nyc to niagara falls

Nov 2nd, 2008, 04:15 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13
nyc to niagara falls

Hi everyone!

Thinking about flying to NYC from MIA and staying in nyc for a few days and then renting a car and drive to Niagara Falls.
Approx how long does it take and is it a smooth drive for example like one hwy...or would i be changing hwys several times.

Or is it better to take a flight there or is there another means of getting there.

I personally would like to drive there so i can check out both sides of Niagara Falls...

Any suggestions?
express3 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 04:23 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
The drive to Niagara Falls from NYC is 7 to 8 hours each way, using several different highways. Plus time to cross the border - since most of the best views are on the Canadian side.

It really doesn't make sense to drive back and forth to NYC. Better to fly to Buffalo, rent a car there for a couple of days, then fly home from there.

And be sure you have your passport with you.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 05:58 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,618


Or fly to Toronto and visit the falls from there. Toronto is a nice city.
capxxx is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 06:54 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 204
My wife and I made the drive from Philadelphia to Buffalo and loved it.Being from California we were able to see scenery along the east coast, New England and upstate New York that otherwise we would have never seen. So...if you have the time then drive but it is a long drive. Once you are there you MUST take the Maid of the Mist. Regardless of which side of the falls you are on you cannot fully appreciate the falls unless you do. Also, it is supprisingly inexpensive to do so.Niagara Falls stands out as one of the most spectacular natural sights we have ever seen.
twelveoaks is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 07:17 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,490
As stated in prior posts, if you have the time... 7 to eight hours, however if you want a beautiful ride, come up from NYC through the Catskills or Hudson Valley, cut across the Finger Lakes and travel on Rt 17 across the southern part of the state... not a lot of highway changes, depending how you route the trip... pretty though!
garyt22 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 07:40 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Do not attempt this drive in winter, esp. if you're not used to driving in snow and ice. Fly to Buffalo, NY which is usually relatively inexpensive (jetblue.com and others flies the route). There's also now more affordable flights into Toronto.
mclaurie is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 07:41 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
PS, flying doesn't preclude you checking out the falls from both sides. Whether you rent a car when you get there or walk across the bridge or take a tour bus, it's easy to do.
mclaurie is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 07:59 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,485
As always, Mclaurie is on the money. I'd take JetBlue to Buffalo and rent a car from there. It is at least an 8 hour drive, plus time crossing the border. It also isn't a particularly pretty drive, much of it is thruway and boring.
lisettemac is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 10:08 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It never occurred to me that you were planning this trip in winter.

If so - forget it. Many of the atractions are closed from late Oct until spring (this is the snow belt) and it will be VERY cold, damp and windy. Also - if you hit bad weather a drive could easily take 12 hours or more.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 11:32 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
My suggestion would be that you take the train to Niagara Falls, specifically Amtrak. In winter that would be perhaps a better option than driving. You can rent a car in Niagara for a few days if you want, but the drive up from NYC would be kind of boring in the winter (no leaves to look at) and could be icy, slushy, snowy, etc. See Amtrak.com for schedules. Would take about 9 hours (about the same as driving), and requires no changes. You can get a reserved seat. The train goes to the both the US and Canadian side of Niagara, so you can stop at one and depart from the other. The train also goes to Toronto, which might be an option for you too, esp to fly back to MIA from Toronto rather than going back to NYC. (Open jaw flights are generally not more expensive.)

Flying is also an option, but door to door with going out to NYC airports, security, delays, etc I think the train would be a better option. Cheaper and more fun too, esp if you or your kids have not taken many trains.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 05:02 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13
Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions! Actually this trip is being planned for first week of April...and i believe i will run into some cold weather (we are from Miami...so anything will be cold...lol) I looked into the Maid of Mist and they open up in April, depending on weather. Thinking about postponing the trip for the summer. We can only travel during Spring Break (which in Miami is 1st wk of Apr) or during the summer because I have kids in school.
We've been to NYC about 2 years ago, but my son..who is 6 now loved it and wants to go again. On the other hand, me and husband would like to go to Niagara Falls. So I was trying to pull both places together, but i did not know both of these places were that far apart.
Thanks to all your ideas, I think its better to forget about NYC and just fly to Buffalo and spend time in Niagara Falls and drive to Toronto and perhaps go back to NYC some other time for another trip.

So, is it better to fly into Buffalo, or is there another airport? Should i rent a car, or they have good public transport? We would like to spend a few days in Niagara and a few days in Toronto. Whats the best and economical way of traveling within the cities?
And one more quest...You can take the Maid of Mist from both the American and Canadian sides...are they both the same or diff?
Thanks for ur help!
express3 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 06:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 39
Take it from an upstate New Yorker, the first week in April could very well still be winter here. Attractions such as Maid Of The Mist may not even be running that early and the falls might even be icy. I visited the falls twice this year and once was in mid March and the place was very interesting because it was one big ice sculpture. You're talking three weeks later. If you go, I can tell you, as a life long rail fan, I would suggest Amtrak. The "water level route" up the Hudson valley and across the state along the Erie Canal is one of the most famous and interesting train rides in the world and a kid, who maybe hasn't been on a train, would love it. PBS did an hour long show a few years ago on the ride up the Hudson. DO NOT take the train to the Canadian side. A train or bus going over the border usually gets delayed for hours. Go to Buffalo and rent a car.
hvsteve1 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 08:31 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
I took Amtrak from BYC to BUF one time, a slow and long but relaxing ride, quite primitive, nothing like European trains, very scenic at first along the river, then mostly boring. Took up the day, basically.

Most expedient: Fly to BUF and rent a car, if you stay near the falls make it the CA side, the US side is a dreary town, pretty sad.

Take to heart the warnings about seasonal risks - they are not kidding when they talk about getting iced and snowed in up that way, the cold that comes off the lakes and its consequences are not to be taken lightly.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 08:33 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
And another thing: If you do it during the nicer seasons, and you decide to drive from NYC, look up Letchworth State Park and swing by there, bring your camera, very scenic with imposing waterfalls. A lesser-known gem on the way to Buffalo and Niagara Falls!
DalaiLlama is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 08:34 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
I took Amtrak from NYC to BUF one time, a slow and long but relaxing ride, quite primitive, nothing like European trains, very scenic at first along the river, then mostly boring. Took up the day, basically.

Most expedient: Fly to BUF and rent a car, if you stay near the falls make it the CA side, the US side is a dreary town, pretty sad.

Take to heart the warnings about seasonal risks - they are not kidding when they talk about getting iced and snowed in up that way, the cold that comes off the lakes and its consequences are not to be taken lightly.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 09:09 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Niagara Falls isn;t a city - it's a small town centered on tourism.

Flying into either Toronto or Buffalo is your best option. You will need to rent a car - since there are things to see between Niagara Falls and Toronto. Also other day trips from Toronto.

Be sure you all have your passports.

And early April will be too early. Maid of the Mist typically not running yet - and you can still get major snowstorms.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 12:33 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 808
Niagara Falls is beautiful in the winter, fall and the summer. In April, its more like mud and pot hole season in this neck of the woods. You could have snow, you could have rain, sleet and other nasty stuff. The leaves and flowers arent out. Its sort of gray and dreary. I recommend a true autumn, winter or summer visit.
That being said, it sounds like you're leaning towards the summer. Flying to buffalo is probably much easier and cheaper than flying to Toronto. OUr buffalo airport is usally loaded with Canadians avoding the high prices of airfare in Toronto. OUr airport is very managable and about 25 minutes from Niagara Falls. You can rent a car at the airport. There are no direct flights from Miami, but if you are willing to fly out of Ft.Lauderdale, you can get direct (nonstop) flights on Southwest and Jet Blue.
Public transportation is awful in Buffalo and Niagara Falls but excellent in Toronto. Combining Niagara Falls and Toronto is a great vacation for your family. Driving in toronto is no worse than the traffic in S. Florida in the winter.
Dont overlook Buffalo either. Lots of great outdoor festivals all summer long, nice zoo (just opened a new Rainforest exhibit), fun minor league baseball, great theater, great food.
There is a Great Wolf lodge in Niagara Falls, CA, which is perfect for families . A little bit off the main drag, but the kids will love cooling down and relaxing in the indoor water park. (This is a great hotel choice in bad weather!)
I'm not a big fan of the train if you are taking it into Canada. Customs is bad enuf in a car with a few people. It gets pretty bad with a busload or train full of people.
Hope you get some useful info from this thread.
Rachel is offline  
Nov 7th, 2008, 01:43 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,250
Rachel gives you good advice. Don't come to Niagara Falls in April, the sunmmer will be much nicer weather and you'll have many more activities to participate in that aren't operating in April. Not sure if your 6 year old is too young, but kids love the jet boat ride that leaves from Canada and the U.S. You'll find plenty to do in the summer in Niagara Falls/Buffalo and Toronto.
KathyK is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 04:38 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,715
If you really don't want to drive, you can take a taxi from the Buffalo airport to Niagara Falls, and take the train from the Canadian side to Toronto.

http://www.viarail.ca/

Have fun!
BuffaloGirl is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 07:39 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 145
We went to Niagara Falls in Canada this summer. I don't think that you will want to spend more than one or at most two nights in Niagara Falls. The best views are from the Canadian side and I don't think you're going to want to spend much time, if any, on the US side.

My suggestion is that you fly to Buffalo, rent a car and drive to Canada and spend a night at a hotel with a view of the Falls. (In one and 1/2 days, we saw Niagara on the Lake, Whirlpool Jet Boat, Maid of the Mist and Journey behind the falls. We still had time for walking and relaxing).

Then I would go to NYC for the rest of my vacation.

I don't see any point in taking a train. If money were no object, and I wanted to get to NYC as quickly as possible I would return the car to Buffalo and fly to NYC. However, you should see whether there is something you would like to see or do upstate. For example, you might want to go to the Finger Lakes or visit Corning Glass. In that case I would rent a car, spend the night upstate but several hours closer to NYC and drive to NYC.

Letchworth is very pretty and worth going to. There is an inn where you can spend the night. However it's not that far from Buffalo, so the ride back to NY may be a little longer than you like.
Bunkhedena is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
gdx4ever
United States
17
Dec 4th, 2015 06:46 AM
fatgirljesse
United States
13
Apr 8th, 2015 01:10 PM
janice_ong_7311
United States
12
Nov 12th, 2013 01:34 PM
lozelle1104
United States
11
Apr 13th, 2011 06:48 AM
zlaor
United States
6
Jul 4th, 2006 05:26 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:22 PM.