaceful sound of the rush of water provides a serene environment and allows you to get swept up in the beauty of the falls. The walk is just over a mile long but gives you a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery.

There’s a lot more to do in the area aside from the falls. The Skylon Tower, almost 800 feet high, is an attraction that offers dining, shopping, and sightseeing. A Ride-to-the-Top elevator ride is 52 seconds to the observation deck, giving you a view along the way. This might sound terrifying to some people who are afraid of heights but it’s completely safe and worth it. Once you’re at the observation deck, the view of the city is incredible. Not only do you see the Falls but also the skylines of Buffalo and Toronto. The sight allows you to see what lies within the city of Niagara Falls aside from its main attraction. The best part: it’s free.

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Embrace the laidback atmosphere at Niagara Falls by visiting some of Niagara’s great restaurants.  The Jimmy Buffet-themed restaurant, Margaritaville, features not only non-stop music from the great singer and an entrée named after one of his number one hits, Cheeseburger in Paradise, but also a variety of Cajun-American style cuisine. Let’s not forget about the drink menu. Complete your experience by relaxing on the rooftop patio with a Bahama Mama, or one their endless options of margaritas. After all, it’s five o’clock somewhere.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends or with your family, Niagara Falls is a wonderful place to visit for your first time out of the country. You get a taste of what it’s like to be off of American soil, see one of the Seven Wonders of the World and there’s no need to worry about a language barrier. Niagara Falls is everything it’s made out to be: beautiful, panoramic and breathtaking. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to venture further experiencing Niagara Falls!