Englishman in New York (state)
November 6, 2008 6:03 PM   Subscribe

Help me have a great US day-visit for my English Father-in-law.

My Dad-in-law is with us and has never been to the US. We are in Toronto, so I would like to cross over at Niagara for a day out. So far I have never steered wrong in taking him to diners, Bass Pro Shops, things he would never have seen before. What can we aim for south of Niagara that would really give him the wow factor?

side note- am i going to run into any customs trouble with him and his UK passport?
posted by Frasermoo to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total)
Go to a gun range. Rent the guns and go nuts. Niagra Gun Range
posted by wrnealis at 6:42 PM on November 6, 2008

As long as his passport is machine-readable, he should be OK.
posted by oaf at 6:49 PM on November 6, 2008

Response by poster: gun-range! fucking genius!

thanks guys.

(keep 'em coming people)
posted by Frasermoo at 6:51 PM on November 6, 2008

Also, if you go on a Sunday, try and visit a mega-church. They blow my mind.
posted by wrnealis at 6:52 PM on November 6, 2008

Might as well hit up a Wal-Mart while you're there. :)
posted by nitsuj at 6:55 PM on November 6, 2008

Response by poster: mega church sounds like something crazy, i think there is one here in toronto. Wal-mart... sorry nitsuj, we have them here and I'll be damned by the mega-church if I go to one :) I took him to a Home Depot yesterday, and while it was good, they're not that far removed from big box stores in the UK.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:01 PM on November 6, 2008

Not specifically an American thing but if you want to go all out, try a flying tour of Toronto.

A friend who flies told me that small private aircraft aren't allowed to fly over major city centers in Britain, so it might be something different and memorable.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:43 PM on November 6, 2008

.. and take something for moton sickness as a precaution.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:45 PM on November 6, 2008

I'd say take him to a high end bar-brewery if you doubt he's seen any in the U.K. It may not rival some small town British beers, but he'll see that we're trying.

I'd also aim for good quality but not pricey restaurants since you can't find that easily in the U.K., but you already mentioned diners. I'd mention Waffle house, Mexican, and Cajun if you were further south, but I don't know much about the north. How about northern stuff involving spiced apple cider or maple syrup?

p.s. A high end steak is far far better here than in England.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:51 PM on November 6, 2008

Stuff to do in WNY:

*Darwin-Martin house. FL Wright's largest residence, in the Parkside area. We haven't been inside, but it's... astonishing. For extra fun, the night before look at buffaloniagarahomes.com and weep at the prices of those big victorians that surround it. There's other FL Wright stuff in the general vicinity too.

*Wings! Anchor Bar in B'lo or Duff's in Amherst. We haven't been to Anchor Bar yet, but Duff's is good; many reasonable people in a position to know prefer Duffs to Anchor.

*Diner: The Lake Effect is okay, and nicely authentic feeling. Part of it at least is an actual diner-car diner.

*City Hall in Buffalo is this ginormous art-deco building from The Better Days.

I know there have been other threads about Stuff To Do In B'lo. Kellydamnit also knows things of this nature.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:10 PM on November 6, 2008

I'd also aim for good quality but not pricey restaurants since you can't find that easily in the U.K.

Red Coach Inn in NF, NY is pretty good.
Hutch's in B'lo has good food... not cheap, but it bats far above its price range
People recommend the Left Bank in B'lo, but I haven't been

I'd mention Waffle house, Mexican

There's a decent Mexicanish place on Transit in Williamsville. Not particularly authentic, but tasty.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:19 PM on November 6, 2008

Taking the Falls tour is something he can't do in England - try the "Maid of the Mist" for a boat ride he won't soon forget.

And depending on the time of year he will be visiting, I suggest taking the trip to Ottawa to enjoy Winterlude - while not technically American, it is one of the most amazing North American experiences one can have.
posted by Nixie Pixel at 9:27 PM on November 6, 2008

Niagara Falls, the city, can be quite sad, outside the Falls and the outlet mall, so I'd urge you to come down here, to Buffalo. Good pub food, art, walking history or architecture tours...MeMail me for more suggestions if you come.

I have to suggest Amy's Place over the Lake Effect diner...it's an insider place, and just a block or so from Lake Effect.
posted by Riverine at 10:01 PM on November 6, 2008

I'd agree Amy's Place has better food, and an amusing, informal atmosphere.

It's just not built out of a diner car, is all. If the goal is "Show the Brit some classic Americana," the Lake Effect might do a better job.

OTOH, Amy's Place has the sort of hippie-punk thing going for it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:27 AM on November 7, 2008

Would he like to see the infamous Love Canal? It would only take a few minutes to visit on the way to the gun range. Actually, until I looked at it on google maps I had no idea how close it was to places I often go in NF. I always hit the grocery shops too. It is amazing to see the differences in food in different countries, at least to me.

The comment on mega churches reminded me of this: back to Toronto, he may have heard of the Toronto Blessing and want to see it in person, or see the incredibly cool Shikharbaddha Mandir (which is very close to Hindu Sabha temple).
posted by saucysault at 3:35 AM on November 8, 2008

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