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Niagara County

Porter, NYYoungstown, NYPorter, NYWilson, NYNewfane, NYSomerset, NYHartland, NYRoyalton, NYLockport, NYLockport, NYCambria, NYPendleton, NYLewiston, NYNiagara Falls, NYNiagara, NYWheatfield, NYNorth Tonawanda, NY

Overview - Niagara County

Niagara County is in extreme western New York, just north of Buffalo, adjacent to Lake Ontario on its northern border and the Niagara River on its western border. Beyond the Niagara River is Canada. Niagara County has three cities and 12 towns; the county seat is Lockport but the best known area, by far, is Niagara Falls, a tourist attraction known worldwide.

With Lake Ontario (one of the Great Lakes) at its northern border, Niagara County has plenty of lovely lakeside communities and parks and lots of places for boating and fishing. Toward the southern end is the Erie Canal; Lockport especially grew because of the canal, and the city has numerous sites and attractions focusing on the canal. On the western end is the Niagara River and Niagara Falls, one of the wonders of the world. Tourists come here from all over and cross over the border to the even more impressive Niagara Falls, Canada.

The county has several hospitals and is home to Niagara College. Two Native American reservations are in Niagara County – the Tuscarora Reservation and the Tonawanda Reservation. The county is home to 10 state parks, many along the lakeshore and the river’s banks.

Canada is really close. Niagara County has three of the four border crossings to Canada – two are in Niagara Falls and one is in Lewiston. (The other is in Buffalo.) Many residents here visit Canada frequently for the attractions in the more-bustling Niagara Falls and also for the quaint Niagara on the Lake community. Remember, though, you’ll need documentation like a passport or an enhanced New York State driver’s license to cross the border, and the lines can sometimes be atrocious.

One drawback is the winter weather. Niagara County and Erie County are known for particularly brutal winters with lots of snow, but other areas get even more snow. Besides, some people enjoy the winter weather – and it just makes the people here appreciate the spectacular summers even more.

Recreation & Entertainment

Niagara County has plenty of rural character but also some bigger-city culture and attractions. North Tonawanda has the popular Herschell Carousel Factory Museum and the Riviera Theatre. Lewiston has Artpark, a place for outdoor concerts, art and culture. Niagara Falls has the popular Seneca Niagara Casino along with the falls and the best place to see them – at Niagara Falls State Park, the first state park established in the United States. Olcott Beach, on the Lake Ontario shoreline in the town of Newfane, has a charming, small, amusement park with old-school amusements and a collection of quaint shops.

The county has lots of history, like Fort Niagara in Youngstown, which has been in use since the 1700s. The fort played an integral role in the French and Indian War and was captured by the British during the War of 1812. The county has the natural beauty of Niagara Falls and the man-made wonder of the Erie Canal. A developing Niagara Wine Trail has put the area on the map for its vineyards and wineries.

Buffalo, the second-largest city in New York is only 20 miles south. Buffalo has all kinds of attractions, like museums, shopping, art galleries and universities, theater and professional sports, like the NFL Bills, NHL Sabres and minor league baseball Bisons.