Topic Wiki

Toronto Master Thread Linky
------------------------------------
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 - 10K SPG, 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 - 10K SPG

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 Moshe90 on August 02, 2018, 11:48:10 PM »

Author Topic: Niagara Falls Master Thread  (Read 114592 times)

Offline moish

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 9201
  • Total likes: 29
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA LT Plat, Avis, SPG Plat
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2010, 02:09:19 AM »
I don't know about the Four Points, but you definitely should go with the Sheraton on the Falls over the Sheraton Fallsview.
 On second thought, I second Steve2, and think that for $82.47 CAD, you gotta go with the Four Points, and let us know how it was.
why would you recommend it over fallsview?

Offline Deal Guy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 4358
  • Total likes: 21
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 9
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2010, 02:20:38 AM »
why would you recommend it over fallsview?

 Last summer I stayed in a beautiful corner presidental suite at the Sheraton on the falls and also had them show me a number of rooms and suites with a fallsview, and when I asked for a tour of multiple rooms at the Fallsview, their views were not the same.
 Also, the Sheraton on the falls is a more central location, and walking down the block gets you right to the Maid of the Mist boat ride, as well as a stop on the people mover buses.

Offline steve2

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Posts: 2077
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: outside some Club
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2010, 10:27:55 AM »
why would you recommend it over fallsview?

 since the 4P is 1/3 the $$

 Now if a person will feel they will stand at the window looking at the Falls for hours on end then I could see spending the extra $$, but they would need to keep some of it to pay the shrink as well

 when I stayed at the SOTF it was the cheapest $$wise and they UPed me to a very nice Falls view room which I took a few pics of and then changed and headed to Toronto where I had a wedding to attend.Looked again for a couple of mins before leaving in the morn, it was nice but IMO not worth paying any extra for. BTW theres a restaurant on a high floor that would have given me the same view and pic opportunity

Offline aarony

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jan 2010
  • Posts: 421
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2010, 10:41:16 AM »
last time i was in niagara i stayed at the embassy suites and we had an unbelievable view.  For us it was worth it to do one time.  I would not necessarily do it again. 

This time around i really want to minimize my out of pocket costs so i may end up using points - even though they are worth alot more on paper, ultimately i will end up with free rooms and its not like i am using the points for anything else right now.

Offline steve2

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Posts: 2077
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: outside some Club
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2010, 10:47:56 AM »
last time i was in niagara i stayed at the embassy suites and we had an unbelievable view.  For us it was worth it to do one time.  I would not necessarily do it again. 

This time around i really want to minimize my out of pocket costs so i may end up using points - even though they are worth alot more on paper, ultimately i will end up with free rooms and its not like i am using the points for anything else right now.

 then why not Priceline the rooms? and take whatever you get if it doesnt matter, just do yur homework 1st on www.betterbidding.com & www.biddingfortravel.com so you know what others won bids for so that you dont over pay

 SPG pts are worth to much IMO to blow if you can get PL and the actual Hotel doesnt matter

Offline moish

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 9201
  • Total likes: 29
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA LT Plat, Avis, SPG Plat
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2010, 05:14:50 PM »
last time i was in niagara i stayed at the embassy suites and we had an unbelievable view.  For us it was worth it to do one time.  I would not necessarily do it again. 

This time around i really want to minimize my out of pocket costs so i may end up using points - even though they are worth alot more on paper, ultimately i will end up with free rooms and its not like i am using the points for anything else right now.
ill send you the cash for your points so not only will you not have out of pocket expenss, youl have extra money in your pocket

Offline youG

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2010
  • Posts: 665
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2010, 05:58:31 PM »
I'm also planning on nf in the summer I'm wondering about hotels and I currebtlh don't have any starwood points. Any ideas?
Secondly if your in thornhill why not eat in miami grill! Or if you want a cheaper place with amazing wings and subs try joeboo cookoo really good!

Offline moish

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 9201
  • Total likes: 29
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA LT Plat, Avis, SPG Plat
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2010, 07:51:30 PM »
i once got sheraton fallsview with priceline for around 90 all in

Offline BrooklynCPA

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2008
  • Posts: 1444
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2010, 12:02:13 PM »
The 4 points on the US side of the falls is one of the worst Starwoods i've ever been to (aside from 4 points in Miami). The Rooms were dingy and disgusting. There used to be a decent 4 Points on the Canadian side but it does not exist anymore. Sheraton by the Falls is a much newer and nice hotel then the Fallsview.

Offline steve2

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Posts: 2077
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: outside some Club
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2010, 12:20:25 PM »
The 4 points on the US side of the falls is one of the worst Starwoods i've ever been to (aside from 4 points in Miami). The Rooms were dingy and disgusting. There used to be a decent 4 Points on the Canadian side but it does not exist anymore. Sheraton by the Falls is a much newer and nice hotel then the Fallsview.

 FYI the 4P we are talking about is on the Canadian side and is new to *W, as reported by any member it was previously The Renassiance Hotel (Marriott prop).

 I just dont want anyone to KO it thinking its the same 4P as you were telling us about its Not

Offline rg

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 46
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2010, 09:16:26 PM »
Hi,
I'm new to Dansdeals and I am looking to go with my family (6 kids ages 1 to 16) in July for a couple of days to Niagara falls and the following week to Washington. (Maybe Lancaster after that.)
Any ideas for cheap lodging and what to see, where to eat?
We want to keep it as budgetfriendly as possible.
We don't have miles or pointsbesides Thank you points of our mastercard.
Any help would really be appreciated.
p.s. We need a daily minyan

Offline Deal Guy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 4358
  • Total likes: 21
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 9
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2010, 12:01:30 AM »
Please supply approx dates. Thanks.

Offline jack

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jun 2008
  • Posts: 453
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2010, 12:05:15 AM »
godaven.com should be able to help you with all your minyan needs.

Offline rg

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 46
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2010, 10:18:23 PM »
thanks for the replies
we are thinking the first 2 weeks in July or the last week in June

Offline Avid Reader

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 4006
  • Total likes: 6
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: NYC
  • Programs: Starwood Gold, Accor Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz Five Star Gold, Marriott Silver, National Executive
Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #44 on: June 08, 2010, 09:54:59 AM »
Hi rg,

Check out these threads where Niagara tips have been discussed.

http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1745.0

http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1077.0

http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=2380.0

Good luck with the trip and please post back on your trip experience.