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  1. Default Danish family group planning 5 day return trip from Boston to Niagara Falls

    After a weeks stay in Boston in July 2011, we are planning a 5 day trip to Niagara Falls. We have two areas of querry:

    Being af group of 7 adults (5 tweens and 2 50+ parents), should we rent a Motorhome or a Minivan+Hotel?

    Having read the postings and likns on the RTA page, we plan to take the US90 to Springfield and then head north to join the Mohawk Trail and stay in the Graylock Mountain area. Next day we could do the Finger lakes and stay there, before going to Niagara Falls on the 3rd day. Should we stay on the US or the Canadian side of the Falls? Going back, is it worth while to take the road along Lake Ontario to Rochester? What will be the driving time from Waterloo to Niagara Falls?

    Looking foreward to comments and suggestions to alternative routes as well.

    Alfred

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Comments and Suggestions, Then

    Velkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Motorhomes/RVs are almost never an economical choice, particularly for short RoadTrips such as the one you envisage. By the time you pay the considerable rental fee, burn a whole lot more fuel, secure a campsite each night, and take care of the higher tolls, any 'savings' over a motel room (with real heat and bathroom facilities) prove illusory. Get a minivan and a couple of motel rooms each night and be comfortable.

    Both sides of the Falls have their benefits, but in general the Canadian side offers slightly more scenic views, and I think that you can access the tunnels behind the Falls only from the Canadian side. Other than NY-18 and the Lake Ontario State Pkwy between Fort Niagara and Rochester, the roads 'along' Lake Ontario don't really follow the lakeshore, so you can plan on dropping back south from the Rochester area and see some of what you've missed in the Finger Lakes region.

    From Waterloo to Niagara Falls is about 2 hours driving time in a sedan using the Thruway. To that you must add time if you are driving a motorhome, taking US-20 or other 'local' roads, making stops for food, fuel or sight seeing, etc. For several other suggestions for your general route, check out the discussions linked to from here.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Niagara Falls attractions

    As mentioned, the behind the falls walk is only accessible from the Canadian side. On the other hand, the boat trip, 'The Maid of the Mist' is only accessible from the US side. Both are very worthwhile experiences at the Falls.

    Another attraction which I found of great value is the Imax movie of the Falls, which is shown at the Imax theatre on the Canadian side. And make time to stand and observe the Falls and the Rainbow bridge, from the lookout platform. Another close up experience of the Falls is to go for a walk onto Goat Island and see the Falls from the back, and a close look at the Canadian Falls from the eastern side.

    Also, be sure to go and see the falls at night. They are spectacular with the coloured floodlights. It is very easy to spend a couple of days, just at the Falls. There really is a lot to do and see.

    Lifey

  4. #4

    Default See Both Sides of Niagara Falls

    I grew up within 15 miles of Niagara, so I know it very well.

    First, there are great views on both sides, and both should be seen. However, the Canadian side is better to stay at, and has better attractions. I recommend Journey Behind the Falls, The Spanish Aerocar at Whirlpool Rapids, Niagara Glen for hiking down to the gorge, and the Floral Clock at Sir Adam Beck Power Station, all on the Canadian side. The Maid of the Mist is a "must-do" and can be boarded from either American or Canadian side. If you want to see the falls up close after the Maid of the mist, though, take the American version and then walk below the American Falls in your rain slicker provided on the boat trip.

    If you walk over on Goat Island between the falls, you can see the falls from the brink, go to Cave of the Winds, and see the upper rapids from Three Sisters Islands. Don't miss the small Luna Island between the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls for a neat middle-falls view.

    Try this RTA route for planning your visit.

  5. Default

    Dear all, having been absent for a month, I am happy to read your valuable comments. Thank you so much. I have now made reservations for a Minivan for the 5 days trip to Niagara Falls. It seems, the route I have thought of is OK, since nobody commented on it, apart from the lake Ontario route, I questioned.

    Now I will be looking for nice accomodations on the way. Has anybody suggestions to nice places on the way?

  6. #6

    Default

    3 months late, but I thought I should correct something. The Maid of the Mist runs from both sides: the Canadian and the American.

    --Jon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Velkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Motorhomes/RVs are almost never an economical choice, particularly for short RoadTrips such as the one you envisage. By the time you pay the considerable rental fee, burn a whole lot more fuel, secure a campsite each night, and take care of the higher tolls, any 'savings' over a motel room (with real heat and bathroom facilities) prove illusory.
    Whether there are savings by using/renting an RV, or going the motel/restaurant route, really depends on what you want to do, what types of places you like to stay at, and how you budget. It may also be a matter of personal preference. With an RV on your back, you can stop where you like to use restrooms, eat (your own cooking) almost wherever you like, and you can either stop and sleep in a travel center (i.e truck stop) or at a luxurious RV park. However, depending on the type/size of RV you get, you may have parking issues or have to tow a car. So yes, that means more fuel expended.

    Everything's a trade-off.


    Donna

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