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You can explore the falls with boat or bus tours, on bicycle, or through more than eight hiking trails that let you get up close and personal with different parts of the Niagara Gorge. At the popular Whirlpool State Park you can get an up-close-and-personal look at the natural whirlpool. Just 17 miles south of the falls lies the city of Buffalo—a thriving metropolis with Canalside, a redeveloped waterfront region, jaw-dropping architecture (really!), including multiple Frank Lloyd Wright buildings; major league sports teams (Go Bills!), and a wide range of cultural offerings.  Check out the Buffalo Museum of Science or the Buffalo Zoo, one of the oldest in the country.  Or head to RiverWorks, a year-round riverside entertainment complex, featuring two outdoor rinks, a restaurant, brewery and a roller derby rink.