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NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

Queensland...
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NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

Hi there,

I'm researching a trip that will take place in December 2014.

Would anyone be happy to give some advice to some Australians who are contemplating driving on snowy roads (something we're not experienced with) in a part of the world that we don't know! We're thinking of taking a few days to do a round trip from NYC to Niagara Falls then back to Hudson to stay for a few days before having a couple of weeks in NYC. So we want to make a safe, doable plan that would give us an overnight somewhere between NYC and Niagara Falls (American side), then an overnight somewhere between Niagara Falls and Hudson, in late December. Also, suggestions about where to stay overnight near the falls would be helpful.

Cheers and thank you in advance.

Queensland...
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21. Re: NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

Hi again,

I'm reading through all of this while I have my morning coffee! Thanks again for all the varied perspectives. I will just add, especially for misscrusty, that there will be 4 of us (2 couples), and that while we do come from a part of the world that enjoys extremely mild weather (except for cyclones/flooding/bush fire times of year) we've all travelled a lot, hiring cars and driving in countries where they drive on the right. I wouldn't say we've never driven in winter conditions, just that we aren't experienced in it. Nevertheless, that will make us cautious, and I don't want to embark on anything silly. My sister and brother-in-law have been to NY a couple of times before (not in winter though) and as they've been to Boston and seen a little of the area north east of NYC, they're keen to see something different. My husb and I have not been to the states at all, so it's all going to be new to us!

My inclination is, we stick to the plan of Hudson for xmas (another couple are going to meet with us there), and whether we go straight to Hudson from JFK airport then daytrip from there (weather permitting) or to try to get to Buffalo & Niagara Falls first is a decision we'll have to make later in the year. So, yes, avoid any non-cancelable reservations and make sure the travel insurance covers weather related cancellations!

Queensland...
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22. Re: NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

Corning does look nice, as does nearby Elmira. I may post some questions in their forums - that could be influential.

So many places, so little time, such unpredictable weather!

New York
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23. Re: NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

If you do attempt to make the drive, this is a resource for thruway conditions (traffic, accidents, winter weather). http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/

Vestal, New York
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for Auburn, Finger Lakes
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24. Re: NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

I'll add my voice to the chorus of people who do not advise you to attempt NF in winter. You seem to have a bit of a cavalier attitude about winter driving and are severely underestimating the possible bad weather conditions you will encounter such as several inches of snow (especially in the NF/Buffalo area which gets some of the highest totals in the country).

If you do decide to attempt it, stick to I-87 and I-90 (the NYS Thruway) which will have the best road conditions.

New York
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25. Re: NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

@Normadroaming

I have to disagree here. I have lived in WNY for 13 years. Even without storms, the roads can be terrible. Yesterday and today, for example, roads were EXTREMELY slick, slushy, with wind blowing the snow around that is already on the ground. Not only is it dangerous, it makes for very slow driving. Our last "storm" or snowfall was at the beginning of the week--this is just residual.

@heggos,

You could either stay in Buffalo or Niagara Falls. They are about 30 minutes apart by car but Buffalo is a larger metropolitan area with bigger/more hotels, restaurants, things to do. It would make a great stop, but won't break up your trip very much since it is so close to your destination.

For a stopover it really depends on what route you plan on taking, the I-90 or the scenic route. Rochester/Syracuse/Albany are right off the freeway so you shouldn't have a problem finding a hotel, in terms of what to do you would probably be best perusing those individual forums.

I have stayed at the Marriott Del Monte Lodge in Pittsfield (Rochester) a few times for work. It is extremely upscale, with an excellent breakfast/restaurant and a spa on site. The town is quaint and it is on the Erie Canal, which you may find novel.

Keep posting with your questions, we are all happy to help!

New York
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26. Re: NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

My apologies, I meant Pittsford* NY. Pre-coffee...

27. Re: NYC - Niagara Falls - Hudson by car, in winter

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