Tonawanda News — The “small towns” of Niagara County — and more specifically the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum right here in North Tonawanda — are making some waves in the tourism industry after being named one of the top seven U.S. family destinations for 2013 by the ABC Travel Guides for Kids.
ABC has been publishing travel guides geared toward children for approximately eight years as a way to get youngsters interested in family vacations and to point out kid-friendly stops along the way, founder Matthew Rosenberger said.
“The idea was for there to be children to have their own guide. It helps them learn the alphabet and gives them fun activities to help keep them occupied and get them excited about the trip,” he said.
While there’s no ABC travel guide for Niagara County, Rosenberger said he still wanted to highlight the region as a top family destination ... and not just because of the falls.
“We really try to identify and promote areas that people wouldn’t normally think of so a lot of people may recognize Niagara Falls as a tourist attraction or a spot to visit but they wouldn’t necessarily identify Niagara County’s attractions and activities,” Rosenberger said.
“We have to get the word out. These places are dependent on people making them a destination and not rushing over to the flashier and more built-up Canadian side (of the falls). (People should recognize) the history and culture we have surrounding us on the U.S. side.”
Michelle Blackley, communications manager at Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, showed Rosenberger and his crew around the county to promote it as a family-friendly destination.
Being included on the list “shows that this is a world-class destination and that we’re certainly more than the falls,” she said. “From adventure to history, to things like the aquarium and the carrousel museum, there’s so much for families.