Road Trip USA - Niagara Falls, NY

By Melissa Sanchez, MMV Agent and Marketing Manager

2020 was the year of our 20th wedding anniversary. We were excited, thinking about where we would go to celebrate! Fast forward a few months and Covid-19 becomes a reality. So, we wait and wait. To not be planning travel for a big anniversary was extremely difficult! As the months went on, we realized we would need to start looking at driveable, domestic locations. I wanted a location that we had never been before but was close enough for a long weekend. Our search began!

We decided on Niagara Falls, USA. From northern New Jersey to Niagara Falls, NY the drive is about 6 - 6 1/2 hours. Far enough to feel like we are away but close enough for a long weekend. We decided on a Friday to Monday in late August. I chose a historic hotel located across the street from the state park, the Red Coach Inn.

The Red Coach Inn is literally 500 yards from the start of the Falls. You can hear the roar of the rapids from the sidewalk outside of the building. The Inn is modeled after the Bell Inn in Finedon, England. The Inn began welcoming guests in 1923. This Niagara Falls, NY hotel is the city's most distinctive historic structure, with its English Tudor exterior and warm English country ambiance. We loved the ambiance! We stayed in the Oxford Suite and it was huge! The full kitchen and large bathroom appeared to be recently renovated. The sitting area was large with a couch, two chairs and a tv. The bedroom had a king bed and beautiful antique dressers.

We spent the afternoon exploring the state park.

We then met some friends to check out one of the famous buffalo wings spots, Duff's. The dive bar atmosphere was perfect and the wings did not disappoint (neither did the martinis!)

Day 2 was such fun! We experienced Cave of the Winds and Maid of the Mist. These two experiences did take up the entire day so you'll want to plan accordingly.

We arrived at Cave of the Winds to buy tickets when they opened at 10am. Our return time was 12:16pm. We decided to walk over to the Maid of the Mist and see if we could get on the boat. I had pre-purchased a voucher for Maid of the Mist but because of the Covid restrictions we still had to wait in line for 1 hour and a half to get tickets. Once we had the tickets, we walked back to Cave of the Winds.

The Cave of the Winds was amazing! We got soaked but it was worth it! The views from beneath the waterfall were breathtaking!

We had lunch after at Top of the Falls restaurant and then finally headed back to Maid of the Mist. After another 1 hour and a half long wait, we got on the boat at 3pm. Donned in our ponchos and masks, we took in the awe-inspiring sights of Niagara Falls. Absolutely worth waiting all day for!

Day 3 started off with a hike in Devil’s Hole State Park. The hike was amazing with beautiful views. But the stairs you had to climb to get to and from the trail were killer!

After the hike we visited Old Fort Niagara. This fort is located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The French Castle, located within the fort, is the oldest building in the eastern interior of North America! It was designed to look like a house and a fortification to avoid giving offense to the local Native Americans.

We ended the afternoon with a jet boat through the rapids. While I was nervous to start, the ride was fun. It was not nearly as crazy as I expected. Be prepared to get very, very wet!

We headed back to the hotel and after changing into dry clothes, we had dinner at the local Hard Rock Cafe.

It was a great long weekend. Totally worth the trip! I would recommend a long weekend here to anyone!

Note: The Canadian border is currently closed to American citizens. This will be re-evaluated on Sept 21, 2020.

Remember, Magical Moments Vacations can help you book all kinds of domestic destinations! Contact your MMV Agent today for more information! You can request your quote here!

Melissa Sanchez is a seasoned agent and the Marketing Manager for Magical Moments Vacations. She travels often with her husband and family. Melissa specializes in family vacations and would love to send you and your family on your next trip. You can reach her at

She is very active on social media and you can follow her here:


Instagram: @melissas_vacations

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