The morning after the big Cavs versus Heat game in Cleveland, we slept in until about 9:30 am. It was a much-needed rest before getting back on the road.
We cleaned and packed up the car and continued east towards Niagra Falls. It was about a 4 hour drive from Cleveland to Niagra, one of the shorter drives we’ve had so far on this trip.
We arrived in Niagra Falls, NY just before sunset and made a stop at the Visitor’s Center to get some tips on where to go for the best views. It was recommended that we drive down the road about 3 miles to the Niagra Whirlpool area for a place to walk and see some great views. We headed over there to let the dogs out and were awed by the beautiful fall colors.
The Whirpool overlook area was nice as well, but I just couldn’t get over the colors in the trees.
Even though October is the beginning of the off-season at Niagra Falls, it ended up being the best time to go. While the Niagra Falls and Horseshoe Falls are beautiful, the fall foliage in the area makes the views even better. I can’t imagine it looking any better during the summer months.
Not only that, but there are very few crowds. We were able to see great views of the falls with very few people around, and were able to get right into the nearby restaurants (we ate at Rainforest Cafe).
Curious of what the Falls would look like at night, we decided to stick around and were pleasantly surprised by the rainbow lighting hitting Niagra Falls once the sun went down. Because of the shorter Fall days, we only had to wait until 7 pm for the rainbow lights to appear, while you have to wait until much later in the spring and summer.
We decided that we wanted to stay in the area for the night so we could cross over into Canada the next morning for some different views. Unfortunately, there were only 2 options in Niagra Falls, NY for dog-friendly hotels that would accept two large dogs. Although very convenient to the rainbow bridge that would have taken us over the Canadian border the next morning, the Howard Johnson Inn in Niagra Falls, NY was a bad decision. When we got there late that night and got into the hard bed, we started feeling uneasy with the cleanliness of the room. Wes turned on the lights to find a bug on his shirt and crawling up the wall. We were out of there! It was not exactly the Halloween scare we had in mind!
Since it was too late to try to find another room in Niagra Falls, we decided to leave town and head to our next destination… a little town called Penn Yan just a few hours South of Niagra, which had much more quaint and clean accommodations. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to cross into Canada at Niagra Falls, but hopefully we’ll be back one day!
I think that Fall ended up being a fantastic time to visit Niagra Falls, and here’s why:
5 Reasons to Visit Niagra Falls in the Fall (October – November)
1. The fall foliage in the area is gorgeous
2. You don’t have to stay up late to see the falls lit up with rainbow colors (5 or 7 pm in the fall versus 9 pm in the summer)
3. There are no crowds or wait-times at the falls, stores, or restaurants
4. Parking is free
5. The weather is just right…not too hot, not too cold
After our late night drive to Penn Yan, NY, we woke up the next morning to explore the area and continue our drive east. We made a stop at Watkins Glen State Park to enjoy a little fresh air and hiking before our long drive to Massachusetts. Even though it was a long drive, we were able to enjoy some amazing fall foliage along the way!
Have you ever had a bad hotel experience?
What’s your favorite season of the year to travel?