Niagara on the Lake in January

Nov 30th, 2004, 07:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 14
Niagara on the Lake in January

We are thinking of taking a trip to Niagara Falls (staying at Harbour House in NOTL). We would be flying in to Buffalo and driving from there. Are we crazy? What are the roads like? Will there be much to do that time of year?
taratravelfreak is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You're not crazy, but there are pros and cons.

-No crowds.
-Hotels probably cheaper.
-Viewing the falls in winter can be spectacular.
-If you're talking early January, the Christmas light displays will still be going on.

-Cold.....very cold
-If you're interested in the Maid of the Mist, or Journey Behind the Falls, or Great Gorge Adventure, they will all be closed.

-The restaurants and casinos (both sides) will all be open and more than happy to take your $$$$!

- I haven't been yet, but I understand the new Fallsview Casino is fantastic, and they offer several entertainment venues. They've had quite a few good entertainers so far.

- The weather in Buffalo in January can be anything from a blizzard to a January thaw. There is no way to guarantee what will be going on. The drive on the New York State thruway from Buffalo to Niagara Falls is only a 20 minute drive, and the thruway is salted and plowed often. But are you used to driving in winter?

Whatever you decide, just remember to bring very warm clothes, including boots, gloves, hats, etc. It's always colder by the water. And my best advice is this....if you've never been to Niagara Falls, view it from both the Canadian and American sides (be sure to have proper identification).

Have a great time!

BuffaloGirl is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 06:09 PM
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Buffalo weather is a whole lot worse (when it's bad) than Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake.It's all got to do with geography, winds coming across lake Erie and dumping snow on buffalo, while Niagara Falls (on the other side of the Lake, and espeically Niagara on the lake, at the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment, escape much of the snow and sleet.

Cold is relative. Below freezing, but a lot warmer than Ottawa and Montreal and Queebc City, but also a lot warmer than much of the USA.

Niagra Falls, at night, in the winter, with the lights on, is wonderful, and well worth a visit.

So, you are not crazy.

BAK is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2004, 11:09 AM
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Posts: 14
Thank you for your responses. I think we're going to take our chance and go. We were concerned with flying in to Buffalo and the possibility of getting "stuck". I'm glad to hear the road from Buffalo to Niagara is a thruway. We are thinking of going mid January. When do they take the lights down? Thanks again!
taratravelfreak is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2004, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,602

The festival of lights runs until January 18th.

As stated earlier, January can bring any kind of conceivable weather. You can always take a cab from the airport to the falls and on to NOTL. I don't know what transportation is like between the falls and NOTL, though.

If you keep an open mind, and aren't afraid of (possibly) driving in winter weather, you should be OK. The drive from Niagara Fall to Niagara on the Lake is quite beautiful, and there are many wineries along the way.

As I said, dress warm, and you'll have a great time.
BuffaloGirl is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2004, 07:08 PM
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Posts: 177
Buffalo is the airport we always use to
fly in and out of, although we live 2 hours south. It is the closest. Be open
minded and look to have a good time.
If you get snowed in or stuck in Buffalo , make the most of it just like the people who live there do. You will be making a memory, to laugh and talk about for a lifetime. Go and have a
great time, just roll with the flow.
Sherri1 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2004, 05:16 AM
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Sherri1's comment about "making a memory" is right on! My best pal and I still talk about our trip to Buffalo from Toronto a few years ago. The weather report said "snow showers" which didn't alarm us particularly, so we headed off for a weekend of cross-border shopping and antiquing. The roads on the Canadian side were completely dry, but when we got to the outlet mall near Buffalo it was snowing a little. We spent the whole day in the mall and were a little startled when we came out to the car and saw that there had been quite a bit of snow. The drive to the Marriott, normally about 20 minutes, took over an hour and visibility wasn't great. When we got there, the front desk staff was astounded to see us since they had closed the highway a couple of hours earlier (nobody told us - ??). The next day we discovered there was no way we could get to Clarence to check out the antique market, so we headed back towards home, stopping at Target and Tops International Market near the border. The roads had been cleared and everything looked OK, but again, when we came out to the car it seemed a bit snowy. We saw a lot of flashing lights behind us and wondered if there had been an accident. When we got to Customs, they just waved us across despite the car full of packages. "Hurry up," said the guard, "they're about to close the highway again!" We scooted across just in time, and to our astonishment the roads on the Canadian side were still bone-dry. Amazing.
Meesthare is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2004, 12:07 PM
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I agree with the person who said cold is relative. I'll never forget my new year's eve in Niagara Falls two years ago at the outdoor karoake bar where you could buy pitchers of beer that, b/c it was about 5 degrees, kept getting the ice film on top. I'm from the south but between the fun with friends, the beer and the novelty of it all, we were outside for HOURS and I never even noticed the cold. it's always like a carnivale at night!
radiofanatic is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2004, 07:36 PM
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To Meesthare: Love your story!!!! Especially the part about Customs! Next time I hear "snow showers" I'm heading "across the river"!!!
wow is offline  
Dec 4th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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Yes, that was quite an adventure. We later found out that Buffalo had been declared a disaster area by the state governor. We didn't think it was much of a disaster - the bargains were great, we didn't have to pay duty, and we got home safely with a good story to tell.
Meesthare is offline  
Dec 7th, 2004, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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tara- If you come the weekend of the 14th - 16th, you will be here during the Niagara Icewine Festival...there are dozens of outdoor events, wine tours and spectacular Ice carvings as well as a carved solid Ice Bar in the streets of nearby Jordan... don't even think about the weather and have a look at the website... See You There!!!!
garyt22 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2004, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23
We spent New Year's in NOTL a couple years ago. Yes, very cold. Lots of snow (which north of St. Catharines, hadn't fallen, weird). But the town was beautiful - went for lots of walks through the lovely quiet, snow-covered neighbourhoods and pretended we'd gone back in time. If you're looking for a restful, romantic trip, this is perfect. There was really nothing to do in NOTL at New Year's - all the little shops were closed, other than the restaurants, but as others have pointed out, Niagara Falls is open for business.
Kira is offline  

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