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Niagara Falls?


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Time to go on a mini vacation. The GF and I took a week off of work for next week. As we didn't really have anything planned other than not being at work, we were tossing around ideas. One of my co-workers suggested Niagara Falls, as its about a 9-10 hour drive away from Chicago, and a nice little get away. We talked about it, and both loved the idea. Sort of at least one of those things to check off the list. Neither of us has a current passport, so we will have to enjoy the splendor state side.


We planned on leaving the pooch with my mom, but she's currently still recovering from spinal fusion, and doesn't think that she's up to it. I'm not against bringing the dog with us, but it may be a problem if we want to go out to eat, or check out some attractions that may not be all that "Dog Friendly". We were thinking of doing hotels, or finding the ones that are dog friendly, but we couldn't leave him in the room. He would go absolutely nuts. Plus, I kinda wanted to be able to roam a bit. I don't want to have to plan out some itinerary. Maybe a day or two at the falls, then what?


The GF had the fantastic idea of renting an RV. We could leave him in the RV and not feel like we are trapping him in the car, and we wouldn't be a bother to the room that shares a wall with us. We could cook our own meals to help keep the costs down too. While initially looking at a rental by Chicago and driving it out there, I found out that they charge $0.34 a mile. Yikes. The rental itself is reasonable though. Then she hit me again... Why not just drive out there, then rent one in NY? Solved.


Now that we kind of have a plan, I wanted to come here and see what else you guys may have to add or as a tip. Even better, those whom have done something similar, or are from the NY area, what else should we do while we are out there? Any cool parks? Any points of interest? Someone told me to hit up the Catskill mountains since we will be so close.


I'm kind of excited about this, and can't wait to try something new. Maybe I can meet up with someone out East.


Rob :cheers:

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Opposite direction but Minnesota's Northshore is fantastic also. Duluth to Grand Portage. Also the Bayfield, Apostle Islands area is pretty cool too. I don't know about RV rentals though. Specially this time of the year.


Wife and I are thinking a mini trip next week also... Still trying to figure out where to go!

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Niagara Falls is a nice place to visit. Take the Maid of the Mist boat tour.  Good up close view of the Canadian falls.  You can take it from the American side without a passport.  During the summer, they had a nightly fireworks display over the falls.  Not sure about winter.  We were there on July 4 several years ago and had dinner on the Canadian side on top of a 500+ft tall tower.  Great view of all the American fireworks along the border.  Know it is too late for this trip, but do spend the money to get a Passport and a Passport card.  The Passport Card is good for land crossings at Canada and Mexico.  I fits in my wallet just like my drivers license.  Some nice places along the lake to have dinner, It has been 2 years since I was last in Buffalo for work. No other good reason to go to Buffalo I can think of.

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Thanks for the suggestions fellas!


I checked over the XJ yesterday, got the oil changed, cluster bulb that was out replaced, and detailed the interior this week in anticipation. Right now we are mostly packed and I'm just relaxing before the drive.


Decided against the RV when I was looking for places to park it. It wasn't the RV itself, so much as the KOA near the falls had a "Deluxe Cabin" fall special with $25 extra a night off. The deluxe cabins are pretty much 28 foot trailers trimmed out in nice pine. They come complete with private bath and shower, kitchenette, queen bed, tv, all that jazz, and even a private fire ring and a propane grill.







I've mapped out a few Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives places to eat, and am trying to find some good hiking trails. I saw a post about the old Fire watch towers, and I would love to find one near the East side of the state. The views/history look incredible.





Leaving in a few hours.

Rob :cheers:

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Time for some pics!


Road trip and Bear.




Colors looked great going up.




Arrived at the cabin.










The American falls.










The US view of the Canadian falls was under construction.






The KOA had a dog park, which was great to burn some energy.




Other end of the American side.




Waiting on the Maid of the Mist.








Hike up to the side of the falls.




Drenched at this point.




Came back with the pooch for the night show.






All sorts of colors, but red, white, and blue was a favorite.




Bear found a couple miniature versions of himself at the park.




Next day was a hiking day at 30 mile point lighthouse.








Had a really cool stone shoreline, with tumbled rocks from the waves.




Now here is a question for you guys... We found this buried in the shoreline, maybe 1/2 mile from the lighthouse. Part was on shore, part jutting out into the lake. What is it?






Looked to have a conveyor and a window at the lake end.








On the shore, there was this.




Inside looked to be a pendant control of some sort.




The trail went on for a ways, then lead to an oak grove with this amazing rock shoreline, without the 15-20 foot cliff preventing access.










Super tired Bear.




Dunkirk Lighthouse.






Presque Isle Lighthouse.











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