I know it probably sounds crazy to travel to Niagara Falls while there is snow on the ground. This bucket list destination is something that I have taken for granted while living in Western, New York for the past 11 years. The Covid-19 pandemic has had searching for ways to fill that travel void safely. I feel that it is my responsibility as a hotelier/business woman to showcase what the industry is doing to make you feel safe. Today I’m going to show you how to plan a winter weekend getaway to Niagara Falls, New York.
For a Winter Weekend Getaway to Niagara Falls, isn’t the Canadian side better?
I have heard this so many times and for a long time fully agreed with it. Can you get those beautiful falls-view hotel rooms on the Canadian side? Yes and they are beautiful. Although they are Instagram worth, not everyone can usually afford them. The Canadian side of Niagara Falls has a lot more attractions and things to do so to speak. With that being said though, it is extremely commercialized and borders on tacky tourism depending on your view of that. Regardless of which side you pick, a winter weekend getaway to Niagara Falls is possible.
Why pick the New York side of Niagara Falls?
- If you are a US citizen, you don’t need a passport.
- Niagara Falls State Park gives you a more up-close experience with the falls with less commercialism.
- Great hotel prices. You can get a nicer room, even a suite for a fraction of the price.
- It is a great home base if you want to see the NY side and the Canadian side via the bridge. You can walk or drive over the bridge.
- A winter weekend getaway to Niagara Falls can save you a lot of money and allow you to enjoy the area with fewer crowds.
Where should you stay?
This is a loaded question. There are a variety of great hotels and brands in Niagara Falls, NY. I chose to stay with the Sheraton Niagara Falls USA hotel which was right across from the Seneca Niagara Casino and less than a half a mile from the state park. There are many reasons that I selected this hotel.
- It is a full service hotel. I personally enjoy staying at properties that have a lot of amenities like restaurants, pools, etc. While I enjoy eating local, it is nice to order some room service and eat in after a long day.
- Marriott Gold. I’m a Marriott Gold Member through my American Express Platinum credit card. This gave me a great membership rate as well as a complimentary upgrade at the hotel.
- Proximity to Park and Casino. My husband wanted a little me time. This hotel had a tunnel so he could go over to the casino one night while Olivia and I went swimming and watched movies. This hotel is so close to the park that we could see the mist from the falls from our room!
I will be posting a separate review just on this hotel soon so make sure you check that out!
Where should you eat?
This might be my family’s favorite topic. Since this was a staycation for us, we kept it pretty low key and as local as possible.
- The Red Coach Inn: My family agrees that this was our best meal in Niagara Falls and would definitely eat here again. We stopped here for lunch before heading over to the state park which is right across the street. Everything we ate was wonderful. We really recommend the Coconut Shrimp, the Beef on Weck, and the Peanut Butter Pie!
- Frankie’s Donuts & Pizza: We ordered delivery on our stay in day at the hotel from here. The donuts are out of this world. The different versions of peanut donuts were the favorites for us, especially the peanut cream donut. We ordered half a sheet of pizza to keep in the fridge to eat during the day and it was delicious. They deliver via GrubHub and are open 24 hours a day!
- DiCamillo’s Bakery: The family was pretty much on a hunt for pizza. Our first night we stopped here based on some photos we saw on Instagram to get some pizza to take back to the hotel. The pizza was great and the sauce tasted like fresh, sweet tomatoes! My daughter also enjoyed a delicious piece of chocolate mint cake.
- Rainforest Cafe: I know this isn’t local and it isn’t necessarily the best food in the area. However, it is an experience. If you have kids, they will love eating here. The staff is friendly and so are the animals. The best part is that it was in our hotel as well!
What is there to do in the Winter?
Planning a winter weekend getaway to Niagara Falls seems a little crazy since the primary attraction is outdoors. However, the state park and many indoor attractions are open year round!
- Niagara Falls State Park. This 400-acre park has many viewpoints of the American, Horseshoe, and Bridal Veil Falls. Throughout the winter there is a light display on the falls and fireworks. Parking was $10 for the full day and it allows you to park in different lots within the park.
- Old Fort Niagara
- Niagara Falls Underground Railroad
- Aquarium of Niagara
- Art Alley Niagara Falls. I’m such a sucker for street art and Niagara Falls has a great outdoor alley with 19 murals.
- Seneca Niagara Casino
These are just a few of the activities in the area that are open during the winter. If you are coming during another season or want to see everything that Niagara Falls, New York has to offer. Check out this visitor’s guide.
I hope that you all feel inspired to try a staycation if it is safe for you and your family. There are so many great people that depend on the tourism industry to support their lives and families. It should be easy to see that Planning a winter weekend getaway to Niagara Falls is worth your while.
Check out my Hudson Valley travel guide!