We drove 1/2 way from NJ on Sat. and stayed in Corning NY at the Radisson. No reservations were made ahead of time and we payed $190.00...WAY too expensive. But it was last minute. It was nice and clean. There was a coffee station as soon as you get off elevators in the morning. Big plus in my book. Need my coffee! Other than that ..nothing special. We were close to the main drag with all the shops and restaurants so that was great! We walked to the bars and hung out for a couple hours before bed.
Day 1 We arrived in Niagara about 12:30 pm Sun and checked in to the Hilton. We purchased the groupon for $169.00 and it included 2 breakfast vouchers each morning..$10 towards lunch at Macaroni grill..which we never used..2 passes to 2 different wineries with a tasting..and 2 free bar drinks for all 3 days. Ok..so we get there and ask for an upgrade. It was our 15th anniversary so my husband wanted to splurge and get us a room with a view. The clerk charged us an additional $60.00 per night. We went to our room on the 39th floor of the North tower and opened up our curtains..then I teared up and gave my husband a huge hug!! It was the most beautiful view ever! Both falls were visible and it was a beautiful day! There is unfortunately a large red Casino sign across the street but it did not hurt our view. I just keep wondering why they allowed them to construct the building that way. It is a major eye sore! (IMO). BTW...park at the casino..$5 vs. $25..a no brainer.
After drinks at the lobby bar, served by Jill, we were on our way to explore. It was very easy to get around. If you are a walker..great. If not, there is a WEGO bus outside the hotel for all your attractions. We of course walked down to the falls and took our pics. Then we grabbed some lunch at the Edgwater's Tap and Grill Restaurant. It was OK..expensive for what you get but remember where you are! We walked around just taking in the area and then got ready for dinner. We had a $40 voucher towards dinner at Brasa, the all you can eat steak house. It was very good. (except for when they served the beef ribs, they were NASTY)The staff was excellent! We really enjoyed ourselves. Drinks, fireworks from our room..(spectacular!) then bed. Very comfy.
Day 2 We had breakfast at the Hilton, where they serve in the Macaroni Grill room, It was really great! Omelette station, hot meats, breads, danish, fruit, yogurt, cereal..everything! We only went here though because we had a voucher...otherwise it is $20.00pp. Can add up! Next we got our Adventure pass which included 48 hours on the WEGO bus, (which we did use a few times) and several attractions. Our first stop was the Maid of the Mist...(a boat ride). You do get wet but it was really fun. We then saw the movie, The Creation of the Falls..pretty cool. One of those inter-active shows. We planned an excursion to Niagara on the lake and went to a winery. (Peller Estates) It was fun and very informative. (If you don't know that much about how wines are made and tasted). The town of Niagara on the Lakes was absolutely beautiful. I am glad we took the time to go see it. Well worth it!
Dinner was at a Trip Advisor recommendation. The Syndicate! DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! OMG..one of the greatest meals and only $22.00 pp. Not a big menu but trust their skills. I will right a separate review later.
Day 3 We ate again at at Hilton for breakfast. Then took a walk over the rainbow bridge into NY. We went to the Cave of the Winds. Another great adventure..yes you do get wet. as a matter of fact, there was a storm passing through and we were soaked from head to toe but what a way to experience the falls close up. We squished all the way back to CA. We then went back to Niagara on the Lake to do the Jet boat tour! WET..WET...WET..no way around it. But boy was it fun! Our tour guy was awesome and kept us entertained while flying down Niagara Lake into the whirlpool of class 5 rapids! Yes...it's a bit exciting!
Dinner that night at another Trip Advisor recommendation. Napoli. As close as authentic Italian as you can without going to Italy. Food delicious staff ok. You can pay anywhere from $$-$$$ depending on your choices. They have pizza for $10 or entrees for $25ish. Good choice.
Back to Hilton for drinks at the top of the hotel bar with awesome views again. Be aware, however, that much of the views from the hotels depend on the weather too. In the am there is mist and fog so things aren't always so clear. Usually though by late morning the skies clear and views are better. At night the falls are lit up but again..unless the weather cooperates there may be nothing to see.
Overall we REALLY enjoyed our visit. The people were friendly and the customer service we experienced was one of the best in any city I've been. ( and I do travel quite a bit) I was hesitant at first about booking Niagara as so many people called it touristy..(not my thing usually)..BUT..it is worth it. Of course it's touristy..it's one of the most magnificent sights in the world. The crowds however are nothing like I've read about. Maybe because of it being the end of the summer? Yes, the hotel always seemed busy but the adventure wait times were never longer then 15 minutes. It is a National Park so it is green and pretty and walker/biker friendly. There is room to picnic and sit under a tree or just walk and take in the natural beauty. We did NOT make it to Clifton Hill...but we live close to Atlantic City so I did not feel the need to visit rides, souvenir shops or haunted houses. Maybe if I had younger children I would have though.
If you're planning on going..be excited! If your thinking about going...GO!
Hope it was an enjoyable read. I will review specific restaurants, hotel and attractions in the reviews portion.
I LOVE Tripadvisor!!! It really makes my vacations better!