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carwesty
06-03-2009, 09:15 PM
We are planning a vacation this summer to Niagara Falls/Cooperstown/Boston. My son plays baseball and soccer so we were just going to fit it in when we have time, just get in the car and go. I must live under a rock because I just found out that you have to get a passport to enter Canada. Of course, we don't have one and I see it takes 4-6 weeks, we have to go in the next 7 weeks due to our schedules. Will it even be worth it for us to stop and stay on the US side, we have never been to Canada or Niagara Falls, I don't want my kids to miss it but if we need to go to Canada to experience the beauty then we may need to wait until another time. Any suggestions?

pianoronni37
06-03-2009, 09:30 PM
It is DEFINITELY worth it to see the Falls from the American side!!

I've been many many times (live in Upstate NY - close to Cooperstown!), and it is a breathtaking site, no matter which side you see it from. If you were planning on vacation IN Niagara Falls, I would suggest spending a few days in Canada - the museums, shops, casinos, restaurants, etc are better - but as far as the view - the American side is fine and Niagara Falls is not to be missed!!! :thumbsup2

Check out this website:
http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/

And to get the very best view, Maid of the Mist brings you RIGHT ON TOP of the falls - it's not scary at all, but you look up and wow... it's mesmerizing...
http://www.maidofthemist.com/en/

Sorry - bit of a Niagara Falls junkie here. :woohoo:

OntFamily
06-03-2009, 09:32 PM
We live approx 90 minutes from Niagara Falls (in the Toronto area), and visit there 2 to 3 times per year. Most of our time has been spent on the Canadian side, as this is where 80% of the attractions, etc are located.

While I live in Ontario, most people think viewing the Falls from the Canadian side is nicer. However, there are some nice views from Niagara Falls, NY. However, I wouldn't drive all the way from Cooperstown, if you couldn't drive into Canada.

On a side note, if you are an American, you do not need a passport to enter Canada. http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/security-securite/admiss-eng.html#s1. Only proof of citizenship is required. However, you will require a passport (or other enhanced ID) to re-enter the USA. Recent news reports have quoted US border officials as stating they will not hold to the new strict regulation immediately. If a Canadian or American show up at the USA border, they will allow them into the USA, as long as proof of citizenship and photo ID are presented.http://www.thestar.com/article/643937

Does your state offer enhanced drivers licenses? (they have citizenship info encoded on them). These documents are also acceptable for crossing the USA border. BTW, children under 16 do not require passports, for crossing at a land border.

Niagara , ON is a great place to visit ! We love it.

brymolmom
06-03-2009, 09:36 PM
I don't think it would be worth it for me. I'm another upstater and have been to both sides of the Falls a couple handfuls of times. The Canadian side has more to see and do. Don't get me wrong - the sight of Niagara Falls is awe-inspiring and I LOVE to look at it from both sides. It takes my breath away! BUT....to drive, from Cooperstown - I'm guessing at least a 4 hour drive?? And then to look at the falls....for a half hour or an hour. My kids were 5 and 6 last time we went and they looked at it for 30 seconds and were like 'what are we doing next Mom?'. Anyway - if I drove 4 hours for that - it wouldn't be worth it for me. Without being able to do 'all' that the Falls has to offer - not sure that it's worth the extra drive for you.

Maybe reschedule that part of the trip for after you have passports...

CyndiLooWho
06-03-2009, 09:39 PM
If you think you will do any kind of cruise or Niagara or be in a state bordering Mexico or Canada in the next 5 yrs, just bite the bullet and get the passports started tomorrow. In 20 yrs of marriage we've been to Canada once, taken a cruise once, and had the opportunity to do day trips to Mexico and Canada (from San Diego and Seattle) a couple of times. Oh, and we lived in Europe for a few years. The thing is, if you have money for them (they aren't cheap), the passports are a great thing to have, and you could miss out on things w/o one now that the rules have changed.

Niagara is really neat, and you can do the American side w/o the passport. I can't tell you about the American side, cuz I've never done it, but I've done the Canandian side twice, and enjoyed the experience both times.

Back to passports: we just got dh's back from having more pages added, and it took less than 6 wks. If you can drive to the passport agency (none in KY, LOL), they can do it all same day for no extra cost. You just have to take everyone with you and have appointments.

carwesty
06-03-2009, 09:42 PM
We live in Indiana so our first stop was going to be the Falls, then on to Cooperstown and then Boston. We thought we would spend 2 days at Niagara Falls, then move on. We know our kids don't need the passports but my husband and I would need them. I am not sure about the Enhanced DL, but I will look into that. So I guess we could get to Canada to see it, they just might not let us back! I am just weighing all the options as I know we don't have the time or money to expedite the passport. Thanks for the replies!

mantaz
06-03-2009, 10:35 PM
Although they say it takes 4-6 weeks to get a passport, it took me less than 2 weeks to get mine. I think the Canadian side is the best to view the falls. This is how I see it...say you have a garden hose and you are holding the hose out in front of you water hitting the ground...they US side you are staring down the garden hose and see the water come out. On the Canadian side you are facing the water and see it hitting the ground below. You get to actually see the water falling. But that is just my view point on the falls.

bennyrn12
06-03-2009, 11:02 PM
I live in western new york and visit the falls 3-4 times a year. we always go to the candian side. You can see all 3 of the falls at once and the food and attractions are so much better. Passports are coming in really quick lately (2 weeks if you apply the regular way...less than a week if you go to a clinic with people from the state dept). I think if you are planning to go to the falls you will be disappionted staying on the US side especially if you cant make it up here frequently. Have a fun and safe trip!!!

jsaem
06-03-2009, 11:06 PM
We are going to Toronto and Niagara in July. We just went to the post office today and applied for the passport card. Much cheaper than a passport. The guy at the post office said we would receive them in about 4 weeks or less. The cost per card was (16 years and up) $45 and under 16 was $35. They will do your photos on the spot (check the usps web site for locations and times. Not all office do the photos) the photos were an extra $15 each. All in all not cheap but much cheaper than a regular passport. Hope that helps.

nicolesap
06-03-2009, 11:27 PM
I would still apply for your passport, they give you those times as a generalization...we got our passports last year in less than 2 weeks! You can also, for a fee get them to expedite the process, and I know that there are centers that you can go and get them done overnight. I'm not sure where you live, but I know for instance the closest one to me is in Washington DC. You should check the website http://travel.state.gov/ and check to see if there is one in your area. Either way, I recommend seeing Niagara from the American or Canadian side. There are lots of things to do from the Canadian side, but the views from either side are amazing!!!

briarbear
06-03-2009, 11:46 PM
Carwetsy I live 15 mins south of Niagara Falls, and I hate to say it but we would stay on the Canadian side. There is more to do and I have to say it is a better view. If you choose to stay on the US side Seneca Casino Niagara is the best place. You can stay there with kids, and they have great dinning options. During the summer they have free concerts. If you choose to stay on the Canadian side you have to have a passport or NEXUS card to get back in the states. If you have any more questions let me know.

disneymarie
06-03-2009, 11:49 PM
We are planning a vacation this summer to Niagara Falls/Cooperstown/Boston. My son plays baseball and soccer so we were just going to fit it in when we have time, just get in the car and go. I must live under a rock because I just found out that you have to get a passport to enter Canada. Of course, we don't have one and I see it takes 4-6 weeks, we have to go in the next 7 weeks due to our schedules. Will it even be worth it for us to stop and stay on the US side, we have never been to Canada or Niagara Falls, I don't want my kids to miss it but if we need to go to Canada to experience the beauty then we may need to wait until another time. Any suggestions?

You do not need the full passport book, get the card.
Or just tour on the AMerican side. There is plenty to do there too. Very nature oriented side. The other is the tourist side and lots of strip area shops.

I am getting the passport card. I filled in and printed the PDF format online. The instructions are on the site and it is only $45. Kids under 16 do not need one.You can do the pictures yourself following the directions on the form. Quicker too, It only takes about a month. We are going in September. IF you are in a border state, there are a few as NY that has an enhancement for the drivers license.

Near Cooperstown is HOWE's Caverans. THey are great. You even ride a boat through part of the adventure. Something added to the trip.

luvmickey5374
06-04-2009, 01:28 AM
I live about 45 minutes away from Niagara Falls and it is BEAUTIFUL! I am a New Yorker and I will even say the US side is a DUMP!!! It makes me angry because there is a HUGE potential to bring some money in from the tourists so you'd think they would jump on it especially with the new passport thing!! Everything I have read said they will not be easy on people without passports or enhanced licenses because they have been easing into this for almost 2 years now!! I say try and get passports or enhanced licenses...the Canadian side is so much fun....NY side is a BAAAAAAAAAD neighborhood that you wouldn't go to if you were at home....IMO:goodvibes

ChrisinNJ
06-04-2009, 07:08 AM
Not to hijack the thread, but my DH & I were talking about doing a Niagara Falls trip when school gets out. (6/24-6/28) Any budget friendly hotel options (for a family of 5) on the Canadian side? I priced the Marriot Fallsview, but it was over $1000.00 for 4 nights (I'd rather go to Disney for that price!)

We were there about 13 years ago, and we stayed on the NY side & walked over the bridge. We saw everything we wanted to see via walking or bus. If we stay on the NY side is this still an option?

Also it seems the Canadian hotels have a daily parking fee.

Any specific recomendations for a trip that won't break the bank???

LisaLuvsDisney
06-04-2009, 07:24 AM
We went last summer and stayed on the Canadian side. Well, next time we will stay on the American. We had more fun there. That walk under the falls was amazing. You can still do Maid of the Mist. It is SO crowded on the Canadian side. I would definitely go but only plan for 1 day. Have fun!

Resseda
06-04-2009, 12:53 PM
Another Western New Yorker here!

I like the state park on the American Side; I think the American walk at the base of the Falls is far better than the Canadian Cave of the Windos Tour. However, the Canadians have bigger Maid of the Mist boats, so they get closer to the Falls. Since the OP said she was looking at a couple days at the Falls, I would get the passport or card, since there is more to do on the Canadian side. If it was a daytrip, I'd stick with the American side.

We haven't gone over to the Canadian side in years, because it tends to be more expensive, and it's too touristy. (I mean, we go at least once a year, sometimes more. I don't need another NF shotglass, snowglobe or coffee mug!)

Ress

Bearvet
06-04-2009, 01:06 PM
I would suggest you apply for your passports now. If they don't arrive before your trip, I'd still plan to go to Niagara Falls and stay on the American side. I grew up in the area and feel that the U S side offers things the Candian side doesn't. It is more of a park-like setting while the Canadian side is very touristy. I agree that the "city" part of Niagara Falls, NY is not a good place to be.

If you only do the U S side, here's my highlights:
- On Goat Island, stop at the three sister islands. Bridges link the 3 small islands and you can get right up close to the rapids (churning water before it goes over the falls). I love this area.
- From Goat Island you can get right next to the Horseshoe Falls and stand on top of the Bidal Veil Falls.
- Maid of the Mist boat ride operates from both the US and Canadian sides
- Cave of the Winds - you can walk at the base of the Bridal Veil Falls - very exciting
-Take the time to travel to Lewiston/Youngstown NY and go to Old Fort Niagara - my kids love this
-There is a new speedboat ride (leave from Fort Niagara area) that goes into the whirlpool section of the Niagara River (I've never done this, but it looks great).
-At night there are fireworks over the Falls (we watched from the observation deck on the US side) - not sure what nights though....
- Hard Rock Cafe - my kids enjoyed eating here

Skip the aquarium.

There's plenty to do on the US side and if it means seeing the Falls versus not seeing it - DO IT!!

dogluva
06-04-2009, 03:23 PM
I live about 45 minutes away from Niagara Falls and it is BEAUTIFUL! I am a New Yorker and I will even say the US side is a DUMP!!! It makes me angry because there is a HUGE potential to bring some money in from the tourists so you'd think they would jump on it especially with the new passport thing!! Everything I have read said they will not be easy on people without passports or enhanced licenses because they have been easing into this for almost 2 years now!! I say try and get passports or enhanced licenses...the Canadian side is so much fun....NY side is a BAAAAAAAAAD neighborhood that you wouldn't go to if you were at home....IMO:goodvibes

We went a couple of years ago. The town of Niagara may be a dump but the State park is not. We did the Passporter on the US side. It was a great deal. Movie about the falls, the nature center, the aquarium, trolley, maid of the mist and the fall walk thing. I was very nice. You see the canadian side during the boat trip.

I hated the Canadian side! Tacky, touristy. The american side was more about nature. I didn't go to Niagara to go to touristy things. I did like the fireworks, though.

bunny
06-04-2009, 03:25 PM
We were just there over Memorial Day weekend. I would say definitely still go even if you can't go to the Canada. BTW I wouldn't risk going over with a passport or passcard. We didn't have one and they hassled us at the border even though it was a week before the rule went into effect.

Buy the Discovery Pass which gets you admission to Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, the movie and the aquarium. And the whirlpool jet looked awesome.

We did go over to Canada and it took us 2 hours each way to get over the Rainbow Bridge. In my opinion, it was not worth that. The Canadian side is prettier but is filled with tourist traps like wax museums and Ripleys.

NYCDiane
06-04-2009, 04:03 PM
Get a Passport Card or an Enhanced Driver's License. Your children will need the same, so make sure everyone has one.

bethbuchall
06-04-2009, 04:11 PM
Get a Passport Card or an Enhanced Driver's License. Your children will need the same, so make sure everyone has one.

Children under 16 need only birth certificates. Children 16 and older will need a passport, passport card, enhanced permit/license/non-driver id.

kjgy
06-04-2009, 05:33 PM
Children under 16 need only birth certificates. Children 16 and older will need a passport, passport card, enhanced permit/license/non-driver id.

Do you need photo ID for a child under 16 or just birth certificate?

Kim:cool1:

Donnask8pro
06-04-2009, 05:55 PM
I'm sorry, I just cant help myself.. First thing I thought of when I saw the post.



Niagara Falls, slowly I turn... step by step. inch by inch....

bethbuchall
06-04-2009, 06:29 PM
Do you need photo ID for a child under 16 or just birth certificate?

Kim:cool1:

As of now, you need only a certified birth certificate for children 15 and under.

JoyG
06-04-2009, 06:45 PM
I agree about the State Park on the US side...it's beautiful, natural and not touristy or gimmicky at all.

Stepping off the state park, the city of Niagara Falls, NY isn't so nice, whereas the city surrounding Niagara Falls, Canada is better built up with more tourist attractions.

I would definitely still come see the Falls even if you can't go to the Canadian side. If you take the Maid of the Mist boat ride, you'll still see the Falls from the Canadian view, you'll just be much closer, LOL.

I wrote about the Falls and include pictures in my travel blog (link below).

georgina
06-04-2009, 11:03 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but my DH & I were talking about doing a Niagara Falls trip when school gets out. (6/24-6/28) Any budget friendly hotel options (for a family of 5) on the Canadian side? I priced the Marriot Fallsview, but it was over $1000.00 for 4 nights (I'd rather go to Disney for that price!)

We were there about 13 years ago, and we stayed on the NY side & walked over the bridge. We saw everything we wanted to see via walking or bus. If we stay on the NY side is this still an option?

Also it seems the Canadian hotels have a daily parking fee.

Any specific recomendations for a trip that won't break the bank???

We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites (family of 5) last August. It was $396 Canadian for 2 nights, so it's not cheap. Check out tripadvisor.com for reviews.

Niagara2
06-05-2009, 08:49 AM
Niagara Falls is nice on the US side too. It is where you can get upclose and personal with the falls. They thunder down right next to you. While at the parks try to Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds. These attractons are not to be missed. Walk over three sister Island and to the banks of the river where the rapids and its force are a foot away from you. We have a large power plant that offers free tours, Whirlpool state park with hiking trails into the natural gorge. Drive three miles to Lewiston NY with its quaint shops, streetside patio restaurants and try a ride on the Whirlpool Jetboats. My kids were more excited about that ride than any at Disney!
Old Fort Niagara is also there, an aquarium, wine country, you can take a luncheon tour on the erie Canal and actually go through real working locks, there is also an underground cave ride.
I suggest you take a tour so you do not become one of the people who say - I saw the Falls and leave Niagara Falls NY. There is much to see and do,
We have a Factory Outlet mall that is full of Canadians as it is so much lowered priced than any mall in Canada. We do not go to eat in Canada much anymore as the prices are worst than Disney! The US hotels are much lowered priced that the Canadian hotels too.
Do a bit of homework, and you and the kids will really enjoy Niagara Falls NY!

dogluva
06-05-2009, 05:47 PM
I agree about the State Park on the US side...it's beautiful, natural and not touristy or gimmicky at all.

Stepping off the state park, the city of Niagara Falls, NY isn't so nice, whereas the city surrounding Niagara Falls, Canada is better built up with more tourist attractions.

I would definitely still come see the Falls even if you can't go to the Canadian side. If you take the Maid of the Mist boat ride, you'll still see the Falls from the Canadian view, you'll just be much closer, LOL.

I wrote about the Falls and include pictures in my travel blog (link below).

I agree. I wished we didn't stay on the Canadian side. It was hard to get over to the US side to do the Discovery pass. We should have stayed on that side instead and just gone over when the traffic wasn't so bad. We loved the American side and you are right, you can see the Canadian side from the Maid of the Mist. I wasn't into all that honky tonk stuff on the canadian side at all.

carwesty
06-06-2009, 09:50 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions, I think we will go and just stay on the US side, we will be there for only 2 days and it seems there is plenty to do without going over to Canada. My next question would be that some mentioned the area of NY isn't that nice, what hotels would be good to stay at since we aren't going over to Canada.

briarbear
06-08-2009, 09:17 PM
The Seneca Niagara Casino is nice. There are alot of nice dinning choices and the rooms are great. You really have to research the other hotels some are "hole-in-the-wall" types.

mskayjay
06-08-2009, 09:31 PM
I just came back from there last night on the Canadian side and all I can tell you is that it is amazing. We stayed at the Sheraton on the Falls for a great rate ($119)that included breakfast and a $50 voucher for dinner. Tried to stay an extra night and of course that rate wasn't available anymore! I personally would NOT go if I couldn't cross over as you truly see a different world on the Canadian side and the trip down along the river to Niagara on the Lake is spectacular (the flower clock, the butterfuly house, the conservatory). You can go down alongside the American Falls and also ride the Maid of the Mist from the American side and if you do go, really truly go on the boat ride. The power of the water when you get up close like that is unreal. You can feel it. And the water there is so neat. There is something about the release of the ions into the atmosphere that is just so hard to describe.

Cooperstown to me was soooooo boring!!!!! lol The area is beautiful but even being married to sports people and liking it myself, seeing a bunch of old baseballs and plaques was a yawner. Howe Caverns isn't too far from there and is very nice. Have you considered going to Lake Placid instead of Niagara Falls??

palavra
06-09-2009, 12:38 AM
Two years ago, we stayed at the Howard Johnsons closest to the Falls on the American side for about $55.00 a night. It wasn't fancy, just a standard hotel, but it was clean and very close to the Falls.

buzz5985
06-09-2009, 03:38 AM
Another vote for the American side of the Falls. The Cave of the Winds is amazing. You actually vibrate standing next to the falls, the roar from the falls is deafening. You don't get that close on the Canadian side. We traveled there several years ago, American and Canadian side - and the Cave of the Winds is what sticks out in our minds as unforgettable. The Horseshoe falls are prettier, but you can't get as close to them, as with the Cave of the Winds. Plus we did the Maid of the Mist from American side - didn't really notice they didn't go as close as the Canadian side.

When I was 16 we went to the Canadian side with my parents. I remember getting into the slicker and rubber boots, and walking out under the falls, so you could actually put your hand out and touch the water. 30 years later, you couldn't touch the falls with a 10 foot pole, they keep you so far back, I couldn't figure out why they even give you rain coats??

My DS 12 just returned home from a trip to Cooperstown with his Scout troop. He is an avid baseball fan, plays for the Dodgers in the Major League in town, and told me - it was full of a bunch of pictures of dead guys. No trophies, no nothing - and an entire floor was dedicated to - sit down for this - woman!!!! LOL

Now Howe's Caverns - all the boys really enjoyed this - but get ready for - the food prices are higher than Disney - I think he paid $5 for a hot dog and $3 for a water. But he had a great time and wants to return to show us - his parents - the caves.

Enjoy Boston.

Janis

kjgy
06-09-2009, 01:35 PM
I just came back from there last night on the Canadian side and all I can tell you is that it is amazing. We stayed at the Sheraton on the Falls for a great rate ($119)that included breakfast and a ??


Do you know how much it is for the Water park at Sheraton? Is there a discount for staying at Hotel. We are hoping on going in July.

Kim:banana:

Kristi1357
06-10-2009, 08:33 AM
Any campground recommedations?

Niagara2
06-10-2009, 08:42 AM
There is a KOA in Grand Island NY just before the bridge to Niagara Falls. It sits right next to a small amusement park called Fantasy Island with a water park in it if you have kids.
The State Parks have camping more North also in Lewiston/Youngstown NY.
Small campgrouds can be found along Niagara Falls Blvd. that are family owned.

mskayjay
06-10-2009, 09:59 AM
Do you know how much it is for the Water park at Sheraton? Is there a discount for staying at Hotel. We are hoping on going in July.

Kim:banana:

Hi Kim! There are two Sheratons in NiFalls Canada. We stayed at the Sheraton on the Falls and that one does not have the water park. Sorry I can't help you out on that one!
K

OntFamily
06-11-2009, 09:04 PM
Do you know how much it is for the Water park at Sheraton? Is there a discount for staying at Hotel. We are hoping on going in July.

Kim:banana:

All costs quoted are in Canadian $, and are per person.

If you buy a one day pass direct from the water park, the cost is $44.95.

If you are staying at a hotel connected to the water park (ie Sheraton on the Falls), you can buy day passes for $29.95 (we've done this a few times).

Our local Costco's (here in Toronto) sell day passes for the water park for $28.95.

Or, you can convert your hotel stay to a water park package, in which your passes are included (and you can visit the water park on multiple days). This rate will vary (but check to make sure the package rate, is less expensive than the day passes).

Niagara Falls is great in July. But there will be lots of people. It's their busiest time of the year (I've been there in July, and we've had a great time).

englishrose47
06-13-2009, 11:49 AM
As you can see live on the American side !! Prices in Canada ae VERY high!! You can get an advanced type drivers license , a passport . a nexus card or Passport card I have none as I seldom if ever cross over into Canada !! You can ride the Madof te Mt but wuld need a pasportsit is Interational water. The Cave of the inds on th US side is grat as is Goat Island with the 3 sisters Island Caution thoug RESPECT the Niagare River it is treacherous stay well way from slippery rocksThe Seneca Niagar Casino has a awesome buffet !! Frankly I think the resaurant food in Canada is way overpriced and not that good !! lso the observation tower on the US side is great !!

Niagara2
06-13-2009, 01:19 PM
You do not need a passport to ride the Maid of the Mist! You start the boat trip on the USA dock and finish at the USA dock. Never heard of anyone jumping into the water off the Maid of the Mist boat to get to Canada.:lmao:
Spent the morning in the middle of the Rainbow Bridge for a private ceremony celebrating our cross border treaties. Hillary Clinton and her Canadian counterpart were there together for the first time in history. In all these years, this is the first time the bridge was closed.
All the speeches were at the middle of the bridge on that line that marks the two countries. We then enjoyed a great reception at Oaks Gardens with an international orchestra. Was a nice day here in Niagara Falls.

LKHomemail
06-13-2009, 08:01 PM
THe falls are BEAUTIFUL from either side. In going that far, I would consider the Canadian side because it is a great for the kids to have a little international experience. It's good for them to meet our canadian neighbors, hear a little french spoken here and there , handle a different currency, see different signs/architectures. If time allows Toronto is a great place to spend a couple days.

You can get a passport in a few days if you have an itinerary and a good enough reason. There is a RUSH expediated fee. Do you live in a City where there is an issuing passport agency, San Fran, Chicago, NY, Houston, there are others, I just can't think of them all right now. You can go in person if so. If not, you do not need to use only the one in your city. If you can get an appointment (as is needed for visas) , you can send your passport to any one of the issuing agencies for visa. I would think that getting a first time passport would be the same ?

I would turn your applications in and get passports, regardless of if you use this on this trip or not. They have a long life and there are many beautiful things to see in the world.

Have a great time.

englishrose47
06-13-2009, 10:06 PM
I wuld not be too sure about thePassport and theMaid of theMist as I know that in the 1000 Islands the vacations for handicapped expressly say Passport required !! So figured it would be for any international waters !!

dis-happy
06-13-2009, 10:24 PM
All costs quoted are in Canadian $, and are per person.

If you buy a one day pass direct from the water park, the cost is $44.95.

If you are staying at a hotel connected to the water park (ie Sheraton on the Falls), you can buy day passes for $29.95 (we've done this a few times).

Our local Costco's (here in Toronto) sell day passes for the water park for $28.95.

Or, you can convert your hotel stay to a water park package, in which your passes are included (and you can visit the water park on multiple days). This rate will vary (but check to make sure the package rate, is less expensive than the day passes).

Niagara Falls is great in July. But there will be lots of people. It's their busiest time of the year (I've been there in July, and we've had a great time).


We stayed at the Hampton Inn last month on a package deal that included waterpark passes. Everyone in my family enjoyed the waterpark a lot, plus it was a short walk (basically across the street and up an elevator) to get there. The room rate was less than the cost of what we would have paid for the waterpark passes alone (family of 4, room rate was $135 ca IIRC). Plus, a breakfast buffett was included. The only thing I wasn't super crazy about was the location of the hotel; exit the front door and walk to the left and down to the Falls and you end up on a nice street with the Hershey store and stuff, but exit to the right and walk down and you end up by all the wax museums...lots and lots of teens on holiday and it felt a little seedy after dark. HTH

Niagara2
06-14-2009, 07:47 AM
I repeat, from expereince, I own and operate businesses in Niagara Falls that all deal with tourism and taking people between the two countries.....you DO NOT need a passport to ride the Maid of the Mist from the USA side.

We actually expect to see an increase in visitors to the US side this year as families realize that they do not want to pay for passports for a weekend trip, or get here and realize that they do not have the proper ID's and just stay in the USA.

Remember too, that children traveling with parents who are under the age of 16 only need an original copy of their birth certificate. The parents will need their passports, or an enhanced license, Nexus card or passport card.

In a few years this should all shake out and the majority of citizens will own one of these ID's. It will become the norm as homeland security continues to put in more and more restrictions as they try to keep our borders open and safe.

It has been rumored that Niagara Falls Ontario has been down over 30 percent since June 1 and the change of the law. What this might mean for you, is that prices may be dropping by the time you get here. I would suggest that if you pre book rooms, to make sure they can be conceled if there is a price drop. The hotels are still pre booking expecting levels of business as in years past, but with the economy and this new rule, I am sad to say that it will not be business as usual. Many new rooms came into the marketplace this year also.

The Falls are beautiful. Do not miss them. And, FYI, the USA is opening an new attraction this week. It is a snow park! It makes snow all year and has outdoor ice skating and tubing hills and snow play area for little kids. It looks really cool and I look forward to ice skating this week in our expected 80 degree weather. They say they can make and maintain the snow up to 100 degrees outside and it never gets that hot here. It is located on Main Street leading to the Rainbow Bridge.

Twende
06-14-2009, 09:12 AM
Any campground recommendations?

We visited this area every year for soccer tournaments for our children. We stayed at Four Mile Creek campground. It is owned by the state of NY. You must spell out the word FOUR when you name the campground.

It gets very busy at times of the year. We used to reserve our spot at the first time it was allowed to make the reservation.

http://www.reserveamerica.com/welcome.do

This link might take you directly to the campground information:http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Four_Mile_Creek_Campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NY&parkId=336&topTabIndex=CampingSpot


Our favorite site was #281. It is on a small private circle. It was near water supply and the bathrooms but you could see the lake. The sunsets on the lake are beyond incredible! We never stayed on the lake front since we tent camped and it was a way to the bathrooms plus if a storm brewed up the winds and a tent were not a good match!

It is a short drive to the falls or any of the other wonderful things to do in this area. Youngstown, NY is near for supplies and food. We found the grocery prices down right cheap. This always make it easier to not pack so much stuff when we left home. Canned goods, fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables were less expensive there than at home.

Wendaeh
06-14-2009, 09:33 AM
All costs quoted are in Canadian $, and are per person.

If you buy a one day pass direct from the water park, the cost is $44.95.

If you are staying at a hotel connected to the water park (ie Sheraton on the Falls), you can buy day passes for $29.95 (we've done this a few times).

Our local Costco's (here in Toronto) sell day passes for the water park for $28.95.

Or, you can convert your hotel stay to a water park package, in which your passes are included (and you can visit the water park on multiple days). This rate will vary (but check to make sure the package rate, is less expensive than the day passes).

Niagara Falls is great in July. But there will be lots of people. It's their busiest time of the year (I've been there in July, and we've had a great time).


What water park are you talking about? I'm confused....:confused:

Nevermind -- found it on the Sherton site...

Thanks!

disneyfanUSA
06-14-2009, 10:57 PM
I would suggest you apply for your passports now. If they don't arrive before your trip, I'd still plan to go to Niagara Falls and stay on the American side. I grew up in the area and feel that the U S side offers things the Candian side doesn't. It is more of a park-like setting while the Canadian side is very touristy. I agree that the "city" part of Niagara Falls, NY is not a good place to be.

If you only do the U S side, here's my highlights:
- On Goat Island, stop at the three sister islands. Bridges link the 3 small islands and you can get right up close to the rapids (churning water before it goes over the falls). I love this area.
- From Goat Island you can get right next to the Horseshoe Falls and stand on top of the Bidal Veil Falls.
- Maid of the Mist boat ride operates from both the US and Canadian sides
- Cave of the Winds - you can walk at the base of the Bridal Veil Falls - very exciting
-Take the time to travel to Lewiston/Youngstown NY and go to Old Fort Niagara - my kids love this
-There is a new speedboat ride (leave from Fort Niagara area) that goes into the whirlpool section of the Niagara River (I've never done this, but it looks great).
-At night there are fireworks over the Falls (we watched from the observation deck on the US side) - not sure what nights though....
- Hard Rock Cafe - my kids enjoyed eating here

There's plenty to do on the US side and if it means seeing the Falls versus not seeing it - DO IT!!

I live about 10 minutes from the Falls and agree with all of the above. We don't go over to the Canadian side much anymore as it is one big tourist trap. If you don't want to stay in downtown Niagara Falls there are many hotels on Niagara Falls Blvd about 10 minutes away. It is in a much better part of the city and you will find the Factory Outlet Mall, chain stores and restaurants near by. Many of the hotels are the mom & pop type and I don't know much about those. They just opened a brand new Holiday Inn Express and a new Motel Six that charges $49.00 per night. My sister stayed there when she came in town recently for a funeral. It was no frills, but all she cared about was cleanliness and being new it was. :goodvibes