I took this candid snapshot of my wife, Anne, while on the Maid of the Mist. We had just been to the falls and were on our way back down the river. I believe that the look on Annes face sums up our adventures at Niagara Falls to a tee!
I would travel to the end of the earth to see this smile every day!
Enjoy yourself, you will eventually spend a lot of time under the ground so you may as well enjoy yourself while you are above it!!!!
There are also no prizes for the richest person in the cemetery!
Make certain you have your passport with you as within minutes of leaving Niagara Falls you drive over the bridge and stop at the USA border inspection. Without a passport or other appropriate documentation you will not gain entry. Our coach had 40 passengers and each and everyone was inspected.
Returning to the United States
Every 30 days, returning U.S. citizens are allowed to bring back $400 (retail value) in merchandise duty-free, provided they have been out of the U.S. for 48 hours. This amount can include:
one carton of cigarettes
100 cigars (not Cuban)
two kilograms of smoking tobacco
one litre of liquor, provided the buyer is 21 years of age
If the length of the stay is less than 48 hours, $200 in merchandise may be taken back to the U.S. duty-free (including up to five ounces of alcohol and 50 cigarettes). The following items are not permitted into the U.S.:
Cuban or Iranian products
fruits and vegetables
Goods bought in Canada but manufactured in the U.S. are duty-free and not included in the basic exemption. Original handmade crafts and works of art are also exempt; however, a receipt of purchase may be required.
Try to get some good recommendations on places to eat before you go. Much of the food in the falls is overpriced for the quality. You only have to drive a mile to be out of Niagara and I would recommend getting out of town for dinner whether you prefer fine dining or casual.
if you travel to the United States by land or water, you must present one of the following valid documents as part of the U.S. Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI) requirements:
a valid passport
a nexus card or centri card
a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card: or an enhanced driver's licence/enhanced identification card (from a province or territory where available).
Canadian citizens flying to, through or from the U.S. must still present a valid passport. This requirement applies to all travellers, regardless of age!
Travelers from Europe:
European passport holders do not require a visa to visit Niagara Falls Canada. All you need is a valid passport, a return ticket and sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Niagara Falls Canada.
European visitors to Niagara Falls Canada who wish to also visit Niagara Falls United States must possess valid passports to be admitted; residents of Portugal are further required to have a visa.
The tourist area of Niagara Falls is vast, much larger than we may realize. It is very possible to park your car and then walk much greater distances than you had anticipated. My suggestion is to first decide which attractions interest you. After that, drive around planning which parking is close to your plans.
Niagara Falls is overcrowded with tourists, and because most of tourists came by car, they continue to use it as a matter of habit everywhere, although you can walk since everything is withing a short disctance - this city is not so large. As a result of this transportation habit Niagara Falls streets become a trap for the drivers, who can spend hours in the traffic without moving much, especially it happens during evenings. So I would recommend forget for awhile about modern achievments as a car, and just walk, enjoying surroundings, watching other people, and simply exercising.
The Niagara Parks, an agency of the Government of Ontario, has somehow allowed photos to be taken of you after you buy your tickets for the Maid of the Mist or the Great Gorge; there is no explanation that these photos are not part of your entry fee and that you will be charged $20 dollars for them on your way out. You are also not advised that you can refuse to pay and that you are not obliged to buy these photos. This is higly objectionable, and how the Niagara Parks allows its name to be associated with this is very questionable. So tourists to Niagara Falls, BEWARE I am placing the website of the organization that is doing the photos and the reorders below for your perusal. The cover and the jacket of the photos continue the impression that this is a Niagar Falls Parks enterprise: " Come and visit Niagara Parks again and again to enjoy the Authentic Falls Experience. Thank you for visiting Niagara Parks!"
many hotels offer packages that include breakfast and dinner. all in all these are great deals However some hotels word this very vaguely. When a hotel offers "breakfast both mornings and dinner one evening"-don't assume its totally free.. you may have a limited choice of breakfast items-of course you can purchase extras like the shot glass of OJ for $3.00 or 3 pieces of bacon for $4.50. your complimentary breakfast is now costing you. same goes with dinner- its usually a voucher good for XXX dollars towards dinner. here's the catch- its tough if not impossible to get 2 dinners under the amount of your voucher- you pay the rest- sometimes quite a bit. so just remember that these inclusive packages are not without extra charges. i personally get packages every time and they are a good value, but sometimes a complimentary meal isn't really free. in some cases itscosts about the same for 2 nights than it does for the package. also if you are traveling alone the package may still be the best way to go even though they are for 2(the $XXX voucher for dinner is now for ONE dinner not two-easier to stay within the amount
If you can't resist the temptation - what the heck, go for it, stand in line to buy a ticket, stand in line to the boat ...
Actually, jokes aside, a boat ride was worth taking it. A toy-like boat with human ants facing a magnificent and alive mountain of water...I uploaded those pictures into general tips.
From luxury hotels with guest suites overlooking "the falls" to motels next to the highway, you will find every type of lodging in Niagara Falls. Some are close to "the falls" and main tourist areas. Some are out in the country. Some are reasonably priced. Some are overpriced. Some aren't even here!
On the map you will see blue text and red text. The blue text indicates nearby towns and cities and the red text indicates Niagara Falls tourist areas with the highest concentration of guest rooms.
What to look for:
Location: If you stay in the Fallsview or Clifton Hill areas you are within comfortable walking distance to the river and "the falls". If you stay in the Lundy's Lane or Bed and Breakfast areas you will either have to drive, take a bus or cab-it to get to "the falls".
WORD TO THE WISE! Some hotels advertise themselves as being in Niagara Falls but are actually located in the out-of-town municipalities indicated by the blue text on the map. If the hotel address says Welland, St. Catherines, Niagara-on-the-Lake or anything other than Niagara Falls, be prepared to drive 20 or 30 minutes to get here.
Parking: If you book your guest room in the Fallsview or the Clifton Hill area you may find that your room rate doesn't include parking. Be prepared to pay an extra $20 per night parking plus tips for the valet.
Room Rates: As in any major tourist destination, the closer you are to the action, the higher the room rates. Fallsview and Clifton Hill areas are right at "the falls", be prepared to pay the highest rates in the city. The further west you travel along Lundy's Lane the cheaper the rates.
Hotel Sightseeing Tours or Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) Great Gorge Adventure Pass? Many of the hotels offer Niagara Falls bus tours ranging in price from $60 to $200+. The NPC offers the Great Gorge Adventure Pass (Self Guided Tour) for $40. The hotel tours can be as long as 8 hours with a rigid schedule but you will see most of the areas main attractions, be pampered by your guide and probably get a meal or two. The Great Gorge Adventure Pass is self guided, you will get tickets for most of the main attractions, no meals but you do it at your own pace and it includes all day use of the People Mover Bus. Best bang-for-your-buck is the NPC Great Gorge Adventure Pass.
Your trip to Niagara Falls should be something you'll remember fondly for the rest of your life. Choosing the wrong hotel could taint those memories forever. Choose wisely!
The Fallsview Area
The Fallsview Area is the closest to the Horseshoe Falls. A five minute walk.. Most of the major hotels are here. Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Oaks etc. The Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort is located here as well. You will find that the hotels in this area compare favourably with good quality hotels anywhere else in the world. I said good quality. This isn't New York, you won't find the "Pierre" here. Room rates are high in this area but bargains can be found, depending on the season (summer is high season), so shop around!
The Clifton Hill Area
The Clifton Hill Area is the main entertainment and restaurant area in Niagara Falls. There are a few excellent hotels here, Michael's Inn, Brock Plaza, the other Sheraton and the other Marriott. The chains like HoJo's, Best Western, etc. are also here as well as quite a few motels. This area is at the northern end of Queen Victoria Park, which stretches along the river from the Horseshoe Falls to the Rainbow Bridge. The American Falls is at the bottom of Clifton Hill and the Horsehoe Falls is about ten minute walk. Once again, prices can be high so shop around!
The Lundy's Lane Area
The Lundy's Lane Area is where you will find most of the motels and a few hotels. The Ramada Inn is here as well as the Americana Resort (with indoor waterpark), most everything else is motels or trailer parks. Judging from what I've seen from the road, about 75% of the motels here look like they're clean and well maintained. Many have outside pools and a shuttle service to "the falls" and casinos. In spite of their advertising, it's too far to walk to "the falls" from here. As for room rates. Depending on the season, some real bargains can be had in this area, especially if you travel further west on Lundy's Lane. Like anywhere else, the further away you are from the action, the cheaper the rooms.
The Bed and Breakfast Area
Of the 40 B&B's in Niagara Falls, most are concentrated in this area.. Many along River Road overlooking the Niagara River. The road can be very busy and noisey during the day but at night traffic drops quite a bit so close proximity shouldn't be a problem. From the handful of B&B's I've been in, I can say that they are clean and well maintained, cosy, comfortable and their hosts generally go the extra mile to make you feel welcomed. That is, after all, the nature of anyone crazy enough to own and operate a B&B! Their room rates seem to be fair, again depending on the season, and on the whole compare favourably with B&B's anywhere else in the world. It is worth noting however that this area, although quite picturesque near the river, is only a few blocks from Queen Street, the downtown area. Queen Street is a disgrace. It shouldn't even be called Downtown. It's nothing but a few bars, pawn shops and abandoned buildings. Don't go downtown!
You may find it strange, but the Rainbow Bridge has a toll of $0.50 (US or Canadian quarters only) when walking TO the US side FROM the Canadian side. It's important to note for those who want to park on the US side and walk across (since there's jack squat on the American side). There are change machines for both US and Canadian cash, but the US one only takes $1 and $5 bills. This also causes a problem as you cannot get change for US cash on the Canadian side.
What I ended up doing was going to the currency exchange right by the customs station and getting US$9 and CA$1 for my US$10. A lot of exchanges have minimums but this one didn't and the clerk was happy to oblige.
Hope that helps someone out.
I'm not a huge fan of donuts but my first experience of trying Tim Horton's donuts was in Niagara Falls. Those donuts are amazing as is the coffee. Fortunately, I'm a vegan now so I can just pass on by but back then, I ate way too many during a 5-day period.
My husband took his grandparents on their first flight a few years ago from JFK in NYC to Buffalo, NY. It was just a day trip. He rented a car and drove them to Niagara Falls, ON. What did he bring back for me? Those donuts of course!
there is goods and service tax (GST) as well as Provincial Sales Tax (PST) so in total it's 13% tax in Ontario , Canada
taxes are not included in price!
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