Niagara falls US side

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BogleMelon
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Niagara falls US side

Post by BogleMelon » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:36 pm

Planning to do a short trip (2-3 days) with my DW at Niagara falls (US side).. I live in NJ so it is going to be a car ride..
What places/streets are the best to stay? what activities to looks for? Will it still be fun to go there in the winter or better to wait for spring or summer?
Would appreciate any tips or guidance..
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

sailaway
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by sailaway » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:42 pm

The only fun I ever had on the US side was the Christmas lights.

The CA side is where the tourist stuff is. In large part, this is because the best falls are on the US side, which means the best views are on the other side.

That being said, I do believe the Maid of the Mist leaves from the US side and the Power Plant tour is interesting.

BogleMelon
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by BogleMelon » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:48 pm

sailaway wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:42 pm


That being said, I do believe the Maid of the Mist leaves from the US side and the Power Plant tour is interesting.
Thanks!
Do any of these require a passport?
I am not a US citizen (yet!), and would need my home country passport + my US green card to cross the border. No problem for the GC, but the passport is expired so I can't use it. That is actually why i am sticking to US side :(
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

Gill
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:51 pm

Niagara Falls is very easy to navigate and there are many hotels on the US side, all within walking distance of the Falls and
Goat Island. Also, it is very easy to walk over the Rainbow Bridge to the Canadian side to view the Falls from there or, of course, you can drive over for a day or evening. The two cities are really one larger area surrounding the Falls and it is very easy to go back and forth. The Canadian side is much more expensive. As for your question about Winter or Summer, it can be brutally cold near the Falls in the Winter although there are hordes of tourists in the Summer. Take your pick.
Gill
Last edited by Gill on Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gill
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:52 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:48 pm
sailaway wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:42 pm


That being said, I do believe the Maid of the Mist leaves from the US side and the Power Plant tour is interesting.
Thanks!
Do any of these require a passport?
I am not a US citizen (yet!), and would need my home country passport + my US green card to cross the border. No problem for the GC, but the passport is expired so I can't use it. That is actually why i am sticking to US side :(
Yes, you now need a passport to cross the border. Stay on the US side or you could run into immigration problems.
Gill

niceguy7376
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by niceguy7376 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:55 pm

Havent been to Niagara at this time of the year though I am always intrigues how it looks and feel.
I dont think Maid of the Mist is available till May.

On the drive to Niagara, take a trip to Corning Museum.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:09 pm

The Canadian side is nicer because you get to look at the American side, which is a state park. From the US side you have to look at the glitz and clutter that is Canada. :twisted:

Whether it's worth going in winter depends on what you want to do. I'd suggest hiking in the gorge (nice but not particularly long or rugged, but people do need rescuing every so often and there seems to be a fatality every year), Fort Niagara, cave of the winds and Maid of the Mist. Much better in the summer (because some of them close for the winter). If you want casinos it does not matter much, but you have those in Jersey.

You might consider stopping at the Corning Glass Museum on the way up. It's usually packed with tour buses on the way from NYC to Niagara Falls because its both interesting and at the right place for a break.

Gill
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:09 pm

niceguy7376 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:55 pm
On the drive to Niagara, take a trip to Corning Museum.
That would be way out of his way on a trip from New Jersey to Niagara Falls.
Gill

50ismygoal
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by 50ismygoal » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:16 pm

I live in Niagara Falls, and there are so many things to do on the US side, year round. Visiting in winter is cheap, as hotels are largely vacant, and the scenery is beautiful and you have it largely to yourself. Make sure you see, based the Falls/Goat Island: Niagara River Gorge, entered at Whirlpool State Park or Devils Hole State Park, Village of Lewiston, Old Fort Niagara, NYPA Power Vista, great Italian restaurants (Como, Michael's or Fortuna's) and so much more. Check out www.NiagaraFallsUSA.com. Enjoy!

neilpilot
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by neilpilot » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:27 pm

Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:09 pm
niceguy7376 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:55 pm
On the drive to Niagara, take a trip to Corning Museum.
That would be way out of his way on a trip from New Jersey to Niagara Falls.
Gill
Yes, that would add at least 10 minutes to the 6-6.5 hour drive :D

Maid of the Mist
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Maid of the Mist » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:33 pm

50ismygoal has some great advice. The US side has some interesting things to do. I would also recommend the Red Coach Inn as a really interesting place to stay and a great place to eat. The views are really good from there and you can walk to Goat Island from there. Enjoy!

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:36 pm

Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:09 pm
niceguy7376 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:55 pm
On the drive to Niagara, take a trip to Corning Museum.
That would be way out of his way on a trip from New Jersey to Niagara Falls.
Gill
From Binghamton it's basically a wash between I-81 to I-90 and I-86, I-390, NY-63 to I-90. A few minutes either way depending mostly on if you hit rush hour in Syracuse. The southern route goes through Corning. If you prefer two lane to interstate there's also a half dozen routes through the finger lakes that are also a wash in time (slightly shorter but at lower speed).

neilpilot
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by neilpilot » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:37 pm

Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:52 pm

Yes, you now need a passport to cross the border. Stay on the US side or you could run into immigration problems.
Gill
Actually, unless there's been a recent change you do not need a passport if you have your green card. Here's what I read: "U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may use their I-551 ("Green Card") -- instead of a passport -- for travel between Canada and the United States, by air, land, or sea."

That's worth a check, since not only is the view from Canada worth the crossing but a drive up to Niagara On The Lake, and maybe also a look at the Welland Canal locks, maybe worth the crossing.

I worked in Niagara Falls NY, on the river, for 11 years from 1971, when all you needed was a valid driver licence to cross.

BogleMelon
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by BogleMelon » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:45 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:37 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:52 pm

Yes, you now need a passport to cross the border. Stay on the US side or you could run into immigration problems.
Gill
Actually, unless there's been a recent change you do not need a passport if you have your green card. Here's what I read: "U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may use their I-551 ("Green Card") -- instead of a passport -- for travel between Canada and the United States, by air, land, or sea."
This is so good to know! Thank you!! :beer
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

Valuethinker
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:54 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:45 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:37 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:52 pm

Yes, you now need a passport to cross the border. Stay on the US side or you could run into immigration problems.
Gill
Actually, unless there's been a recent change you do not need a passport if you have your green card. Here's what I read: "U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may use their I-551 ("Green Card") -- instead of a passport -- for travel between Canada and the United States, by air, land, or sea."
This is so good to know! Thank you!! :beer
Oh be so careful. American border security is so tight now. They can be so arbitrary.

I would not risk it, myself. In your shoes. I'd leave Canada for a day when I had American passport.

neilpilot
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by neilpilot » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:14 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:54 pm
BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:45 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:37 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:52 pm

Yes, you now need a passport to cross the border. Stay on the US side or you could run into immigration problems.
Gill
Actually, unless there's been a recent change you do not need a passport if you have your green card. Here's what I read: "U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may use their I-551 ("Green Card") -- instead of a passport -- for travel between Canada and the United States, by air, land, or sea."
This is so good to know! Thank you!! :beer
Oh be so careful. American border security is so tight now. They can be so arbitrary.

I would not risk it, myself. In your shoes. I'd leave Canada for a day when I had American passport.
Not arbitrary at all. So long as you have a valid green card and a government issued photo ID such as a DL, you are fine entering either country at the Canadian-USA border. Even if Canada requires a tourist visa for the OP's citizenship country, the green card makes a tourist visa unnecessary. I'd carry that expired Passport, but it isn't required and should not offered during the crossing. The OP's DW should carry her US Passport.

There are some other conditions that apply to everyone. For example, if you have a DUI record the Canadians may deny entry. Also, it's very helpful if your car is registered in your name, and registration and insurance cards are valid.
Last edited by neilpilot on Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:20 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:14 pm

Not arbitrary at all.
Arbitrary as heck. I've had difficulty crossing with a US passport. Although not crossing the border may not help, since only the stretch between Scranton and Binghamton is more than 100 miles from a US border and therefore out of the claimed jurisdiction of the border patrol.

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Toons
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Toons » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:30 pm

Not to discourage you but,
I lived In Western NY for 18 years.
8 miles from Niagara Falls.
Visited it maybe 5 times,4 of those times I took visitors to see the Falls.
The falls are impressive.
Niagara Falls and the surrounding area are deplorable.
There is a Casino in the middle of the City surrounded by slums and old buildings.
I never felt safe once leaving the Falls area.
You would better served to get a passport and go to the Canadian side.
Taken care of MUCH better,the whole area.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... gara-falls

:shock:
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njdealguy
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by njdealguy » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:40 pm

GC should be enough to cross by land, flying into Canada and entering through airport is another story (Have personal experience with spouse trying to enter at Toronto airport with GC and no passport which was in the middle of renewal processing, was given hard time but eventually was let through with a 3 day waiver).

I'd suggest spending at least a day up in Toronto as well if decide to cross the border.

Gill
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:29 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:27 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:09 pm
niceguy7376 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:55 pm
On the drive to Niagara, take a trip to Corning Museum.
That would be way out of his way on a trip from New Jersey to Niagara Falls.
Gill
Yes, that would add at least 10 minutes to the 6-6.5 hour drive :D
I guess you take a different route than I do.
Gill

eddot98
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by eddot98 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:15 pm

Toons wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:30 pm
Not to discourage you but,
I lived In Western NY for 18 years.
8 miles from Niagara Falls.
Visited it maybe 5 times,4 of those times I took visitors to see the Falls.
The falls are impressive.
Niagara Falls and the surrounding area are deplorable.
There is a Casino in the middle of the City surrounded by slums and old buildings.
I never felt safe once leaving the Falls area.
You would better served to get a passport and go to the Canadian side.
Taken care of MUCH better,the whole area.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... gara-falls

:shock:
Echo this sentiment. We went there once for a conference and once you see the falls for a half hour, and they are awesome, we didn’t find anything else worth doing (it was early December). Couldn’t get out of there quickly enough.

Gill
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:25 pm

I was born and raised near Niagara Falls, attended military drills there and also worked there. About 1970 the city elected to essentially tear down the entire downtown in the name of urban renewal. It has never been rebuilt, industry left and the city decayed. Lots of corrupt politics and poor decisions. In the meantime the Canadians across the river capitalized on the situation. Sad, but I have to agree it is no longer the desirable city it once was.
Gill

dave_hershey
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by dave_hershey » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:44 pm

I live about 25 miles from the falls. Been there 4 times in the last 5 years. It's worth going to, but only for a few hours. Falls are majestic, but there is nothing much besides that caught my interest. You won't find a lot of stuff to do, especially around winter. The viewing deck gets very slippery from the mist and cold breeze. Definitely layer up if going to the falls around winter/early spring. The casinos on the US side aren't the best. If your passport situation is sorted out before your trip, definitely go to the Canadian side. It's a better view of the falls and a better city to visit.

HIinvestor
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:58 pm

A few years ago, we spent a week at Niagra Falls. Most of our time was spent on the Canadian side, which was safe and pretty. We stayed at a very reasonably-priced Hilton Garden Inn. We also spent some time at Niagra on the Lake, which is a short drive from the Canadian Niagra Falls. We all brought our passports, which we used to go back and forth between the US and Canadian side.

There is a small museum a short walk from the Hilton Garden Inn (sorry, can't remember the name). It houses an old fire truck and has information about different folks who went over the falls. It also had a beam or rope you could walk across to simulate walking over the falls (none of us could make it). They also featured an exhibit about how to tell counterfeit Canadian bills. Admission was very inexpensive.

Gill
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:22 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:58 pm
A few years ago, we spent a week at Niagra Falls. Most of our time was spent on the Canadian side, which was safe and pretty. We stayed at a very reasonably-priced Hilton Garden Inn. We also spent some time at Niagra on the Lake, which is a short drive from the Canadian Niagra Falls. We all brought our passports, which we used to go back and forth between the US and Canadian side.

There is a small museum a short walk from the Hilton Garden Inn (sorry, can't remember the name). It houses an old fire truck and has information about different folks who went over the falls. It also had a beam or rope you could walk across to simulate walking over the falls (none of us could make it). They also featured an exhibit about how to tell counterfeit Canadian bills. Admission was very inexpensive.
Niagara is spelled differently than Viagra. 😀

Easy Rhino
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Easy Rhino » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:28 am

The American side has steps that lets you climb down the American falls, whichis pretty cool . However i think it had to be rebuilt ever spring so probably not available now

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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by Bylo Selhi » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:56 am

Niagara Falls is a different experience this time of year and especially this colder-than-usual year, compared to the other seasons.

See e.g. See Niagara Falls Covered in Ice: 'Absolutely Beautiful' and Why Niagara Falls isn't frozen and will likely never freeze completely.

deikel
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Re: Niagara falls US side

Post by deikel » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:50 pm

Toons wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:30 pm
Not to discourage you but,
I lived In Western NY for 18 years.
8 miles from Niagara Falls.
Visited it maybe 5 times,4 of those times I took visitors to see the Falls.
The falls are impressive.
Niagara Falls and the surrounding area are deplorable.
There is a Casino in the middle of the City surrounded by slums and old buildings.
I never felt safe once leaving the Falls area.
You would better served to get a passport and go to the Canadian side.
Taken care of MUCH better,the whole area.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... gara-falls

:shock:
+1, the US side is nice for hurricane deck and a walk around the park, that's about it. Parking costs a fortune, even in middle of winter, and currently it is just cold, wet and miserable

Canadian side with an overnight stay is the way to go. You can look at the falls, enjoy the ice and thaw in a warm room. If kids are with you, do the splash indoor pool or if no kids you can enjoy casino, dinner or just plain the view of the falls over night and during sun up in the morning.

Yes, green card is good enough for couple of days in Canada, but depending on what country you are from, I would renew my passport first. The border folks are arbitrary and irrational and without any passport, I would stay away 50 miles from the border (or whatever they claim is their jurisdiction).
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immidiatly and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

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