I want to surprise my husband with a pre-planned driving trip to Niagara Falls. We havn't been there for 30 years. I'm interested in the Canadian side as much as the US side. We have passports. Any tips or itinerary suggestions. We have 10 days and can make some excursions beyond the Falls, particularly Botanical Gardens for me and Casinos for him. Target date August 10th.
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I just googled that trip the other day - would you believe that it's a bit shorter getting there from my west toledo zipcode via canada than via the ohio turnpike?
holland: I've never been but it's been on my bucket list for some time :) hope you make it. I have a AAA membership if you'd like me to ask them for some details. If not I can recommend them, heck breaking down 1 time would more than pay for their fee and their trip planning is wonderful.
billy: cool, that would actually add to a trip imho. Some beautiful country past Windsor from what I've seen.
I always use tripadvisor.com - check out the top rated attracts through it.
I would definite suggest taking the Canadian route... the scenery is much better and you'll meet a whole lot of great people
I think 10 days is way to long in Niagara Falls unless you are into all the tourist stuff and gambling. The Canadian side is the better side by far with much more things to do. Maid of the Mist is a must but steer clear of the "Under the Falls" ripoff. Downtown looks like an amusement park and the buffets at the casinos are great. My wife and I did a trip where we took the 401 through Canada to Toronto and came back through the states stopping at the falls and wineries in NY for the weekend. Toronto is a great city. I would suggest CN Tower, Medieval Times, Rogers Centre, and the waterfront.
I second what jssdecker says. Niagara falls is a (at most) 3 day destination. That is unless you are someone who lives for the casino. I would say 2 days/nights, heading out on the third day for your next destination.
Also, Toronto is awesome. I think a lot of folks think Toronto is way-far away, but it's not (really just about 1-1 1/2 hours away from Niagara) and it is an absolute world class city with lots to do, sitting right on Lake Ontario. As you'd expect, summer is the most popular tourist season, but even if you went in autumn, it will still be fun!
oldhometown: Toronto was rated the #1 best city overall in the world to live last year (forget source/study) but it was based on a lot of factors: unemployment, average salary, quality of school systems, night life, parks, shopping, social outlets, etc. Just about everything you could think of that would make you like a place.
Here is a quick article I dug up that listed it as #5 but from several years ago.
Toronto isn't a paradise, but it is worth a visit. Only a 5 1/2 hour drive from Toledo...meaning you could reasonably drive there in a day, spend 3-4 days, and drive back. Canadian route is much better than doing 80/90 to Niagara (and shorter too). The city is tremendous. I was so impressed.
CN Tower is cool, but I loved seeing the Second City Toronto comedy troupe. For those that remember, that's the Second City that launched the careers of John Candy, Rick Moranis, and others. SC Toronto is still a great show. There are other live theatre productions in the city as well so you'll never be bored.
Oh--hockey fans: the Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto. Loved it.
Been to Toronto and Niagara Falls many times for hockey. If you ever go to Toronto, and visit the hockey hall of fame, then you have to go visit Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant. They have some good food there but if your lucky you also will be able to meet him.
In Niagara Falls don't forget to eat at The Skylon Tower. It's a revolving restaurant that has a great view of the falls, I like to eat up there when it's dark and you can see the falls all lit up.
They have Toledo Storm items at the Hockey Hall of Fame
Toronto is my wife and I's old stompin' grounds. A must see is Yorkeville, a richy rich community of shops and restaurants in central Toronto (starting at Bloor and Younge streets). Also you should catch a play or two. You can get same day seating if you show up when the ticket booth opens, and it is about half the price of a normal ticket. Driving in the city can be hecktic - and you will pay for parking where ever you go, so use the subway if possible. It's clean and easy to use. Bring me back a Molson please. :)
Don't miss seeing Niagara on the Lake! What a wonderful place: full of art galleries and studios, good places to eat,tons of flowers and gardens, theater,cool B&B's and on and on. If we were going back now, it would be about a half day around the Falls, and 3 or 4 days at NotL! Both our passports expired, and can't afford to renew both right now, or we'd volunteer to go too! Definitely agree that the trip on the Canadian side is far better than going on this side... Have a wonderful time.
We are doing as all have advised, Canadian route to Toronto then to the falls. Thanks for the heads up about the Under the Falls. We are skipping that. All the other sites suggested are on the itinerary. Visting AAA tomorrow for hotel info and maps.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. This old fart couple will have a much better time on our first, real, retirement vacation. We're grateful.
We've enjoyed staying at the Brock Hotel, now called the Crowne Plaza. A beautiful, well-kept 1920's hotel overlooking the falls. They have several packages available. You might enjoy it too.
i may be too late but...
the canadian side is much better although the u.s. side has made great strides in the last few years - better views from the canadian sides and many more activities, some of them very schlocky such as wax museums.
there are great english gardens in provencial parks just north of niagra. niagra on the lake is great shopping and beautiful cozy little village that is also home to world class theater - the shaw festival - look them up on line.
their are forts on each side of the river as it approaches lake ontario - the one on the canadian side is much nicer - fully restored with re-enactors all about given tours performing gun and cannon firings. this fort is just before niagra on the lake.
go to the hockey hall of fame if you go near toronto!!