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July 2009--do you need a passport to drive from US to Niagara Falls, Canada

July 2009--do you need a passport to drive from US to Niagara Falls, Canada

Old Dec 20th, 2008, 04:12 PM
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July 2009--do you need a passport to drive from US to Niagara Falls, Canada

Do you need a passport to drive from the US to Niagara Falls in July 2009? Dont feel like paying $500---on the American side is there much to do and can you ride on the Maid of the Mist?
gaileyann is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 03:32 PM
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1/2 a K-note for a passport? Eegads!

Anyway, the Canadian side of the Falls is where there's more things touristic to do (which may not necessarily be a good thing in your book ). I'd guess that as the Maid of the Mist goes, the view from the American operation would be as impressive as that of the Canadian. One advantage to the American side of the Falls would be the ability to tramp around the American side of the Falls as well as (IIRC) visit Goat Island. On the other hand, you'd miss out on Niagara on the Lake, worthy of a trip unto itself.

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Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 06:51 PM
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Passports are only $90 and are good for 10 years... $9 a year seems fair and June is the start date... they are processing in three to four weeks and the passports also are the easiest proof for airline travel... just do it... you'll be glad you did...
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 08:31 PM
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My guess is that Gaileyann will need to get 5 passports for her family for the trip.

The last I heard on the passport rules for land travel (driving over the border) is that you won't need a passport "until at least summer 2009". That means you may need passports by July - or you may get lucky and not need them.

Maid of the Mist - yes, you can ride it from the U.S. side and you will get the SAME EXACT VIEW as if you take it from the Canadian side. There is no difference.

On the U.S. side, you will also be able to do Cave of the Winds - absolutely worth it.

There is also Goat Island and the Three Sisters Islands - you can take the trolley out to them and walk along the natural settings (closest thing to the original foliage of the area). You can also go to Terrapin Point to see a close up view of the falls.

What you will miss by not visiting the Canadian side:

The view - the best view of the falls is from Rainbow Bridge and the Canadian side. You can see the falls from the U.S. side, but it's not the postcard view.

Journey Behind the Falls - not as spectacular as Cave of the Winds, but you go through a tunnel and look out from behind the Horseshoe Falls (actually, you look AT the Horseshoe Falls from behind, because there is too much water to see through).

White Water Walk - walk along a wooden walkway next to the river where the rapids are. Not exhilarating, but a nice view of the river itself.

Spanish Aero Car - ride high above the Whirlpool Rapids in a 1908 cable car. After two trips, I still haven't done this yet - I got stormed out last time.

Butterfly Conservatory - pretty good sized with a lot of varieties.

Clifton Hill - yep, it's tacky, it's overpriced, it's gaudy. It's basically a carnival midway and it's a blast.

Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours - I haven't done them yet, but those who have say it's well worth it.

That doesn't include the historical sites or Niagara-on-the-Lake which are options also.

Personally, I would invest in the passports. My logic is that it's easier to get a passport now when it's not a big deal than it will be when I really need it.

If you really can't afford the passports, then go and enjoy the American side and hope you won't need them this July. But, if you can afford them, get them and know you will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds (or at least countries).
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Old Dec 26th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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What you miss out on the most by not staying on the Canadian side is a hotel with Falls views! We go to the Falls often, we always stay in a hotel where our window faces the Falls, and eat in a resturant that faces the Falls. Other than Goat Island, the Canadian side is just much better.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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As of now, after June 1, 2009, you will absolutely need a passport (or US passport card, or enhanced drivers license if your state offers them) to return to the US from Canada via land. Not sure what Canada requires/will require.

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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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tinyurl.com is your friend.

This is a shortened link for the above

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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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These days I wouldn't leave the US without my passport regardless if it's required or not. I just want to be sure I can get back home!
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