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4 Facts About Duty Free Shopping

Duty Free

  1. Land Duty Free stores have have lower prices compared to airport Duty Free.  This is because Land Duty Free stores have lower operating costs and therefore can offer better prices.
  2. You’ll save the most on products that have the highest taxes such as alcohol, fragrances, cosmetics, health and beauty products
  3. Long line-up at the Rainbow Bridge Canada-US border crossing? You can stop at Duty Free before visiting the U.S, take advantage of tax savings, and skip the line.
  4. Duty Free customs allowances have increased to $200 for trips over 24 hours and increased to $800 for trips over 48 hours.  See the chart at the end of this post for further details.

duty free

 

 

Be sure to also like the Duty Free Canada Facebook page for contests and tips to save on Duty Free.

Dates: November 9th until November 23rd more…

War of 1812 Encampment a Top 100 Event for 2013

War of 1812

The American Bus Association (ABA) announced recently that the War of 1812 Encampment – the Capture of Ft. Niagara, held this year on September 1 – 2, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013 by an experienced tourism industry selection committee.   Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicates that the War of 1812 Encampment offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to ABA. The event was submitted in the Spring of 2012 by Deborah Duerr, Director of Tourism Sales, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation.

 

American Bus Association Names ‘War of 1812 Encampment’ a Top 100 Event for 2013

 

With the release of the American Bus Association’s 2013 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 31 years of the program. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.
“The attractiveness of the War of 1812 Encampment as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for Niagara USA,” said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA’s president and CEO. “The real news here is that the War of 1812 Encampment has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy. The honor gives Niagara USA an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.” more…

Category: Local News, Travel  Tags:  One Comment
Will the Maid of the Mist be running in 2012?

maid of the mist

Will the Maid of the Mist be running in 2012? Yes.

The new tour operator is Hornblower Canada Co., but they won’t take start running until 2014.  The current owners, called Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co.  are expecting to make an announcement this month about the 2012 season. Stay tuned.

RVing Around Niagara Falls

Exciting RV Adventure around Niagara Falls

On the list of unforgettable places for RV campers to visit, Niagara Falls should rank near the top. The experience of Niagara is like no other in North America, so why not use this quick guide to help plan your own exciting RV adventure to Niagara Falls?

RV Camping around Niagara Falls

Because you’ve chosen the convenience and comfort of RV camping on your Niagara Falls adventure, you’ll need to know where to find a great campground. Here’s a link to Niagara area campgrounds, sorted by region.

Whether you choose to camp at Youngstown, NY, about fifteen miles north of Niagara Falls, across the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario or at any of the scenic campgrounds in between, you’ll find the hosts friendly and the camping affordable.

What You Need to Know about Niagara Falls

The natural wonder known as Niagara Falls is actually made up of three waterfalls – American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Canadian ‘Horseshoe’ Falls. They’re located on the US/Canadian border between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario on the Niagara River.

This marvelous bend in the river and the immense falls that inhabit it have drawn RV travelers for decades. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, visitors also have a front row seat to outstanding outdoor recreation and intriguing, historic attractions.

Here are some special places you won’t want to miss while on your Niagara RV camping vacation.

  • Queen Victoria Parkon the Canadian side gives unsurpassed views of the falls and is the perfect place to relax in the beauty of nature.
  • Goat Island, encamped between American and Horseshoe Falls, can be reached on foot, so park your vehicle and cross the bridge for an afternoon of hiking the trails, viewing the falls from above and taking the elevator to the bottom of the falls and Cave of the Winds.
  • Journey Behind the Falls, part of Ontario’s Niagara Parks, treats RV travelers to an up-close and awesome view from behind Horseshoe Falls. While visiting Niagara Parks, make time to walk the trails at the Botanical Gardens and be immersed in wonder at the Butterfly Conservatory. Those are just two of the experiences waiting to please visitors on the Canadian side of the falls.
  • For a view of Niagara Falls from the river, nothing beats a ride on the legendary Maid of the Mist. Catch the steamship at Maid of the Mist Plaza in Niagara Falls, ON or at Niagara Reservation State Park at Prospect Point in Niagara Falls, NY.
  • One more dazzling display no RVer should miss is the Class IV rapids in the Great Gorge north of the Rainbow Bridge. You can drive along the gorge, but the best view is on the Ontario side of the Gorge where vantage points on the White Water Walk provide the best vacation photos imaginable.

Many more adventures are waiting for RV campers at Niagara. Here’s a tip for getting the most for your money while on your RV adventure around Niagara Falls. Purchase a Niagara Falls and Great Gorge Adventure Pass that lets you ride the Maid of the Mist, hike the White Water Walk and visit several top attractions in Ontario’s Niagara Parks.

On both sides of the international border, Niagara Falls is a classic RV camping experience. Once you’ve come to the Falls you’re sure to fall in love and your RV camping dreams will be filled by Niagara!

About the Author

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals. You can see more great RV vacation ideas in their Monty’s Musings RV Travel Blog and be sure to check out their RV Camping Pictures.

Category: Reviews, Travel  Tags: ,  One Comment
How to Pack Light for a Vacation

With the new luggage weight restrictions and high fees, its important to pack light and right.  In the past I would just throw a bunch of clothes into my cheap luggage and not care too much.  Now you have to care. You have to make sure that your luggage is light and you bring only the stuff you need.  Take these tips from Fashion blogger Nelia.

[from Style Blog] I’m not going to claim to be an expert on packing or travel….BUT, I do travel a heck of a lot, and always…always without checking my baggage. In the past, I’ve had a few a lot of problems with lost bags, and ruined vacation outfits…which is obviously very stressful, and costly. I’ve finally had enough, and whether it’s a two-week European vacay*, or a weekend getaway, carry-on only is the only way I’ll travel. If you want to know how to travel light, without the hassles (and extra fees) that come with checking your bag, read on for my tips!

Heys Style

1. Good Luggage is Key

There’s a reason why this is tip #1. Good luggage can make a huge difference! For the past 8 (or so) years, I’ve traveled with my trusty green Heys carry-on everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere! Places it’s been: Kyrgyzstan (2 times), Kazakhstan (3 times), Paris (3 times), London (2 times), Italy (3 times), Spain (1 time), Moscow (1 time), New York (4 times), Houston (bajillion times), Cuba (2 times), Mexico (1 time), Mont Tremblant (1 time), Quebec and Montreal (2 times), Las Vegas (2 times), LA (1 time)…shall I keep going? My luggage has never let me down, through the cobbles of Red Square, and through the millions of stairs in Paris subway tunnels – it was always, always reliably sturdy and light.

Good luggage will expand when you need it to, will keep your clothes safe and neat, is easy to wheel around, is light, easy to maneuver and to spot. It doesn’t even have to be expensive. Granted, I am pretty biased towards Heys luggage (which is hella solid, affordable, and proudly Canadian!). After 8 years of using my cute green suitcase, I finally had to retire it – simply out of vanity (as it’s still in great condition). I wanted a prettier, newer set, and this Journey Spinner** will hopefully do the job just as well, while looking sleek and stylish.

Lucky for you, Heys is actually giving away a trip worth $5000!!! So if you want to take that new luggage out for a spin, make sure to enter here: http://www.facebook.com/HeysIntl?sk=app_250354528351779 more…

Category: Contests, Travel  Tags: , , , ,  3 Comments
October Sale: Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto

Niagara Falls tour from Toronto

Toronto, Canada – King Tours is pleased to announce that it is offering all October Niagara Falls tours for only $69.  This is their lowest price of the year!

The tours are offered online through www.NiagaraTours.ca and include: pick-up and return from any location in Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, and North York; a visit to a local winery; wine tasting; a brief stop in the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake; admission to the Maid of the Mist; and free time in Niagara Falls.

King Tours has been operating this popular Niagara Falls tours from Toronto, every day, all year round, for the past 15 years.

Maid of the Mist Closes October 24, 2011

The last day of operation for the 2011 season is October 24, 2011.

When will the Maid of the Mist be back? Because the boat is dependent on weather conditions, we’re never certain when the first launching date will be.  As soon as we find out we’ll post the information on Niagara Blog as usual.

 

Suburban Tourist Tours Niagara Falls

The (Sub)urban Tourist is a travel blog enjoying the outdoor lifestyle and exploring good food and dining experiences.  This summer Margaret Antkowski, who pens the (Sub)urban tourist, took a Niagara Falls tour with her finacé Frank Bourne.  She rated the tour 4.5/5.  Read her review here:

Niagara by bus: sit back, relax and enjoy the tour

The Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls – part of the tour with King Tours. Photo by Frank Bourne

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to Niagara Falls, Ontario. It must be at least six or seven times since I was a small kid. With each visit over the years, I’ve noticed that traffic has become increasingly insane in the Niagara region. Driving with stop-and-go traffic and trying to find a parking spot in Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake can leave you drained, stressed out and definitely not enjoying the visit.

This past weekend Frank and I had the pleasure of trying out a King Tours bus tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls.  And it certainly was a stress-free way to enjoy a day away from Toronto.

The $79 per person ticket included the following:

  • Transportation in a comfortable, air conditioned tour bus from downtown Toronto to Niagara Falls
  • Entry into the Maid of the Mist, without having to wait in line for a ticket
  • About two hours to ourselves to explore Niagara Falls and have lunch
  • A drive along the Niagara River to stop at spots such as the Whirlpool (10 minute stop); the Sir Adam Beck Power Generation plant (a few minutes to take photos); and the Floral Clock (more photos).
  • A 45 minute visit in Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Wine-tasting at Pillitteri Estates Winery

 

People lining up for the Maid of the Mist. We didn’t have to wait to get tickets but went straight to the line-up for the tour itself. Photo by Frank Bourne

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Niagara Falls Tour Top Tour on Tourism TO

Niagara Falls is only 2 hours away from Toronto.  It’s no surprise that Toronto tourists often incorporate a trip to Niagara Falls in their vacation itinerary. Tourism.to, a Toronto Travel website, says that their statistics show exactly that.  This past summer their featured Niagara Falls tour that departs from Toronto, has out sold their Toronto Sightseeing tours. Toronto to Niagara Falls tour

Japanese Tourist Goes Over the Falls

A tourist, visiting from Japan, slipped and fell over the railing today while sitting on a railing posing for a picture. She is presumed dead. See the WIVBTV’s news report.

Seattle Visits Niagara Falls

Last week Seattle Dredge, who pens the popular travel blog Seattle’s Travels, visited Niagara Falls.  Check out some of fantastic photos and what she did during her visit.

In our last post, we talked about ways to see Niagara Falls from above. Now it’s time to get up close and personal with North America’s Natural, roaring wonder with views from below, behind and beside. Visitors beware : You ARE going to get soaked!


Discount Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto

Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto

We just learned that NiagaraTours.ca has lowered their prices of Niagara Falls tours from Toronto by $10.  The total price is $69.  That’s a pretty good price considering that the tour includes: pick-up and return from any hotel in Toronto, wine tasting and winery visit, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Floral Clock, the Maid of the Mist or Journey Behind the Falls, and 2 hrs of free time in Niagara Falls.

The deal is only available for tours in August 2011.

Category: Deals, Travel  Tags: , ,  2 Comments
Top 5 Niagara Falls Summer Adventures

Here are Niagara Blog’s Top 5 Niagara Falls Summer Adventures.

1. Whirlpool Jet Boat

Warning! You will get wet. Since 1992, traversing the rapids of the Niagara River Gorge with Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours has become the world’s single most popular whitewater tour. With safety as our premise, millions of Niagara visitors embark on our specialized jet boats to witness first hand the truly world-class whitewater rapids on the Niagara River. Our team of whitewater professionals thanks you for your patronage and trusts your memories of Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, the Devil’s Hole Rapids, and the Niagara Whirlpool will be with you forever as they will be with me

2. Maid of the Mist

For a thrilling 30 minutes you’ll experience the magnitude and magnificence of the Falls thundering down from the water below. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to rock your boat!

Debuting in 1846, the Maid of the Mist is North America’s oldest tourist attraction. Ridden by dignitaries and celebrities such as Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbechev and Brad Pitt, a visit to the base of the falls is a priority for all who visit the region.

All passengers are given a recyclable poncho to keep clothing dry, as they are exposed you to a extraordinary experience that can only be described as awe-inspiring.

3. Winery Tour

See the rows of grapevines, sprouting buds, heavy with fruit or in hibernation, create a tranquil countyside view-and hint at the marvellous wines that await you, crafted with care and passion by our renowned winemakers. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend escape, a summer winery tour will capture your heart for Niagara.  Here, the wines, the food, the scenery and the personal stories conspire to engage your senses in every way.  You can visit Niagara Winery on your own by following the Wine Route or simply join a tour.

4. Journey Behind the Falls

At Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll experience the awesome spectacle of one-fifth of the world’s fresh water crashing down to the basin below. During summer daylight hours, over 2,800 cubic meters of water thunders over the brink every second, traveling 65 km per hour!  Yes, you will get wet.

5. Butterfly Conservatory

Do you have young children? This is an excellent adventure for you. This magical attraction features over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Paths wind through the rainforest setting, past a pond and waterfall and the Emergence window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight!

 

 

Niagara Falls Tour from Toronto Airport

Waiting at an airport for a flight is probably the worst part of your vacation.  The few hours seem like days and it sometimes feels like torture.  Well, a Toronto airport (YYZ) stop over does not have to be so bad. eTours offers a Niagara Falls tour with pick-up and return from Toronto airport. Its a very viable alternative to wasting your precious hard earned vacation time, especially if you have never seen Niagara Falls.  The tours cost $95 plus tax and depart daily from Toronto Airport at 8:00 am.

Selling Prices of Niagara Falls Hotels

In 2010 there were 9 major hotel sales totaling $166.9 million. The highest selling price was the Marriott Fallsview, which sold for $76.4 million.  But that wasn’t the most expensive.  The Riverbend Inn & Vineyard, with only 21 rooms, sold for $4.75 million which equals $198,809 per room.

Hotel Selling Price Rooms Price per Room
Marriott Fallsview Hotel $76,400,000 432 $176,852
Sheraton Fallsview Hotel  & Conference Centre $70,000,000 407 $171,990
Quality Hotel & Conference Centre $7,500,000 144 $52,083
Riverbend Inn & Vineyard $4,175,000 21 $198,810
Ramada Plaza Niagara Falls $2,500,000 202 $12,376
Carriage House Motor Lodge $2,500,000 122 $20,492
Fairway Motor Inn $1,505,000 49 $30,714
Regency Motor Hotel $1,200,000 23 $52,174
Niagara Inn $1,120,000 40 $28,000

more…

Category: Local News, Travel  Tags: ,  One Comment
Breakfast Television Visits Niagara Falls


The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is Niagara’s newest and largest indoor waterpark, located on North America’s largest hotel and indoor waterpark complex, the Falls Avenue Entertainment Complex. Directly across the street from Niagara Falls the waterpark offers over 3 acres of indoor water fun including sixteen thrilling waterslides (some as high as six stories), a massive indoor wave pool, year round outdoor sundeck and activity pool, the mammoth “Beach House” Aqua Play area and much more.The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark features direct indoor connections to three superior Niagara Falls hotels, the Sheraton on the Falls, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview Hotel and the Skyline Inn for your accommodation needs.

3 Ways to Support Your Favorite Vacation Spot Online

Niagara Falls is known for it’s amazing beauty, and as one of the largest waterfalls in the US. It not only takes it’s viewers breath away but offers a valuable source of hydroelectric power. This beautiful and useful monument has been visited since the 1600s and is still a tourist attraction today.

We all have that special spot that we just can’t wait to vacation to. We take family and friends, and tons of pictures! Have you ever wanted to tell others about the beautiful scenery, the amazing places to visit, and of course show off your photography? Well, you don’t have to have a marketing degree to give your favorite vacation spots the attention you think they deserve.

The internet is an amazing tool for all sorts of things, sharing information being the most important. We can relay information, share experiences, photos and all sorts of other things at an amazingly fast pace. Within seconds you can find whatever it is you are looking for.

1. Share on a Vacation Website

There are tons of websites already in place that allow users to share information and pictures. People can share their favorite vacation spots, check out other people’s favorites, and even comment or converse on the topics. This way of sharing is nice because not only do you get feedback on the spot from people who have visited a certain area, but you may also find new spots that interest you. Most of these sites will offer a free membership, but may have an upgraded type membership for a small fee. Niagara Falls is a well-known vacation, and tourist attraction so you are sure to find many web pages, such as this one, that offer information on it. Do remember, however, no one has seen it through your eyes, and no one has taken the exact same photos as you! Sharing information about places like this can be so much fun and in the process you may learn something about the vacation spot that you had no idea existed. Not only are you sharing, but exploring as well.

2. Create Your Own Favorite Vacation Site

Creating and launching your own site can be fairly easy with all of the hosting sites available on the internet today. If you want to get really creative you can start from scratch. This may take you a little more time and you may need help from a web developer, but it will be worth it in the end. Most times there will be a small fee, normally not terribly expensive. One of the websites that I have used and continue to use is wix.com. I love the format and the ease at which you can create a unique web page. You may have to do a little exploring to find the site that works best for you, but don’t worry, the internet is nearly endless and you are sure to find one you like. This is your own page and your own URL, which makes it a more personal form of sharing. You can even set it to show up on search engines like Google to make the reach more widespread than just your family and friends. You can also set up a contact page that allows viewers to send questions and comments, which is a great way to enhance your website and make it even more reader friendly. more…

Hotel prices drop in Niagara Falls Ontario

The first economic indicator of 2011 points that Tourism in Niagara Falls is still slow to recover.  Prices in January 2011, according to Hotwire.com, are down -1% in Niagara Falls.  This puts Niagara Falls, Ontario in 5th place in price drops compared to other Canadian markets. Niagara Falls did not do as bad as London, Ontario which experienced a price drop of -7%.

Hotwire.com January 2011 rankings are:

1    London, ON             -7%     
2    Banff, AB              -4%     
3    Quebec City, QC        -2%     
4    Vancouver, BC          -1%   
5    Niagara Falls, ON      -1%
$45 for a Wine Tour & Guidebook from Crush on Niagara Wine Tours

Click Here to Get Your Deal
$45 for a Wine Tour and Guidebook from Crush on Niagara Wine Tours

Famed Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon was forced to forgo his quest for the mythical land of wine after an accidental tumble into the fountain of youth left him eternally underage. Take up his abandoned journey with today’s Groupon: for $45, you get a wine tour and guidebook from Crush on Niagara Wine Tours between the dates of January 2nd and February 28th (a $96 value including HST).

Oenophiles on the half-day Sniff and Swirl Tour crisscross the emerging wine region around St. Catherines-Niagara in a comfortable passenger van, stopping at four local wineries to sip sauvignon and to gaze upon rows of oak barrels with expressions of awestruck wonder. In honour of the annual Niagara Icewine Festival from January 14th–30th, tours will focus on the production of this sweet dessert beverage made from the hyper-concentrated must of grapes frozen on the vine or imported from Hoth, which will be available for tasting at one or more of the stops. Participants can keep building up ambrosial knowledge after the tour with a complimentary guidebook authored by Crush on Niagara owner and accredited sommelier Andrew Brooks, which includes descriptions of over 50 local wineries as well as wine recommendations and serving tips, such as “Pair a crisp white wine with fish” and “Dom Pérignon is best licked from the lens of a monocle.” Tours usually depart from Niagara-on-the-Lake at 1:30 p.m.; call ahead to reserve your tour and receive pick-up location details.

Missed the deal? Check out other tours of Niagara Falls from Toronto

Category: Deals, Travel  Tags: ,  Leave a Comment
Toronto to Niagara Falls by Bike

On September 5th, 2010, at 6:15 am, six friends decided to travel by bike from from Lawrence and Dufferin area in Toronto to Niagara Falls.  They arrived in Niagara Falls at 6:24pm the next day.  This is a video of their adventure:

They used the Waterfront Trail for the majority of the ride. The route is not the most direct route to Niagara Falls but it is the most scenic, and well marked with signs.  The route is a little more confusing in the Hamilton area but if you get lost just ask for directions.  Hamiltonians will gladly help you as long as you are not wearing an Argonaut t-shirt.

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