Niagra Falls
March 8, 2004 3:00 PM   Subscribe

am going to niagara falls in july (US side). i have a listing of some beds & breakfasts within a couple miles of the falls, but with B&Bs, i like to hear some testimonials from previous visitors. anyone stayed at a B&B near the falls in the last year or so?
posted by crush-onastick to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you been to Niagara Falls NY before? It really is a bit of a shithole. Mostly rundown and skanky, closed shops all over the place (I assume from back when Canadians came there to shop). The Red Coach Inn does a nice enough meal, but otherwise... ugh.

The parkland immediately surrounding the falls is quite nice and worth a trip back across the border. But there's really very little reason to actually stay in NFNY.

If you wanted a nice B&B, I'd go to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

If you want a nice vaguely ritzy and tacky hotel room, there are many a hotel by the falls in Ontario. Be sure to call them ahead of time though and ask if their view of the falls is blocked by anything, and whether or not they're on the falls side of the road. The Marriott Fallsview was nice enough and had a big bubbly-tub in the room.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:04 PM on March 8, 2004

I (who occasionally admits to having been born and raised in Niagara Falls) concur with ROU_Xenophobe. If you're looking for reasonably priced B&Bs, look for something on River Rd. or the Niagara Parkway in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a polarizing place: it's aggressively "quaint" in a wannabe-Victorian-Brit sort of way. There are nice places to stay, but it runs toward the expensive end of things. Sorry I can't point you to specific B&B's. But... if you are going to NFNY and want a peerless experience in family-style Italian dining right out of the 1950s, you must go to Como, which I believe is on Pine Ave. Food, kitsch, fun.
posted by stonerose at 4:46 PM on March 8, 2004 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: hm. this is what i was afraid of. we want to see the falls and we want a nice little place to sleep, but i've heard that NFNY is a terrible place to be.

what's border-crossing like these days? if we fly to niagara and then rent a car?
posted by crush-onastick at 7:25 PM on March 8, 2004

Border crossing isn't that bad. At peak times in the summer, it might hit 45mins, but it's usually around 15mins. When exactly are you going in July? The Canadian equivalent of July 4 is July 1, so beware of that. Crossing on a weekday is easier than a weekend. You might also consider crossing at the Queenston-Lewiston border point, rather than the busier Rainbow Bridge (Niagara Falls) or Peace Bridge (Buffalo-Fort Erie) points.
posted by stonerose at 7:34 PM on March 8, 2004

I work in Niagara Falls and am quite familiar with tourism-related offerings there. The people pushing you to go to Canada are correct that there are more choices there, and higher-end options than the NY side offers.

But if you're going in July, much of the best stuff in Ontario's already booked. And, depending on what you're looking for, the NY side has a couple of good places. What are you looking of exactly? Just comfy? Pampering? Gourmet breakfast and feather comforters? Proximity to the falls/casino/etc.?

The pick of the litter in NY is probably the Hanover House.

There's one or two other good ones that don't immediately come to mind. Email me or post here and I'd be glad to help a fellow Mefi-er.

Also, I must disagree with stonerose about the Como, except for the kitsch part. If you want Italian food in Niagara Falls, NY, go to Michael's at 3011 Pine Avenue. Or Macri's at the City Market (also off Pine Ave.) at 755 W. Market.

Regarding the crossing: You can't fly to Niagara Falls, you have a choice between Buffalo and Toronto.

Call 800-715-6722 (NF Bridge Commission) before you cross to make sure you pick the best route. On a weekend it can take two hours, nice summer days an hour or more. But most weekdays and in the middle of the night it's usually only minutes. The post 9-11 conditions on the border are much more volatile than they used to be.
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:39 PM on March 8, 2004

I don't want to be a dick, but even if everything decent on the Ontario side is booked up, there's still precious little reason to stay in Niagara Falls NY. I'm sorry, but that's just not a pleasant place to stay. Going to the park is nice, but beyond that... eww. All the charm of any dead downtown in America.

If you can't get a place on the Ontario side in your price range, I'd do two things:

First, plan your flights carefully, so you can arrive early in Buffalo and go directly to the falls and spend the day seeing stuff, and/or spend a day at the falls before your evening flight back. You're going to want to go to the Canadian side -- that's where the casino and all the tacky fun is, along with the iconic view of Horseshoe Falls.

Second, if I couldn't get a room in my price and acceptability range on the Ontario side, I'd suck it up and stay in the NY countryside. There are lots of B&Bs in the area about which I know precisely squat.

If it were *me*, I'd make a nice trip of it and stay in the Finger Lakes a couple hours away. I've stayed at a nice place near Canandaigua whose name escapes me.

Alternatively, you could go international and spend a couple days staying in and seeing Toronto in between falls-oriented days.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:11 PM on March 8, 2004

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