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Trip Report Trip Report--Niagara/Toronto/Montreal

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My sincere apologies for taking almost a year to post my trip report! I take procrastination to a new level;)

My DH, 2 teens and I flew into Buffalo & stopped at the Anchor Bar for original Buffalo wings--they were awesome! We stopped and looked at the Falls from Goat Island, but decided against "Cave of the Winds", as the line was too long. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel on the Ontario side (I think it's now the Fallsview Hotel), which was very nice and it's connected by walkway to the casino. We got the Canadian Adventure Pass and went to "Journey Behind the Falls" that evening. Afterwards, we took the "Incline Railway" back up the hill to our hotel.
The next day, we drove to the "Butterfly Conservatory", parked our car (free) and took the "People Mover" to "Maid of the Mist". After the fabulous boat ride, we continued up river (by People Mover) to "White Water Walk", the "Spanish Aero Cars" and the conservatory. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the stops, but if I was going to skip something, it would be the aero cars--they're pretty expensive and the ride is very short.
We briefly walked around the Clifton Hill area--it was awful. Too tacky, too touristy. Our teenagers didn't even like it.

We drove through Niagara-on-the-Lake and thought it looked like a nice place to spend some time on a future visit. We headed on to Toronto, where we spent 1 night at the Comfort Inn Downtown. It was not in a very nice area and the room looked nothing like the ones on the website. Our favorite activity in Toronto was touring the Bata Shoe Museum. We went to the harbor area, but there weren't any artists, etc. out that day.
We took the quick, but fairly boring 401 to Gananoque. I loved this town! We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express (the newest hotel in town) and it was very nice. The next day, we took a 1-hour boat tour of the 1000 Islands. I really wish we had taken the longer tour.
Our next, and longest, stop was Montreal. We stayed in Vieux Montreal at the Hotel Nelligan. The hotel was lovely--great furnishings and amenities, and complimentary wine and cheese every evening. There is a rooftop bar, which we enjoyed every evening.
In Montreal, we visited the Olympic venue, including the funicular and Biodome. The penguins were great at the Biodome, but the rest wasn't that great compared to other zoos we've visited. We also visited the Musee des Beaux-Arts (quite interesting), climbed Mt. Royal (highly recommend), had lunch at Schwartz's deli (plan on waiting in line), and shopped a little downtown. We particularly enjoyed walking around Vieux Montreal--chatting with local artists and sampling several restaurants. I would definitely recommend staying in this area--it's the heart of Montreal.

After several days in Montreal (not enough!), we headed back to the U.S., via NY & VT. We took a ferry across Lake Champlain (beautiful!) to Burlington, VT. This is a gorgeous town and I wish we'd had more time to spend there. We stayed at the Sheraton, which was o.k. The downtown mall is great for shopping and eating and people-watching. If you have a snowboarder in the family, the Burton factory is fun to see. A ferry back across the lake (at the southern tip), put us back in NY, where we shuffled off to Buffalo for our return flight home.

Again, sorry for the tardiness of this post and thanks to everyone for their great suggestions. Fodorites are the best!

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