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Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Chicago
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Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

We will arrive Friday 9/5 and leave Monday 9/8. We fly into Buffalo on Friday and will rent a car. Friday and Saturday nights we are staying at Harbour House, so we have about a half a day Friday and all day Saturday in NOTL. Sunday we will go to Niagara Falls to do the touristy things and stay there, to depart from Buffalo Monday morning.

It is a short visit and we want to maximize our time. With only a half day on Friday we aren't sure whether to head right to NOTL or visit the American side of the falls. We definitely want to visit wineries, and were considering touring on bikes. Does anyone have any suggestions on must-do things, places to visit, eat, etc?

Any imput is much appreciated.

West Grey, Ontario
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1. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Hi;

There are some car rental companies that will not permit their cars out of the state or out of the country, or charge a premium if they do.

Ensure that the car rental company notes on the rental agreement that they authorize you to take the car into Canada. You may be asked by Customs when entering Canada, or when re-entering the US, for this documentation.

Best Regards

Chicago
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2. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Thank you. Do you think we would be better off finding other means of transportation versus renting a car? We would need to get from BUF to NOTL, then around wine country, to Niagara Falls, and then back to BUF. Assuming we find a rental company that allows us to take the car into Canada, I'm thinking it may be less of a hassle to just have the car and be free to go about as we please...unless a car is really unnecessary for our weekend vacation...?

West Grey, Ontario
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3. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Hi;

Renting a car will work out cheaper in the long run.

I know that both Avis and Budget allow their cars across the border, and probably most of the larger car rental companies will as well, but be sure to ask in advance.

Best Regards

UK
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4. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Hi, we also had the dilemma of how to get about in Niagara. In the end, we took a cab from Buffalo airport (75 dollars including wait time at border crossing, which was only about 5 minutes) to Avis car hire in Niagara Falls. We picked up a pre-arranged hire car and kept it for the time we spent in Niagara, and also, as we're still in Niagara, intend using it to drive to Montreal for the next part of our trip. The taxi service from Buffalo to Niagara is really easy - lots of taxis available at the airport. We had originally booked a transfer through Niagara Falls Taxi company but were really badly let down by them - it will be included in my trip report when I get home!!

So, an option would be to take a cab and then use your hire car when you're in and around Niagara.

Hope this helps.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Renting a car in the Buffalo airport is no problem to be able to drive it over to Niagara and it is your best bet, i have had friends come in from Hilton Head three times and that is the way they did it. It was easy enough cause it gets you right to the airport with no extra costs of taxis. Once in Niagara, since i am a resident of the town. I would do wineries of course and some of the main ones is Reif Estate Winery, amazing building and awesome wines. Caroline Cellars is a family run winery which always gives you good service. The bigger ones are really nice like Peller Estates and Inniskillin. If you are going out for dinner and want expensive then look at Peller, Hillebrand and Stone Road Grill. If you want a good value plus absolutely amazing food there is a restaurant that opened last year called the Old Winery Restaurant. It is run by one of the best chefs in Niagara as a family restaurant, he does also have a fine dining restaurant in the Oban Inn. If you are outdoors type people looking for adventure there are the jet boat tours which do run at 60 dollars a person but are tons and tons of fun, ive done it last three years. If you have any other questions or want to know more i´m always willing to share. Eating on the main road in Niagara is expensive and not worth what you pay for. The Niagra Golf Course has the best view in town with a patio and is reasonable too, best for a drink.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Thank you for your help and recommendations!

Does anyone know of a rental car company that is better than any other for a good rate?

Also, I am torn between renting bikes and going out on our own to some wineries versus doing a packaged bike tour, which incluedes a guide, tastings, and a picnic lunch?

West Grey, Ontario
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7. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Hi meghead;

I don’t think that any ONE company is always the cheapest, all the time.

Best Regards

London
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8. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

Try all of the rental car companies, shop around! We always go with Budget Rent-a-Car because we are under 25 they consistently have the best rate for us, but we always shop around in case.

I would recommend doing a packaged bike tour for sure. Have fun!

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

I would recommend getting the B&B map of Notl and it shows you most of the wineries in the area. Zoom is a bike company on highway 55 that rents bikes and i would do your own. The guided ones goes to 4-5 wineries that are on their list. There are many other ones worth trying and they do not always bring you to the best ones. But if you prefer to have it all plotted out for you then it is well worth it.

10. Re: Booked trip, now please help plan our days!

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