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bailsmom
07-05-2007, 11:08 PM
Okay everyone, I need some help with this trip we're "supposed" to be taking this fall. I've started my research and am just overwhelmed by all the things we can do over there. Plus I'm wondering if we should just keep driving to the Canadian side as everything I've read says that the American side sucks.

Any suggestions on hotels that aren't more than $100.00/night?? I would really like to pick something that's within walking distance to everything yet not cost us a million dollars.

I know, wishfull thinking on my part, but it never hurts to ask.

We're thinking of going the last week of September or the first week of October. I've looked into the Frommers and Fodor's books/websites, and while some info is good, they are just lacking the right things I'm looking for. Like I said, mainly a hotel. I figure once we find a place to stay then I can start making out our itinerary.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

debb
07-06-2007, 02:15 AM
Here's an article I noticed while researching my vacation

http://www.budgettravelonline.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2005/09/27/AR2005092700885.html

Quiltlady
07-06-2007, 06:19 AM
I live in Eastern NY and the Falls really are beautiful. The USA side is much improved than it use to be. I was very satisfied being on this side for my last trip there.

Years ago I did go on the Canadian side and it was spectacular. If you can cross over go for it, if you don't you'll still come away happy that you saw it from either side.:inlove:

cathoo
07-06-2007, 06:53 AM
I'm planning a trip to Niagara Falls too, and everyone I've talked to says the American side is better. It may be that people are "used to" the local side and think the other is exciting.

vaknitter
07-06-2007, 08:58 AM
I went to college in Buffalo, NY and have been to Niagara more times that I can count. I generally park on the American side and see everything over there (skip the cave of the winds tour) and then WALK over Rainbow Bridge into Canada and see the canadian side and try the Cave/Behind the falls tour they run. As an adult I didn't think the Maid of the Mist tours were worth the money, but maybe if you have kids they would.

Walking into Canada is much easier than taking the car typically, if you take the car they ask for all kinds of identificaiton and open the trunk etc so the lines build up. If you walk, just put your 50cents in the kiosk and off you go.

What else is there in the area that you are interested in doing? I have always made it a day trip so that we didn't have to pay $$ to stay within walking distance.

Have Fun

Miss Moosey
07-06-2007, 09:29 AM
The Canadian side of the falls is very fun, but I actually feel like it's a little more touristy than the American side. On the other hand, that means there is an awesome Hershey's store on the Canadian side with a giant chocolate bar sculpture on the building!

In terms of seeing the actual falls, you can't really see the Canadian falls well from the American side but you can see the American falls from the Canadian side.

But it's worth walking (not driving--the wait at the border can be anywhere between five minutes and two hours) over to the American side and just meandering through the park there. There are these cute little islands on the American side called the three sisters islands which are a great place to walk and picnic.

And remember--if you do the Maid of the Mist wear sandals so you won't have to deal with wet and sloshy shoes for the rest of the day!

Enjoy Niagra!
Rebecca

bailsmom
07-06-2007, 09:38 AM
I went to college in Buffalo, NY and have been to Niagara more times that I can count. I generally park on the American side and see everything over there (skip the cave of the winds tour) and then WALK over Rainbow Bridge into Canada and see the canadian side and try the Cave/Behind the falls tour they run. As an adult I didn't think the Maid of the Mist tours were worth the money, but maybe if you have kids they would.

Walking into Canada is much easier than taking the car typically, if you take the car they ask for all kinds of identificaiton and open the trunk etc so the lines build up. If you walk, just put your 50cents in the kiosk and off you go.

What else is there in the area that you are interested in doing? I have always made it a day trip so that we didn't have to pay $$ to stay within walking distance.

Have Fun


Thanks for the information :hug:

Like I said, once we get a hotel then I'll be able to plan the rest of the trip. We're not staying that long, maybe 3-5 days. Depends what we find along the way there. It'll take us about 6-7 hours to drive there so we may stop somewhere in between if we see something interesting.

I did figure that we'd be walking for most of the trip as I've read in several places that we'd be sitting in our cars longer than it would take to walk somewhere.

Why should we skip the Cave of the Winds??

bailsmom
07-06-2007, 09:39 AM
The Canadian side of the falls is very fun, but I actually feel like it's a little more touristy than the American side. On the other hand, that means there is an awesome Hershey's store on the Canadian side with a giant chocolate bar sculpture on the building!

In terms of seeing the actual falls, you can't really see the Canadian falls well from the American side but you can see the American falls from the Canadian side.

But it's worth walking (not driving--the wait at the border can be anywhere between five minutes and two hours) over to the American side and just meandering through the park there. There are these cute little islands on the American side called the three sisters islands which are a great place to walk and picnic.

And remember--if you do the Maid of the Mist wear sandals so you won't have to deal with wet and sloshy shoes for the rest of the day!

Enjoy Niagra!
Rebecca

:thumbsup: Hey, thanks for the tip!!

vaknitter
07-06-2007, 02:21 PM
As a kid I remember cave of the winds being incredible as we walked behind the falls etc. When I took my husband there just a couple of years ago and we did Cave of the Winds on the american side we walked out and around 1 of the falls (disappointing) then we saw people on the canadian side walking behind the falls so I would look into that one first before spending money on the American side. By the time we got over to the Canadian Side we were out of money so ... I believe on the Canadian side it is called Journey Behind the Falls and that must be the one I remember.

There is free parking in a park, along a street not too far away along the river that feeds into the falls that you can walk up to the falls visitor center from. Niagara doesn't really have an entrance and an exit so you can come and go all day long.

Gosh I never really stuck around to do other things in the area b/c I was so close I took Niagara for granted...Toronto's not too far away if your interested in heading over there. Seems to me there may be a marine park and a butterfly/rose garden near Niagara.....

Vendie
07-06-2007, 06:06 PM
I prefer the Canadian side - right in Niagara Falls can be touristy, but if you go along the river a bit, it gets very beautiful.

Niagara on the Lake is nice too. It's a cute little town with shopping and restaurants and wineries. They hold the Shaw Festival there, if you're into theatre.

There's lots of hiking along the gorge, if you're interested in that sort of thing. Lots of nature-y things to do on the Canadian side. If you're into history, there's Fort Niagara.

If you go up to Lewiston, NY, there's this neat place called ArtPark. It's been a very long while since I've been there, but I remember it being fun when I was a kid.

I used to live between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and my husband is from St. Catharines, which is near Niagara Falls, Ontario. We know the area fairly well!

ecuzzacrea
07-06-2007, 06:50 PM
I grew up a few miles away from Niagara Falls, NY and have been to both sides and everything around there about 7 million times! I like both sides. The Canadian side has more to do, but it's very touristy in my opinion. The American side is much improved and just geared toward walking around and taking in the scenery.

Niagara on the Lake is gorgeous and I would highly recommend it.

I don't have an info on hotels since I lived a short drive from there.

I just used to love going to NF and taking photos. It's really so beautiful. I've only been gone about a year or so and I totally miss going there!

cathoo
07-06-2007, 07:07 PM
Oooooh, I forgot about this!
http://www.niagaraparks.com/nfgg/discountpass.php
It's the package deal for a whole bunch of fun stuff on the Canadian side!

Sara
07-06-2007, 08:14 PM
I'm in WNY, too. There is lots of parking on the US side of the falls. The Canadian side is less park like, but if you're looking for "stuff to do" there's more touristy stuff on the Canadian side. Fall months in NY are big tourist times because people come to look at the foliage.

Niagara-on-the-lake is a neat little town, lots of shops, nice park for the kids, but the food is a bit pricey.

If you are in the mood for a little road trip (about an hour from Buffalo), you might want to visit Letchworth State Park. It's a gorgeous canyon with waterfalls, hiking trails, and scenic overlooks that will be stunning with fall colors.

Vendie
07-07-2007, 12:16 PM
I grew up a few miles away from Niagara Falls, NY and have been to both sides and everything around there about 7 million times!

where did you live? I lived in Amherst from '86 to '91.

KnitClickChick
07-07-2007, 02:14 PM
We went to NF a few years ago. I think our hotel room was about $60 through priceline.com or something. (Boyfriend paid, so I am not exactly sure how that worked.) We stayed on the Canadian side. I don't recall having much trouble getting over the border, it didn't really take that much time. The falls were spectacular! We went in October, but it really wasn't that cold like I had thought it would be. You have to eat at the Skylon restaurant!! It is seven hundred + feet up in the air. You ride up in an elevator, and once you are at the top, it slowly revolves. I was kinda queasy at first, because I don't like heights, but it moves so slowly it wasn't a problem after a few minutes. We went at sunset, and the view was stunning. The food was sooo good! They turned on colored lights under the falls once it was dark, and it was really pretty. And you absolutely must SEE THE BUTTERFLIES!!! The butterfly conservatory was awesome! It is pretty touristy, but Clifton Hill has a lot of things to do. Fun houses, a Hershey's store (got a super giant candy bar for my dad, he loved it!) an MGM store, etc. We also went over to the American side, for one afternoon. I didn't think the falls looked as big. We went to the aquarium that is somewhere in that area, I can't remember exactly where. I think both sides have a lot of things to see and do, so no matter what you decide, you will have a great time!!

http://www.niagaraparks.com/garden/butterfly.php
http://www.foodinc.ca/9053562651
http://www.cliftonhill.com/

Sara
07-07-2007, 09:49 PM
In the current geo-political environment, you do have to be prepared for long delays at the borders. It's not something you can plan for, it just depends on what the safety risk is on any given day.

We went up to Toronto last summer and we didn't spend more than 15 minutes at the border either way. Some of our friends sat there for 4 hours.:shrug:

Vendie
07-07-2007, 10:06 PM
we always have more problems coming back to the US...but mostly that's b/c DH's status has been screwed up in their computer system. For a few times there we'd have to go into "the office" for further processing. Took fooorrrever. But the last time we just we just zipped right over, so they must have finally gotten it fixed :roll: