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Niagara Falls Help!

Besart 4 10 July 30, 2016 at 05:29 PM
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Hi to everyone, I'm visiting USA and my plans include Niagara Falls! I live in Boston and in September i want to go there! can somebody give me some advice on how to go there and what type of transportation to use and how much time do i need to spend there? I'm thinking 2 days (1 night).
waiting for your replies!
thanks

35 Comments

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#2
It's a 7 hour (minimum) drive from Boston. Are you going to drive? I would plan on at least a couple of nights so that you have time to enjoy all the activities in the area and to get the best views. Local destination experts on TripAdvisor.com are a good resource. If you plan to go to the Canadian side, you will need a passport or card. I think that it is worth the trip to the Canadian side. Also, check out Maid of the Mist -- just Google. You will get the best view of the falls on the boat trip.
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#3
Groupon often has decent deals on Niagara Falls hotels.
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#4
The Cave of the Winds is awesome in Summer. You get wet and it feels great. There is a boat trip you can take which is pretty cool. If you are going to cross the border into Canada, make sure you and anyone else in your party has never been convicted of a crime. Doesn't matter how minor (DUI, misdeamnor, felony, bad check, etc) and how long ago it happened. Canadian Border Services will NOT let you in.
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#5
You need a passport if you enter canada. nuff said
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#6
Driving from Philly to Niagara Falls, where is a good place for stop over in the middle ? Thanks.
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#7
You've got a 6+ hour drive, depending on traffic. Are you staying overnight or just taking a break? We like the Finger Lakes. It's wine country and if you enjoy it, you can go from winery to winery. There are also a few college towns in the area with good food and things to do.
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#8
I would suggest airbnbing, if you're traveling with a family likely you will need more than one hotel room. There are plenty entire home rentals on the NY side with really good reviews
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#9
Quote from FHRITP View Post :
You need a passport if you enter canada. nuff said
Passport alone will not get you into Canada. See my post above.
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#10
Quote from mikedaley View Post :
Passport alone will not get you into Canada. See my post above.
In terms of a physical document, yes...that is all you need. If you're a felon and have a record that point is mute.
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#11
Quote from FHRITP View Post :
In terms of a physical document, yes...that is all you need. If you're a felon and have a record that point is mute.
Anyone can apply and obtain a passport - even those convicted of felonies. Most countries will allow felons to enter. Canada and England are not among them.
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#12
Transportation:
- Driving down from Boston is probably most economical.
- Alternative is to fly to Buffalo and rent a car. Check JetBlue for cheap flights.
- Train and bus takes longer than driving and probably equally/ more expensive if you have more than 2 people.

Accommodation:
- I suggest staying on Canada side since you will be spending more time there (more things to do).
- (Cnd) Niagara Falls: Most hotels/ motels are w/i walking distance to the falls and tourist attractions.
- (Cnd) Niagara-on-the-lake: NOTL is a cute town near NF. Close to wineries.
- (US) Buffalo: Staying States side is cheapest. It will take ~30 min drive to the Falls. Can cross the border on foot to Cnd side (the bridge is a good vantage point for pictures).

If you have proper paperwork to enter Canada, plan to do so.

There are three falls in NF. I find the US side is great because you will be very close to the water but you only get to see the smaller falls and only a side view of it. The Cnd side gives a big picture of all the falls and more importantly the Horseshoe Falls, which is the biggest of 3. The Canadian side is developed for tourists while the US side is rather sketchy. Another reason to visit the Canadian side is because the exchange rate favors the US.

2 days 1 night is a good length.

Things to do:
- The Falls (obviously!).
- Visit wineries by Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Walk around the NOTL town.
- Check out Maid of the mist (boat ride that brings you closer to the falls)
- Walk around NF area. Check out Casino and other tourist traps (Ripley's, Observation tower, etc.)
- Premium Outlet Mall (on both Cnd and US side).

Feel free to ask if you have more questions. I have visited NF too many times.
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#13
Quote from Farty_pants View Post :
Transportation:
- Driving down from Boston is probably most economical.
- Alternative is to fly to Buffalo and rent a car. Check JetBlue for cheap flights.
- Train and bus takes longer than driving and probably equally/ more expensive if you have more than 2 people.

Accommodation:
- I suggest staying on Canada side since you will be spending more time there (more things to do).
- (Cnd) Niagara Falls: Most hotels/ motels are w/i walking distance to the falls and tourist attractions.
- (Cnd) Niagara-on-the-lake: NOTL is a cute town near NF. Close to wineries.
- (US) Buffalo: Staying States side is cheapest. It will take ~30 min drive to the Falls. Can cross the border on foot to Cnd side (the bridge is a good vantage point for pictures).

If you have proper paperwork to enter Canada, plan to do so.

There are three falls in NF. I find the US side is great because you will be very close to the water but you only get to see the smaller falls and only a side view of it. The Cnd side gives a big picture of all the falls and more importantly the Horseshoe Falls, which is the biggest of 3. The Canadian side is developed for tourists while the US side is rather sketchy. Another reason to visit the Canadian side is because the exchange rate favors the US.

2 days 1 night is a good length.

Things to do:
- The Falls (obviously!).
- Visit wineries by Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Walk around the NOTL town.
- Check out Maid of the mist (boat ride that brings you closer to the falls)
- Walk around NF area. Check out Casino and other tourist traps (Ripley's, Observation tower, etc.)
- Premium Outlet Mall (on both Cnd and US side).

Feel free to ask if you have more questions. I have visited NF too many times.

WOW!!! I never had NF on my mind but just reading what you wrote is making me want to go. I do have a couple of quick questions

What is NOTL town ?

We would be a family of 4 with 2 kids 9 &12 would this be an ok weekend trip ?

When you say proper paperwork exactly what does that mean? We all have current passports and none of us are felons so is there anything else we would need?

Coming from La. would you think it's best to fly into Canada and stay there or stay in NY?

Would it be too cold to do this in October ?
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#14
Quote from mikedaley View Post :
The Cave of the Winds is awesome in Summer. You get wet and it feels great. There is a boat trip you can take which is pretty cool. If you are going to cross the border into Canada, make sure you and anyone else in your party has never been convicted of a crime. Doesn't matter how minor (DUI, misdeamnor, felony, bad check, etc) and how long ago it happened. Canadian Border Services will NOT let you in.
that isn't true across the board. Canada will let you in with most misdemeanors, but you will likely pay an extra "entrance fee."
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#15
Quote from MMitchell29 View Post :
WOW!!! I never had NF on my mind but just reading what you wrote is making me want to go. I do have a couple of quick questions

What is NOTL town ?

We would be a family of 4 with 2 kids 9 &12 would this be an ok weekend trip ?

When you say proper paperwork exactly what does that mean? We all have current passports and none of us are felons so is there anything else we would need?

Coming from La. would you think it's best to fly into Canada and stay there or stay in NY?

Would it be too cold to do this in October ?
I am glad to hear that =) NF is definitely a good family weekend trip.

To minimize flight time, flying into Toronto is generally better because there are more direct flights (not sure if this is true from your airport). However, flying to Toronto will be more expensive because of the higher airport tax. If you are ok with stops, I recommend flying to Buffalo instead for cheaper fare.

NOTL= Niagara-on-the-lake. It is a small historic town about 30 mins away from NF. They are famous for the wineries (ice wine) and Shaw Festival (2nd largest theater company in NA). October coincides with the Shaw Festival (ends in mid Oct). If you have no interest in checking out a show, I would recommend going after mid Oct for cheaper accommodation. Oct 10 is Canadian Thanksgiving which means hotel prices will be jacked up too. If you have interest in theater, I highly recommend going to a show. The theater is smaller and feels intimate. The set and performers are excellent.

With kids, I recommend:
- Rent a bike and venture around NOTL. There are scenic bike paths and trails along the river where many of the wineries are located.
- Go for the winery tours (~$5 pp). They provide wine samples (not for your kids obviously). For free activity, you can venture around the wineries and see (and eat?) the different grapes they grow.
- Ride the Ferris wheel by NF. It has a view of the Horseshoe falls.
- Maid of the mist. Going close to the bottom of the falls and hearing the roar is pretty amazing.

For a weekend trip, I recommend:
Fri: Arrive at Buffalo airport. Drive to and venture around NF (Cnd side). Drive to hotel (Cnd side).
Sat: Venture around NOTL.
Sun: (AM) Venture around NF (US side). (PM) drive back to Buffalo airport.

October will be cold for LA standard. Near the Falls will be really cold, esp. if there is any wind at all. Bring extra layers.

Valid passport is sufficient for US citizen. Also need a green card for resident. If not US citizen or resident, you may need Canadian visa (check here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp).
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Last edited by Farty_pants August 9, 2016 at 10:08 AM
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