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The falls themselves may be thousands of years old, but that doesn’t mean nothing has changed around Niagara since the Wisconsin Glacier rerouted the Niagara River. In fact, numerous groups—first the Iroquois nations, then the French and British traders, trackers and settlers, and finally modern Canadians and multitudes of tourists—have made Niagara Falls a dynamic location with a vibrant, multifaceted community.
To learn more about the history and culture of Niagara Falls, there are a number of museums and sites that focus on the past and present of life around the falls.The Niagara Falls Public Library hosts the Historic Niagara Digital Collections, Old Fort Erie and Fort George in Niagara on the Lake harken back to the early settler days of Niagara, the Niagara Falls History Museum has a significant collection of War of 1812 artifacts as well as a variety of artifacts relating to all aspects of the founding and development of the City of Niagara Falls.The Niagara Falls Arts Gallery shows a different, more modern side of the city. The Niagara Heritage Trail will take you to a number of historically significant sites, like the Laura Secord Homestead and Chippawa Battlefield Park , as well as Fort Erie.
The Niagara Falls Public Library offers a complete range of services including lending books, DVDs, talking books, and electronic books. Each branch has an array of computers that can be used, as well as free wifi. The Rosberg Gallery houses exhibits of local artists that change monthly, and the Sir Harry Oakes Room can be used for quiet study and house part of the library's local history collection, which includes a large genealogy component.
You can drink in the local culture, what’s better than a taste of the fine wines from the region’s celebrated wine country? Not much!! A number of vineyards in the area (which is approximately equal in latitude to Provence in France and the Chianti Classico growing region in Italy) raise award-winning grapes and offer tours and tastings to visitors. Among the most popular are Chateau des Charmes and Hernder Estates , both of which are located outside Niagara-on-the-Lake and offer complimentary tours of their facilities. Not to mention, a sampling of Niagara's world famous ice wines will give your palette a full taste of the region's offerings.
Niagara Falls has an Arts and Culture District on Queen Street, between River Rd. and Victoria Ave. (north of the Falls themselves). Here you'll find several art galleries, a theatre with live shows, and many restaurants and interesting shops selling one-of-a-kind treasures. For more info: http://www.queenstreetniagarafalls.com.