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FainaAgain Jan 29th, 2009 01:35 PM

Niagara Falls - Faina's questions
Hello, All, I read the recomendations to go to NOTL, but can't find how. Is there any form of public transportation?

Checked VIA rail and Greyhound Canada, no luck. Is there a local bus, or maybe a day tour from the falls?

No reservations yet, trying to figure it all out. Will have Sunday through Sunday last week of May. Plan to fly to Buffalo, take a shuttle to Canadian side of the falls.

traveller69 Jan 29th, 2009 06:28 PM

Hi Faina I found this on one of the Chamber of commerce website

Daily bus service from May to September is available from Niagara Falls ( call 1-800-667-0256). VIA RAIL service from Toronto to Niagara Falls (call 1-800- 361-1235).

If you can't get answers from them I have friends in NF and NOTL and I can check further with them. Just post again and let me know.

SallyCanuck Jan 30th, 2009 05:51 AM

It is a pain to get to NOTL from the Falls - without a car or paying for a tour, isn't it just a cab?

FainaAgain Jan 30th, 2009 06:43 AM

Tour? Why didn't I think about it? maybe it's even better, I love to be guided.

Let me look into tours... and also check the chamber website, thank you both!!

garyt22 Jan 30th, 2009 07:27 AM

Consider a car rental... for the cost of the shuttle and tours, you will save a bundle and have the ease of picking your tour... we will help you plan...

FainaAgain Jan 30th, 2009 07:59 AM

Thank you, I agree a rental car would be the best, but... nobody drives, or nobody is a good enough driver.

It looks, I will have to wait till May to call the Chamber about the bus.

ron Jan 30th, 2009 08:15 AM

Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake shuttle details available here,

Rachel Jan 30th, 2009 09:47 AM

Faina, if it is just driving skills you are worried about in not renting a car, you shouldnt let that stop you. It is an easy drive from the Buffalo airport to NF, and also from NF to NOTL. It is not big city driving like Toronto, NYC, or my perception of CA driving. The wrost part of the drive will be going across the bride from US to Canada and back. Sometimes that can take some time. These are not good places to rely on public transportation. You might also want to look into splitting your time in NF and NOTL, and spending a couple of nights in NOTL. It is a charming town, and with the exception of the wineries, once you are there, it is pretty walkable.

FainaAgain Jan 30th, 2009 11:04 AM

Ron, thank you very much! Very helpful!

Rachel, after 15 years of not having a car, not driving at all, to start it again is not my definition of vacations :)

FainaAgain Jan 30th, 2009 01:08 PM

Well... tears are welling up... I will have to move the trip, or make it very short, to Niagara only.

Got a schedule at work - they want us to take one class a month as a teleconference with our headquarters, and of course it's the same week in May as my vacation.

Now I'm thinking of flight red eye on Wednesday, back home on Monday. This will give me kinda 4 full days at the Falls. Long nap on Wednesday :)

Shanghainese Jan 30th, 2009 02:47 PM

Cheer up, Faina, you don't need 4 full days at the Falls, Toronto is only 2 hours away by bus, you might even fit in an overnight trip!

toedtoes Jan 31st, 2009 10:18 AM


If you need to cut days, skip NOTL and do Niagara Falls and Toronto only. It's a nice town, but coming from the Bay Area, you've seen similar (California is filled with little boutique shopping areas like that). You won't see another Niagara Falls anywhere else and you can't skip meeting the Toronto Fodorites.

If you fly in and out of Buffalo, you can do it like this:

Wednesday: arrive Buffalo, shuttle to Niagara Falls, night in Niagara Falls
Thursday: day and night in Niagara Falls (do US side: Cave of the Winds, Jet Boat Tour, Goat Island - you can recoup from the flight a bit just walking around Goat Island)
Friday: a.m. shuttle to Toronto, spend day and night in Toronto (GTG with GTG and Kodi and all)
Saturday: either a.m. shuttle day and night in Niagara Falls OR day in Toronto, p.m. shuttle to Niagara Falls and night in Niagara Falls
Sunday: day and night in Niagara Falls (Do Canadian side: Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, Whirlpool Aero Car, Butterflies/Gardens, Fireworks)
Monday: shuttle to Buffalo, fly home

Depending on the Toronto Fodorites' schedules, you could choose to stay in Toronto on Saturday night for the GTG.

kodi Jan 31st, 2009 07:38 PM

Faina, Toedtoes itinerary is perfect. I like it a lot.

Everyone does suggest NOTL , and it is a charming town, but not a must, especially if you are short on time and don't really want to do much shopping.

The falls themselves are what it's all about...and you'll see nothing like them anywhere.

Let us know what dates you'll be here. Our GTG rival your SF ones!!

FainaAgain Feb 1st, 2009 05:11 PM

Thank you, all, it looks like our days will be May 21-25. Will let you know as soon as the air reservation will be done.

Still not clear for me how to get from country to country if I want to see both sides. There are Niagara Falls NY and Niagara Falls ON. Should I stay in both?

I know there is a shuttle from the airport to either place, but what is there between those?

How easy or difficult to get from one to the other? I don't mean how much time, but is there any transportation not to the airport, but from Niagara NY to Niagara ON?

I was in Toronto, remember the city and the museums, but due to my stupidity didn't go to the Falls!! So this time we might just stay at the Falls. The more I search, the more I find things to do there.

kodi Feb 1st, 2009 08:12 PM

Faina, I'm sorry I can't help you with the US side of the falls or how to get between Canadian side and US side. But the best view of the falls is on the Canadian side, and many of the things to do are on the Canadian side. The People Mover is a shuttle system that shuttles past all the major sites on the Canadian side.. here is the website. It's a very good system . Without a car, I'm not sure it's necessary to tour the US side. I've taken many many people to Niagara and have never gone to the other side. Not to say it isn't worth it, just saying that you can really enjoy so much by just staying on the Canadian side and using the People Mover.

toedtoes Feb 2nd, 2009 12:21 AM


To get from the Canadian side to the US side, you simply walk across the Rainbow Bridge (and pay 50 cents CAD). To return to the Canadian side, simply walk back across the Rainbow Bridge (no fee).

You will go through customs on both sides, but it was a breeze. The walk takes maybe 5 minutes, depending how long you spend ON the bridge watching the falls. It's always fun to watch the folks waiting for an hour or more in their cars trying to get through customs while you casually meander across the bridge on foot.

Once you reach the US side, you'll walk an easy "less than" 5 minute walk to the Trolley. For $2, you get an all day pass for the Trolley. It will take you all around the park - including Goat Island and the Three Sisters Islands. You can get on and off at any of the stops along the way and walk for a bit as the mood takes you.

On the Canadian side of the Rainbow Bridge, you will be just downriver of the Maid of the Mist and across the street from the Niagara Aviary. The People Mover will take you from one end of the Niagara Parkway (upriver from the Falls) to the other end (downriver of the whirlpool). A one-day pass is included with your Adventure Pass. You can get on and off at any of the stops throughout the entire day. I usually plan my activities around that one day free People Mover access (the activities further out get done on that one day, the activities closer to the falls get done on the other days as I will be walking around).

My first trip, I stayed 2 days. As I was leaving, I realized I wanted to go back. The next time, I stayed 4 days. I can't wait to go back and stay a week. :-d

garyt22 Feb 2nd, 2009 06:23 AM

You must have proper ID to cross to Canada... before June 1, 2009 a birth certificate and Photo government ID are valid... after 6/1 it must be a Passport or special drivers license....

FainaAgain Feb 2nd, 2009 07:38 AM

Oh, I didn't realize we can walk from country to country :) Sure, must be some type of buses on both sides to/from the bridge!

Gary: thank you, we have valid passports.

kodi Feb 2nd, 2009 08:08 AM

Toed, I had no idea it was that easy. Next time I will go across the bridge and take the trolley in the US. Sounds like a whole different view and a good time. When are you coming back????

Faina, the People Mover goes right past the bridge... so no problem there. and as Toed says, only a short walk to the trolley on the US side... sounds perfect without a car.

toedtoes Feb 2nd, 2009 09:10 AM

Kodi - it really is simple and the view from the bridge is wonderful. When you get down there again, definitely go to the US side (who'd of thunk I'd be recommending people LEAVE Canada, eh?). The Cave of the Winds tour is worth crossing the bridge. No trip this year with Arnold's saving the State by cutting my pay.

Faina - Niagara Falls is very friendly to pedestrians have no worries. I can't wait to read your trip report so I can go back there vicariously through you.

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