Lee and I took my daughter Samantha (14) on this trip during the summer. We started at Niagara Falls, in upstate New York, on the Canadian Border. We stayed on the Canadian side since it is more relaxed and quiet (plus the exchange rate was extremely beneficial at the time, creating more value). A highlight for her was lunch at the Skylon Tower. The food was nothing special but the view was fantastic. The restaurant slowly revolves so everyone eventually gets a great vista from their table. We did all the obligatory "get wet" things, in particular, because of Sam. Another especially memorable activity was to see the falls at night — they are spectacularly lit with multi-colored lights.
From Niagara, we traveled southeast into the Finger Lakes Region. Our first stop was Letchworth State Park, in Castile, where the Genesee River cuts into the surrounding rock creating a gorge and several waterfalls. Our base of operations for this portion of the trip was in the adorable town of Corning, famous for the glass manufacturer with the same name. Its Corning Museum of Glass is well worth an hour or two.
Our next waterfall was located in Watkins Glen State Park. This park is well-developed as a tourist destination, with an interesting and scenic walk through a gorge which accesses several waterfalls. There is even one which visitors can walk behind and get wet (if they choose). Perhaps even more impressive is "Timespell", an evening multimedia program in the gorge which addresses its origins and Native American history.
In the area of Ithaca, New York, there were three other falls which we spent some time at. Taughannock Falls State Park offers another walk through a river gorge. Buttermilk Falls and Robert H Treman Falls offered a delightful and different end to our trip — the opportunity to actually swim under and in a waterfall. These was perhaps Sam’s favorite part of the trip.