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Old 08-25-2016, 02:22 AM
 
Location: Cedar City, Utah
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We are flying to Concord, New Hampshire next week to visit relatives, then renting a car and doing a road trip to Niagra Falls. Years ago you didn't need a passport but from reading all the comments I guess you do now. So a certified birth certificate won't work? If not, I am fine with the U.S. side. It was gorgeous as I remember.

My other question is what is the ez pass. I am assuming there are many toll places on this road trip we plan on doing. If we don't have one, how much money should we have on hand? We don't have that type of thing in Utah, so not familiar with it.

Just want to know before we leave.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:26 AM
 
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickrae View Post

My other question is what is the ez pass. I am assuming there are many toll places on this road trip we plan on doing. If we don't have one, how much money should we have on hand? We don't have that type of thing in Utah, so not familiar with it.

Just want to know before we leave.
I'm not sure about "how much money", other than "plenty", but if you are renting a car, check into paying a little extra to have the toll pass. It is still charged to your card, but more convenient, and probably cheaper. Other option would be (if others tell you the price is justified) to just buy the hard-case pass and pack it in your bags. Just don't forget it when you return your car...


Yes, I'm pretty sure you need a passport to cross the border now...
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:32 AM
Status: "busy" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
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I can't remember what the tolls are but yes it's not going to be cheap as you travel I90 from the MA border to Niagara Falls. The NY State Thruway Authority has a trip calculator on their website. You can google it.

Yes you need a passport to get into Canada now.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:27 AM
 
1,155 posts, read 2,079,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickrae View Post
We are flying to Concord, New Hampshire next week to visit relatives, then renting a car and doing a road trip to Niagra Falls. Years ago you didn't need a passport but from reading all the comments I guess you do now. So a certified birth certificate won't work? If not, I am fine with the U.S. side. It was gorgeous as I remember.

My other question is what is the ez pass. I am assuming there are many toll places on this road trip we plan on doing. If we don't have one, how much money should we have on hand? We don't have that type of thing in Utah, so not familiar with it.

Just want to know before we leave.
There is a maid of the mist boat ride from the US side, that's going to be hands down the best way to experience the falls.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Originally Posted by boardjnky4 View Post
There is a maid of the mist boat ride from the US side, that's going to be hands down the best way to experience the falls.
Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds definitely the best options from U.S. side. And of course just walking around the park. Lot of construction going on there right now as the state is finally investing millions after neglecting it for decades, but things are manageable. Was just up there a month ago.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Cedar City, Utah
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thank you for all your great responses.

How much is the pass?

where do you get tickets to Maid of the Mist...Cave of the winds?
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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E-ZPass is a transponder system linked to a credit card that automatically puts a balance onto the E-ZPass account and then deducts from it as you incur tolls. Once the balance drops below a threshold, it charges your credit card again to add more money. The cost of the transponder itself varies from state to state and I'm not entirely sure if On-the-Go stuff works differently. Typically there is a deposit of like $20 on the transponder that you'd get back once you returned it by mail or whatever. Some states also charge a small monthly or annual fee for keeping an account open.

Cave of the Winds and Maid of the Mist are on opposite sides of the American Falls and they have separate ticket booths at their respective locations. It's maybe a 15 minute walk between the two or there is a trolley around the park you can take. There is a Discovery Pass option that covers both attractions and several others for a discounted rate, but you'd need to do more than just those two from the list in order to make the cost worthwhile.

Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass | Niagara Falls State Park
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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We just drove up to Niagara Falls a few weeks ago. We have EZ-Pass, but the tolls weren't too bad, even with a 3rd axle (we towed our camper). I just looked it up and on the way up, we went through Buffalo, and it looks like we paid two tolls in NY - one for $4.61 and one for $1.43. On the way home we took the NY State Thruway from Montréal and we paid one toll of $8.12. A third axle is usually about 50% more, so I don't think the tolls will be too much. And EZ-Pass often doesn't discount (although sometimes they do if your EZ-Pass is from that state).

Having said that, we did avoid a line at one of the tolls because we had EZ-Pass, so that part was nice. But we were there in the height of the summer. I would think by September the crowds would (hopefully) die down.

US citizens DO need to have a current passport when entering Canada (really to get back into the US), but for children you can just use a birth certificate. If you have them handy, the view from the Canada side is really more spectacular.

If you stay on the American side, then I suggest going to Goat Island to park. It is free, and you can walk to the falls from there (about a 10-minute walk) through a beautiful park. Or they have a trolley for a couple of bucks. Lots of other parking places charge $10-$20.

TIP: Buy Maid of the Mist tickets online in advance. You will avoid waiting in one line before you wait in another line to actually go on the boat. My family actually did the boat ride on the Canadian side, but I assume it works the same way. We saved probably 20-30 minutes in line before waiting in another line that was over an hour to get on. Hopefully, when summer vacation is over, the lines will die down!

WARNING: Our phones incurred international roaming charges (playing Pokémon Go!) when on the American side since apparently it was picking up service from the more powerful Canadian tower.

Maid of the Mist: Niagara Falls Boat Rides & Trips | Maid of the Mist
Cave of the Winds: Cave of the Winds Tours | Niagara Falls State Park
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
We just drove up to Niagara Falls a few weeks ago. We have EZ-Pass, but the tolls weren't too bad, even with a 3rd axle (we towed our camper). I just looked it up and on the way up, we went through Buffalo, and it looks like we paid two tolls in NY - one for $4.61 and one for $1.43. On the way home we took the NY State Thruway from Montréal and we paid one toll of $8.12. A third axle is usually about 50% more, so I don't think the tolls will be too much. And EZ-Pass often doesn't discount (although sometimes they do if your EZ-Pass is from that state).
The route you took must have been much shorter on the Thruway, as Albany to Buffalo is going to run about $12 or so for a two-axle vehicle.

Quote:
If you stay on the American side, then I suggest going to Goat Island to park. It is free, and you can walk to the falls from there (about a 10-minute walk) through a beautiful park. Or they have a trolley for a couple of bucks. Lots of other parking places charge $10-$20.
I'm not aware of any free parking on Goat Island. The big Lot 2 near Cave of the Winds and Top of the Falls restaurant costs $10, while the more distant Lot 3 costs $8.

Quote:
WARNING: Our phones incurred international roaming charges (playing Pokémon Go!) when on the American side since apparently it was picking up service from the more powerful Canadian tower.
Yes, generally a good idea to make sure international roaming is turned off before you get to the Falls, or just stick it in airplane mode and enjoy being disconnected for a little while.
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Old 08-25-2016, 04:39 PM
JH6
 
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Five years ago there used to be about 4-5 spaces of free parking on goat island.

It is right before you go into the pay parking lot, it is for 2 hour usage.

Yes my phones used to pick up the Rogers network and I would incur extra expenses near the border.
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