Boston, Niagra Falls and New York

Feb 4th, 2010, 01:44 PM
  #1  
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Boston, Niagra Falls and New York

My brother is planning a trip to Boston, Niagra and New York next Summer. He and his two children, (15 and 18) plan to fly to New York (they have been there before so would not need to spend any length of time there), then hire a car and drive.
He has ony a week available - any advice/suggestions?
sal56 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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If they are not planning on spending time in NYC, why not fly into an airport closer to Boston or Niagara Falls (Buffalo?)

The triangle between Niagara, NYC an Boston does not make for an easy one week's itinerary. They will spend half of the time driving from one place to the next
nyer is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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Visitors to Niagara should also consider Toronto as the destination airport. It's only about 80 km from Toronto Airport to the falls. And flights choices and prices would be better than to or from the smaller city of Buffalo.

Note that Niagara/Boston is about an 8 hour drive and Niagara/New York City is about a 7 hour drive.
laurie_ann is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 04:12 PM
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Agree that flying to NYC is unnecessary if they aren't planning on spending time there. Renting a car at the NYC airports is also more expensive and driving to Niagara Falls is quite a trek. Driving all the distances is not a good plan imo for a week's visit. If they have to fly into NYC for some reason, I would consider flying to Buffalo, NY to see the falls and then either drive from Buffalo to Boston and then fly back to NYC or fly between all the cities. Driving to each location will take more than a day (7-8 hrs. without stopping) so 3 days of the week will be used up with driving boring highways. If they want a driving/exploring trip, they should drop one of the destinations. If the real objective is Boston & the falls, eliminate NYC.
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Feb 4th, 2010, 04:57 PM
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sorry laurie... the cost of flights and ease of use are far better in Buffalo than Toronto... over 40% of flights are booked by Canadians and you can save hundreds... plus security and customs are much quicker in BUF...

Sal... where are they flying from???...

If they start in Buffalo/Niagara, they can do Toronto, the Falls and then run across Ny state to Boston... There's also Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame as a side trip...
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Feb 4th, 2010, 06:19 PM
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Where is your brother flying from?

Assuming he is flying from London (based on your living there), a very cursory search makes it seem like flying LON-BOS-BUF-LON is not much more expensive than LON-NYC-LON.

They will not need a car in Boston - in fact, it is a liability there because of the cost and scarcity of parking. If they need one for a day trip, it is better just to rent it in the city (not at the airport).

If they do not want to drive from Boston to Buffalo, JetBlue flies directly between the cities.

The best views of Niagara Falls are from the Canadian side. I don't know whether there would be any issues with immigration (assuming no), but check to be sure there would not be a problem with crossing into Canada and then coming back into the US. Also check to be sure they could take a car rented in the US into Canada (I'm assuming they could, but again, check to be sure. I know US citizens can, but not sure about others).

Otherwise, they could see all they wanted to on the US side, then cross into Canada and fly back from Toronto to London. I'm guessing they would need to drop the US rental car on the US side and pick up a new one on the Canadian side if they elected to drive.
Cranachin is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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Thanks for the tips.

He will be flying from London and I guess we all just assumed flying to NYC was the cheapest option. I have done a quick check of costs and return flights to NYC, Toronto or Boston are almost exactly the same. Buffalo is more as there are no direct flights. So it makes sense to miss NYC and start in and return to either Boston or Toronto as returning from a different airport is much more expensive (£120 each more). (Never mind: us Brits love driving in America).

Any tips for things to do in Toronto or Boston (besides Niagara) and anywhere worth stopping at in between? They love the outdoors and wildlife.
sal56 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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Make sure they include the Whirlpool Jetboats during their stay in Niagara... also Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds,and a walk through Goat Island on the US side... In Toronto there's not much nature other than a ferry ride to the Toronto Islands and a walk along the lake...
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Feb 5th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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sal--

What dates will they be traveling? I did a search on kayak.com just plugging in some random dates (July 20-27) and here is what I came up with

LON-BOS-LON = GBP 460

LON-BOS-BUF-LON = GBP 500

LON-BOS-YYZ-LON = GBP 550

So flying into Boston and out of Buffalo was less than flying into Boston and out of Toronto (which does not surprise me), at least for those dates. And it was only GBP 40 more than a round-trip to Boston, not GBP 120. Did you mean the 120 as a total for all three tickets?

Also, keep in mind that, as has been mentioned already, you will lose an entire day due to driving between Boston and Niagara Falls. For a round trip that is two days lost. Is it worth the extra cost to them to have an extra day at a destination rather than on the road?
Cranachin is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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You may want to check car rental charges before booking your flights. There may be a hefty surcharge for picking up a rental in Boston and returning it in Buffalo. When booking a rental car, make sure it includes permission to drive into Canada. And, I don't think you'll be able to pick up a rental car in Boston and drop it off in Toronto...However, several airlines have non-stop flights daily from Boston to Toronto, usually around $159 USD.

As mentioned above, the very best views of the Falls are from the Canadian side, where lodging and dining are also a bit nicer, and the exchange rate for you is a bit more favorable.

If you don't mind driving, it's about 7 hours (with no stops) to the Canadian side of the Falls from Boston. It's an easy drive, fairly scenic, nearly all interstate highways.

If it were me, I'd make reservations for accommodations in Boston and Niagara Falls that can be cancelled or adjusted. It can be brutally hot and humid in Boston in summer, or quite pleasant, but the weather is quite variable. So, you could check the forecast for both cities before finalizing your road trip.
djkbooks is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 09:50 AM
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I forgot to mention previously that the JetBlue flights from Boston to Buffalo can cost as little as $70 one-way - more than renting a car, but it saves you time and the stress of driving.
Cranachin is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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So how about this:

Fly into Boston: 2 nights (boy that's a quick trip). Walk the Freedom Trail (history), visit the Science Museum, take a whale watching tour or maybe ferry to Provincetown and spend a half-day hiking the sand dunes in the Cape Cod National Seashore (no need for car -- trolley service or taxi from the wharf in Provincetown) Then, get a car and drive to ...

Lake Placid, or Cooperstown, or Lake George New York, 2 nights. Hike in the Adirondaks, swim in the lakes, enjoy the amusement parks near Lake George, visit the Olympic sites. Visit Howell Caverns, maybe. Then on to ...

Niagara 2 nights (mostly one long day). View the falls from many angles (definitely including from a boat). Then on to

Buffalo, for a flight to Boston for your return trip, or back to London.
capxxx is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Sorry, its Howe Cavern
capxxx is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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I think, especially with kids that age, that Niagara Falls (Canadian Side) is the better destination than the Adirondacks, Lake George, etc., and are worthy of at least several days for the scenery and plenty to see and do. We've made that drive many times and have found nothing better in either direction than spending time at The Falls.

The Canadian Side is far better than the American side. And, flying into/out of Buffalo would still involve renting a car in addition to air fare.
djkbooks is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Thanks capxxx I like the sound of the trip.

Although still not sure how he would deal with the problem of car hire. A car hire in Boston to make the drive to Niagara Canadian side (with a stop on route maybe) would still leave the extra cost of dropping the car in Canada(or Buffalo) plus cost of air fare back to London fron a different airport. Or a drive back to Boston??

Having spoken again to him, his ideal is Boston (as above), drive to Niagara, then onto Toronto for the last couple of days. Still the problem with the car!
sal56 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Renting a car in Boston for a week and dropping it in Toronto will cost twice as much as dropping it in Buffalo.

They probably will not need the car in Boston, though. It would be cheaper to pick up the car from an in-town location in Boston than at the airport.

He will have to play with dates and companies to see whether it is cheaper to get one car from Boston to Toronto (if that is the way they go) than getting two - one for the US part of the trip and one for the Canadian part. I would guess they could drop the US car in Niagara Falls, NY, and pick up the new one in Niagara Falls, ON. There must be some sort of transport that crosses the border.
Cranachin is offline  
Feb 11th, 2010, 01:16 PM
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Ok having spent hours checking airlines and costs etc the cheapest way by far is to get return flights to Boston and then hire a car after a couple of days, drive to Niagara then Toronto and then drive back for the return flight.

This adds to the driving time but makes such a difference to the cost my brother thinks it will be best.

So one last question for everyone:
Is there a good place to stop between Toronto and Boston on the way back for 1 night?
sal56 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2010, 01:25 PM
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Did you look at the option of flying London - Boston (roundtrip) and then flying Boston to Toronto (Roundtrip)? Then only getting a rental car in Toronto. Factoring in time and gas money, it may be a cost savings.
tchoiniere is offline  
Feb 11th, 2010, 01:36 PM
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I don't know much about the actual cities and attractions along that route, but Syracuse is a good-sized city (several hundred thousand) that would have plenty of lodging and dining options. You can read more about it at http://www.visitsyracuse.org/

Syracuse is about halfway between Toronto and Boston, but closer to Toronto.

Albany, the capital of New York, is a couple of hours east of Syracuse. It is a smaller city than Syracuse but has a larger metropolitan area, so again lots of lodging and dining options. You can read more about it at http://www.albany.org/

Garyt22 had mentioned Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. It lies off Interstate 90, the road from Buffalo to Boston, so it's on the way but out of the way. Don't know whether your brother and his children are interested in baseball, though.
Cranachin is offline  
Feb 11th, 2010, 01:36 PM
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I'm wondering why Toronto has been added with only one week?

But, if that's what he wants to do, he may want to consider heading for Toronto first (to get the drive out of the way), then Niagara, then Boston. Or, unless they want to spend more than one day in Toronto, go there as a day trip from Niagara Falls.

We like to get as much more than half the drive out of the way the first day. A few hours in the car, a nice lunch, a few more hours in the car, a good night's sleep. With just a few hours left of the drive the second day, you have almost a full day when you arrive.

From Boston, it's about six hour to Rochester, NY, then 2 1/2 hours to Toronto.

We do the same coming home and usually stop for the night in western MA (Stockbridge, Lee...) just of the Massachusetts Turnpike, then it's only two hours and a straight shot to Boston.

While you could certainly make the trip in one or both directions in one day, it would be a very long day in the car, especially with two kids...
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