Niagara Falls & Buffalo {Explore NY}

Hey loves & welcome to Explore New York! If you’ve been following me for awhile, you might know I definitely wanted to make exploring the area a priority. And, since Our Darling Adventure is all about discovering new places, I thought I’d take you along to Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY!

The drive from Fort Drum to Niagara Falls takes about 4 hours so we started off bright and early at 5 am and got to the Falls just after they happened. Which was great because the place fills up pretty quickly. Parking was hard to find so I definitely recommend getting there early before the free parking is filled. Paid parking is $25 per day, which is pretty steep if you’re only planning on staying a few hours like we were.

I definitely wasn’t prepared for how windy it was on the walk to the falls outlook so I will definitely be bringing a jacket next time, even in the summer.

I’ve read the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is more breathtaking but the American side was pretty darn spectacular.

We stayed at the falls for about an hour but decided to skip going up to the observation tower. Tickets for adults and kiddos are $1.25 each.


Next time we visit Niagara Falls though, we plan on taking the Maid of the Mist tour down to the base of the falls. You can see the boat on the right in the next photo.

Since we got done with Niagara Falls so early in the day, we decided to drive down to Buffalo and explore the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park at Canalside.

Veteran’s Park, as it’s called, is lined with monuments for fallen service members dating back to the War of 1812.

It’s also the home of the USS Little Rock, a missile cruiser, the USS The Sullivans, a destroyer, and a WWII submarine, the USS Croaker–all of which you can tour.

The park is free but tours of the ships are $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children. (Active Duty gets in free with ID)

For lunch we stopped by the Liberty Hound–a sweet little restaurant right on the waterfront. The food was delicious and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the Buffalo area.

The wait for lunch was about 45 minutes but there’s a ton of things on the waterfront to explore. On summer weekends, Canalside is also the site of several outdoor concerts.

As someone who followed hockey avidly as a kid, I couldn’t help but cross the street and explore KeyBank Center, the Buffalo Sabres stadium.

Overall we had a really fun day and I’m crossing fingers and toes that we’ll be able to visit Buffalo and Niagara Falls again when Zach comes home from deployment.

What to Know
  • Niagara Falls is a state park, perfect for long walks, bird watching, and, obviously, taking in the beauty of the falls. Admission to the Niagara Falls outlook is $1.25 for adults and children.
  • A boat tour of the Falls, Maid of the Mist is available from April till the first week of November (check the schedule for times). Adult tickets are $18.25 and children are $10.65.
  • Buffalo, NY is about a half hour drive from Niagara Falls and is definitely worth exploring

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    • I can’t wait to take Josh to Niagara Falls! I haven’t been in almost 20 years but I remember loving it 🙂

      • It’s so amazing! He’s coming home soon, right? So excited for you!

        • Yes, we don’t have an exact date yet but we have a round about date and it’s so close 🙂

    • I’ve never been to Niagra Falls even though I lived in New York for 26 years! I really hope to get there one day. It looks beautiful.

    • For the life of me, I can’t remember why we never took a visit while we lived in Saratoga Springs. But I love your pics!! And I hate paying for expensive public parking … it’s so annoying.

    • Bailey @ Becoming Bailey

      I’ve never been to Niagara Falls before and neither has Andy. I can’t wait to go visit someday!

    • Rachel Tringali

      That was one place my hubs and myself didn’t get a chance to visit while being at Fort Drum! I’ve been loads of times before myself with family and friends – both the New York and Canada side. Maybe we’ll get update New York again someday. 😉

      • Which side did you think was better? I’d love to see the Canadian side and I’ve heard from others that it’s a better view? I didn’t realize you guys used to be stationed at Drum–what a small army world! 🙂

    • I’ve seen both sides of Niagara Falls and I can say that I like the Falls more on the Canadian side but either side it’s seriously amazing! It’s one of my favourite places to go – too bad it can be pretty busy since it is a tourist destination.

      • We definitely figured that out! We thought since we got there so early that we’d beat the rush but no such luck. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see the Canadian side too–the night fireworks look so gorgeous!

    • Jen

      I would love to see Niagara one day! But I’d like to see it without being at Drum because it’s too cold. 😛

      • Yes!!!! It’s definitely not a fair trade for the cold Drum winters! I’m so happy we’ll be headed back to a warmer climate soon!