Special Experiences

It is still amazing to me the world of special experiences that opens up when you play the travel hacking game.  In yesterday’s post, I talked about how I got $10 to upgrade to first class.  And today I have another special experience to talk about. 

My husband has a close group of friends who get together for activities like a beer swap (around Christmas time), biking and playing poker.  It’s been awhile since they’ve had a get together because of schedules.  Well, one of them just turned 40 and I thought it was a great excuse for an outing.  So I suggested that they have a guys weekend.  They talked through several possibilities including going to Montreal, the Connecticut casinos, Atlantic City and they finally Niagara Falls. 

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up south of Buffalo, so I’m familiar with Niagara Falls.  They decided on the Falls because it had casinos, plenty of fun activities and was close to some foodie hot spots (like the Anchor Bar and Duff’s).  Here are the suggested activities that I sent to them to help them plan for the weekend:

  • Friday night, the Falls has a Fireworks display.
  • You must go on the Maid of the Mist (you can get it on both the US and Canadian sides) and the Cave of the Winds (US). 
  • There are casinos on both the Canadian and US sides. 
  • Go to the Anchor Bar or Duff’s.  My family tells me that they think the wings at Duff’s are better.  You could also head out to West Seneca to enjoy some Beef on Weck at Schwabl’s.
  • I checked to see if there were any outdoor events at Art Park, etc, but didn’t see anything that I thought you guys would like.  I also checked to see if Old Fort Erie had any special events for the War of 1812 that weekend, but didn’t see anything.
  • You may like to visit the Skylon Tower.  They have a fancy revolving restaurant and a more casual (non-revolving) restaurant (Summit Suite Restaurant).  I’m not totally up on all of the best dining and view locations, so you might want to do some research of your own.  The Skylon has been around for years, so I remember hearing about it when I was a kid.  Some of the sites I looked at said that the Hilton restaurant had the best dining view of the Falls.

A trip like this doesn’t require a ton of travel hacking because we live driving distance from Niagara Falls.  But they did need to book a hotel room.  And nice hotels near the Falls can be quite expensive.  That’s where travel hacking comes in handy.  I recently got the Virgin Atlantic credit card which you could get a 50,000 mile sign up bonus.  Those points could be transferred at a 1:2 ratio to Hilton.  So I ended up with over 100,000 Hilton points.  That allowed me to book a night at the Embassy Suites in Niagara Falls.  Now they get to stay at a nice hotel right next to the Falls.  I love this game!

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