Niagara Falls and Toronto

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Feb 26th, 2012, 05:43 PM
  #1
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Niagara Falls and Toronto

What would you all recommend for a quick trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto? We'll arrive in Buffalo at 9:30 on a Thursday, drive to Niagara Falls and have the afternoon there. Then we'll spend Friday morning in Niagara, and head to Toronto for Friday evening and Saturday morning before driving back to Buffalo for a 6 p.m. flight home. Does it make sense to spend one night in Niagara Falls and one in Toronto? Or should we just spend both nights in Niagara Falls?

Suggestions on what to do? We're definitely interested in Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds, plus the CN Tower in Toronto.

Other thoughts for such a short getaway?

Thanks,
Karen
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Feb 26th, 2012, 09:32 PM
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The travel options between Toronto and Niagara Falls:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...m.Toronto.html
What do you want to see in Toronto?
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Feb 27th, 2012, 02:59 AM
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Canadian side of the falls booking.com falls view room awesome
Embassy Suites for me last 2 nites wonderful. Beats the pants off of Toronto usually just do a short stay from BUF there.
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Feb 27th, 2012, 06:00 AM
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I think Toronto has much to offer a visitor. However, I think an evening and a morning won't give you time to explore neighborhoods, visit one of their excellent museums, take an excursion out to the Islands, etc... that is appreciate the highlights... you'll just be in and out--mostly just dealing with traffic. Unless all you want to do is cross Toronto off a bucket list, I'd save it for a later time when you can do the city justice.

Best wishes, Daniel
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Feb 27th, 2012, 07:27 AM
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When is the trip???... that totally determines what attractions are the best for you... summer is the best for Niagara...
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Feb 27th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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I'd second what Daniel_Williams says for two reasons. The first he's dealt with (too little time to do Toronto and environs any kind of justice) plus in that same timeframe, you can enjoy a relaxing drive around the Niagara Falls area and beyond to Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Davids and follow the wine routes to the various wineries in the area (amongst many other options). Plus, if you're planning to be around on the weekend of October 12th-13th this year, there's going to be a bicentennial re-enactment of the Battle of Queenston Heights, part of the War of 1812 commemorations.

Given your sked, to drive as far afield as Toronto you'd be doing like Chevy Chase at the Grand Canyon in "National Lampoon's Vacation". Better to save it for another time and savour what the Niagara area has to offer. You won't be disappointed.

HTH
u
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Feb 27th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Yes, I was wondering if it made sense given such a short timeframe. The trip is the first weekend in May, so not summer yet, but hopefully warm enough to be outside comfortably. If we added one more night, which we could possibly do, would that make a difference on whether it would be worth it to include Toronto?
(We're flying from Baltimore to Buffalo and renting a car there.)
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Feb 27th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Maybe. Even with that extra day, you'd be only giving it the barest of glances. I guess the germane question here is whether you have special interests or whether you're coming for a look-see. If you haven't made reservations yet, maybe you'd consider over-nighting Thursday in either Queenston or Niagara-on-the-Lake, both of which are an easy relaxing drive along the Niagara Parkway. Queenston's about half-way to NOTL but in either case, you're talking a hop, skip and a jump from Niagara Falls.

If you're interested in wineries, there's many right near NOTL with a wide range of specialties. In any case, you could spend 'til mid-afternoon exploring NOTL and environs before heading towards Toronto. Personally, I'm fond of taking the shore road out of town as far as Port Dalhousie (part of St. Catharines) before heading toward the Niagara Escarpment and following what was originally known as the Iroquois Trail along the Escarpment's edge. It's a great drive as far as Stoney Creek but from there, you're probably best-served taking the Queen Elizabeth Way (the QEW or QE depending who you talk to) and the Gardiner Expressway the rest of the way into Toronto. You're looking at about a 3-hour drive (plus whatever stops you make along the way) and that gets you into Toronto downtown about 6 or 7pm.

If you add the extra day, that allows you to do whatever interests you on Saturday (do the outdoor Edgewalk at the CN Tower mebbe? ) and take a wee sample of what Toronto has to offer while not having to keep a sharp eye on your watch. If you weren't adding it and you were in Toronto, I'd say you'd have to be shuffling back to Buffalo somewhere around 1-2pm to clear customs, allow your air carrier the requisite two hours pre-flight check-in window plus some wiggle-room for someone pulling a goof-ball somewhere along the QEW or somesuch. At least by adding the extra day, you can take your time getting up.

The first weekend in May's usually going to be short-sleeve weather (during the day at least) in an average winter but this winter has been ridiculously warm and virtually snow-free. So I'd say it's a safe bet it'll be more mid-June-like by then. Of course, having said that I've now jinxed it fer sher. Pack a parka

HTH
u
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Feb 28th, 2012, 05:47 PM
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Thanks, everyone. We've decided to just spend both nights in Niagara Falls rather than be too rushed. We like the idea of checking out NOTL and maybe a winery or two. I'll report back after the trip!
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Feb 28th, 2012, 07:18 PM
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All things considered a wise idea. All things considered, visiting Toronto was technically possible but your visit would've be anything but restful.

Here's a link to a list of the wineries in the NOTL area.

http://bit.ly/Niagara_winery_listing

Not a small selection to be sure. Hiterbrook's a personal fave.

HTH
u
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Feb 28th, 2012, 07:51 PM
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If you are just a couple, consider staying at the Niagara Fallsview Casino... around the 8th floor... that puts you in a great location, and with tons of options.

World renowned Chef Jamie Kennedy has opened Windows, a new restaurant within a short distance, and several of the wineries offer amazing food...

Niagara on the Lake offers the Shaw Festival all summer if you enjoy theatre... and we can point you to the best wineries if you enjoy that option...

There is a possibility that Maid of the Mist may not run their boats this year but it's too early to tell...

We are here to help you plan if you need it...
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Feb 29th, 2012, 04:34 AM
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Oh NO! One of the main reasons we're going is to do Maid of the Mist! I'd be very disappointed if they're not running.

Yes, we're a couple (this is our first overnight trip together - so I'm hoping it will be romantic!), but we have a Groupon for our hotel, so that's already settled. We are in one of the Sheratons (not Fallsview). Booked our airfare ($120 RT each on Southwest - great deal) and our rental car, so we're all set except for planning our activities. He wants to do Cave of the Winds (and me too!).

We're considering the Shaw Festival - three options for when we're there: Misalliance, Ragtime, or Present Laughter. Any recommendations?

I think we'll definitely check out one or more of the wineries - will put Hiterbrooks at the top of the list. How long does it take to get from Niagara Falls to NOTL? It looks like it's only about 25 miles - is traffic an issue?

Thanks again!
Karen
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Feb 29th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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I'd be awfully surprised if they'd cut their nose off to spite their faces like that, althom; the franchise is just too rich a money-spinner for them to walk away from as they threaten.

I'll leave commenting about the Shaw to those better-informed than I suffice it to say they've been doing something right for a long time.

As for the drive from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake, it's about 25km (15 miles) on the Niagara Parkway and will take you something on the order of about a half-hour to drive exclusive of any stops along the way (and there's lots to choose from). Traffic as in dead-stop is rather unusual in my experience but the weekends will bring heavier traffic and your half-hour drive may stretch out to three-quarters of an hour. However, if it does hit dead-stop for whatever reason, between Queenston and NOTL, you can get yourselves over to Concession 1 to bypass the problem and then pop back onto the Parkway for the rest of the drive.

HTH
u
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Feb 29th, 2012, 06:24 AM
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Niagara on the Lake (NOTL)is a very pleasant 20 minute drive along the Niagara Gorge on one side and a combination of vineyards, big houses and wineries on the other... Dining at NOTL at a Vineyard restaurant can be very romantic... Consider Hillebrand or Peller for fine food and amazing romance...

The winery UT is suggesting is Hinterbrook, not Hiterbrook... also consider Hillebrand, Peller, Reif, Inniskillen ...

The season has not yet started at Shaw so the reviews are not in yet... I'll keep a look out...

There are about 7 Sheraton properties...I hope you have one on the Canadian side... if you can be more specific, we can help with more recommendations near your hotel...

Cave of the Winds is on the US side so you should plan it as a stop on the way to Canada...If you miss it, it's also fun to walk across the Rainbow Bridge over to Goat Island and its one of the best attractions at the Falls... also plan on the Whirlpool JetBoats on the Canadian side(you will also get wet on this ride)

There are several posts on an Itinerary for the Falls so use the search option above for lots of suggestions... have fun!
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Feb 29th, 2012, 06:56 AM
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"Hiterbrook"...D'oh!!

Thanks for the cover, gary. Poor computer can't keep up with my mad lightnin' typin' skillz.

u
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Mar 9th, 2012, 04:10 AM
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According to a news headline I read this week, Maid of the Mist will be operating inspite of the contract issues. Sorry, I didn't read the whole article so don't know the details.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 12:00 PM
  #17
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YAY!!
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