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  1. Default Driving from NY to Niagara

    Hi,

    I have traveled with bus tours twice earlier in NE (with friends and parents); but this time, I think I should drive to Niagara with my wife.

    I am starting from Irvington, NJ to Niagara on 2nd week of September. I have taken a rental car from the airport and planning to start early in the morning. I want to have a night view of Niagara and another session - following morning (may be maid of the mist).
    We cannot go to Canada side at this time. :(

    Probably, we could leave around noon so that I can reach by night and return the car.

    We are thinking of choosing a scenic route or a place on the way where we can spend some time. Any help?

    Regards

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

    Default Not What You Think

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    From your description, it sounds like you want to drive to Niagara Falls one day, then the next morning take the Maid of the Mist boat tour, and return to Irvington by a scenic route with a stop along the way to "spend some time". Unfortunately you don't have time for the driving, let alone the boat tour or scenic roads, or stops along the way. Two days is barely enough time to drive to Niagara via the New York State Thruway, take a quick peek at the falls in the morning, and drive back to Irvington via the Thruway and drop the car back at the airport. That's a lot of driving for a mere glance at the falls.

    The problem is that, apparently, you've fallen into the trap of believing the time estimates one gets from software mapping routines. Those are a complete fantasy. They assume that you will be able to travel at or above the speed limit for every second of every minute of every hour you're on the road. That you will never see construction, a traffic jam, or even one truck passing another in your way. They also assume that your car will never need gas, that you will never need food, and that you will never even have to go to the bathroom. And they assume that you will never have to stop and wit in line to pay a toll. As I say, they're a fantasy. For a more realistic estimate of the time needed for drives of any length you can either add 20% or so to the times you get from the computer, or you can assume a much more realistic overall average speed of 55-60 mph. Either method will yield a guesstimated drive time between Irvington and Niagara Falls of about 7½ hours, but the most direct route. That will just let you get to the Falls in the evening before sunset, but it will not let you hang around the next day 'til noon, then take a scenic (and slower) route back, and make stops along the way. That's just the sad reality. Better you find out now than have your plans explode in your face on the way back and realize you're going to get socked with an additional day's rental charge on the car.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Hi, thanks for your quick reply.
    I apologise, i was not very clear. I was planning to spend some extra time on the way to Niagara (since I am starting in the morning from NY).

    Here is my plan:
    Fly from Phoenix to Newark and reach at night. Get a rental car and stay in a hotel.
    Start in the early morning to Niagara, take a scenic route, possibly spend some time in one additional place on the way. Reach 7 or 8ish in the evening and check-in my hotel which is 4-5 miles from the falls. Have a night view.

    Try maid of the mist (thats what I have seen last two times) in the morning and drive back to NY with the best possible route. I am planning to start by noon so that I can return the car on time.

    I will spend remaining two days in NY before flying back.


    Regards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Right

    That's just what I thought. Drive from the New York City area to Niagara Falls on Day 1 (barely possible, but not if you also plan to take a scenic route AND make stops along the way), then take the Maid of the Mist tour AND drive back to the New York City area on Day 2 (not possible to do safely.) So, no, I can't recommend that you do this or make suggestions for even more additional things to cram into time that you already don't have.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    All right. Then probably, bus tour would be the only convenient option. :( (Unless I take one way car rental and take a train on my way back)
    Thanks so much.

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

    Default Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    You may find that the one way drop fee will be close to what an extra day's rental would cost.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    Yeah, thats true. I am thinking of possibility of car trip without visiting additional places.

    Regards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default If you don't have more time....

    You mean you would drive two full days on the NY thruway, with (not too cheap) tolls the whole way, to take a quick peep at the falls? I might be off the mark, but to me that would be both a waste of time, and money.

    Have you thought of visiting some of the numerous sights within easy driving of Newark (where car rental is cheaper than NY), and perhaps leaving the falls for another time, when you have the time to really enjoy them and the trip?

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    You definitely do not have to take the NY Thruway to get from NJ to Niagara. It's just as fast to take I-80/I-380/I-81/I-86/I-390/NY-36/NY-63/US-20 and it's actually 50 miles shorter. The only toll on this route is the I-80 bridge between NJ and PA.

  10. Default

    @Lifemagician, thanks. I think that's a good option too. Can you think of anything within 3-4 hours of drive from Newark? Right now, I just have Boston and Washington DC in mind; but i haven't done any research on what are the attractions in these cities.

    @glc, thanks. I will keep that as an option if I drive to Niagara. I almost had the similar route in mind. But was thinking of (NY-79, NY-96) OR (NY-96, NY-14) if I get some extra time (and came to know now that I won't have extra time).

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