Niagara Falls trip report. Sept/Oct. 2020

Old Oct 3rd, 2020, 06:23 PM
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Niagara Falls trip report. Sept/Oct. 2020

This trip took place Tuesday Sept. 29 to Sat. Oct. 3, 2020.

While we’ve been to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada a few times (the last time was in 2000) this was our first stay and sightseeing in Niagara Falls, NY. We stayed 4 nights, which was perfect for us. We stayed weeknights, also perfect and stayed at Comfort Inn The Pointe which was also perfect. In this time of worry about Covid, Comfort Inn The Pointe and every attraction we went to made us feel safe, as the adherence to protocols, masks, distancing, small crowds and so on were being followed.

Cave Of The Winds. There were MAYBE 6 of us total and we were completely alone most of the time. If you do nothing else, do this. You WILL get soaked, but you WILL be in awe and you WILL never forget this experience. Linger, do not rush through this. Allow 1.5 hours. Take the time to be amazed at nature, the falls. Go up to the Hurricane Deck, get wet and be as close to the falls as humanly possible. Enjoy.

Maid Of The Mist. Again, the boat had maybe 12 people on board. We thought this would be the highlight, but it ranks second. Incredible perspective from the base of the falls. Again, you’ll get wet. Allow an hour if there are no crowds or lines.

We did Maid of the Mist (got wet) and then Cave of the Winds (got soaked) in this order. Then went to our hotel and showered and changed. Worked perfectly. Wear sneakers or shoes and jeans on these two trips that you won’t need for a few days! They will be soaked.

Old Fort Niagara. We basically had the entire complex to ourselves. Just a couple of other people. Go on a clear day if at all possible. The Fort is an incredible look back in time. The buildings, the furniture and so on. You don’t need to be a history buff to totally appreciate and enjoy this place. The staff are incredibly informative and helpful. Oh, the views of Lake Ontario are gorgeous.

Lockport Canal Boat Tour. Once again, the cruise had a total of 7 people including the two of us! Excellent! You are raised and lowered in two separate locks! Plus cruise the canal for nearly two hours. The narration is interesting, as well as informative, about the history of the canal and the need for the locks and how they work. This is truly an eye opener. Go.

Wax Museum in Niagara Falls, NY. Really? They charge for this? Cheesiest, most run down attraction we’ve possibly ever been to. Terrible “likenesses”, as the figures didn’t look real in any sense. One “exhibit” was a pair of 1970’s era Schwinn Bicycles. Save your money, time and regret.

Watkins Glen State Park. What amazing scenery in the gorge. We didn’t walk far into it, as it was LOTS of stairs!! Waterfalls, towering cliffs, lookouts. Someday when we have the energy, maybe we can come for a weekend and dedicate it to just exploring the gorge and park.


Bakery Restaurant. Niagara Falls, NY. Local, funky, totally eclectic decor with good food, fair prices and a warm welcoming ambience.

LongHorn Steak House. Niagara Falls NY. Well, we can’t believe how awesome this was. The Baby Back Ribs, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Baked Potato, Grilled Chicken were all beyond expectations. Far beyond our expectations. Our server, Joyelle, turned what could have been another dinner into a wonderful memory.

Molinaro’s. Lockport. What a hidden gem of a restaurant. Local, charming and relaxing atmosphere made for a memorable dinner out. Yes, the food was all that too, as was our waitress. Spaghetti and meatballs, Grilled Chicken Cesar Wrap, warm bread... all top notch.

Hard Rock Cafe. Niagara Falls, NY. My first time at one. Well, our waitress seemed totally drunk. Bad omen. What followed was just a disaster. Slurring her words, basically falling over on us as we ordered. Over an hour wait for dinner, as she admitted she forgot to put our order in. For the delay, she comped my friend a drink, which was nearly pure alcohol. Service this night was atrocious. The meal was not up to par for the money charged. I have gone once and now have no need to ever go back to a Hard Rock Cafe.

Youngstown Village Diner. (Youngstown, NY a few minutes from Old Fort Niagara). Charming little village and cute little diner. We stopped for takeout. Turkey Sausage, Egg and Cheese on a roll. OMG. Crispy, crunchy goodness!

Denny’s. Niagara Falls, NY. Haven’t been to a Denny’s in a lifetime. Well, breakfast was simply wonderful, as was the server, waitress.

Kookalarocs Bar & Grill in Watkins Glen, NY. What a find! The burger, chips and seafood were terrific. The ambience was wonderful. Sat outdoors looking at Watkins Glen State Park.

I have to mention, every single place we ate (with the exception of the Hard Rock Cafe), all the waitresses and staff, regardless of age (teens to ?) who we encountered were simply the warmest, friendliest people that just made our trip all the more memorable. While nature is amazing to go and see and experience, people can be just as amazing.

Last edited by pja1; Oct 3rd, 2020 at 06:57 PM.
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Old Oct 4th, 2020, 04:42 AM
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Sounds like a great trip, thanks for the report.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2020, 05:17 AM
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Thank you. There were NO crowds. None. 7 people on the Maid of the Mist boat. 5 during our 1.5 hours at Cave of the Winds. 5 on the Lockport Canal Boat tour. 6 during our two hours at Fort Niagara. Amazing. Talk about social distancing! Loved it.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2020, 05:56 AM
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Fort Niagara is awesome! Sounds like you had a great time.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2020, 08:58 AM
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Thank you, pja1, for an enjoyable visit to Niagara Falls. It has been 40+ years since my trip to the Canadian side and must say how much prettier that side was then. Sounds like things improved.

I guess the Hard Rock Cafe waitperson was the owner's relative?!
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 07:45 AM
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That sounds like a great time! I've done Maid of the Mist and loved it--now I want to go back and do Cave of the Winds!
I'm also glad your couple chain restaurant experiences-Longhorn's & Denny's-were so positive!
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Old Oct 25th, 2020, 01:24 AM
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SeaF, While we liked the Maid of the Mist, Nothing can compare to Cave of the Winds. OMG. Hope you get to go and experience this. That alone was worth the 7 hour drive each way to get to Niagara.
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