Niagara Falls straddles the international U.S./Canadian border, offering visitors on both sides beautiful vistas, boat rides and more. It's located about 17 miles from Buffalo, NY and about a seven-hour drive from New York City. It's ambitious to travel to and from Niagara Falls from New York City in a single day, but it can certainly be done. You can choose to visit as part of a tour group or make the trip on your own. You might also want to spend a night in Niagara Falls before returning to New York City, the choice is yours!
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Traveling To Niagara Falls on Your Own
If you want to visit Niagara Falls on your own, you can choose to go by car, bus, train or plane.
- By Car: Depending on your level of adventure and tolerance for long car rides, you might choose to rent a car in New York City and make the nearly 400 miles drive up to Niagara Falls. If traffic cooperates (the earlier you leave New York City, the better) you can make the trip in about 7-7.5 hours.
- By Train: Amtrak service to Niagara Falls from New York City takes about 9.5 hours.
- By Bus: It takes 9-11 hours to take the bus from New York City to Niagara Falls.
- By Plane: Flights to Buffalo, NY & Toronto, Ontario (Canada) take only 45-60 minutes, but travel time is a bit longer once you factor in time getting to/from airports, clearing security, etc. It's still the fastest way to travel and should take 3-4 hours each way.
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One Day Tours of Niagara Falls from New York City
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Multi-Day Trips to Niagara Falls from New York City
If your schedule allows, you should plan to stay in Niagara for at least one night -- it's a long trip to take in a single day. Make it easy for yourself with one of these multi-day tours to Niagara Falls:
- Niagara Falls Trips from Tours4Fun - choices include 2-3 day trips to Niagara Falls from New York City, including options for shopping, seeing the Thousand Islands, Corning Glass Center, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC
- Two Day Trip to Niagara Falls from Viator - bus transportation and overnight accommodations, as well as tours, included.
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What To Do When You Visit Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is the name of a group of three waterfalls that straddle the U.S./Canadian border where New York State meets the Providence of Ontario. The view from the Canadian side is generally considered to be better, but there's no reason not to enjoy both views and decide for yourself -- you can even walk across the Rainbow Bridge between the U.S. and Canada as long as you have proper identification with you. In addition to seeing the falls, there are lots of other activities in the area:
- Top 10 Niagara Falls Attractions - on the Canadian side of the falls, you'll find lots of entertainment, including The Maid of the Mist boat ride that gets you right up close to the action.
- Niagara Falls Honeymoon - in addition to an overview of visiting the falls, Susan offers some ideas for side trips and activities to expand your holiday
If you plan an extended trip to Niagara Falls from New York City, you might like to visit some other area attractions, including Niagara-on-the-Lake,... the Shaw Festival or even head to Toronto, Ontario to experience a great Canadian city. The Niagara Wine region is also easily accessible from the area near the falls, so it's easy to plan a full vacation in the area.
My colleague Jane put together a great Niagara Falls/Toronto 3-Day Itinerary that you might find inspiring.