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Niagara Falls:

General info:
There are two sides to Niagara Falls - the Canadian side and the American side, with several bridges crossing over. The Canadian side has the Chabad and Kosher restaurants as well as almost every activity, therefore almost all DDFers stay in Canada. Also, the falls themselves have two vast sections, neither of which are really wonderfully visible standing on the American side.

The two main activities are a ferry-sized boat ride that takes you right up next to the falls and walking next to the falls. In CA, the boat is called Hornblower and in US, it's called Maid of the Mist. Reviews are great for both and say they are similar experiences. The Hornblower boats are bigger and newer, and may run more often during peak times, but both boats actually follow the exact same route (other than pickup/drop off in the US or Canada respectively, of course.) In CA, walking by the falls is called Journey Behind the Falls, and in US, it's called Cave of the Winds. COTW - yes, on the US side - is the clear winner from DDF reviews and is worth crossing over the border for. JBtFs is impressive, and there is a wonderful platform right next to the falls that is extraordinary, but the portals to look out from behind the falls are essentially grey from the falling water, there's not much to see.

Other great activities that shouldn't be missed are the Skylon Tower (can't miss it) and the White Water Walk (slightly north, downriver from the falls, take WEGO - see below), and for those with the stomach for it, the WildPlay Zipline at the Hornblower area is highly recommended!

It should be noted that Chabad sells a variety of discounted tickets to some of the local activities listed below, which can be a good deal and also help to support Chabad. The passes are sold from a small desk to your left as you enter the michig restaurant. (In particular, their "J-Pass" was found to be useful by one family in July 2018.) There are also also other passes sold by Niagara Parks Canada that may be useful, depending on what you'd like to do.

Set your phone to network only (no roaming), and it should pick up the signal from the USA. However, in the 4P and Chabad area, Sprint did not work well for @Yehuda, but by Sheraton on the Falls / Clifton Hill and the different activities, it worked fine. May be worth looking into getting a Canadian sim card.

http://www.niagarafallsbridges.com/ lists all 4 bridges with appx wait times. You can also call 1-800-715-6722 to check wait times.

Money: Newsflash: Canada is a different country. They measure things in meters, have Tim Hortons instead of Dunkin' Donuts, and eat fries soaked in gravy (poutine) and swear it's good. Surprise, they also have different money than the US.

CCs with FX fees should not be used unless you know for sure that it won't apply from CA. As of July 2018, many stores will take American dollars in a pinch but with unfavorable - or sometimes ZERO - exchange rates, despite the fact that it was 0.76 USD to 1 CAD at the time, so beware.

Minyanim:
See here: http://www.jewishniagara.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1299265
Please see below regarding parking.

Restaurants:
There is both a Dairy and Meat (Meat only open Sun-Wed) restaurant in the Chabad Center (which is located across from the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, map) open during the summer season, cash only (they were taking CC's as of July 2018), see the website and/or Facebook page for details.

As of the week after Tisha B'av 2018, the experience of one family was that the fleishig restaurant was brand new, with a limited menu, expensive, but with great food and great service. The milchig restaurant was expensive, with only barely passable food and downright abysmal service.

Important: There is no official parking at the Chabad center/restaurant, but there is paid street parking just up the street from them. Signs posted, and speaking with some of the Chabad and restaurant folks confirm, that parking in the parking lot right near Chabad may result in your car being towed, a $350 ticket, and another $400 to get your car out of the impound lot, not to mention a chilul Hashem. Don't do it. The Chabad website recommends staying at the Four Points by Sheraton Fallsview which is right across from the Chabad center.

Nissan's Deli - There is a limited deli (shnitzel, hot dogs, hamburgers, deli salads, etc.) about 20 min drive away, located in the Top's Supermarket at 3980 Maple Road, Amherst, NY. @S209 called CRC and they vouched for the kashrus here. Call ahead, hours aren't posted on website. The supermarket also has a good selection of fresh kosher items (cold cuts, cheeses, cholov yisroel milk was frozen). The bakery in this Tops is kosher (Va'ad Hakashrus of Buffalo), extensive & delicious - dairy & parve items available.

Hotels:
Be careful with hotel names as there are 4 SPG properties that have similar names - Sheraton on the Falls (CA), Sheraton at the Falls (US), Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview (CA), Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls (US). Come on Starwood...

Sheraton On The Falls nice hotel, right next to to the local attractions, Hornblower, Journey Behind the falls(10 min walk) Niagara SkyWheel etc. You can get a Deluxe Fallsview room for 11k Starpoints. The only suites they have are corner suites, so if you book/upgrade to a suite you'll get a corner suite which is very nice and spacious.

Near each other and Chabad
Four Points by Sheraton Fallsview - Category 5 - 35K Marriott, within Eruv to Chabad across the street, meals are in this hotel
Embassy Suites - 70K HH
Hilton - 70K HH (see here for info on a contact for upgrades)

Near Clifton Hill
Sheraton on the Falls - Category 6 - 50K Marriott
Courtyard Niagara Falls - Category 5 - 35K Marriott

Can often find package deals or cheaper rates (not during holiday season) on Groupon or by Googling hotel name and "packages" or "deals" as they each have a packages section of their website.

Transportation:

Although you probably came to Niagara by car, driving around everywhere and parking is a problem. There are not enough (occasionally ANY) parking spaces at the key attractions, and what parking there is is quite expensive. $10-$15 per day is OK, but if there is no hourly rate, you can easily pay that 4x per day if you aren't careful. If you are staying in the hotels and like a lot of walking, you can pretty much walk to the main Hornblower-to-Table Rock section of the Falls activities and from Clifton Hill to Fallsview/Chabad area with a can-do attitude and a good pair of shoes. If you are coming with kids or anyone who gets whiny when they have to walk too much, or you are interested in activities down by the Whirlpool area or elsewhere in the region, consider buying WEGO passes (http://www.wegoniagarafalls.com/fares/), which give you unlimited bus rides on the Canadian side for 24 or 48 hours. The buses are fast and clean, the stops are all over, and the wait is usually not more than a max of 10 min in peak times.

Note that WEGO passes are included in all three levels of the Niagara Parks Adventure Pass (https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit-niagara-parks/plan-your-visit/deals-packages/), but not in the Chabad J-Pass.

Activities:

Canadian Side:

Journey Behind The Falls
Phone: 905-354-1551
Admission: $16.75/adult, $10.95/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (CAD, +Tax. Including a rain poncho)
Mid-December to mid-April: The Lower Observation area closes due to bad weather conditions. Ticket rates will be reduced: $11.25/adult, $6.95/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (CAD, +Tax)
Open late on most days

Hornblower Niagara Cruises
Phone: 905-642-4272
Admission: $19.95/adult, $12.25/5-12yrs, Free/<5yrs
Off-Peak (before 10:30am after 4:30pm): $17.95/adult, $12.25/5-12yrs, Free/<5yrs
http://www.niagaracruises.com/

Niagara Helicopters
Address: 3731 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6V5
Phone: 905-357-5672
Admission: $137/adult, $85/child, $264/couple
Hours: 9:00AM-Sunset
Duration: 12 minutes (including boarding time)
http://www.niagarahelicopters.com/

Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
Address: Several Locations
Phone: 888-438-4444
Admission: $61/adult, $51/child
http://www.whirlpooljet.com/

Niagara's Fury
Address: 6650 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0L0
Phone: 905-358-3268
Admission: $13.50/adult, $8.80/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/niagaras-fury.html

White Water Walk to the Whirlpool Rapids
Admission: $10.95/adult, $7.00/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/white-water-walk.html

Whirlpool Aero Car
Phone: 905-354-5711
Admission: $13.50/adult, $8.50/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
Parking: Free
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/whirlpool-aero-car.html

Marineland
http://www.marinelandcanada.com/
Admission: $42.95 CDN/ Adult (13+), $39.95 CDN/ Child (5-12), 4 and under- FREE
Parking: Free

Falls Incline Railway
Admission: $2.50/One way, $5.00/Round trip, $6.00/All day (Free <5yrs)
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/falls-incline-railway.html

SkyWheel
Address: 4950 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3N4
Phone: 905-358-4793
Admission: $10.99/adult, $6.99/<12yrs

Skylon Tower
Hours: Summer 8:00AM - Midnight, Winter 9:00AM - 10:00PM
Admission: "Ride-To-The-Top & Observation Decks" $13.91/adult ($10.79 online), $8.11/3-12yrs ($6.47 online), Free/<3yrs
"3D/4D Theatre"  $11.59/adult ($10.61 online), $6.95/3-12yrs ($5.89 online), Free/<3yrs
Check out the Revolving Dining Room!
http://www.skylon.com/

IMAX
Address: 6170 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7T8
Phone: 905-358-3611
Hourly shows.
Admission: $12.50/adult (+ taxes = 14.50), $9.90/child (+ taxes = 10.44)
http://imaxniagara.com/

Butterfly Conservatory
Phone: 905-356-8119
Admission: $13.50/adult, $8.80/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
Parking: $5.00
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/butterfly-conservatory.html

Botanical Gardens
Phone: 905-356-8119
Admission: Free
Parking: $5.00
Hours: Dawn - Dusk
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/botanical-gardens.html

Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Address: 4960 Clifton Hill Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 3N4
Phone: 905-356-2238
Admission: $15.81/adult ($13.99 online), $9.03/6-12yrs ($7.99 online)
http://www.ripleys.com/niagarafalls/

[Wiki in progress, need to reconcile these activities to those listed above]
CANADA
Hornblower Niagara Cruises (canada) - $20, 5 min walk from SOTF
Journey Behind the Falls (canada) - (bleh compared to cave of the winds)
White Water Walk to the Whirlpool Rapids - $10, take bus to it or park for free.
Whirlpool Aero Car - $11, take bus or park for free.
Falls Incline Railway - just for a view, can get view from hotel room
Clifton Hill
Bird Kingdom - $15, 7 min walk from SOTF
Botanical Gardens - free, $5 parking, bus
- Floral Clock - something to see
- Butterfly Conservatory - $15
Skylon Tower - $13, 15 min walk from SOTF

USA
Goat Island
- Cave of the Winds (usa) - $19 much better than journey behind the falls, 30 min walk from SOTF
- Trolley - $3
- Terrapin Point - view
Fireworks - can be seen from hotel room
Rainbow Bridge for pics/views of both falls - need passport, 1 Dollar (4 quaters ) cash toll, only paying when leaving canada
Whirlpool State Park - hiking down to see the rapids, will do White Water Walk instead

Activities packages - Canada, USA - I found that they didn't have enough of the activities I wanted to do on the same pass (particularly because I wanted to combine CA and US activities). Chabad also has a discounted package called J-Pass as well as discounts to individual activities but they aren't so organized and it's hard to find someone to help you with tickets.


American Side:

Maid Of The Mist
Address: 1 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY
Boats depart every 15 minutes. Trips are 20 minutes.
Last day of operation for the 2014 season is October 31, 2014
Admission: $17.00/adult, $9.90/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs
http://www.maidofthemist.com/

Cave Of The Winds
Phone: 716-278-0337
Hours: 9:00AM - 7:30PM
Admission: $12.00/adult, $8.00/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (must be at least 42" tall)
Parking (on Goat Island): $8.00
http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/cave-of-the-winds.aspx

Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours
454 Main Street Niagara Falls, NY 14301
Phone: 716-284-2800
Hours: 9:00AM -
Open until 10/31
http://rainbowairinc.com/index.html

Aquarium of Niagara
Address: 701 Whirlpool St, Niagara Falls, NY 14301
Phone: 716-285-3575
Hours: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Admission: $10.00/adult, $9.00/seniors(60+), $6.50/3-12yrs, Free/<2yrs
Parking: Free
http://www.aquariumofniagara.org/

Activities on the Way from NY:
Cooperstown - Baseball Hall of Fame, James Fenimore Cooper museum, quaint rural town obsessed with baseball.
Krispy Kreme in Scranton - on Moosic Street, under KOA with supervision from local Scranton Rav - R' Fine, recommended by Rabbi Eidlitz from KosherQuest.com via email to @Yehuda
Corning Museum of Glass ($20) - large museum of varying glass displays and creations, glass blowing demonstrations, has high reviews although @Yehuda didn't think it was that amazing
Watkins Glen State Park (free, $8 parking) - hike in a gorge along several waterfalls, more of an upward step climb than a hike which is quite strenuous, @Yehuda recommends going 20 minutes in to see the first few falls then turning back, if you go the whole 1-1.5 hours you can wait for a shuttle school bus to take you back to the parking lot for $5 cash
Letchworth State Park - hot air balloons
Finger Lakes - can go on a boat cruise or just find a nice place to pull over for a good lunch spot, @Yehuda took Hwy 14, which runs alongside Seneca Lake and found a grassy area with benches.
Strong Museum of Play in Rochester ($15) - not exactly on the most direct route, but a fantastic, huge museum of toys and games (many of which you can play) for all ages
Howe Caverns ($25) - boat ride in a cave, but close to Albany, so not on a great route to Niagara
Erie Canal Tours - Herkimer Highly recommended. (I'll try to edit and post more info soon)

At Niagara you are also ~1-1.5 hours from Toronto.
« Last edited by ajs625 on July 17, 2019, 12:36:43 PM »

Author Topic: Niagara Falls Master Thread  (Read 160384 times)

Offline gozalim

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #285 on: August 16, 2013, 04:09:32 AM »
I see some here stayed at Fourpoints Fallsview (Canadian side). how does that compare with "Sheraton At The Falls, NY"?
(in theory the Canadian one has fallsview rooms, but I non available for my stay anyway...)
has anyone stayed at the US side Sheraton? any thoughts on the comparison? the room rates run higher- does that mean anything?

also, how big a deal is crossing the border?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 04:15:03 AM by gozalim »

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #286 on: August 16, 2013, 11:29:31 AM »
I see some here stayed at Fourpoints Fallsview (Canadian side). how does that compare with "Sheraton At The Falls, NY"?
(in theory the Canadian one has fallsview rooms, but I non available for my stay anyway...)
has anyone stayed at the US side Sheraton? any thoughts on the comparison? the room rates run higher- does that mean anything?

also, how big a deal is crossing the border?
IMHO if you are going to Niagara is a must to have a falls view room.

Crossing the border is no big deal. Over 15 needs a passport, and under 15 a birth certificate.

It will take 15-20 or so to cross - there usually are some lines

Offline gozalim

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #287 on: August 16, 2013, 05:40:10 PM »
IMHO if you are going to Niagara is a must to have a falls view room.
does the NY one have any fallsview?
four points fallsview (canadian side) wanted 2x points for a fallsview room (cheaper rooms were sold out)

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #288 on: August 16, 2013, 06:07:55 PM »
does the NY one have any fallsview?
four points fallsview (canadian side) wanted 2x points for a fallsview room (cheaper rooms were sold out)
Try Sheraton on the Falls.

Call SPG

Offline metziah

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #289 on: August 17, 2013, 11:55:50 PM »

IMHO if you are going to Niagara is a must to have a falls view room.

Crossing the border is no big deal. Over 15 needs a passport, and under 15 a birth certificate.

It will take 15-20 or so to cross - there usually are some lines
This really depends when you plan on crossing. I've waited at times way over an hour at the border.

Offline Deal Guy

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #290 on: August 18, 2013, 12:09:51 AM »
So which view is considered better- An Embassy/Hilton view directly over the Horseshoe falls (Centro's view), or a corner suite at the Sheraton on the Falls which gives you a direct view of both falls, where you can actually make out the entire circle of the horseshoe falls but its further from it (Name Changed's view)?
anyone?

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #291 on: August 18, 2013, 12:19:55 AM »
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline gozalim

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #292 on: August 19, 2013, 12:15:05 AM »
Try Sheraton on the Falls.

Call SPG
IMO, SOTF is the way to go.
thanks, guys.
Any suggestions for parking? Swallow the $20? Is this idea viable?

 
In NF I stayed at SOTF (Sheraton on the Falls) as a Plat got a very nice UP to a great Falls view room.

Now they do charge for parking which is in the lot that is used for the Casino as well as mall thats attched.

 All you need to do is park and then walk over to the Casino and sign up for their Players card (each driver if more then 1 car). and use that Players card when leaving and no charge for parking!

 but when U 1st get there pull up by the Hotels entrance and unload your bags as its a little bit of a walk from the parking garage to teh Hotel.Theres also a few spaces where you can leave the car while checking in and bringing the bags up to the room


Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #293 on: August 19, 2013, 09:13:01 AM »
thanks, guys.
Any suggestions for parking? Swallow the $20? Is this idea viable?

 
There is a Comfort Inn up the block with cheaper parking. Not more than a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline waterpri

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #294 on: August 19, 2013, 02:40:14 PM »
thanks, guys.
Any suggestions for parking? Swallow the $20? Is this idea viable?

 

Not sure how far to the casino, but the casino parking is $5 for every time you go in and out.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #295 on: August 19, 2013, 02:41:36 PM »
Not sure how far to the casino, but the casino parking is $5 for every time you go in and out.
Next door.

It is possible they may validate parking if you play in the casino.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #296 on: August 19, 2013, 02:57:00 PM »
I parked in the Shearton parking lot, that is shared with a few hotels and a Casino.

Parking is $20 a day

Valet is $30.

It was a pretty big pain every time getting to the car, it would have been worth to pay the extra $10 for valet.

In my case the card reader didn't work for reading the card when entering the garage, so I took a new card every time I entered, and used the card that I got at the from desk at checking for leaving.

The card the front desk gave me was only good for 48 hours, so I was told I need a new one after 2 days.

I never ended up getting a new one, and the one I had let me leave after 2 days (and I entered with getting a new card every time).

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #297 on: August 19, 2013, 03:14:41 PM »
Walking from the Sheraton to the Comfort Inn. The parking is cheap and will possibly take the same amount of time as walking into the parking garage at the Sheraton/casino.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline whYME

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #298 on: August 27, 2013, 12:22:27 AM »
IME crossing is no big deal, and the hotel room views from the Canadian side are much better IMHO.
FTFY (IMO)

If you want an up-close view of the falls, the American side is far superior IMO, and much more accessible.



ETA: I've never stayed at a hotel there (though I have been there many times,) I'm assuming based on this thread that the hotels are better on the Canadian side...
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 12:25:28 AM by whYME »

Offline lunatic

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #299 on: September 01, 2013, 07:39:24 PM »
If you stay at Sheraton on the falls you can walk across the border ($.50 toll and no wait) and jump on a trolley on the other side