Family Road Trip to Niagara Falls

We hit the road last Friday and headed to Niagara Falls with the kids!

Niagara Falls

With the car loaded we left around 9am from Virginia and made it about half way to Niagara Falls when we decided to stop in Altoona, Pennsylvania for lunch. We stopped at Tom and Joe’s and enjoyed burgers and fries at the diner that’s been in business for over 80 years. The kids had their mind’s blown with the jukebox the diner had! Katelyn kept calling it a juice box and wondering where the drinks came out of it.

Tom and Joe'sjukebox

We kept cruising right along after lunch and made our way through the rest of Pennsylvania and New York, crossing over the bridge to Canada and arriving at the Clifton Victoria Inn at the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada right before dinner time. The hotel did not offer a view of the Falls but I wasn’t super concerned. The price was right for a place to shower and sleep. It also had free parking, offered free breakfast and had a small swimming pool. The hotel was not anything super fancy but it worked out just fine for our weekend away.

After we checked in, we headed back out to explore!! We made our way to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Dinner was standard Hard Rock food and we were all pleased. I stopped by the Rock Shop on the way out to add to my magnet collection!! And we picked up another Hard Rock Glass to add to the cabinet.

Next, we made our way to Clifton Hill. Katelyn had not stopped talking about the Ferris wheel since she saw it out our hotel window when we checked in, so that was where we headed. We stopped to snap a picture first!

Me and the Kids in Niagara Falls

Tickets and a short wait in line and soon we were headed to the top.

On the SkyWheel in Niagara Falls

From the top, we were able to get our first view of Niagara Falls. The lights were so pretty!

The Falls from the SkyWheel

Spent a little more time walking around and checking things out. We saw the Upside Down House and browsed some gift shops where we bought postcards to mail to ourselves and some family.

Friday Night

Woke up on Saturday morning had some breakfast and headed out to do more exploring! Finally seeing Niagara Falls in the daytime was so crazy! The Falls were so much closer than we had realized the night before.



I purchased Niagara Falls Adventure Passes for the family before we ever left and they proved to be a great choice. Once we had our passes we headed down to get ponchos and take a ride on Hornblower Cruises.


The boat ride was shorter than expected but so cool to actually be in the same place you’ve seen on tv so many times before. (I might have watched the Jim and Pam wedding episode from The Office a few days before we left just cause I was so excited about the trip!) Sisters

For lunch, we went to Tim Horton’s. Then we headed on to the next part of our Adventure Pass. The weather was perfect so we decided to walk. As we got closer to Table Rock, the mist was amazing! I can’t believe that every day there it just seems like it’s constantly raining because the water from the falls is so powerful.

In the Mist

At Table Rock, we did the Journey Behind the Falls tour and the Niagara’s Fury Experience. Both were very interesting and we had a great time.

Behind the Falls

After that, we took the Wego Bus back to the hotel using our adventure passes. Took a nap and then we were ready for dinner. We jumped back on the bus and headed to the Skylon Tower for the Summit Suite Buffet. The view was awesome, the buffet was not. If there was one thing we wouldn’t recommend during the trip it would be dinner here. It was quite a bummer since it looked so awesome online. The buffet was nowhere near worth the cost, though, even if it included the view.

View from Skylon Tower

After stopping at Starbucks for mugs, we hopped back on the bus and made our way back to Clifton Hill and grabbed some dessert at the Hershey’s Store.

HersheyPic with a Kiss

We made it back to the hotel with just a few minutes to spare before the pool closed. So the kids went for a swim before we headed to bed for the night.

Sunday, we woke up, packed bags, grabbed some breakfast and started to make our way back home from Niagara Falls.

Our whole family enjoys buffalo wings, so we had to stop in Buffalo, New York for some originals! With the recommendation of a friend from Buffalo, we stopped for lunch at The Anchor Bar. The wings were delicious and we can now say we’ve had some of the original wing sauce at the place where Buffalo Wings were invented.

The Anchor Bar


After several more hours on the road, we made it home from our whirlwind trip to Niagara Falls. It was short and sweet but just about perfect in every way. A trip to the Falls definitely does not require an extended stay. The breathtaking views were amazing but any more time there would have probably just been spent wasting money at all the touristy stuff to do at Clifton Hill. And we went to see the falls not to spend money in the fun houses. I’m so glad we decided to go and I was able to get a trip to Canada and a trip to Niagara Falls both checked off my bucket list!

Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? What was your favorite part? What other places are on your bucket list?


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