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Old 05-06-2013, 03:43 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
2,820 posts, read 1,895,091 times
Reputation: 3622
Walk the American side, at night, from about where the Robert Moses Parkway enters the city of NF north to the actual Falls. I say this because the part of the riverside/rapidside trail from about maybe Fourth to First is the best part of the walk...beautiful (if deserted...but especially if deserted) at night. From that point (about where you'd see the Red Coach on the east and Goat Island on the west) onwards, you'll start encountering tourists, and the Falls aren't far away. But yeah, the best part of the walk at night is to be just south of Red Coach/Goat Island...take it from me, I walk there all the time, occasionally arousing the suspicions of the rather inept NF police department (you'd at least have the benefit of having your "partner"; I tend to be alone)

Casino-wise...I'm a poker player, and while Seneca Niagara has a decent poker room (and free beers, not to be overlooked), Fallsview and Casino Niagara are 1 and 2 of the three area casions, respectively. The reason the Canadian side has a reputation for being "way better" is because it has a stretch of a few blocks that feels like a really poor man's Las Vegas...strip of towering (by regional standards) hotels, couple casinos, few garish attractions like Daily Planet...it has the feel of a tourist mecca in that little area. Niagara Falls NY is not what it used to be...I remember going there as a child for Festival of Lights, and man, even in say 1993, pre-Seneca Niagara, it was doing better...the waterpark was alive and well (granted, not in December, but its existence was noticeable...Splash Niagara IIRC?), and the urban blight wasn't so overwhelming.

Nowadays, like I say, stick to the trail along the river/rapids/eventual waterfall, and there's natural beauty. The casino is solid. As for the rest of the city...I'll avoid using the word "atrocious" and settle for "depressing"
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:19 AM
JH6
 
1,291 posts, read 2,493,847 times
Reputation: 920
Niagara Falls NY has its troubles, but the downtown area near the falls is really coming along. Every time I go there, something new is cropping up, and the city is renovating entire blocks at once. If it can keep up the momentum, then great.

They are getting rid of the winter gardens, and turning that into a culinary institute, and I wouldn't be surprised if the old Rainbow Centre factory outlet mall was repurposed very shortly.

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel near Rainbow blvd in NF NY, and was very surprised how nice it was. This was an old hotel, that was totally gutted and renovated. The businesses in the area of the crowne plaza are following suit, and updating. The casino Niagara has outrageous room rates, so I steered clear of that.

The state park in NY is always very clean and natural looking. The niagara aquarium is downright depressing to go to. Nothing has changed in there since I was a kid, some 20 years ago. Everything looks like 1980. I had a buy one get one free admission and still felt cheated.

I don't know if the Canadian side is better, just different and there is more entertainment options. Clifton Hill is very tacky in my opinion, and everything is very expensive if you are used to Buffalo prices for things. The clifton hill area used to boom maybe 10-15 years ago, but right now a lot of stuff there looks very dated.

Don't believe me, take a lunch at a place like Planet Hollywood in NF Canada. Very very dated, overpriced food, and not very good. There are quite a few places like this on the Canadian side.

You can spend an afternoon on the New York side and spend zero dollars and still have fun. You can park in the street for nothing for a couple hours, and walk the state parks and see all the attractions. Everywhere you turn on the canadian side is going to be a gotcha, with expensive parking. We went to the skylon tower for a drink, they wanted $25 for one mixed drink, plus a fee to ride the elevator to the bar area. Major tourist trap.

My bottom line opinion is to get a passport and visit both countries. Or you could get a passcard for a little cheaper and still be able to move about both countries freely.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Buffalo
719 posts, read 1,265,445 times
Reputation: 1004
Quote:
Originally Posted by JH6 View Post
Niagara Falls NY has its troubles, but the downtown area near the falls is really coming along. Every time I go there, something new is cropping up, and the city is renovating entire blocks at once. If it can keep up the momentum, then great.

They are getting rid of the winter gardens, and turning that into a culinary institute, and I wouldn't be surprised if the old Rainbow Centre factory outlet mall was repurposed very shortly.

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel near Rainbow blvd in NF NY, and was very surprised how nice it was. This was an old hotel, that was totally gutted and renovated. The businesses in the area of the crowne plaza are following suit, and updating. The casino Niagara has outrageous room rates, so I steered clear of that.

The state park in NY is always very clean and natural looking. The niagara aquarium is downright depressing to go to. Nothing has changed in there since I was a kid, some 20 years ago. Everything looks like 1980. I had a buy one get one free admission and still felt cheated.

I don't know if the Canadian side is better, just different and there is more entertainment options. Clifton Hill is very tacky in my opinion, and everything is very expensive if you are used to Buffalo prices for things. The clifton hill area used to boom maybe 10-15 years ago, but right now a lot of stuff there looks very dated.

Don't believe me, take a lunch at a place like Planet Hollywood in NF Canada. Very very dated, overpriced food, and not very good. There are quite a few places like this on the Canadian side.

You can spend an afternoon on the New York side and spend zero dollars and still have fun. You can park in the street for nothing for a couple hours, and walk the state parks and see all the attractions. Everywhere you turn on the canadian side is going to be a gotcha, with expensive parking. We went to the skylon tower for a drink, they wanted $25 for one mixed drink, plus a fee to ride the elevator to the bar area. Major tourist trap.

My bottom line opinion is to get a passport and visit both countries. Or you could get a passcard for a little cheaper and still be able to move about both countries freely.
This is probably the best summation of NF USA v Canada that I've seen. was just there last weekend and agree wholeheartedly with this review.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
50 posts, read 71,689 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Thanks so much for the very helpful advice thus far! We're considering booking a room at the Aashram Hotel, which is right near I-190 and about a ten-minute drive to the falls. Online reviews seem to be overwhelmingly positive. Any insight?
I can't speak to the Aashram. The last two times overnight in Niagara Falls, I've stayed the Four Points by Sheraton on Buffalo Ave, near I-190. It has a great view of the Niagara River, and the best Italian restaurant within a hotel I can recall.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:29 PM
 
52,613 posts, read 75,426,573 times
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Here's an interesting article that may mean a boost to the area: Gillibrand pushes to promote tourism through 'Brand USA' | Innovation Trail

and another article from the same website: Wanted: 20 'urban pioneers' to live in Niagara Falls | Innovation Trail

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 05-15-2013 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:30 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,179 times
Reputation: 11
The state park on the American side has plenty of trees and grass fields, so you feel more like you are at true natural wonder. The view from the Canadian side is better. Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds are both worth it, the observation tower also for a good photo op if you can't go to the Canadian side for whatever reason. Most of the other attractions are pretty dismal.

The Canadian side definitely has a lot of tacky tourist-trap attractions, but they can be fun. It depends on your tastes. Both sides are worth visiting if you can do it.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:28 PM
 
1,094 posts, read 1,734,844 times
Reputation: 727
I didn't read the other comments on here but basically the Canadian side has a MUCH better view of the falls. They have pretty much everything you have listed. Plus they have clubs, bars, attractions, 2 great casinos, and tons of things to do. Basically just a ton of stuff in one area. Yes it's over priced. Yes it attracts a lot of riff raff on weekend nights thanks to the 19 age for drinking. I used to go with friends and stayed at the now demolished Quality Inn. We would spend 80 dollars for a night and cram like 6 people into a room so we only paid like 15 a person. We would head over to the pizza joint there and eat, head to the casino and gamble (and smoke until they changed the law), take a taxi up to the strip clubs (Sundowners is amazing!), then head down to Rumours to hit on girls. Then go to the Burger King get food and head back to our place. The area dies at 2am, like totally dies. Such a shame, but it's a lot of fun once you get past the touristy type stuff. But really some of the touristy stuff can be a lot of fun.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 6,916,930 times
Reputation: 13779
If you have never been on the Maid of the Mist, you need to do it -- and probably this season to be safe! There are rumors it may not be operating after this year because of some issues between the new lessees and the business owners.

I took some great photos of the Falls with my old film SLR years ago from the MOTM, and some really spectacular ones with my digicam the last time I went a few years ago.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,044,600 times
Reputation: 20460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
If you have never been on the Maid of the Mist, you need to do it -- and probably this season to be safe! There are rumors it may not be operating after this year because of some issues between the new lessees and the business owners.
Good to know. I'm considering going out to NF this summer. Guess we MUST do it so we don't miss out! Would actually be a shame if the MotM goes away. I know people who've talked about it as long as I can remember!
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 6,916,930 times
Reputation: 13779
I've posted some pics of the Falls in the Photos of Upstate forum.
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