Are you planning on taking a trip from Toronto to Buffalo? Well, you won't want to miss all of the fun attractions along the way. There's a reason that southern Ontario draws in millions of tourists each year, especially in the lake region.
You'll get to see the best of all the attractions if you plan it right! Let's talk about how to get the most out of your trip from Toronto to Buffalo.
The Distance Between Toronto and Buffalo
The distance between the two cities isn't that far, only around 158 km (98 miles). There are roads like the QEW that lead directly to the US border and pass several cities between Toronto and Buffalo, making for a fast and enjoyable road trip. In total, your trip should only surpass 300 km (200 mph) for a round trip.
Luckily, because there are so many cities are on the way, you won't add much distance to the trip by making extra stops.
Unfortunately, there is no other route with similar mileage between the two cities, unless you're okay with taking a longer road trip. If you do, just make sure you have the right travel insurance policy.
Toronto to Buffalo Drive Time
If you just drive directly from Toronto to Buffalo with minimal traffic and stops, you could get there in under an hour and 45 minutes depending on which part of the cities you are reaching. It is a short drive.
However, there's a lot to see between the two cities, and you will need to cross the border, which will likely add time to your drive. The border check alone is one of the busiest points between the US and Canada, so expect a wait at busy times, especially on Fridays.
This could add 15 to 60 minutes to your trip, and even more if you are asked for a vehicle check or anything else.
If you spend an hour in each city on the way driving around, shopping, or grabbing a bite to eat, then you can still expect this trip to take less than 6 hours, which is reasonable for a day trip.
How Much Will Gas Cost?
Of course, we need a road trip budget. On top of your spending money, you do need to save a little extra for gas, but it won't be too hard on your wallet!
While this depends on a few factors, especially your car and route, the distance between the two cities is around 160 km. If you drive into a few cities on the way, we can round that up to 200 km each way.
If your vehicle gets close to 12.7 km/L (30 mpg) on average (city and highway), then with current gas prices around $1.30 per liter, you can expect to pay around $41 for the entire trip.
However, if you spend more time driving around the city or if your car has a lower fuel economy, then you can expect to pay $60 or more for a round-trip. For a smaller, newer vehicle, you should expect the $40 to $45 range.
If you're renting a car, try to choose one with good gas mileage to save a little money and find the right car rental insurance to save even more.
Which Cities Are Between Toronto and Buffalo?
Just a short drive out of the big city, you will find plenty of wonderful attractions along your way, and there's something for everybody. Here's where you can start.
Nature-lovers rejoice! For a city, Oakville has plenty of excellent parks to visit both on and off the lake. Lion's Valley Park follows a beautiful river with some nice hills, Bronte Creek Provincial Park offers maple syrup tours along with some beautiful farmland, and more!
It doesn't stop there. Downtown Oakville offers plenty of shopping and historical sites to choose from, and taking a walk around the city will feel like a walk in the park compared to Toronto! Also, if you're an avid reader, check out the Oakville Public Library, which is one of the largest libraries on the route.
One of the most enjoyable cities between Toronto and Buffalo is Hamilton. Just 47 minutes out of the city, you can stop at Hamilton for a bite to eat, learn about the history of your country, go shopping, or enjoy some nature.
Hamilton is home to Dundurn Castle, one of the city's most popular attractions. This 40-room mansion was designed after an Italian Villa and completed in 1845 after 3 years of construction. The castle has a pleasant and relaxing garden on site that brings in many tourists every year.
While there are other great historical sites in Hamilton, their parks are to die for. Bayfront Park offers some wonderful views of Lake Ontario while Gage Park offers a beautiful floral garden.
It doesn't stop there. You will also find plenty of waterfalls and conservation areas around the area that are especially beautiful during the fall. Albion Falls is arguably the most popular attraction of the city, but there are plenty of others to choose from.
Of course, it wouldn't be a road trip from Toronto to Buffalo without stopping at Niagara Falls. However, it isn't just the falls that draw people in, the whole town has plenty of attractions to offer from haunted houses to ice cream shops and craft breweries.
Since it's such a popular tourist destination, there are always plenty of exciting things to do year-round. If you want to go to an indoor water park, climb on a ropes course, play carnival games, and see a bird kingdom all in one day, then make Niagara Falls one of your key stops.
If you have enough time on your road trip, you'll definitely want to spend a night or two in town, and you'll be surprised how affordable that is. You can even find local inns only 5 minutes from the Falls for under $50 a night!
Before you ask; yes, this is different from Niagara Falls.
Only a small detour north of Niagara Falls is Niagara-on-the-lake, a unique town with plenty of attractions. Bus tours, helicopter tours, and bicycle tours are just a few examples of the fun attractions offered to get around the city.
Are you a hockey fan? Well, this city is the home of Wayne Gretsky Estates, which is a winery filled with memorabilia of The Great One's hockey career.
Also, wine is part of the culture in this town. Niagara on the Lake offers plenty of different wineries, vineyards, and tasting events all over the city. If you enjoy a nice glass of red or white, then this is the town for you.
Interesting Stops Between Toronto and Buffalo
Of course, everybody has their own interests and will enjoy different activities. We tried to list something for everyone, whether you love history, nature, or shopping. Here are some of the best stops along the way.
If you plan to spend some time in the cities, then you can stop at any of the craft breweries around southern Ontario. You'll find Cameron's in Oakville, Collective Arts in Hamilton, and Niagara Brewing Co in Niagara Falls. These breweries offer some of the most popular craft brews in the province, so give them a try.
Of course, this is only if you are planning to spend some time in the cities, same with the wineries in Niagara-on-the-lake.
We mentioned Hamilton had waterfalls, but we didn't mention how many you'll find on your way. If you've been used to city life, it's always a great idea to get out and connect with nature from time to time.
While Niagara Falls gets all the credit, Hamilton and other cities have plenty of lesser-known falls worth checking out! Hamilton alone has Albion Falls, Sherman Falls, Tiffany Falls, Webster Falls, Tess Falls, and Devil's Punch Bowl. Not bad for one town.
Of course, it wouldn't hurt to stop at Niagara Falls as well, especially if you've never been. While it is often crowded with tourists, the winter is a much more solitary time to enjoy the falls. Be sure to check out the Falls from the Canadian side, as you get a better view than you do from New York.
HMCS National Historic Site
Here, you will find the last Tribal Destroyer in the world, HMCS HAIDA. Not only is this Canada’s most famous warship, but it also serves as a reminder of Canadian's brave role in the most infamous war in history.
This site draws countless adults and children from Ontario and across North America. This WWII Tribal Class destroyer is now a floating naval museum and memorial to fallen Canadian soldiers. If you consider yourself a history buff, then this is a must-see!
Parks and Conservation Areas
On your way through southern Ontario, you will find plenty of wonderful parks to stop and enjoy life outside the city. For example, Lion's Valley Park in Oakville and Fifty Points Conservation Area in Hamilton are both great examples.
However, Canada and the United States are known for their untapped wilderness, so stepping outside the city is always a good idea if you want to see nature at its finest.
Short Hills Provincial Park is right outside of St. Catharines, but it's on the opposite side of Niagara-on-the-lake. If you want to stop there on the way to Buffalo or back, you'll see some amazing waterfalls, ponds, and even small cliffs.
Indoor Water Parks
During the winter, you may still want to do something fun and exciting with your children but without the harsh weather. In that case, grab your swimsuits and try one of the many indoor water parks in Niagara and other cities in the area.
There are plenty of other towns to stop in if you don't want to spend your entire trip in cities. Burlington and St. Catharines are smaller cities with smaller crowds, but more rural towns like Lincoln have plenty of beautiful nature and historical sites to offer.
Stopping anywhere along the QEW or in New York will allow you to see Lake Ontario from an entirely new perspective, and give you the opportunity to explore small towns you would never otherwise see.
Buffalo, New York
Finally, at the end of your outward journey, you'll have made it to Buffalo. If you've never been to Buffalo before, you'll be surprised at just how much the city has to offer.
If you've never been out of Canada before and you're worried about exchange rates, just use a credit card. The exchange will be automatic, sparing you and your calculator.
Buffalo has plenty of outlet malls if you're looking for some designer clothes on a discount. Buffalo is known for it's fantastic shopping. Many also enjoy going to Target since we don't have that department store in Canada. It's similar to Walmart, but Target has almost everything you could ever desire.
There are multiple scavenger hunts offered around the city that help you navigate and learn about Buffalo, many of which offer a historical perspective of this unique American city. If that's not your thing, don't worry. There are also plenty of bike tours and bus tours all around to enjoy!
You can visit the Buffalo Botanical Garden for a great history and nature trip! Take a walk down Canalside, which is always bustling with things to do, even in the snow. Also, you can try to catch an event at the massive Keybank Center.
Hit the Road
Now that you know how to get the most out of your trip from Toronto to Buffalo, there's no time like the present to hit the road! Be safe, enjoy all that these amazing cities have to offer, stay up to date with our latest news, and contact Insurdinary to organize your insurance policies before your trip.