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From New York to Niagara Falls

From New York to Niagara Falls

July 21, 2015

Driving a rental car in New York City can be a bit complicated, because of a combination of factors: traffic is heavy and parking, expensive. But if you take a rental car to explore the city and make a longer trip out of it, then the cost benefit equation will tilt in your favor.

To visit Niagara Falls is an amazing experience, it is a wonder of nature right on the border between Canada and the United States, about 404 miles from the city of New York.

Driving to Niagara Falls can take up to 6 or 8 hours, going down I-81 N, then taking the I-90 W in Syracuse. The best way to do this trip is to get a rental car that has a GPS in your language, so that you are not focused on the road signs, and your attention can stay on the sepctacular views.

The best time of year for this trip is between the months of September and October, in the fall, when landscapes offer a colorful and vibrant show; this is the peak “foliage season.”

Niagara Falls, which means "thunder of water" in the language of the Iroquois tribe, has a width of 1 km and a flow rate ranging from 69 to 187 feet. The side of the falls in Ontario, Canada, has the name of Horseshoe Falls (because of its horseshoe shape), while the side located in the State of New York is known as the American Falls.

It is important to know that there is no problem in crossing the Canadian border in a rental car. You only need to rent a car with casualty insurance, liability insurance known as LIS (Liability Insurance Supplement), and remember that it is necessary to have a valid passport. The transition from side to side of the border, can be made through the Rainbow Bridge, which spans the Niagara River Gorge.

For those who want to stay in Niagara for a couple of days before heading back, you should check out the Canadian side, and stay in one of the hotels overlooking the Falls, as the highest water falls are located on that side.

During our visit to Niagara Falls, there are certain tours you can not miss:

Horseshoe Falls: With a horseshoe of 2,200 feet wide, and a wealth of water moving through it, this is the most impressive area of Niagara Falls.

Maid of the Myst: This service has been operating from 1846 and offers a spectacular tour of the falls, departing from the side located in the United States, going through the Horseshoe Falls, and returning to the starting point.

Goat Island: This is a small uninhabited island between both sides of the falls, with a viewpoint that offers some of the most amazing views of the place. It can be crossed in rental car, since the island is connected to the mainland by two bridges.

Bridal Veil Falls: Located on the U.S. side, this is the smallest of the falls. With 56 feet wide and a flow rate of 78 feet, the appeal in these falls is that you are able to go to the base through "The Cave of Winds."

Table Rock: A viewpoint that is located on the Canadian side of the falls, it is one of the most popular for visitors, because of the excellent views and lookouts.

Journey Behind the Falls: Like Maid of The Myst, this tour offers a journey behind the falls; but instead, it starts from the Canadian side. Here you can see the spectacular Horseshoe Falls; 2800 cubic meters per second, traveling at 40 mph.

It is important to point out that there is no public parking near Horseshoe Falls. Your option is to leave the rental car parked, and take the bus to different viewpoints over the river.

For those who need more than nature, the area around the falls, offers a wide variety of tourist attractions such as casinos, museums, I-Max theater and amusement arcades, among others fun activities.

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