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Old 09-29-2015, 07:41 AM   #1
Jim_ Bob's Avatar
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Niagara Falls Route

We are going to take a trip in the next few weeks to Niagara Falls. We will travel up I-79 in western Pa. Then take I-90 east towards Buffalo. I was wondering if it would be best to stay on I-90 all the way to 190 and then head west. Or at some point, when getting close to Buffalo, get on 5 and then on the 190?
Also it is just a short trip to Niagara Falls from where I will be coming from, so I was thinking about just getting some place close to the falls in the afternoon then staying over night then on to the falls sometime the next morning. Should we just stay at one of the free places like Walmart, Cracker Barrel or? After the seeing the falls we will be heading towards Maine.

Thanks for any suggestions as to a good place to stay and a route.

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Old 09-29-2015, 07:54 AM   #2
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Jim Bob, you don't want to take Route 5 through downtown Buffalo. It would be more than a royal pain. Best suggestion is to take I-90 to either I-190 or I-290. The 190 will run through the city which may give you a glimpse of some of the huge improvements they are making in downtown Buffalo. The 290 just loops out around the city and is just like any other outer loop highway.

Most folks who are going to spend any time at the Falls elect to stay at the KOA on Grand Island. I'm assuming you have a toad and can make the run up to the Falls. Also, you may want to go to the Canadian side so make sure you have your passports and have NO guns in your vehicle.

Enjoy your trip. The leaves are just beginning to change here so there will be some color in the hills.

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Old 10-01-2015, 12:25 PM   #3
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Seneca Niagara Casino in downtown Niagara Falls, NY, has a large parking lot on the east side. They might allow overnighting--call them to make sure. It looked like the northern part of that area was used by tour buses, and the southern part was used more by cars.

I didn't see much in the Buffalo area for your usual free overnighting, like Walmarts and whatnot. Not sure why.

If you go to the casino in a big RV, be aware of the low overpass at the exit from I-190. The word is that only one of the lanes is low, but it's one of those curlicue exits so you don't see it coming. We didn't take the RV there so I can't say from personal experience. I know that taking Niagara Falls Blvd west from I-190 is fine in a big RV--we did that in a 40-foot motorhome, towing a car, to get to the bridge to Canada.

The casino is within walking distance of the U.S. side of the falls. But if you've never been there, you definitely should go to the Canada side because that's where you get the "classic" view. Maybe stay until night if they're still illuminating them when you're there.

You can walk over the bridge. Bring your passport, and either 25 cents or 50 cents per person (can't remember, but it was quarters) for the turnstile on the way back from Canada. No fee on the US -> Canada trip.

If you're going there, take I-90, and note that there's a toll for inbound traffic to Grand Island, although EZ Pass works. EZ Pass also works for vehicles going over the Rainbow Bridge to Canada (the one you can walk over).

There are two RV parks on Niagara Falls Blvd within about 10 miles of the falls: Niagara Falls Campground and AA Royal Motel and Campground. They work for big rigs, but satellite might be problematic because of the trees around the perimeter. Neither is a resort by any stretch of the imagination, but not particularly gross or anything (I just drove by them a few times--didn't stay there). You would get to those by taking Niagara Falls Blvd north from I-290. You'd avoid the toll on Grand Island.

Those two parks are expensive, like over $50/night. And actually, I'm not sure how long they stay open. Most campgrounds in New England close after Columbus Day, and I'm not sure if that extends to this part of New York or not, so you should definitely check on that if your trip is after mid-October.

I'll defer to others on your Highway 5 idea. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the size of your RV. But some sightseeing would be nice--I was pleasantly surprised at how nice Buffalo was.
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