Lewiston is a picturesque but historic little township about a 20 minute drive away from Niagara Falls in upstate New York. A visit here will not disappoint.
A Little History
This area was settled by the French and later the British took control of the area as a part of the western expansion of the original colonies. The town of Lewiston was officially created on February 27, 1818. There has been European settlements in this area since 1720, and perhaps earlier, the village was originally known as Landing.
Closely associated with the township are the Tuscarora Indian Nation (the name means shirt-wearing people or hemp gatherers) who occupy land on the upper part of the Niagara Escarpment after moving to the area in area after the end of the Tuscarora war in 1713 from North Carolina. The Tuscarora are a part of the six nation of the Iroquois.
Several US invasions into the British North American Provinces commenced from this area during the course of the War of 1812. There were many skirmishes on both sides of the river. Now the frontier enjoys peaceful and friendly relations.
Places of interest in Lewiston include
- Earl W. Brydges Artpark – a scenic venue offers theater productions & concerts
- Castellani Art Museum – art museum located in Niagara University campus.
- Devil’s Hole State Park – well kept park lands overlooking the Whirlpool Rapids. The park overlooks the lower Niagara River Gorge.
- Joseph Davis State Park – 388 Acres along the lower Niagara River in Youngstown.
- Niagara Scenic Parkway – a scenic road following the eastern edge of the Niagara River.
- Niagara Power Project Visitors Center See how hydro-electric power is produced.
- Frontier House in Center St. – Considered to be a premiere hotel in its day
- Sanborn Lewiston Farm Museum – About 20 minutes from Lewiston.
- Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima – Catholic shrine.
You will enjoy a visit to picturesque historic Lewiston.
Visitors should remember that there are two parts to Lewiston, the area at the top of the Niagara Escarpment, and the center of the village which is located at the base of the escarpment. The Power Project, run by the New York Power Authority, has been described as “A nice place to visit with the kids. It has a good description of electricity generation and a decent view of the gorge downstream of Niagara falls.” I have spent time at the top of the gorge, near the power station and have to say the view down to the lower river is spectacular.
If you like fishing then there are some great parts along the lower section of the Niagara River where fishing is possible. There are several companies that run riverboat fishing charters here as well, look them up in the local directory then book the trip, they are not expensive.
Underneath the escarpment the Lewiston Marina and Water Street Landing is a busy river marina and has a restaurant available here. Boat trips from here give idyllic views of both the American and Canadian banks of the river. Lewiston is also a departure point for the Whirlpool Jet Boat tours.
Niagara University is a private Catholic university, located in the town of Lewiston. It is a part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. It was founded by the Vincentian Community in 1856 and has a student population of over 4,000. Students at the university are encouraged to work with the local community, for example helping local residents with their tax returns at that crucial part of the year. The university is clearly visible from the Canadian side of the river, the buildings providing the classical look of a centre of education.
Alumni include basketball coach and former NBA executive Frank Layden, Retired NBA player Calvin Murphy, NBA coach Hubie Brown, politician Alfred Beiter, Dennis Holtschneider – president of DePaul University in Chicago.
Niagara University is located above the escarpment, next to the Power Project and close to the Devils Hole State Park. The views from this area to the north are some of the best available on the Niagara River.
The Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station generates 2,525 megawatts of clean/green electricity. The plant was named for former New York city planner. This plant stands across the river from the It stands across the river from Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Station on the Canadian side of the river.
There are more than 25 restaurants, sidebars, bistros, cafes, coffee and tea houses, bakeries, pubs, pizzerias etc. in the village of Lewiston. Even the golf course has a descent restaurant. There is plenty of choice as well as some internationally known chains to choose from.
Most get excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. I have no personal reviews to add. The Silo is close to the river and very popular but not necessarily the most suited for your needs. Take a look at the list on Trip Advisor and make up your own mind.
Art Park Concerts
There are regular concerts at the Art Park, most frequently on Tuesday nights. Some of the artistes that have played here count among the greats of rock music. If you have the opportunity to take in a show then do. These concerts can be heard both sides of the river and many Canadians from the village of Queenston sitting outside enjoying the music on a summers night.