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New York City and Niagara Falls

Author: cruisenut2001 (More Trip Reviews by cruisenut2001)
Date of Trip: May 2007



This was our first trip to New York and our first land vacation in several years. We had a similar vacation planned and were to arrive in Toronto on 9/13/2001. We drove to the Grand Canyon for our alternate vacation. I am really glad that our health has improved enough that we were able to schedule and complete this wonderful vacation. I don’t usually start with tips first, but these two I feel are very important.

1. In Manhattan, choose your accommodation near a subway stop. The subway is truly the fastest and easiest way to get around the city.

2. Phone attractions for up-to-date schedules. Don’t rely on their websites. Many of the Niagara Falls attractions were still closed for the season.

Hotels

Buffalo – Best Western at the Buffalo Airport. NYC – Crowne Plaza Times Square.

Airlines

United – PDX to BUF. Jet Blue – BUF to JFK and JFK to PDX.

Car Rental

BUF - Enterprise.

Day 1, April 14, Saturday

Finally, the start of another vacation. Niagara Falls – USA. Flew United from PDX to ORD leaving at 06:30 and arriving at 12:30. Walked from terminal 1 to terminal 2 to catch the next flight at 13:15 and arrived in BUF at 15:30. We paid $53 each for the Economy Plus for the extra legroom and felt it was worth the price (Jet Blue gives the extra leg room for free).

We used Enterprise for our car rental and will never use them again. We had to wait 30 minutes for them to deliver a car. They offered us a free upgrade from a mid-size to a full size SUV, but with gas being $3/gal., we declined. It was like they never heard of what a reservation system is used for. Budget had cars ready, but would have cost more.

We stayed at the Best Western near the airport and were happy with the room and the price. There was some remodeling happening on the upper floors.

Outings: We drove to Niagara Falls after a quick refresher, parked at the State Park ($10), and walked to the falls on the USA side. Due to the lateness in the day, everything was closed. The Cave and the Maid were not open yet; there was still too much ice in the river. The snow and ice was very thick and looked like it was trying to climb up the American Falls. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Café ($43), walked around the area, and bought a few souvenirs. We have always liked the food at the Hard Rock and the food here was very good. There is a 75 cent toll each way at Grand Island.

Day 2, April 15, Sunday

Nor'easter coming through. Niagara Falls – Canada. Woke up to snow. It wasn’t sticking to the roadways, but most cars had a few inches on them. I think it stopped snowing around 8:00 and by noon all the snow was melted.

Outings: Drove to the Canadian side of the Falls and parked in the Premium Lot ($16). The weather was nasty and we wanted to be close. The view of the Falls is beautiful from this side. The gift store at the Table Rock area is large and we did more souvenir shopping. We ate at the Table Rock Restaurant ($82 CND) and enjoyed having a window table with a great view of the Falls. We arrived early enough to use the Early Bird menu and had prime rib diners for $26 each; normally $30. My DW had ice cream and hot chocolate for dessert while I had coffee and ice cream. The hot chocolate was the best, but the coffee … well let’s just say it was Canadian. The dinner and view were both very good and I would recommend this restaurant.

There is a $3 toll for going across the Rainbow Bridge. We drove north to the Flower Clock, which was lit-up, but was in the middle of being re-planted. We crossed over to the US near the clock on the Whirlpool Bridge.



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