Clifton Hill is at the heart
Clifton Hill is a world famous street and tourist district in Niagara Falls known as the “street of fun by the Falls”.
of Niagara Falls Ontario
It has a variety of shops, hotels, restaurants and attractions that are particularly attractive for families and teenagers. Many first time visitors are usually appalled at how “tacky” everything looks but this mish-mash of highly congestive businesses is at the centre of the Niagara Falls Ontario tourist industry.
The area is on land originally owned by a British Officer who laid out a village and named it after a town in England “Clifton” around 1830. The settlement was on the Ferry Road whose landing on the Niagara River provided a ferry service that was the only access to the other side of the river. In 1833 the Clifton Hotel was built at the base of the hill. The village and later town never really developed and it eventually became part of City of Niagara Falls.
Location of Clifton Hill
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Today the street is the major tourist destination after The Falls itself as it is a major amusement and entertainment centre.
Major attractions include:
- Niagara Skywheel, a 175 foot (43 metre) high Ferris wheel with fully enclosed heated and air-conditioned gondolas that provide amazing views of the Falls and city skyline.
- Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum
- Guinness World Record Museum
- House of Frankenstein
- Dracula’s Haunted Castle
- The Great Canadian Midway
Additionally there is an abundance of restaurants, hotels, clubs and souvenir shops. It is a great place to stay as it is a short walk from the Falls and/or the incline railway. Most visitors whether visiting for only a day or longer usually make it up the hill to see what all the people and bright lights are all about. Be forewarned though, everything in the area is overpriced as this is the heart of the tourist centre.
I have seen people spend a whole day visiting the various attractions and shops on the street and in the surrounding district so how much time you plan on spending in the area is really determined by your entertainment tastes. Most likely you will end up in at least one of the various restaurants or souvenir shops along the way.
Seeing the street at night is another experience altogether as it looks like a mini Las Vegas with its blinking lights, flashy neon and traffic congested street.
If you have the chance, plan on staying after dark so you can experience both Niagara Falls and the street in their illuminated glory.
Please note that the area is usually packed during the peak summer months. It also can get pretty tiring walking from the Falls to the top of Clifton Hill where most of the parking is on a hot Canadian summer day. Be prepared to stop and recuperate, this is how all those fast food outlets have continuous lineups! For more information on the street and its various attractions visit their official website at www.cliftonhill.com
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