Niagara Falls - 1st time visitor 4/19/02

Old Apr 13th, 2002, 02:29 PM
  #1  
Marilou
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Niagara Falls - 1st time visitor 4/19/02

Travelling for weekend of 4/19/02 with 3 post-teen sons & one 13-year-old daughter. I've checked into Holiday Inn At The Falls, NY but also did a courtesy reservation at Holiday Inn By The Falls in Canada. Today (4/13/02)I called both Canadian & American Niagara Parks and found American side has a lot of the attractions closed for April 2002 due to construction of the Observation Tower (Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds are closed.)

Canadian side has 99% attractions open now. Best value I found for both sides are the American Master Pass from Niagara Falls State Park ($24USD adult); and Canadian One Day Pass from Niagara Parks ($18.50CAD adult to 4/26; $24CAD adult from 4/27 to Fall 2002.
 
Old Apr 13th, 2002, 02:53 PM
  #2  
Lois
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I would stay on the Canadian side. It's much prettier there, and there is more to do and see. The view of the falls from the Canadian side is probably better, though I do like the platform right in the middle of the American falls, which is on the American side. I would take the time, either coming or going, to park on the American side and see the falls from there as well. The state park alongside the falls has some pretty areas to explore. But, having said that, do stay on the Canadian side.
 
Old Apr 13th, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #3  
Byron
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DEFINITELY the Canadian side!!
 
Old Apr 13th, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #4  
cd
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I agree with the above poster. Stay on the Canadian side and be sure to see the Falls at night.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 05:59 AM
  #5  
Cheryl
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Definitely stay and play on the Canadian side. However, view the falls from both sides. You can't compare the two views, as they are completely different. From Canada, you view the falls from a distance and in its' entirety. On the New York side, you can stand at the very brink of the falls where the water goes over. It's incredible. Also, you can walk along the upper rapids on the New York side. So many people visit and stay on the Canadian side - with good reason - but don't know what their missing by not viewing from both sides. Have fun.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 06:17 AM
  #6  
Brian Kilgore
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Go to the Canadian Fodor's forum listings, and just scroll through the messages. There's lots there about Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara on the Lake.

The girl would probably like the Tricia Romance art gallery in Niagara on the Lake.

BAK
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 10:02 AM
  #7  
Paul
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Definitely be sure to make it to Niagara on the lake. In my opinion, the city itself (Niagara Falls, ON) is quite 'touristy' and 'commercial'. Niagara on the lake is a quaint colonial town, and has numerous bed and breakfasts.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 10:11 AM
  #8  
sjk
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Spend the night on the Canadian side. TONS more to do and see! On your way over, stop off at the park and view the falls "up close and personal", and do some outlet shopping (~ 6 miles away).
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 10:21 AM
  #9  
Dee
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I thought Maids of the Mist was on the Canadian side??? I really enjoyed that part of our visit to Niagara Falls. It would be a shame for you to have to miss it.

 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 10:53 AM
  #10  
Helen
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Marilou, I too was new to Fodors just a month ago, and helped a friend plan his trip to the Falls- he got lots of help from Fodors, click on the Canadian option for talk - and type in niagara Falls - lots of infor on where to stay and day options! good luck !
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 01:10 PM
  #11  
l
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I did quick trip to Niagara while staying Buffalo. I didn't have time to pick which side but I'm glad the group I was with all wanted to do Maid of the Mist. Honestly, when I got to the Falls on the NY side I was a little disappointed. It didn't look so spectacular or grand as I imagined. Then I got on the boat and got the impact of the Falls. You can feel the power down there. BUT be prepared to get very wet. They give you a poncho and it's fun to get sprayed but your feet will get totally soaked. Either take extra footwear along or something that will dry off quickly. Even the bottoms of pants will get soaked.
 
Old Apr 15th, 2002, 01:40 PM
  #12  
Marilou
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From Originator:
Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions. Did not even consider Niagara On The Lake, but will now do research on this. We actually only have 1 full day & 2 nights - would that be enough time? Arriving late Friday & leaving early Sunday. Also, I was hoping not to rent a car. Sounds like we need a car to see Niagara on the Lake.

Thanks for the web tips & especially about the wet shoes. Didn't think about that.
 
Old Apr 15th, 2002, 05:27 PM
  #13  
Cheryl
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Marilou, if you only have one full day, forget about Niagara on the Lake. It's lovely, but your children will probably have no interest. Besides the Maid of the Mist, think about the walkway down to the lower rapids (Canadian side). There are a lot of tacky (but fun for kids) things to do there, as well. Visit the New York side and stand at the railing where the water drops over the falls. It's awesome. Have fun.

P.S. The temperature in Buffalo/Niagara Falls for tomorrow is predicted to be 80 degrees!!! However, that can change in a matter of days.
 
Old Apr 15th, 2002, 05:35 PM
  #14  
Cheryl
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Oops, just read my post. I don't mean there are tacky things to do on the walkway down to the lower rapids.....but there are plenty of tacky things to do in Niagara Falls. P.S. If you know anyone with an Entertainment Book for Buffalo, there are a lot of coupons for 1/1 free for attractions in Niag. Falls, Ontario.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #15  
travellyn
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I disagree with the idea that the kids won't like NOTL. Mine would, and they are quite a bit younger than Marilou's. If the jet boat ride out of NOTL, up the Niagara Rapids, is available, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I liked that ride a whole lot more than Maid of the Mist. Whatever warnings you heard about getting wet on the Maid of the Mist are multiplied by about ten on the jet boat. Underwater cameras are a good idea. I left my glasses in a locker, but wished I had kept them on for the ride.
 
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 04:48 AM
  #16  
Pamela
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Maids of the Mist IS on the Canadian side.
 
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 05:03 AM
  #17  
xyz
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Maid of the Mist is on both sides.
 
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 05:28 AM
  #18  
Rachel
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You're dollar will go farther in Canadan, so stay there. However, without a car, it will be difficult and time consuming to get to NOTL. It is a lovely town though. Maid of the Mist operates on both the US and Canadian sides, but I'm not sure if both sides are open yet-It is a very short distance between the US and Canada. You can easily walk acros the Rainbow Bridge which connects the border. It gives you one of the most beautiful views of the Falls also-bring your camera. You're post teen boys may enjoy the Casino on the Canadian side also. there is a good outlet mall in Niagara Falls USA (Prime OUtlets, not Rainbow Outlets) but w/o a car I don't know how you would get there. The weather is supposed to be nice thru the weekend, although it is supposed to cool down to the 50s and 60s on Sat. and Sunday. Have fun.
 
Old Apr 22nd, 2002, 07:24 PM
  #19  
Marilou
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From Originator reporting on our trip: Thanks everyone! Your comments were very valuable. We ended renting a car because the taxi & airport shuttle costs were ridiculously expensive! Saved a lot of money renting a car for two days. The boys found the casino and told me right away that we'll do only two-thirds of the tour I planned. So no NOTL trip this time.

Saturday morning (4/20) was cloudy & cold. Got the day pass with Journey Behind the Falls, Great Gorge Adventure, People Mover bus. Kids did not want to go to the Butterfly Conservatory (part of the package) so I stopped a family with younger kids & gave them our tickets.

The sun came out after 2pm so my kids were willing to go on the Maid of the Mist tour then. They didn't want to do the tour & get wet while the temp was cold and cloudy. Thank goodness the sun came out. Even then, my hands froze. Lady near me had her knitted gloves on. Wise woman.

We saw the American Falls Friday afternoon straight from the airport. We're glad we booked our hotel in Canada. That's were the action is.

We're also glad we saw the falls in the American side and the Canadian side. You have to go to both sides to get the full Niagara Falls experience.

Maid of the Mist operates on both sides - but American side is closed due to construction of the Observation Tower. Boy, they are losing a lot of tourist $$ on the American side.

When we return, I'd like to go to NOTL, take the Spanish Aero Ride, and definitely try the jetfoil ride. Overall, the weekend was a great success! My kids and I enjoyed the trip. Now, I'll have to bring the hubby when he has a weekend off.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 04:52 AM
  #20  
nina
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I'm thinking of taking my boys to the Falls this summer. Can anyone recommend a great family hotel on the Canadian side, that might have a nice pool for kids? Also, does anyone have any ideas of how long the drive from Fairfield County, CT would take? Any ideas of an interesting place to stop along the way and spend the night to break up the trip? Thank you!
 
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