staralliance38
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Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:34 am

I'll be heading to Niagara Falls in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to figure out what to do before my Canadian relatives can pick me up. Here's my plan:

1) Take bus from BUF to Niagara Falls, NY

2) Go somewhere to take pics (tips?)

3) Take bus to somewhere nearby Rainbow Bridge

4) Walk to Canada  

5) After passing through immigration, head to Clifton Hill (Great Canadian Midway and Niagara Skywheel)

6) Maid of the Mist

7) Skylon Tower

I definitely want to do 6 and 7 with my relatives when they pick me up. From what I see, everything in Niagara Falls, ON (except Skylon) is within walking distance from the Rainbow Bridge. Is this true?

I need advice on:

- Where to take great pictures of the Falls
- Procedure about walking across the Rainbow Bridge
- Taking pictures on Maid of the Mist (will the cam get wet?)
- The Great Canadian Midway
- Food
- Getting around Niagara Falls, NY and ON (besides walking)

The ON side looks like there's a lot of touristy things to do, and though I try to refrain from them, they look very interesting to do considering it's proximity to the Falls (the Midway just looks like plain fun   )

Advice, tips and ideas?
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photopilot
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:47 am

Ok, I'm Canadian so I'm a tad biased, but frankly, don't waste your time on the US side of Niagara Falls. The Falls face Canada, so at best from the US side you're looking at the side of the falls, both the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.

From the Canada side, you're looking directly face onwards to both sets of falls. Much better photo opportunities IMHO.

The Maid of the Mist is fun, but you WILL get wet. Great Photo opportunities though. Depending on what type of camera you have, you will benefit if you can get one of those photo "bags" that you zip your camera inside with a clear "window" to shoot through. Stuff some dry cloths or paper towels into your bag to keep wiping this window clear. Use a larger aperature so any water droplets don't show.

Besides the Maid, Skylon tower, also consider the tour that takes you in BEHIND the Horseshoe falls. From the Canadian side, Behind the Falls takes you by elevator to the bottom, where you can both walk out beside the bottom of the falls, and through galleries/tunnels behind the falls.

Here's a shot I took of the Maid of the Mist last summer.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Misc_Photos/MaidofMist.jpg

Clifton Hill is a great "honkey-tonk" of fun things to do. Totally tacky, but that's what makes it fun. Wax museums, haunted houses, arcades, midway type food, etc. Great views from the Skywheel

enjoy.....
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:53 pm

Back in June 2009, Mrs. JetsGo and I drove from DTW to Niagra Falls so hopefully I can shed some insight...

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
2) Go somewhere to take pics (tips?)

Just about every picture of the falls that's worth anything is from the Canadian side. As photopilot pointed out, the falls face Canada. However, this doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself in Niagra Falls State Park on the US side. There, you can get almost right up on the falls and literally feel the rumble.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
3) Take bus to somewhere nearby Rainbow Bridge

Niagra Falls State Park and Rainbow Bridge are easily within walking distance, assuming you are able bodied. We actually walked from the Doubletree in Canada, across Rainbow Bridge, over to the park and back.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
4) Walk to Canada

Did it several times back and forth while there. Obviously, immigration for the country you are entering is on their side of the bridge. The Canadians couldn't be bothered when entering their country, however the US was a pain in the ass when we tried to reenter. We weren't detained or overly questioned, but they were just far more strict than the Canadians. Note: There is a nice sized duty free shop maybe a block or so from the Canadian side of the bridge if that's your thing.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
5) After passing through immigration, head to Clifton Hill (Great Canadian Midway and Niagara Skywheel)

Cheesy and tacky, but cute. We walked through it, but didn't bother stopping at anything.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
6) Maid of the Mist

An absolute must. You can board from either country and get the same tour.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
7) Skylon Tower

This was great for viewing the falls at night when they are lit up.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
- Where to take great pictures of the Falls

In Canada, just about anywhere will work. I found the best spots to be Queen Victoria Park and anywhere on Niagra Parkway between the park and Rainbow Bridge. In the US, Niagra Falls State Park is really the only decent option other than the bridge of course.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
- Procedure about walking across the Rainbow Bridge

I seem to remember there being a toll to cross the bridge, but don't quote me on that. Other than that, just make sure your passport is handy. The Canadian side spits you out in front of the Sheraton and a mall I believe. The US side spits you out into a parking lot where a Hard Rock Cafe is on the other side and the park will be to your right.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
- Taking pictures on Maid of the Mist (will the cam get wet?)

I was at the very front of the boat and was able to take several fantastic pictures without getting my camera wet. Obviously though, when we got right up on the falls I put it away, otherwise yes it would have gotten wet.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
Getting around Niagara Falls, NY and ON (besides walking)

As I mentioned earlier, getting around on foot is not a problem whatsoever, again assuming you are able bodied.

I would highly recommend you take the tour that goes underground and behind the falls. It is located Queen Victoria Park and offers amazing photo opportunities.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask...
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aerdingus
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:22 pm

Try & head to Niagara-On-The-Lake.

Lovely little town.

You will get SOAKED on the Maid, but it's great fun.
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Boeing744
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:52 am

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 2):
I seem to remember there being a toll to cross the bridge, but don't quote me on that

Yeah I believe it was either $0.25 or $0.50 and you only pay it one-way, while heading to the US side. It was just a coin operated turnstile.

Personally, I love the falls, but hate Niagara Falls, ON and NY. Both the areas that are within walking distance of the falls are dirty and horribly touristy. I guess you have to expect that, but I'd recommend spending most of your time along the viewing areas outside of the towns, especially on the Canadian side.

There is a ferris wheel on the Canadian side that is well-worth it for the view.
 
AM744
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:35 pm

Also get some Ice Wine at one of the many local wineries... It's somewhat expensive and sold in small bottles, but it's worth it.
 
BlueElephant
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:30 pm

The only thing to do on the US side is Cave of the Winds. In my opinion it is better than the behind the falls tour on the Canadian side (and yes i've done both)

http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/Activities_CaveOfTheWinds.aspx

here you can get really (REALLY) close to the American falls... Note: Hurricane Deck

Otherwise as mentioned above the Canadian side is far better for viewing / taking pictures etc.

The Maid of the mist is the same from both sides of the border. Never walked Rainbow bridge so can't comment.
 
soups
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:15 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 1):
Clifton Hill is a great "honkey-tonk" of fun things to do. Totally tacky, but that's what makes it fun. Wax museums, haunted houses, arcades, midway type food, etc. Great views from the Skywheel

Tacky and way too expensive for what it is.

Try the helicopter ride above niagara falls its well worthed. i was on it 2 days ago
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steeler83
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:15 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 2):
Quoting StarAlliance38 (Thread starter):
6) Maid of the Mist

An absolute must. You can board from either country and get the same tour.

Agree! When I was there in 2004 with my parents we went on the Maid of the Mist from the US side. It was a load of fun.

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 6):
here you can get really (REALLY) close to the American falls... Note: Hurricane Deck

That is freaking AWESOME!!!! You're 15 feet from the base of the Bridal Veil Falls (Why in the hell it's called that, I'll never know; it looks nothing like a bride's veil). It's just a continuous stream of water that crashes on a rock and sends spray all over the deck. I think there's a little knook that extends a few feet closer to that rock for ultimate soakage...
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Cadet985
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RE: Advice Needed: Visiting Niagara Falls, NY & On

Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:43 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 1):
Ok, I'm Canadian so I'm a tad biased, but frankly, don't waste your time on the US side of Niagara Falls

As others have stated, the Canadian side is MUCH better. I was up in the Skylon tower on the Canadian side, and you can see both sides of the falls at once (I very strongly suggest shelling out the money for this). You look at the Canadian side, it looks like a resort town, there are hotels, stores, casinos, restaurants, etc. Then you look over at the Americn side. There's nothing. So much so that it even looks boring. So I ask, what sounds more fun. A town in Canada where there's stuff to do, or a little park in the middle of nowheresville New York with nothing? And as others have said, the Canadian side of the falls themselves is the more attractive side, taking the parks out of the equation.

Marc

EDIT: Added links to pictures of each side of the falls.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...=32739834&l=d14636cc97&id=22300250 (Canadian side)
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...=32739840&l=b96406e056&id=22300250 (American Side)

[Edited 2010-07-30 15:46:02]

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