Niagara Falls – tourist / visitor information (Transport, Hotel, Discovery Pass)

Getting to Niagara Falls –

By Air: Take flight to Buffalo, NY and proceed to take a taxi or shuttle to the falls. It is $60 flat (plus tips) by cab from the airport to the falls. It is about 25 miles away. There is a shuttle available from the airport to Niagara Falls – $30 per person.
One can also hire a car from the airport.

Staying at Niagara Falls area (American side) –

There a numerous hotels in the area. The closest ones to the falls include Howard Johnson, Days Inn, Seneca, Crown Plaza etc. It is better to stay close to the falls if you do not have your car (or have not hired one here). If you have a car it doesn’t matter where you stay since parking is available within the state park adjoining the falls at more than one location.

Niagara Falls layout

The falls on the American side is part of the Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in the United States. It is an extended, well maintained green stretch including the islands in the Niagara River.  So to get to the falls actually you get to the state park. There is a trolley which runs across the state park and it stops at all the attractions.

Niagara Falls State Park

A view of both the American falls, the Horseshoe Falls on Canadian side and the islands taken during our helicopter ride is given here. The points of interest are marked. Niagara Falls and islands - Map

Niagara Falls pass (Discovery Pass)

The first thing to do is to buy a “Discovery Pass” which is a booklet of tickets to 6 attractions. Each booklet costs $30. It is cheaper to buy this than the tickets separately. The pass offers tickets to –
i) The Maid of the mist
ii) The Cave of the Winds
iii) Niagara Adventure Theatre
iv) Niagara Scenic Trolley
v) Niagara Gorge Discovery Centre
vi) Aquarium of Niagara

It also contains some in park and regional discount coupons to some restaurants and other attractions.

Niagara Falls Visitor Center, New York

The pass can be bought at the Visitor centre or at the Information/ticketing booth outside the centre. It is best to start the trip from the Visitor centre. There are restrooms, ticketing booths etc. here and also you can collect maps of the state park and falls from the centre. It is just a few feet away from the American Falls. Once you have the tickets and maps you are set to go.
Continued in “Attractions of Niagara falls”