Tomorrow, Ellie and I head to Niagara Falls, New York! We will see the falls, of course. Is it even possible to visit the town and NOT see the falls? We’re doing lots of other fun things, too…. but it’s not quite like a vacation.
I thought you might enjoy seeing what a “business trip” for travel writers looks like (since many of you have so graciously volunteered to assist me). Note, this schedule is a little tame, since I have a 10 year old along. No late nights, thankfully!
Our Niagara Falls itinerary
1:00 Get Ellie from school and head to the airport
8:32 pm Arrive Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) and pick up rental car
Check into The Giacomo Hotel, hopefully before 10:00 p.m. so we can see the fireworks over the falls from the roof!
Breakfast at the hotel
9 – 11:30 am: Aquarium of Niagara. We’re excited for the penguin feeding at 10:00!
Noon: Lunch at The Silo (as seen on “Man v. Food”). Ellie is a S—-L—-O—W eater, so during lunch, I’ll no doubt be reminding her to chew. 🙂
1:00 pm: Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours for a wild ride through the rapids! I’m sure that will help our lunch settle.
3:00 pm: Depart for Lockport — hopefully in dry clothes!
4:00 pm: Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride. I’m honestly not sure how Ellie will react to the underground tunnels… Or me for that matter! We will view ruins from the early industrial age, walk through a water tunnel blasted out of solid rock, view stalactites, flow stone and other geological formations. I think she’s nervous, but she’s a tough cookie!
6:00 pm: Head back to Niagara Falls for dinner at Savor, of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. We’re a foodie family, so I’m really looking forward to this dinner prepared by chefs in training. Who knows? There might be a Food Network star in the making cooking our dinner! (I sure hope we get pastry from La Patisserie for dessert.)
Return to hotel for the evening and collapse!
Assuming we wake up on time, we’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel! Just kidding… Ellie is a morning person. She’ll be up before the sun. Guaranteed!
9:00 am: Cave of the Winds and Maid of the Mist, both are part of Niagara Falls State Park. Did you know that this park is the oldest state park in the United States? It was established in 1885 as the Niagara Reservation! I probably should have mentioned at the start of this post that travel writers research before travel! That background information helps us absorb the information more easily during the trip.
Noon: Lunch at Top of the Falls, Goat Island, Niagara Falls State Park. This restaurant serves trendy burgers and hot dogs in a casual atmosphere with some of the best views in the world. Good thing there are great views, because after Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds, I doubt I’ll have nice hair anymore!
Afternoon: Hike Devil’s Hole at Whirlpool State Park… which means I can eat the fries at lunch! Then, we get to go souvenir shopping on Old Falls Street. Hopefully, we’ll find a key ring. Every work trip I take, I bring Ellie home a key ring. It’s our thing, and it’s even more fun when she can pick it out herself!
5:00 p.m.: Return to the hotel to get ready for dinner at The Red Coach Inn. I took a sneak peek at the menu. It looks incredible!
8:00 p.m.: Enjoy Niagara Falls Illumination from Prospect Point at Niagara Falls State Park. I’ve seen pictures of the Falls lit at night, but it’s a tradition that goes back to the 1920s (more pre-trip research for you)! Though we’ll be tired after two long days of adventure, I have a feeling this will be a bittersweet evening for me and my littlest travel buddy.
Back to the hotel. Ellie will fall quickly asleep. I’ll pack and prepare for our trip home. Then my mind will swirl as story ideas come together. I’ll check and double-check that we packed everything to come home. Then, I’ll fall asleep just a few hours before I have to get up!
Travel home day
Breakfast at the hotel and checkout.
Return the rental car.
Fly home. Come through the garage door into the house and prepare for attack as sweet Daisy, who adores me, welcomes us home with yelps of joy and sweet, sloppy kisses.
Ellie will talk for hours, sharing our adventure with her daddy… and her brother (as long as he can stand it).
And there you have it. A non-stop trip filled with information and activity. So, is it what you thought?
The aftermath…. Just kidding! The writing process begins
Ellie will need three days to get back in the groove…. Sorry, teachers!
I’ll spend most of the week editing photos from the trip and outlining stories. Ellie will share her thoughts, too. And then, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to plan your Niagara Falls USA getaway!
If I was taking this trip with family, I’d probably stretch the itinerary to three days, but that’s not usually possible with work trips.
Have you been to Niagara Falls USA? What do you like best? Are we missing out on anything?