After discovering the Niagara Falls in 1678, Franciscan missionary Louis Hennepin praised the iconic destination in his journal as a "prodigious Cadence of Water which falls down after a surpizing [sic] and astonishing manner, insomuch that the Universe does not afford its Parallel." During the past 300 years, the falls have managed to inspire more than just awed journal entries: upwards of 8 million visitors a year come to the cascades, including poncho-clad honeymooners and daredevils that coop themselves up in wooden barrels and rubber balls and plunge into the river in attempts to "conquer" the mighty rapids. The Sheraton at the Falls is positioned conveniently just 1 mile east from the falls on New York soil and among a few thrills of its own.
Stationed directly across from the hotel is the Seneca Niagara Casino, which hums with activity 24 hours a day. Between walls of stained-glass windows, neon lights atop more than 4,200 slot machines set the casino aglow, and colorful card tables host rounds of blackjack, craps, roulette, and musical chairs. A more soothing ambiance washes over The Spa at Seneca Casino, which presents a menu of body-healing therapies, massages, and salon services. Guests can apply a $30 credit toward any treatment $75 and up, such as a customized facial ($99) or an aromatherapy body salt glow ($110).
Back at Sheraton at the Falls, theres a keen focus on comfort in the spacious guest rooms: plush custom mattresses bolster the Sheratons signature Sweet Sleeper Beds, layered with 300-thread-count linens, luxurious duvets, and an assortment of feather and down pillows. During idle hours, guests can visit the onsite Starbucks coffee shop. Down on the first floor resides T.G.I. Friday's, which serves up hearty American fare including the 10-ounce sirloin steak ($17.59).
Encompassing more than 400 acres, Niagara Falls State Park works as a natural border between Canada and the U.S., and both sides of the border are peppered with vantage points to check out the swishing torrents. Pedestrian bridges and observation decks provide safe vantage points for tourists to watch as waters of Horseshoe Falls and American Falls plunge over jagged cliffs. The most invigorating view, however, may be the "Hurricane Deck"a wooden platform located a mere 20 feet from the rushing rapids of Bridal Veil Falls. On The Cave of the Wind tour, professional guides shepherd visitors to the platform via tiers of wooden scaffolding, where they can refill empty aerosol cans with the ever-present mist created by spray from overhead falls.
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