Niagara Falls - need advice

Apr 21st, 2004, 01:35 PM
  #1  
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Niagara Falls - need advice

Hi,

I?m planning a trip to Niagara falls over memorial day weekend. Hubby has never been and I went so long ago I can barely remember. We would like to see the falls from both sides, and also visit Goat Island, do Maid of the Mist, and try to do cave of the winds. This is only a day trip there, so I?m thinking about basing ourselves on the US side, park the car and check out the attractions from there. I know pedestrians can cross rainbow bridge on foot, and it offers a good view of the (Canadian?) falls, but is that good enough? Is there another view we need to see from the Canadian side - and is it feasible to walk to from the bridge or should we try to navigate the car across the border? We really don?t care much about the shops and other attractions since we have limited time? though a casual inexpensive restaurant for lunch (and maybe dinner) would be good.

Thanks!
Ski Queen
ski_queen is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 01:45 PM
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I have limited info. We went to the Falls a few years ago on a whim. Stayed one night on US side. Comfort Inn I think. We did walk over to the Canada side and we were much more impressed with the beautiful park and gardens and walkways they had on the other side. If I were to go back, we would try and stay the night in Canado with a room overlooking the falls. You really can't get enough of the falls.

And, like the Taj Majal, try to see them in different times of the day, with different light. Especially try and see them at night. They are all lit up with different huge lights and it is breathtaking. Be sure you are close so you can HEAR the falls. It is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Takes your breath away is all I have to say.
Heavens is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 02:17 PM
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Here's another vote for Canada - it is so much nicer and the views are much better. Driving across the bridge may take awhile if things are slow at the border, but then again it can be quite quick, and it's very easy.
skigirl is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 02:18 PM
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There is lots of Niagara info on the Canadian Travel Board.
lolly is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Another vote to DEFINITELY stay on the Canadian side. I love staying at the Sheraton there, and watching the falls at night from our room.
amelie is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 03:12 PM
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Ski Queen said it's only a day trip.

I was there a year ago and I think your plan sounds very good. Park the car on the American side and walk to Goat Island. Or take the bus. Maid of the Mist boats leave from both American and Canadian sides...you may have to drive or take a bus to the docking points (unless you don't mind a long hike). Yes, you ahould view the Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side...it's simply a better view. You can walk across the bridge to do this. I don't know if the little tour buses cross the bridge or not. Outside of the falls there is not much to see in town except for your typical cheesy tourist shops and arcade-like joints (like you sould see on a Jersey Shore boardwalk) on the Canadian side.

A really nice side trip would be Niagara-on-the-Lake on the Canadian side (about 1/2 hr north) of the falls. It's a quaint town with nice restaurants.
suzanne is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 05:35 PM
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Rob
 
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You might consider the following. Get an early start and drive to the Canadian side and do the Maid of the Mist first to avoid a long wait . Then visit the Scenic Tunnels. Next drive along the river and do the Spanish Aero Car followed by a visit to the Floral Clock. Then drive back to the American side to do the Cave of the WInds and Goat Island. That should fill the day.
Rob is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:04 AM
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If the weather is nice, there is no reason why you can't park on the American side and walk over the bridge to the Canadian side. Traffic and parking on the Canadian side is a nightmare.

There really isn't a "better" view. From the Canadian side you get a panoramic view of the American and Canadian falls. On the American side, you view the falls from the side; however, you can stand right next to the brink and take in the power of it all as the water goes over. Two totally different ways of seeing the falls. I personally prefer the American side, but then again, I live nearby and have seen them a hundred times!

Also, on the American side you can stand right next to the upper rapids - very awesome.

Have fun, and remember to bring the proper I.D.
BuffaloGirl is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:59 PM
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Thanks everyone!

I think we will stick to the American side for the majority since we're limited on time. We'll see how far we can walk on the Canadian side to see the falls from there - though I'm guessing it's probably the same as what we'll see from the bridge.

I appreciate all the help!
Ski Queen
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 04:08 PM
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Ski:

As everyone else is suggesting go to the Canadian side. The Canadians really made the place so beautiful with the landscaping; I wouldn't miss the shops though, its kind of fun looking at the souvenirs. I would suggest the Maid of Mist, if you do nothing else, to view the Canadian falls up close and my Mom, G-ma and me absolutely loved the ride. There is a place that you can go through whereas you can look up at the Canadian falls, you go through short tunnels until you reach the point where you can view them from down below. All that I can remember re: dining is that there is a Hard Rock Cafe within easy walking distance of the Canadian falls. If you want to dine with an amazing view try eating up in the Minolta Tower.

Stephanie is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:04 PM
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We spent an anniversary weekend at Niagara Falls and stayed at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Check out their website. It is a pretty Victorian town, lots of shops, restaurants, B&B's, and ambiance. It's just a few miles down the river from the Falls where the river meets the lake. You can do Niagara Falls touristy things in one day. The Butterfly Conservatory and grounds is also nice to visit.
Budman is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 06:39 PM
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Thanks all! I think we've decided to go ahead and try to hit both sides... we will be driving from Rochester that morning and continuing on to Pennsylvania that night, so we will shoot for getting across into Canada as soon as possible and then working our way back. If I'm understanding correctly, the draw of the Canadian side (strictly based on view of the falls) is the panoramic view of both sets of falls, while the US side is being able to get right next to them? Much as I would love to wander around the shops and other attractions, I think we'll be very limited with our time. I think Maid of the Mist, Goat Island, Cave of the winds, and crossing the border will be about all we can handle in one day!
Ski Queen
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Apr 26th, 2004, 05:42 AM
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Yes.... the draw of the Canadian side (strictly based on view of the falls) is the panoramic view of both sets of falls, while the US side is being able to get right next to them.

I still suggest parking on the American side and walking over the bridge (especially if you're only going to the Canadian side to get a quick view of the falls). It is a real hassle driving on the Canadian side and you'll have to pay to park a few blocks away. By the time you do that, you can just walk over the bridge!
BuffaloGirl is online now  
Sep 19th, 2004, 05:37 PM
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We just got married in Niagara Falls, NY ... and stayed in the Red Coach Inn which we found just great.

http://www.redcoach.com/index.html
http://www.innsnorthamerica.com/ny/redcoach.htm

Location can't be beat, short walk to all attractions. Inside really nice with own parking in back - also has a great restuarant.
PeterB is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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I think you've received all the info you need! We were there this summer. We were tempted to walk across the rainbow bridge and view the falls from the canadian side but we ran out of time. If I remember, i believe it is not too far to walk up to the Hoseshoe falls once you cross the bridge.
Also, a practical tip. We took the Maid of the Mist ride first and then (foolishly) threw away our disposable plastic rain coats. When we got to the cave of the winds they gave us disposable plastic coats too but they were only waist long. Everything from waist down got soaked. NO FUN! So keep your long blue ones and then if they give you short ones at the cave of the winds you will be "covered"!
PS I thought they have made a remarkable efort to make the american side very park -like and manicured compared to the way it was a number of years ago.
giro is offline  
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