TravelFilter: Niagara Falls at Thanksgiving (US side)
September 27, 2021 2:28 PM   Subscribe

My family is planning a little reunion for Thanksgiving in Niagara Falls, NY. We don't have valid passports so we need to stay on the US side. Aside from The Falls, what else should we see? Especially seeking Covid-friendly activities like walks or even outdoor dining.
posted by underthehat to Travel & Transportation around Niagara Falls, NY (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds will be closed for the season by then, unfortunately, as they're both fantastic.

But Goat Island is a great place to see the Bridal Veil falls (you stand right at the top of them). If you like hiking, there's a trail that starts by the aquarium that takes you down into the gorge. If you really like hiking, the Devil's Hole trail is really nice. Neither would be great if it was cold and wet, though.

The Niagara Wax Museum of History is INCREDIBLE. If you like weird museums with awful statues that haven't been updated in decades. It's hilariously awful and totally worth the money. It's a couple doors down from the Hard Rock Cafe.

Lewiston (a very quaint village just north of Niagara Falls) is a quick drive. You can walk around the grounds of Artpork and see some outdoor sculptures (and a big mural I helped paint!).

A little north of that is Old Fort Niagara, where some War of 1812 action took place.

30 minutes south is Buffalo, and we've got a ton of stuff to do indoors and out.
posted by jonathanhughes at 2:36 PM on September 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Maybe this is just me, but the American side of the Falls being less impressive than the Canadian side, the city of Niagara Falls, NY being a bit sketchy, and Buffalo being so spectacular, I’d probably skip the Falls and just spend the time in Buffalo.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:54 PM on September 27, 2021 [7 favorites]

If you do seek something inside, the Martin House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is in Buffalo.
posted by glaucon at 4:07 PM on September 27, 2021

Devil's Hole and Whirlpool state parks (they're connected to each other, basically the same thing) are a really scenic walk along the Niagara River. I greatly prefer it to Niagara Falls State Park. Just as beautiful and way less crowded.
posted by ToddBurson at 3:56 AM on September 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

the American side of the Falls being less impressive than the Canadian side

Kind of. American Falls are less impressive than Horseshoe Falls, which is what people think of
"Niagara Falls." But there are great views of Horseshoe Falls from Terrapin Point on Goat Island, and frankly Goat Island is a nicer place to be than all the schlock on the Canadian side.

If some of you are interested in industrial stuff, there aren't tours (AFAIK) but there's a parking and viewing area up by the dams, intakes, and turbines downstream from the whirlpool.

Weather around Thanksgiving is really variable in WNY. On the outside chances, it might be 60 and sunny or 35 and snowing. More realistically, you're rolling the dice between it being sunny and in the high 40s/low 50s, with lovely cromchy leafeses everywhere, and 40 and rainy.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:34 AM on September 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Schoellkopf power station (well, what remains of it) is worth seeing, and there are nice short hikes and picnic spots nearby. Aside from an elevator, it's pretty covid-safe.

The Second Coming House of Prophet Isaiah is neat, if you're into visiting weird, eccentric, religious art projects.
posted by eotvos at 9:46 AM on September 28, 2021

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