Tucked up right against the Canadian border on the bank of the Niagara River, Lewiston is a vibrant community that also happens to be one of the most historically significant places in Western New York. Not only was it the last stop on the Underground Railroad, but the first battle of the War of 1812 took place here as well, and both events have been commemorated with beautiful statues. There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Niagara River, whether that means going fishing, marveling at the area's hydroelectric dams, or watching a waterfront concert in the beautiful Artpark. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station
Named after a well-known New York city planner, the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station was America's largest source of hydropower when it was opened in 1961, and it's still an incredible sight to see. Visitors are welcome to marvel at the exterior of the plant, but tours of the interior are not available because of safety reasons. However, if you want to learn more about hydroelectricity and how it works, you can head to the Visitor's Center above the power plant to enjoy the interactive exhibits, watch some short educational videos, and stand 350 feet above the river on a glass-enclosed walkway.
5777 Lewiston Rd, Lewiston, NY 14092-2152, Phone: 716-286-6661
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Occupying more than 150 acres on the Niagara Gorge, Artpark is a beautiful state park that's often used as an outdoor music venue, particularly in the summer. The outdoor amphitheater has seating for up to 10,000 people, and it regularly hosts everything from musical theater performance to live music shows by some of the country's top artists. The weekly outdoor concert series is a highlight of the summer, but the park is a great place to visit even when no events are taking place, and visitors are welcome to enjoy the picnic tables, hiking trails, and fishing docks year-round.
450 S 4th St, Lewiston, NY 14092, Phone: 716-754-4375
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3.Freedom Crossing Monument
Created to honor the courage of American slaves who crossed the Canadian border in search of a new life, the Freedom Crossing Monument sits right on the bank of the Niagara River, and it's one of the most iconic landmarks in Lewiston. Made entirely of bronze, the monument depicts five people, including a family of freedom seekers about to cross the river. An educational plaque provides more information about the story of the monument and this period in history, and the site also offers several picnic tables where visitors can sit to admire the beautiful view of the river.
N Water St, Lewiston, NY 14092, Phone: 716-754-4214
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4.Tuscarora Heroes Monument
© Historical Association of Lewiston and Museum
Located right in the heart of Lewiston, the Tuscarora Heroes Monument was erected as a symbol of thanks to the Tuscarora Nation, who courageously saved the lives of dozens of settlers during the War of 1812. The slightly-larger-than-life bronze statue was dedicated in 2013, approximately 200 years after the events in question took place, and it depicts two Tuscarora men helping a fleeing settler and her baby. The work speaks for itself, but if you're interested in learning more about what took place, you can pick up a copy of the beautifully illustrated Tuscarora Heroes Book from the Lewiston Museum.
100 Portage Rd, Lewiston, NY 14092, Phone: 716-754-4214
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5.War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail
Stretching for more than 150 miles across New York State and into Canada, the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail was established in 2012 to commemorate 200 years of peaceful relations between the United States and Canada. The trail's gardens can be found in approximately 15 different communities, and the one in Lewiston is located just off Center Street behind the Spice House. The flowers are designed to bloom between May and October, and there are several benches for visitors to sit on while they pray, meditate, or simply admire the beauty of the garden.
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6.Joseph Davis State Park
© K Stocker/stock.adobe.com
Formerly known as the Lower Niagara State Park, the Joseph Davis State Park encompasses almost 400 acres on the banks of the lower Niagara River. The landscape is relatively flat, and it features a number of trails that can be used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter and for hiking and cycling during the warmer months. When there's no snow on the ground, visitors can also enjoy the park's 27-hole golf course. Fishing is permitted both in the river and in the park's ponds, and there's a fishing dock conveniently located on the river.
4143 Lower River Rd, Youngstown, NY 14174, Phone: 716-745-7273
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A beautiful arch bridge that spans the Niagara River gorge, the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge was opened in 1962 to connect Lewiston to the Canadian community of Queenston. It's one of four such international bridges in the Niagara region, and although it's one of the most picturesque, it also tends to be the busiest. Pedestrians are not permitted on the bridge, but if you're crossing in a car, you can make a stop at one of the two duty-free shops that sit between the customs plazas on either side. A small toll payment is required on the Canadian side.
Robert Moses State Pkwy, Lewiston, NY 14092, Phone: 716-285-6322
8.The Village Bake Shoppe
© The Village Bake Shoppe
Established in 1993 by a talented mother daughter team, the Village Bake Shoppe is one of the most popular dessert shops in town. They offer everything from cheesecakes to cupcakes to their famous five-pound apple pie, and all their products are proudly made from scratch. Hot and cold beverages are available as well, and customers who want to enjoy their treats on-site can sit at one of the tables inside or out on the patio. If you need something for a special occasion, the staff are always happy to make a customized cake or put together a mouthwatering gift basket of goodies.
417 Center St, Lewiston, NY 14092, Phone: 716-754-2300
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© Hibbard's Custard
Whether you're a frozen custard aficionado or someone who has never tried it before, Hibbard's Custard is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth. The company has been family owned and operated since 1939, and their secret recipe has changed very little over the years, although their selection of unique flavors has grown considerably. Traditionalists will enjoy eating their frozen custard right out of a waffle cone, but if you want something more exciting, you can also get a sundae, a float, or a custard milkshake. Take-home pints and quarts are available as well.
105 Portage Rd, Lewiston, NY 14092, Phone: 716-754-4218
One of five locations scattered across New York State, the DiCamillo Bakery is one of the best places in Lewiston to pick up homemade bread, cookies, pizza, and other Italian bakery specialties. Everything is worth trying, but they're particularly well-known for their biscotti, which comes in delectable flavors like chocolate almond, lemon butter, and red wine with sesame. Many of their products are beautifully wrapped and make for excellent souvenirs or gifts, but visitors who want to enjoy their purchase right away can also get a coffee and sit at one of the small tables by the window.
535 Center St, Lewiston, NY 14092, Phone: 716-754-2218
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10 Best Things to Do in Lewiston, NY
- Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station, Photo: skyf/stock.adobe.com
- Artpark, Photo: Aphotostudio/stock.adobe.com
- Freedom Crossing Monument, Photo: OldskoolPhotography/stock.adobe.com
- Tuscarora Heroes Monument, Photo: Historical Association of Lewiston and Museum
- War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail, Photo: tachyglossidae/stock.adobe.com
- Joseph Davis State Park, Photo: K Stocker/stock.adobe.com
- Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, Photo: Heidi/stock.adobe.com
- The Village Bake Shoppe, Photo: The Village Bake Shoppe
- Hibbard's Custard, Photo: Hibbard's Custard
- DiCamillo Bakery, Photo: fabiomax/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: ATGimages/stock.adobe.com
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