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What to do in Niagara Falls for a 1 day trip?

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  • Jul 19th, 2021 11:08 am
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Dec 27, 2011
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What to do in Niagara Falls for a 1 day trip?

I'm about a 1.5hr drive from Niagara Falls and wanted to do a day trip, maybe spend 5-6 hours there. We've been there before and don't feel the need to stay several days. It seems like a lot of things there are now opened up. Anyone been there lately?

- We plan on seeing the Falls, going to Queen Victoria Park, Clifton Hills, and Dufferin Islands. Anyone else close by that we should check out?
- Where's a cheap but also a good place to park? It seems like there's a huge parking lot right by the falls (called "Falls Parking (Lot A)") but it's $30 which seems like a lot. We want to park at one spot, walk to the various places, then come back to the car when we're ready to go home
- Instead of eating at a patio, we might bring some food with us to do a picnic. Any recommended spots to eat?
Last edited by crystallight on Jul 11th, 2020 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title edit
26 replies
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Feb 7, 2017
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Re - Niagara Picnic

Bring a cooler & your lawn chairs.
Drive the Niagara Parkway towards Niagara on the Lake
Stop along the way to picnic

https://www.shawfest.com/visit/eating-d ... ng/picnic/

So even if the Picnic Pavilions aren’t open
Or they haven’t set up picnic tables in various spots
You can still make do
With your cooler as your coffee table

Love Niagara, haven’t been down since Covid
(Missed out on our Annual Spring visit)
Hopefully we’ll get a Fall Wine Tour in later this year
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Aug 16, 2009
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I would avoid Clifton Hill. We went a few weeks ago and it was packed. Hardly anyone was wearing a mask either. I'm glad we just drove past with the windows up.
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I did a day trip to Niagara Falls a few weeks ago.
- Crowds everywhere like the pre-pandemic days. No social distancing whatsoever.
- Maybe only 10-15% of all people I saw wore masks. I get that it's outdoors and it was a heatwave at the time.
- Public washrooms were open and limited to 2-3 people inside at a time.
- It was easy enough to distance and avoid people yourself.
- A lot of parking available in the $10-25 range.
- I brought a picnic and sat on the grass in the shade. A lot of families did the same. Plenty of space and shade for it.

I also made a trip to the Outlet Collection which was a bad idea. Lineups to get in all the stores of course, but because the outlet is outdoors you have to stand outside in the heat and humidity. Seemed to average 25-45 minutes to get into the bigger stores. Totally regretted making this detour.
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Dec 12, 2010
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For anyone that's been, what day of the week was it?
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Apr 29, 2007
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Richmond Hill
michiebaby wrote: I would avoid Clifton Hill. We went a few weeks ago and it was packed. Hardly anyone was wearing a mask either. I'm glad we just drove past with the windows up.
Mulder and Scully wrote: I did a day trip to Niagara Falls a few weeks ago.
- Crowds everywhere like the pre-pandemic days. No social distancing whatsoever.
- Maybe only 10-15% of all people I saw wore masks. I get that it's outdoors and it was a heatwave at the time.
This was my experience too. I wore a mask and only stopped by Clifton Hill briefly before I realized it was too crowded. This was a couple weeks ago when they had just "reopened"
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Mar 6, 2010
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Brampton
I was there yesterday noon (Sunday). About 20% of peak traffic so still quite a few people but not too many.
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I ended up going yesterday (Sunday). There was definitely a lot of people but likely nothing near what the crowds were like this time last year.

I paid for parking near Clifton Hill. It was only $5 and probably only a 3 min walk to Clifton hills. There were also multiple other lots nearby for $10 or less.

Most people did not wear masks but since it wasn't at peak crowd levels, it wasn't too difficult to keep at a distance from other people.

We didn't end up doing the picnic idea but just ate at a patio. A lot of the patios were pretty busy and required wait times. We ate at one that was less busy and we were seated right away.

Overall it was a fairly good experience. We passed many souvenir shops that sold a lot of "Canada" or "Niagara falls" printed items and I found myself wondering how the shops were doing. I figured that since the vast majority of people visiting Niagara falls this year were probably from ontario, they wouldn't be buying these items as much as international tourists/Americans would.
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Can anybody suggest where the cheapest place is to park overnight?

I will be staying in Niagara Falls later in the month at the Four Points. Their offsite parking is not terrible at $20 per night but if there were cheaper options I would consider those too.
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dr_torch wrote: Can anybody suggest where the cheapest place is to park overnight?

I will be staying in Niagara Falls later in the month at the Four Points. Their offsite parking is not terrible at $20 per night but if there were cheaper options I would consider those too.
Check the Fallsview Casino right opposite the Four Points. Their parking ranges from $5-$20 and is free if you rack up any play time at the tables/slots.
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vernonco wrote: Check the Fallsview Casino right opposite the Four Points. Their parking ranges from $5-$20 and is free if you rack up any play time at the tables/slots.
Awesome. I will check it out. I take it the Casino is actually closed right now though? Although I assume the parking is open.
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dr_torch wrote: Awesome. I will check it out. I take it the Casino is actually closed right now though? Although I assume the parking is open.
The casino and parking is currently closed though they may open before your trip. There is a walkway connecting the Four Points/Hilton to the casino and it connects thru the parking deck.
$20 is not too bad considering the Hilton wanted $45 to park.
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dr_torch wrote: Can anybody suggest where the cheapest place is to park overnight?

I will be staying in Niagara Falls later in the month at the Four Points. Their offsite parking is not terrible at $20 per night but if there were cheaper options I would consider those too.
vernonco wrote: The casino and parking is currently closed though they may open before your trip. There is a walkway connecting the Four Points/Hilton to the casino and it connects thru the parking deck.
$20 is not too bad considering the Hilton wanted $45 to park.
This

Don’t count on parking here ... with the Casino closed.

Also, the rates tend to fluctuate. Sometimes it is indeed based on what you play in the Casino with your Players Card ... but at other times I have seen them just flat rate it at $ 20 per day.

Still cheaper than most of the hotels in the area, including The Hilton and The Marriott’s Sheraton 4Points that offer up ONLY VALET Parking as their lots are off site (away from the hotel strip along Fallsview & Falls Aves), cuz of the value of real estate atop the edge of the escarpment. Building a hotel is far more financially sound per square foot, than a parking lot. An issue a casino doesn’t suffer from / worry about ... as they are literally in the biz of bankrolling money / stealing it ... from their patrons without much return to the Customer
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Well, at least according to the booking I made with the Four Points Fallsview it tells me off-site parking is $21 and on-site / valet is $40.

I consider $40 to be highway robbery :)
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Jul 16, 2019
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dr_torch wrote: Well, at least according to the booking I made with the Four Points Fallsview it tells me off-site parking is $21 and on-site / valet is $40.

I consider $40 to be highway robbery :)
Hilton was quoting me $45 for on-site valet - they only option. This was when the hotel was being renovated with less than 1/3 occupancy. Some people are just greedy. I parked across the street in the casino for $5. This was in Jan.
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Mar 9, 2014
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Stouffville
dr_torch wrote: Well, at least according to the booking I made with the Four Points Fallsview it tells me off-site parking is $21 and on-site / valet is $40.

I consider $40 to be highway robbery :)
I stayed there two weeks ago for a night. They aren’t doing valet so it’s all self-parking for $21. If you’ve been there before, you can park in the spots where they usually park the valet cars if you can find a spot. I did and it was very convenient. The actual self-parking lot is across the street and still very close.

I went on the weekend and everything was quiet. Don’t expect to park at the casino, because like others have said, it’s completely closed. All the shops in that casino area where the fountain is, and that food court downstairs are all closed. You cannot use the casino walkway either.

Clifton Hill was nice. We ate at the Niagara Brewery which has a nice patio. The Midway and Wendy’s are closed. Those are the only things I noticed on the hill that were closed. We did the Dinosaur mini golf around midnight.. it was really nice and quiet. I actually enjoyed this trip very much because it wasn’t crowded.
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Nov 18, 2019
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Lack of using masks by people at the Falls touristy area and beside the Falls.
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I was thinking about going there for a weekend getaway, but after seeing this, nah - I'm good. I didn't expect there to be *that* many people, and more importantly, people not following social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks.

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