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MAY 05 - MAY 12, 2015

City's Proximity to Canada Finally Does Us Some Good in New Poll!

By Mike Hudson

May 05, 2015

Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls is kid friendly.

Is it true that kids would rather visit Niagara Falls and ride the Maid of the Mist than Disney World?
The order of the top kid friendly destinations in the 10Best were:
1. Niagara Falls, N.Y.
2. Tampa
3. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
4. Anaheim, Calif.
5. Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.
6. Orlando
7. San Diego
8. San Antonio
9. Virginia's Historic Triangle
10. Yosemite National Park, Calif.
Additional nominees included Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Jackson Hole, Boston, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Niagara Falls has done it again, coming in at Number One on another list. And this list has nothing to do with the nation's most dangerous cities, overtaxed municipalities or unwanted teen pregnancies, either!

Last week the readers of USA Today voted the Cataract City as the "Best Kid-Friendly Destination" in the country. The newspaper's reasoning of the choice was scant, as is typical of USA Today.

"Only a handful of votes separated our winner from the runner up, but in the end, Niagara Falls, N.Y. came out on top," the entry read. "Families flock to this northeastern city to experience the awe-inducing grandeur of this natural wonder, whether aboard the Maid of the Mist or from the Cave of the Winds. Aside from the cascades, Niagara is packed with other family-centric attractions."

"Like what?" we found ourselves asking. But USA Today provided no further guidance. It is interesting to note that the Number Two "Best Kid-Friendly Destination" was Tampa, Fla., a city not really known as a destination at all but rather as the airport you fly into should you want to explore Florida's fascinating Gulf Coast.

Kid friendly? Well, Niagara Falls does have the highest percentage of child molesters and other dangerous sexual predators per capita of anyplace in New York, and those child molesters might well be described as "kid friendly" right up until they… No. That can't be it.

Driving around the downtown tourist district, we couldn't help but notice that many of the city's finer hotels advertise "FREE HBO" on their signage, and the premium cable television channel is certainly fraught with children's programming that, theoretically, could be watched by children whose parents are desperately hoping to win back the college fund money lost the night before at the Seneca Niagara Casino. But realistically, that's probably not what the USA Today readers were talking about either.

The two attractions that merited a mention, the Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds, involve waiting in long lines for up to three hours in the hot summer sun, an experience than can even make the most doting parent "kid unfriendly" real fast and, in extreme cases, result in heat stroke. And, when the half hour it takes to ride the boat or walk the gangplanks is over, what then?

"Hey Dad, what's that over there?" a 12-year-old of even modest intelligence might reasonably ask.

And the father, should he follow the child's westward pointing finger with his own eyes, would see for himself what the kid was talking about.

There it is! Marineland, the Fallsview Indoor Water Park, the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, the Clifton Hill Skywheel, the Nightmare Fear Factory and more. The no waiting Hornblower Cruises ride to the falls and the Skylawn Tower Observation Deck. All right in Niagara Falls!


We finally got it. The reasoning behind the USA Today reader's poll choosing Niagara Falls, N.Y., as the most kid friendly destination in the whole United States.

Because there isn't a town anywhere that's closer to Niagara Falls, Ont., than Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The readers of USA Today aren't as dumb as they're often made out to be.





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