In March, I planned a surprise mini vacation for 3 days to Niagara Falls, New York. Many people told me to visit Canada as well, but we only had three days so I wanted to soak up as much of the United States side as we could. Nate had no idea of the trip and I was excited to surprise him for his 25th birthday!
We left on Thursday evening to stay with Nate’s parents who live in Cleveland, Ohio. On Friday morning we drove 4 hours from Cleveland to Niagara Falls, New York.
Where to stay: The Giacomo Hotel. This hotel was awesome. On Friday night we were invited to the top floor for free wine and beautiful view of the falls and Canada. This hotel has a beautiful art deco inspired look which makes you feel like you are in the 1920’s. The building is a beautiful historic and tall building. The breakfast served was like any other hotel except they were cooking it as we came in. They served eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, fresh fruit, and more. The hotel also had complimentary valet parking where they would park your car in a gated parking lot. We felt very pampered with this amenity.
Food: Any time we take a vacation the number one thing we are thinking about is where we are going to eat. We wanted wine, buffalo wings, and somewhere to grab a good steak. We found all three in Niagara Falls, New York. The first place we ate for lunch was Anchor Bar which was walking distance from the Giacomo. They had buffalo wings and great fries. The wings were probably some of the best I have ever eaten. Being close to Buffalo, New York there was no doubt in my mind that they would be phenomenal. In the Anchor Bar there is also a large arcade with some really awesome games for all to play. Nate and I also decided to check out Wine on Third just a 3-4 minute drive from our hotel. It was the best decision of the trip. Nate and I shared a lemon gnocchi dish as well as a green greek pizza. We both had some red wine and really enjoyed the atmosphere. Our server was very accommodating and helped us navigate the vast wine menu. By far our favorite restaurant of the trip. Another place we found was Savor which is a part of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Students work as the servers for this restaurant. The atmosphere is very open and beautiful. Nate had the duck and I order the steak. Both were phenomenal, but the best part about the meal was the arugula salad, filled with beets, blueberries, goat cheese, and a balsamic dressing. We will never forget that salad!!
Activities: During our time in Niagara Falls we of course visited the falls. We walked through goat island to see the ice covered falls as well as up to the observation deck to see the falls. Since it was March and still fairly snowy and chilly, the observation deck was free. During our time in Niagara Falls we also visited Fort Niagara, which is a 30 minute drive north along the U.S. and Canadian border. The fort was $12 per person and very worth it. First you go through he museum which shows a massive amount of history. Then you go outdoors to explore the fort. The fort has an awesome bridge controlled by large stones and a really cool castle. All of this is overlooking the beautiful waters of Lake Ontario. We walked around and went to many different buildings which had interesting history and beautiful architecture. While in Niagara we also visited the Seneca Niagara Casino. We played some games and won all of our money plus more back. We also got an alcoholic slushy from the Fat Tuesdays Daiquiri Bar. The casino was massive and had a lot to offer. From Cold Stone Creamery, Tim Hortons, and lost of places to choose to eat. During our stay we also visited the Niagara Aquarium. It is a very small aquarium, but has some great animals and conservation going on. The sea lions at the Niagara Aquarium are remarkable animals. Their little show is really cool to see how special those animals really are. They also have a wide array of fish and a large penguin exhibit.
Our vacation was quick, but we explored many places in Niagara Falls, New York. If you are visiting Niagara for a short time I would tell you to soak in the sites and awesome history that the U.S. side of Niagara Falls can offer.