I went on a trip to Ooty with the wife in the second week of August and thanks to TripAdvisor's reviews and helpful folks on this forum, we were able to plan well before getting there and had a fun time.
I had heard a lot of negative stuff from friends about how messy and crowded Ooty is, but luckily, I had a very different experience.
Landed in Coimbatore late afternoon. We had a prebooked a cab from coimbatoretaxi.com and he was waiting for us at the airport. We were pretty happy with their service and rates. After having lunch at Anandaas (so-so), we left for Ooty and reached Delightz Inn in Ooty around 8pm. The place is a little uphill from the main city and is a good pick for someone on a budget. (See my detailed review).
We left for Pykara after having breakfast. The route was very scenic but it was drizzling and raining almost the whole day. We first hit the shooting spot (7 mile) - this place had amazing views. Then, we went to Pykara falls (where there was no water), but there is a nice walk towards the falls. The rain made the weather nice but made it a little hard to walk long.
Then, we went to Gudalur to have lunch - at ITC.You can't expect to have a lot of choices in such places especially at lunch time, you just sit down in an available seat and have meals.
We then left for Mudumalai and saw signs for wild animals everywhere but unfortunately, the safaris etc were all shut down and there was nothing to do there. We returned to Ooty and went to Nahar for dinner and found it pretty good, a bit expensive but worth it.
We had already booked first class train tickets for the toy train from Ooty to Coonoor, it was W/L 4,5 till the previous day morning, but got confirmed the previous day evening.
So, we reached the station at ~8.40am and this was the start of a thoroughly enjoyable experience. After taking photos in the station, we got into our seats when the train arrived and went on the super-scenic ride. Must-do!
Once we landed in Coonoor around an hour later, we straight went to Sim's park. This is a great spot to just chill out, a very well-maintained park. Then, we went to Lamb's rock and Dolphin's nose. Though the ride was good, the places itself were very dirty teeming with monkeys, not worth the trip.
After lunch at Lakshmi Veg (mediocre), we then went to a local tea factory - skip this since the tea factory in Ooty is much bigger and there is more to see. We had originally planned to visit Kothagiri but we got tired of the travelling and returned to Ooty instead to rest. After all, that's what vacations are for :)
This was the day for local Ooty sightseeing. We left at ~9.30 am and first visited Doddabetta. Loved this place, great views and it was clean for a change. There was a good crowd in but still, there was enough space for all.
After spending more than an hour here, we went to the Tea factory on the way back. This is a big factory where you get a guided tour of how tea is made and you can learn about the history of the place. At the end of the tour, you can buy all varieties of tea.
Attached is a chocolate 'factory', more of a shopping area, where you can buy fresh homemade chocolates of different kinds. We then visited the Botanical garden, hardly any flowers here, just a sprawling area full of green.
After lunching at Nahar's (again!), we went to the Rose garden (lovely place) and Ooty lake. The lake deserves special mention, boating is a lot of fun with different boats (row,pedal,motor) available. You could just spend time sitting here on the lawn eating bajjis or watching the boats go by, you will love it!
Then, we proceeded to the local vegetable market to buy some fresh veggies to take home. And returned to the inn after having dinner at, yeah you guessed it, Nahar.
We left for Coimbatore after breakfast and boarded our flight back home.
Overall, a wonderful trip with great memories! I have written individual reviews for most places we visited including where we stayed, hope that helps!