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30 Hours at Niagara Falls

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As part of a trip to Chicago, our family took a quick hop over to Niagara Falls for about 30 hours. We flew into Buffalo, rented a car, and saw the falls. On the way to the falls, I was instructed by friends to sample a couple local Buffalo restaurants. Never one to let down my friends, I happily obliged.

Recommended Buffalo Restaurants

First stop, Duff’s Famous Wings. While Anchor Bar claims to have served the original “Buffalo Wings,” Duff’s came highly recommended by friends and the online community. We ordered the Duff’s Wings Special #1. The 20 wings, large fries, and pitcher of pop was just right for our family for four. Note to self, don’t leave Duff’s spicy sauce on chapped lips next time.

Buffalo Restaurants - Duff's Famous Wings

Stop at one or two of the Buffalo restaurants on your way to Niagara Falls. You have to try Duff’s Famous Wings!

Next stop, Ted’s Hot Dogs. The flame-grilled dog with all the fixings is a local favorite. I’m glad there’s not one near my house because this is my kind of place for a late night snack. Both of these stops are within 15 minutes of Buffalo Niagara International Airport. From there, it’s only about 25 minutes to Niagara Falls.

Visiting Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is collectively three falls — the American and Bridal Veil Falls on the American side and the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. For Americans, start on the U.S. side where you can see all three. While lookout points are less busy on the American side, you’ll be mostly looking at the falls from the top down and have a view of the Canadian development is in the background. Saving the best for last, head over to the Canadian side for a treat of gorgeous panoramic views of all three falls plus the more natural-looking, less-developed U.S. side behind them.

The border crossing from the U.S. side of Niagara Falls to the Canadian side is only a few minutes drive away. You will be required to have passports or passport cards to enter Canada. It took all but 10 minutes to cross the border on the day we visited. Easy peazy.

Niagara Falls Attractions

There are a few commercial attractions for those who want to get more intimate with this 12,000 year old creation from the last Ice Age. Cave of the Winds offers you a wet and roaring experience to walk up close to the falls. Bring your rain gear or use their poncho. From late Spring to early Fall, a second option is the Maid of the Mist. It takes passengers to each of the falls and allows guests to experience the mist from the 600,000 gallons of water per second at Horseshoe Falls. Both are only accessible from the New York side of Niagara Falls.

While the Cave of the Winds was open during our visit and the Maid of the Mist was not, the 45 minutes we spent standing near the Horseshoe Falls and experiencing the sounds and power from it were good enough. It’s close enough that you will get plenty wet from the mist. We also enjoyed the walk up the trail further north and visiting the Botanical Gardens about ten minutes away.

Visiting Niagara Falls - Horseshoe Falls

Bring your rain gear when visiting Niagara Falls because the mist will get you plenty wet!

Best Place to Stay in Niagara Falls, Canada

We stayed at Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites and had a view of Horseshoe Falls. However, the true gem of this hotel is actually the pool! The kids loved it. Who doesn’t? And with a three-level water slide, the pool is one of the reasons we’ll stay there again next time. I’m not one who likes to spend most of my time on vacations at pools, but I’m really glad this Hilton had such a great one. We spent our first day in Canada at Niagara Falls. On the second day, it rained pretty hard. Guess where we retreated to?

Best place to stay in Niagara Falls Canada - 3-level pool at Hilton Niagara Falls

The pool at Hilton Niagara Falls was a good Plan B when it rained on day two of our visit. We’ll be back!

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Eugene lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He and his wife have taken their two children to about 15 countries for work and vacation. Eugene is…

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