G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are planning a getaway in October. Three places are in the running. Acadia National Park, Niagra Falls, and The Finger Lakes. I checked on train fares to Acadia and Niagra. Fairly expensive when compared to driving. Acadia is roughly six hundred dollars round trip for the both of us, with four train changes to Bangor, then rent a car to get to Bar Harbor. To Niagra it is about three hundred fifty dollars. I don't know if we would need a car once we are there. I figure two hundred dollars, give or take, in gas to and from Acadia and maybe one hundred to Niagra. Acadia is a twelve hour drive compared to six hours to Niagra and four hours to the Finger Lakes.

The bottom line question is, what does anyone know about the Finger Lakes. Because it is looking like the target destination at this point.

We have never been to any of the locations.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
687 Posts
I cannot comment on Acadia Park as i have never been there.

An observation on Niagara Falls ... the Falls are amazing and well worth seeing once, but keep in mind that the best viewing of the falls is from the Canadian side. Your other two destinations were American and you may not have considered the border crossing. The crossing is straightforward as long as you have proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate) - the Canadian authorities may or may not ask for it but American authorities will most certainly require it for you to reenter your homeland.

Niagara Falls has beautiful parks both sides of the river and as a bonus the crowds will be less during the week ... but it is the quintessential tourist town.

The Finger Lakes cover a fairly large area ... quaint towns and lovely scenic places. It would be my choice but I enjoy that type of countryside perfect for relaxing and getting away. You would definitely need a car.

Regards ... Doug
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
631 Posts
A couple of years ago we drove from Maryland to Acadia via North Conway, New Hampshire. We were gone for a week or so and must have riden 8 trains.

The 2 foot narrow gauge in Maine was great. I tried to search the archives to find the photos but no luck. I would definately choose Acadia. Niagara is not what it used to be. There are casinos and other tourist attactions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
Dan,
I can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about the Finger Lakes region..its my homeland..
lived in and near the lakes region my entire life..

What kind of things are you looking for?
nature?
wineries? (wineries are everywhere..you practically trip over them..)
scenic drives?
railfanning? ;)
it has it all! :)

Here is a webpage I put together a few months ago:

http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/FGLK/

In the southern Finger Lakes, your quaint towns are Corning, Watkins Glen and Ithaca..
Corning is on the fringe of the Finger Lakes region proper, but not far away..Watkins Glen and Ithaca are ON the lakes..

Watkins Glen is nice..the Watkins Glen State park is amazing:
http://www.bullfrogpondbb.com/finger_lakes_region_NY/watkins-glen-state-park.jpg

Ithaca is the largest city inside the Lakes region..lots of places to stay since its a big college town.
Downtown Ithaca is nice for shopping..
Treman park is great for hiking..
and you must take the walk up the gorge to Taughannock falls..the highest waterfall east of the Rockies:

http://i.pbase.com/u30/fbg111/large/18277703.bride10051_s_dm2.jpg

TALLER than Niagara falls! but thinner! ;)

Corning is a nice small city..(I lived and worked there for a few years)
Market Street in Corning is filled with nice shops..
and the Corning Museum of Glass is worth a visit.

Canandaigua and Skaneateles on the north end of the lakes are very nice towns too..

Elmira..not much going on..poor old Elmira is a fading industrial town..
the flood of '72 wiped her out and she never recovered..

Geneva..low on the list too...nothing to see in Geneva except the Finger Lakes railway..

Depending on how long you have for your vacation, you could work in Niagara Falls as a day trip..
its a 2 hour drive from Canandaigua..3 hours from Corning.
Ridge Road Station could be on the way!;)

If you are an Alco fan, the Livonia Avon & Lakeville and the Bath & Hammondsport (western fringe of the Finger Lakes region)
have one of the largest concentrations of Alcos in the world:
http://gold.mylargescale.com/Scottychaos/NY-Alcos/

So what kind of things are you looking to do on your vacation?

Scot
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21 Posts
Scot already wrote a very nice advertizing piece for the Finger Lakes Region. I live in Corning...
And it is starting to get really nice around here, turning leaves and all. with a little luck you'll have wonderful weather, and some of the wineries are indeed very recommendable.



For the non-railfan, the glass museum - as Scot mentioned - is a good show, and then there is the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, which has a nice collection as well.


If you want an outstanding steak, Tony R's on Corning's Market street has gained quite the reputation!



Watkins Glen has a brand new hotel with lake view...



Neat place to visit... between May and October /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif Once the snow hits...




Best regards, Martin
 

·
Premium Member
Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
Joined
·
263 Posts
Dan

We lived in Geneseo for 4 years. Beautiful area! We were about a mile from Conesus Lake sort of on the border of Lakeville and Geneseo. If you get that far west.....Ridge Road Station is not far from Lakeville/Geneseo. Just hop on 5 (turns into 20/5 near Lakeville and is the road that connects the Northern part of most of the Finger Lakes) to 390 to Greece (north of the airport) and exit onto 104 and head west. 20 minutes or so later it's on your right. I don't remember much of the railways to visit up there but......there are several that are abandoned or still functioning in the area. Scot mentioned a few I believe.

The wineries are the greatest. Hammondsport NY is also a great little town and there is much history there. Took my folks there once and also visited the Curtis-Bell Museum. The town itself is on the southeast side of Keuka Lake off 54, and it's one of the nicest of the Finger Lakes. There are boat tours of the lake. It has a very nice feel because of how narrow the lake is which makes it's watershed very close. It's almost Valley like. I think the area boasted the most wineries of the Finger Lakes. Dr Konstantine Franks vinyard is a must see as well as the winery shop. What I wouldn't give to be able to get some of his wines here. There is also a wine trail to follow around the lakes.

http://www.hammondsport.com/


http://www.fingerlakes.org/wine.htm


Watkins Glen is on the south side of Seneca Lake. Been there but only for the race. I think that Cayuga Lake was as far East as we made it.

If you do head up to RRS, check out the Erie Canal. There is still some sections of it that are operational like in Brockport. The area surrounding the canal is (or was) quite nice with shops and restaurants.

Martha enjoyed all the areas I mentioned and what a great time of year to be heading up that way too!

Enjoy
Joe
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
Madman,

I'll echo all the above about the Finger Lakes region. We have friends who live just south of Geneva on the lake. Great this time of the year! We have done the wine tour twice, it is a lot of fun. We haven't done the Finger Lakes Ry, but it seems like the ideal location to start an east coast version of Napa's Wine train.

If you were looking for a train trip, I was also researching one earlier this year. Here's what I was looking at: Lancaster to Albany, via NYC. Becasue the Lancaster train doesn't get to NYC until after the Adirondak has left, we'd either have to stay over in NYC ($$$) or go upstate to Albany for an overnight (free with cousin). There might be other stations along the Hudson river that offer a better overnight, perhaps Poughkippsee or Rhinecliff. Rhinecliff has a hotel next to the station. Looks pretty nice, but probably pricey. http://www.therhinecliff.com/rooms.html

Next day, catch the northbound Adirondak to Port Kent. At Port Kent, board a Lake Champlaign ferry to Burlington, VT. Burlington is a college town, so the main attraction is restaurants and beer (at least, that's what I was interested in when I as there 8 years ago). A little south of Burlington is the Magic Hat brewery, which makes some really excellent beer. Probably want to rent a car in Burlington. Lots of pretty country there.

The Amtrak website says that Burlington is served by them, but the station is "Essex Junction". I am not sure how close that is. The ferry terminal is walking distance to downtown, and there are a couple nice hotels there. After a day or two in Burlington, hop a southbound Vermonter all the way back to Philly and then change for Lancster. Total roundtrip for 2 adults is $360 according to the amtrak website. Of course, you can upgrade for a few bucks, too. I put in October dates, since the Vermonter and Adirondak typically sell out this close. I think the ferrys run until the lake freezes, but if you do this, be sure to double check that. The ferry crossing fare was really cheap, like $6. Late September and early October are heavy tourist times in Burligton.

So, if you were looking to leave your car at home, this is an option.

Mark
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
Ok So this subject has been relatively well covered already. At elast the Finger Lakes part. As for the detractors on Niagara Falls. Yup it's all true. The Falls are nice, the touristy things are amazing to do at elast once. Cave of the winds and the Maid of the Mists boat rides. if Gambling is your thing then by all means attend (shameless plug as my wife works for the Seneca Niagara in Salamanca) maybe catch a show! The Niagara Casino on the American side has had some fabulous shows. http://www.senecaniagaracasino.com/entertainment.cfm Although nto much that really catches my eye in October?

Both on the American side and the Canadian side there are some quaint places to go. Niagara on teh Lake in Ontario and Lewiston in NY both ahve some interesting places to visit. As a Matter of fact we started my bachelor party 7 years ago at a Henry the 8th feast upstairs from and interesting tavern in NOL. That was a night to remember! LOL! A year ago my wife & I took a little fartehr trip out to Stratford Ontario (a few hours drive time from NF) to attend a fantastic show. They have several theaters restored and new and the town focuses on Shakespeare and other fine plays. http://www.welcometostratford.com/festival_season.php I'd love to go see another show but not this year. As much as there are wineries in the Finger Lakes region it is a driving tour. I believe there are similar tours in the Niagara region as well?

I've only been to the Maine area twice and thoroughly enjoyed it both times but havign driven to Ipswich and back in one day on monday/Tuesday I'm not ready for that kind of drive myself right now.

Have fun whatever you decide!

Chas
 

·
Premium Member
Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
Joined
·
263 Posts
I second the Niagra on the Lake thing. That is if you want to head up that way. Not sure if the hassel of crossong the bordered is worth it anymore but......
We've been there 2 or 3 times but not since early 2001. Outstanding place for a nice get-a-way and a good valuebut the dollar was also at an outstanding exchange rate back then too. The Toronto area is pretty neat as well. Been there a couple of time too. Unfortunately you're starting to add a great amount of miles to things depending on where you are going in the Finger Lakes. I think there is still a Ferry that operates accross Lake Ontario departing from a Port north of Rochester. Can't remember but that would make a trip into "The Great White North" unfortunately it would eliminate some of the sites along the way.
If you canb't tell I really liked living up that way. Almost as much as here in Virginia but SWMBO really, really, really, really hated the 8 month winter./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
Posted By cmjdisanto on 09/11/2008 11:58 AM
I second the Niagra on the Lake thing. That is if you want to head up that way. Not sure if the hassel of crossong the bordered is worth it anymore but......
We've been there 2 or 3 times but not since early 2001. Outstanding place for a nice get-a-way and a good valuebut the dollar was also at an outstanding exchange rate back then too. The Toronto area is pretty neat as well. Been there a couple of time too. Unfortunately you're starting to add a great amount of miles to things depending on where you are going in the Finger Lakes. I think there is still a Ferry that operates accross Lake Ontario departing from a Port north of Rochester. Can't remember but that would make a trip into "The Great White North" unfortunately it would eliminate some of the sites along the way.
If you canb't tell I really liked living up that way. Almost as much as here in Virginia but SWMBO really, really, really, really hated the 8 month winter./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif" border=0>




We only have FIVE months of winter up here! not eight! ;)/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif
(seriously..5 months..no kidding..)

The infamous "Rochester Fast Ferry" is long gone..

lasted only 1 season, (2004) then the city shut it down and sold it..only at a multi-million dollar loss../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif
the boat is now somewhere in Europe..

the concept was good..the boat was just FAR too big for the market!



costs of operation far outweighed revenue..
the concept could work with a much smaller boat..

it was the "pet project" of Rochester's previous mayor..
a new mayor was elected, who immediately pulled the plug..to much applause from the community at large..

Scot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
For the record, I was just in Niagra Falls on the Canada side. Canada could have cared less that we were coming into their country. The US stopped every car. Simple questions and all you need is proof of ID (birth cert. drivers license) you only need a passport to fly in, if you drive it isn't needed. This was straight from the border guards mouth. All in all it took us 10 minutes to get back into the USA.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
687 Posts
Careful with the proof of id ... yes you need a photo id but you will also need proof of citizenship - a drivers licence alone won't do it. There are many stories of Americans who came to visit and had a difficult time reentering their own country.

By the way, the US will require passports for entry to the US even driving by June 1 2009. American citizens will then need a passport to visit Canada, not because you will need it to enter Canada but because you will need it to go back home.

Regards ... Doug
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
Posted By Dougald on 09/12/2008 9:59
By the way, the US will require passports for entry to the US even driving by June 1 2009. American citizens will then need a passport to visit Canada, not because you will need it to enter Canada but because you will need it to go back home.

Regards ... Doug




My wife is a Buffalo native, grew up in North Tonawanda, a few miles from the border.
and we have lived in Rochester for 10 years..
going across the border to Canada has always been a normal, common experience for us..done it hundreds of times.
the border crossing has always been simply a minor delay..no big deal..
Whenever we visit friends in Buffalo, we often go for a walk over on the "Canadian side" of Niagara Falls..
just because its nice to visit..
we usually park on the US side and walk across the bridge. (all the same border procedures are in effect if you walk ;)

but..

We arent sure we are going to bother to get a passport just to go to Niagara Falls..
its not really worth the $200 ($100 EACH!) just for a quick jaunt across the border a few times a year..

its a shame, because we love Canada! (oooooooh caaaaaaaan a daaaaaaah)
but we might not be visiting again for a LOOOOONG time.. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif

there is supposed to be a "passport card", that can be used only for Canada, Mexico, and the Carribean..
that is $45 each..more reasonable, but still..probably not worth it..

eventually we want to visit Europe, we will just get a passport then..

fairwell Canada..see you in 5 years..maybe..

Scot

(p.s. you can still get "up close and personal" with Niagara falls from the USA side..without crossing the border..
you can get right up to the edge of the Horseshoe falls and the "American falls"..and there are lots of cool tours to do from the US side.."cave of the winds" and all that..so its certaintly not necessary to cross the border to visit the falls..
the Canadian side does feature a better view..because you can really see the falls "from the front" from the Canadian side..
but if you are in the neighboorhood, its still a worthwhile visit, even if you dont cross the border..)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thank you for all of the responses. It looks like it's going to be Acadia after all. We have some credit card promotion for air fares. I'll fill you in later. Right now there is a show on the travel channel about houses in Tuscany, Italy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
Went to toronto this weekend (briefly) for an overnight stay at the Double Tree by the Airport. Spent the whiole time at the hotel so didn't see mcuh fo Toronot proper but going into Canada was no problem (as usual) and coming home wasn't too bacd. the lady i travelled with had a passport and I had my drivers license and Birth certificate. The border gaurd was more interested in why we were travelling together when we lived on different ends of the state and was very appreciative that we belonged to an organization that raised money for diabetes research.

Have a great time at Acadia!

Chas
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top