Try your luck at Niagara Falls casinos or take in one of nature’s wonders - The Buffalo News
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Try your luck at Niagara Falls casinos or take in one of nature’s wonders

• The Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Fourth and Niagara streets: You can’t miss this place, especially at night, when the 26-story hotel is brightly lit. The resort, operated by the Seneca Nation of Indians, includes smoking and smaller smoke-free gambling space; nine restaurants; a nightclub and two performance venues; a 604-room hotel and health spa; and gift shops. Parking is free.

• The Aquarium of Niagara, 701 Whirlpool St.: One of the city’s oldest attractions has 1,400 kinds of marine life. In addition to regular sea lion shows, penguins and harbor seals are also on display with hundreds of fresh and saltwater fish and a variety of sharks at the Shark Shanty. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

• Castellani Art Museum, Niagara University, Route 104, Lewiston: Offers multiple exhibits, including “Extraordinary Ordinary People: American Masters of Traditional Arts,” as well as folk and contemporary art exhibits. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission.

• Fashion Outlets at Niagara Falls, Military Road: More than 150 designer and name-brand outlets selling fashions for men, women and children, along with housewares, luggage, health and beauty items and accessories. Open daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., except for Sunday, when it is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Old Fort Niagara, off the north end of the Robert Moses Parkway, Youngstown: Dating to 1726, the original French and British buildings are open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. On display in the new visitor center is the original War of 1812 garrison flag that was captured by the British and was missing for 170 years before being found in a Scottish castle and restored.

• Goat Island: The 70-acre centerpiece of Niagara Falls State Park is a refuge that ranges from the solitude of Three Sisters Islands in the relatively peaceful upper rapids of the Niagara River to the brink of the falls at Terrapin Point and the tumultuous cascade that follows.

Places to eat

Places to eat after you see the falls (less than a 30-minute drive from the arena) include the Como Restaurant, 2220 Pine Ave., classical Italian, 285-9341, moderate to expensive. More casual spots include La Hacienda, 3029 Pine Ave., 285-2536, and Michael’s Italian Restaurant, 3011 Pine Ave., 282-4043, which offers huge portions of red-sauce Italian dishes at reasonable prices. The Hard Rock Cafe, 333 Prospect St., serves food and drink amid rock ’n’ roll memorabilia. The Canadian side of the Falls also boasts a Hard Rock, just off the Rainbow Bridge.

Canadian attractions

Each adult will need a passport or special enhanced driver’s license to cross the border. Anyone under 18 will need at least a birth certificate and photo identification; any child traveling without his or her parents may need further documentation, including a parental permission letter.

• Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, 6380 Fallsview Blvd.: Features the largest contiguous gambling floor in North America, a wide selection of dining offerings, from expensive to more casual, including three Asian options, a large buffet and four nightclubs and bars. Valet and ramp parking available. Smoking is prohibited.

• Casino Niagara, 5705 Falls Ave.: The casino is the oldest in the Falls but contains a modern Las Vegas Sports Lounge that offers wagering on global sporting events from auto racing to soccer – and NCAA games, for that matter – all broadcast live on more than two dozen high-definition TV screens. Drink-juggling bartenders and waitresses do their thing at the Quench Bar; other options include Yuk-Yuk’s Comedy Club, live entertainment and a steakhouse, buffet and cafe.

• Clifton Hill, off the Niagara Parkway: If you love wax museums and chain restaurants, including a Rainforest Cafe, this is the place for you.

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