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  1. Default Family Road Trip Washington to Niagara falls


    We are planning a family road trip from Washington DC to Niagara falls Aug 2016.
    The family is 3 adults and 2 teenager ( 17, 15), so the road trip must provide a full exiting times for them ( No extreme God forbid for them )
    So please advise on a tour that will include site seeing , motels , and shopping ( Two women in the group :) )


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Hand it over to the teenagers.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    My very first reaction is to hand the teenagers some good detailed maps (e..g. AAA maps) of the States through which this trip will take you, together with the advice in this paragraph:-

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    Let them do the research into all the attractions and places found on the maps, just be aware that the times quoted on computer mapping programs are pure fantasy, and do not relate to real world conditions.

    Having been through the teenage years five times over, that is what I would do.... with strict instructions as to what to include for the adults.

    Pennsylvania alone is full of wonderful attractions and scenic drives. Ones you see a little of their research you'll find there is plenty to interest all age groups.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Starting Hints

    Here's a description of some of the highlights that can be found on a Washington to Niagara Falls RoadTrip, but there are certainly other places that might appeal to them (and you) that could also be included. A few examples: Williamsport PA, the home of the Little League World Series; The Lucy and Desi Museum in Jamestown NY; the National Soaring Museum in Elmira NY; wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York; Pine Creek Gorge - the 'Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania'; and just north of Niagara Falls, there's Niagara-on-the Lake an Fort George National Historic Site on the Canadian side and Fort Niagara State Park on the American side. As Lifey points out, you'll need to see where all those sites fall on the map to see which you'll have time to include on your drive, but there's certainly no shortage of possibilities.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Doesn't one need a passport to do the Canadian side of the Falls, now?


  5. #5


    A passport or a passcard (card like a driver's license, smaller and less expensive) is needed to cross the USA/Canadian border, each way! And the Canadians can be rather fussy if you have a DUI record from what I understand.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Doesn't one need a passport to do the Canadian side of the Falls, now?

    You don't need a passport, but do need either the enhanced drivers license (not available in all states) or a Passport Card. The Passport card is half the cost of a full Passport - $55 versus $110 - and is good for 10 years See this website for instructions.

    It will be worth the cost of the cards to go into Canada, as there are some good attractions on both sides of Niagara Falls. As a 'border boy' who grew up 15 miles from the falls, I would recommend The following: Goat Island (the island between the two major falls), which includes Cave of the Winds, Terrapin Point, Luna Island and a foot bridge across the river to the Prospect Point Observation Tower where you descend by elevator to Maid of the Mist and the walkway beneath the American Falls. Those are all on the American side and all are reasonably priced.

    On the Canadian Side you have three towers, of which Skylon is the best, the Canadian Journey Behind the Falls, Spanish Aerocar at Whirlpool Rapids, Niagara Glen with trails down to the river and the Sir Adam Beck Power Plant and Gardens, including a huge floral clock. Further down the river near Lake Ontario are Fort George (Canadian side) and Fort Niagara (American Side).

    If you don't mind spending more, There are helicopter rides, power boat rides through the lower rapids beyond Whirlpool Rapids and guided tours available, but I've always found plenty to do there without spending a fortune. All of the above are well within a vacation budget. and will occupy you for a couple of days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    It's worth noting that the Younger Teen would be able to cross the border with only a birth certificate.

    Children 16 and older are required to follow all of the regular rules for having a passport/passport card/enhanced drivers license. An official birth certificate is acceptable for Children 15 and younger.

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