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Should you go to Western New York as part of your summer road trip?!

 

New York road trip: Best places to visit in Western New York. Things to do in Western New York. wny. buffalo ny road trip. rochester ny road trip. new york travel blog.

New York road trip to lake ontario: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog

 

Below are ideas on places to visit in Western New York!

I did the drive to New York from Michigan, and I made a loop around the western side of New York.

Depending on where you’re coming from, you can adjust the exact route!

 

Camping in Western New York

New York road trip to lake ontario camping trip: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog

 

I did my Western New York trip as a Western New York camping trip.

So it’s possible to find campgrounds near the places listed below too!

 

More below on where to go for a Western New York road trip!

 

 

There are a lot of videos below. If you can’t see them, it may be because you have an ad blocker. You can see the Niagara Falls video playlist and Western New York video playlist on youtube.

 

 

Now…

Best places to visit in Western New York for waterfalls and lakes!

New York road trip: Best places to visit in Western New York. Things to do in Western New York. wny. buffalo ny road trip. rochester ny road trip. new york travel blog.

map of western new york road trip. upstate new york road trip map. new york state. ny travel blog
Explore the map.

 

It’s a New York road trip sticking to the western side of the New York!

 

map of western new york road trip. upstate new york road trip map. new york state. ny travel blog
Explore the map.

 

Western New York can make for a perfect 7 day New York road trip.

 

 

1. Niagara Falls State Park

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πŸ‘† You can make it a Western New York road trip to Niagara Falls

 

The most famous destination in all of Western New York is Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is located in both the United States and Canada.

Niagara Falls in Canada is generally known as the “better” side of Niagara Falls compared to Niagara Falls in the United States.

But if it’s your first trip to Niagara Falls, then you will very likely NOT be disappointed by Niagara Falls in New York!

To see Niagara Falls in New York, you will be going to Niagara Falls State Park. This is one of the best state parks in New York!

“Niagara Falls” is actually a set of 3 waterfalls:

There are some easy viewpoints that you can go to see (and hear!) the power of the waterfalls known as Niagara Falls.

This includes Prospect Point, Terrapin Point, and Luna Island.

 

You can also go for a walk around Goat Island and make a stop at Three Sisters Islands for a mini-bridge walk across the Niagara River.

 

 

And aside from SEEING the waterfalls, to get the full Niagara Falls experience, you will want to really experience Niagara Falls!

You you can do that by going for an experience that allows you to be at the bottom of the waterfalls!

The most popular Niagara Falls experiences are the Maid of the Mist boat ride and the Cave of the Winds walk. Both of these Niagara Falls activities will allow you to experience Niagara Falls from the bottom of the waterfalls.

 

 

If you are thinking about going to Niagara Falls in Canada, then you’ll want to know that going to Canada requires a passport… unless you are from a state that provides enhanced drivers license and you have one of those.

And it also requires complying with covid restrictions! So you’ll want to check the travel requirements to see if it’s reasonable to go to Canada. In the past couple of years (aka early times of covid), it hasn’t been reasonable to make a quick trip to Canada from New York (or anywhere).

 

See more about planning your New York road trip:

 

New York road trip to lake ontario camping trip: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog

 

 

2. Niagara Gorge

New York road trip to niagara falls ny, niagara gorge: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog
πŸ‘† You can make it a Western New York road trip to the Niagara Gorge

 

Staying in the direct Niagara Falls NY area, another thing you need to do to get the full Niagara Falls experience is to experience another part of the Niagara River!

And that is by experiencing the Niagara Gorge!

You can make it a quick trip to one of the New York state parks along the Niagara Gorge by walking to the scenic overlooks along the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail. This will allow you to see the Niagara River from above.

 

 

Whirlpool State Park and Devils Hole State Park are a perfect way to experience the Niagara Gorge.

 

 

If you want to spend more time along the Niagara Gorge that includes hiking, then you can take the stairs down to get closer to the Niagara River and to walk along the “bottom” of the Niagara Gorge.

 

 

Both of the state parks have Niagara Gorge hiking trails.

 

 

See more about planning your New York road trip:

 

 

3. Lake Ontario

New York road trip to lake ontario: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog
πŸ‘† You can make it a Western New York road trip to Lake Ontario

 

The of New York touches 2 out of the 5 Great Lakes. When you’re doing a Western New York road trip, you can make it a road trip to Lake Ontario and/or a road trip to Lake Erie!

The Niagara River (where Niagara Falls flows) flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

So for an even more complete Niagara Falls road trip, you can incorporate both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie into your Western New York road trip!

After Niagara Falls, you can start heading east along Lake Ontario.

You can start with the “end” of the Niagara River (where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario), and that’s where you will find Fort Niagara!

At Fort Niagara, you can take in the history of many countries, including the United States, Canada, France, and Britain, along with Native American tribes.

And then continuing east, you’ll find Lake Ontario lighthouses that you can stop off at along the way to take in the views.

It can be reasonable to make a day out of visiting a bunch of Lake Ontario lighthouses near Niagara Falls.

 

 

You can also make it a Lake Ontario camping trip during your time at Niagara Falls… and beyond!

 

 

See more about planning your New York road trip:

 

 

4. Canandaigua Lake

New York road trip to finger lakes: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog
πŸ‘† You can make it a Western New York road trip to the Finger Lakes

 

Now we will head a bit inland, but we won’t be getting away from the water completely!

The Finger Lakes region is one of the top vacation spots in the state of New York.

There are 11 lakes that are considered to be “finger lakes.”

The Finger Lakes aren’t located in western New York only, but if you are doing a Western New York road trip, you can include some of the lakes on the western side of the Finger Lakes region!

 

 

The “major” lake on the western side of the Finger Lakes region is Canandaigua Lake.

 

New York road trip to finger lakes: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog

 

If you want a “big” town on this side, that will be Canandiagua NY.

 

 

Also note the most popular Finger Lakes are Seneca Lake (Watkins Glen) and Cayuga Lake (Ithaca). One of the most famous things about these areas is the waterfalls.

So you might also want to make some time to go to these lakes. It’s reasonable to make it a day trip from Canandaigua NY to Seneca Lake or Cayuga Lake for example.

 

See more about planning your New York road trip:

 

 

5. Letchworth State Park

New York road trip to Letchworth State Park: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog
πŸ‘† You can make it a Western New York road trip to Letchworth State Park

 

Now we are looping back around towards the west again.

Letchworth State Park is another one of the best state parks in New York.

For more waterfalls when you are doing a Western New York road trip, you will want to go to Letchworth State Park!

 

 

There are 3 main waterfalls to see in Letchworth State Park, and you can hike along the gorge trail to see them all.

Or, 2 of the waterfalls are easy to see without as much hiking too if you want to make it a quicker trip.

 

See more about planning your New York road trip:

 

 

6. Lake Erie

New York road trip to lake erie: best places to visit in Western New York. WNY road trip. ny travel blog
πŸ‘† You can make it a Western New York road trip to Lake Erie

 

And now, heading back west out of state, one last opportunity to see one of the Great Lakes before leaving New York!

You can make a little bit of a detour to visit the Buffalo Outer Harbor.

This is one end of Lake Erie.

 

 

And then you can start driving along Lake Erie to the west to Pennsylvania and Ohio. (Both states which also have a Lake Erie shoreline.)

You can make a stop (or more!) along Lake Erie in New York!

 

 

Depending on where you’re coming from, you can also use Lake Erie and/or Buffalo as a break-up point on your way to Niagara Falls, too.

 

See more about planning your New York road trip:

 

 

And those are some ideas for road trip in New York state!

For further Western New York route ideas:

 

HAPPY DRIVING AROUND WESTERN NEW YORK!

 

 

Watch the videos to see Western New York in action!

Find more amazing things to do in Western New York: Watch my Western New York videos on youtube
If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!

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Things to pack for your western New York vacation!

The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
For an under-the-falls activity in Niagara Falls, you can waterproof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
The ultimate towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these.