Your 3 Day Travel Guide to Niagara Falls
- Day 1-Arrive in Buffalo. Tour the Buffalo City Hall Observation Deck. It’s free. The building is very pretty, and you can get some good camera shots of Buffalo here. Downtown Buffalo has a few skyscrapers but they are beautiful. Also, get advanced tickets to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House. If you are a fan of architecture and or love to look at beautiful buildings, this is a great place to visit. Plan on spending 1.5-2 hours. Before you leave Buffalo, get some lunch at Lloyd’s Taco Factory! If you like tacos, you will not regret this place or the price! Once you get to Niagara that evening, we would recommend eating at The 755 Restaurant and Lounge. If you like Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food, you will love this place. Read more about both of these restaurants in the Best Eat’s section of our blog.
- Day-2-Go see Niagara Falls while very few people are out. If you get to the park in the morning, you’ll be able to park at Niagara Falls State Park. Otherwise, parking is difficult to find as there are crowds of people who visit. The parking pass at the Park allows you all-day access to the parking lot with your receipt. But we do not recommend leaving the park in your car unless you plan to return at night. If the parking lot is full upon your return during the day, you will not be allowed to enter. So put on your walking shoes and plan to get some exercise for the day! Once your get your pictures worth, hike over to Three Sisters Island which is about 10 minutes away. Grab some lunch at Top of the Falls Restaurant. The view is beautiful! Now get ready to get on the Maid of the Mist! No need to buy tickets in advance as you will still need to wait in a very long line! Tickets do not guarantee you a ride for the day either. Go during lunch when everyone else is eating. We waited 50 minutes in line, and it is worth it!! The line moves pretty quickly as well. You will get a chance to go over the Niagara Falls Observation Tower, so don’t bother making a separate trip to this tower without being in the line of the Maid of the Mist. And once you get done with the Maid of the Mist, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos as you will have to cross this bridge to get back to reality. Once you get done with the Maid of the Mist, go to the American Falls, Luna Island & Bridal Veil Falls. This is also beautiful and by this time, the crowds have lessened some. You can continue to enjoy the park after this or an afternoon nap. Return for dinner before 6 p.m for some food truck options–there are many in Niagara. Or you walk over to One Niagara Welcome Center – Niagara Falls USA and grab a bite there. This is a giant food court and souvenir store. Come back to Niagara Falls at night, around 9:30 p.m. to watch the light show. Currently, the fireworks show was canceled, but this is when they would normally do this as well.
- Day-3-Take a ride and go check out Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Niagara! It’s a beautiful Catholic Church and landscaped grounds with all the Saints Statues. The city of Lewiston is a beautiful quaint town. Once you have visited the grounds, get your own grounds at Orange Cat Coffee Co. They have a great outdoor spot to sip and watch. The city of Lewiston has a wonderful winery called Bella Rose Whinery as well so make it a part of your visit! We would highly recommend it! On your way back to Niagara Falls, if you are looking for some shopping, we would recommend Fashion Outlets. We are Disney Fans and could not resist the Disney Outlet, it does not disappoint and nor do the highly discounted prices! On your way back to Niagara Falls, don’t miss out on getting your tickets to Cave of the Winds. If you come on a busy weekend, plan on getting the Cave of the Winds ticket the day before. We, unfortunately, missed out on these tickets, which is why we recommend getting them the day before. The people walking out of this attraction got drenched, so be prepared. Don’t forget to check Terrapin Horsehoe Falls on your way to see Niagara Falls again! Grab lunch or dinner at the Food Trucks again. We would highly recommend them as they are affordable and there’s plenty of open space to enjoy the outdoors while you munch!
Exploring Points Of Interest
The Martin House in Buffalo, New York, was designed as Buffalo’s Executive Darwin D. Martin’s home and is a National Historic Landmark. The Martin House was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s earliest Prairie-style residential designs after he ventured on his own exiting the firm of Adler & Sullivan. It is a masterpiece of style, but one with a sad past. One of the heirs of the property could not afford the costs of the property and left the home unoccupied for years after walking out and locking the doors. The main house is still mostly originally intact, but some of the other properties on the site had been demolished and over time rebuilt to the exact specification of Wright’s original design. No photos are allowed inside the main house, so seeing the tree of life-designed stain glass and column clusters is something you will have to experience in person. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased online for a scheduled timed entry.
Places to Stay in Niagara Falls, USA
If you are looking for a hotel, Seneca Niagara Falls Hotel & Casino is the best in Niagara Falls, USA. It also comes with a higher price tag of $165/night. The location around it is very nice. This is within driving distance to Niagara Falls State Park. The hotel & casino are beautiful at night!
The Wyndham Garden at Niagara Falls, the Hyatt Place, Comfort Inn, Sheraton, and Courtyard by Marriott are close to the state park, and are within walking distance of the park. The Red Coach Inn is another place to stay close to the State Park but we would not recommend eating there. For a high-end place, they are not very personal. We can attest to this.
If you are looking for a more cozy, like home kind of place, we would highly recommend staying at The Vintage Whinery at the Falls! This is an AirbNb apartment. It’s 2 bedroom, 1 bath, has a full kitchen and living room. And you can’t beat the hospitality that Sheila provides. The artsy-style home is very tasteful and unique! We enjoyed staying here! While parking is free on the street, you will have to drive into Niagara Falls State Park amongst anywhere else as it’s further away than the hotels mentioned above.
How much does it cost to get into Niagara Falls State Park?
Niagara Falls State Park is free to walk into. If you park here, then it costs $10 to park Monday-Thursday. And $15 to park Friday-Sunday. We took some amazing photos of each of the Falls and wanted to share some with you here. 🙂
Niagara Falls Light Show
You must not miss the Niagara Falls Light Show. Here’s the illumination schedule. The Night Lights show starts every evening at dusk. We don’t recommend coming early though as the colors are harder to see. Instead, get here by 9:30 p.m. in the spring or summer. Of course, during the winter, you want to get out sooner. The light colors vary from day to day. We happened to come during Memorial Day Weekend, and wanted to see the Red, White, & Blue!
How long is the Maid of the Mist Boat Ride?
The Maid of the Mist Boat Ride is about 15-20 minutes long. The line itself is very long, so the whole experience may feel longer as it did for us.
Will You Get Wet on the Maid of the Mist Boat Ride?
You will get wet to some degree on the Maid of the Mist Boat Ride. They do provide you with really great quality ponchos that you can take home with you. As long as you keep your poncho hood over your head, you won’t get drenched. We will warn you that it is difficult to keep that hood over your head as you get close to the falls, as the water is intense so most of us held on to our hoods. If you are really concerned, wearing a sweater hoody over your head with your poncho hood on top will help a lot! And definitely bring water shoes as your feet will get wet, and you don’t want to slip.
Watch the Sunset in Canada and the USA
Due to Covid-19, we were not allowed to go into Canada, as the Canadian border was closed. But we were lucky to see the sunset in both Canada and the USA at the same time. And while we are American, the sunset was nicer in Canada!
We wished we could have visited Canada while being so close to its border. Definitely next time.
How to Get to Niagara Falls
By Air: Niagara Falls Airport
If you travel via air, there are 2 airports you can use. You can either fly to Niagara Falls International Airport. Or you can fly into Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Both are small airports. But only Spirit and Allegiant Airlines fly into Niagara Falls International Airport. And there is a limited number of arrivals and departure times from this airport. While this is inconvenient, it is only 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls which is a big plus. Buffalo Niagara International Airport is about 35-45 minutes away from Niagara Falls. The positive is there are many airlines that fly into and out of Buffalo. This can be both cost-efficient and time convenient.
By Metro: Amtrak
You can also get to Niagara Falls via rail. In particular, you can get here via Amtrak. They have a really nice Amtrak station. The New York Amtrak station has a waiting room. The Ontario Amtrak station also has a waiting room but is temporarily closed due to covid. If you have the time and the vacation days, this may be a nice choice. But it’s not very scenic in this area, so the Amtrak ride will not provide you with beautiful scenery.
3 days in Niagara Falls
3 days in Niagara Falls was perfect for us! Unless you go in the summer, be prepared for the cold. Seeing Niagara Falls in person is a must-do in a lifetime! The city itself is very different from the tourist attractions at the state park, so we hope this 3 Day Travel Guide to Niagara Falls will help you make the most of your time there! As always, feel free to ask if you need any more information!