You’ve always wanted to see Niagara Falls, and you think your kids would adore the experience as well. However, you’re all the way in Baltimore, and you wonder how feasible the road trip will be. What do you need to know before taking a trip from Baltimore to Niagara Falls?
Driving from Baltimore to Niagara Falls takes almost seven hours across 392 miles. You’ll drive straight up from Massachusetts through Pennsylvania and New York before you reach Niagara Falls on the border of New York State and Canada.
This guide will reveal all the information you need to plan a fun road trip from Baltimore to Niagara Falls. I’ll recommend a route for you to drive, inform you how long the trip should take, and suggest some great attractions for stops along the way!
The best route from Baltimore to Niagara Falls
Are you ready to get this show on the road? While the drive from Baltimore to Niagara Falls isn’t particularly long, I’d still suggest breaking up your drive into at least two days.
This will prevent you from getting fatigued behind the wheel and ensure your kids are in high enough spirits that they don’t start fussing and fighting.
Your drive will take you through Massachusetts. A bulk of your drivetime will be in Pennsylvania, with some time in New York before you reach Niagara Falls from the New York State side.
Here is how to get to Niagara Falls!
Baltimore to York
You won’t spend much time in Massachusetts at all, so buckle up and say goodbye to Baltimore. You’ll drive straight north for about an hour until you reach York, Pennsylvania.
York is in southern PA and features a rich, historical downtown region.
Here, you can venture through the Colonial Complex featuring a home from the middle of the 1700s, check out the Agricultural and Industrial Museum, see the Bonham House’s Victorian architecture, or visit the Historical Society Museum.
The vineyards are quite appealing although maybe not the most kid-friendly attraction in York.
York to Selinsgrove
Take your time in York. When you’re ready to leave, it’s time to drive to Selinsgrove, which is also in Pennsylvania.
The drive from York to Selinsgrove is further northward, so it’s a continued straight shot. Without traffic, you should reach your destination in roughly an hour and a half.
As Snyder County’s biggest borough, Selinsgrove has kids’ parks, a race track, and some incredible natural beauty in the forms of Penns Creek and Lake Augusta.
Selinsgrove to Williamsport
Next on your route is Williamsport, which is also in Pennsylvania.
This is the shortest stretch of your trip yet, as it takes about 53 minutes to reach Williamsport when driving north if you don’t get ensnarled in traffic.
The Lycoming County city is known for its museums dedicated to fun topics like Little League baseball. Susquehanna State Park is another standout here.
Williamsport to Wellsboro
It’s time to pile the kids back into the car and continue your route to Niagara Falls.
Next on your list is Wellsboro, a Tioga County borough of Pennsylvania. You can once more venture north to reach this area.
The drive takes just under an hour, approximately 55 minutes if you can evade traffic.
You’ve driven 52 miles since Williamsport, so you’ve made some nice ground. That’s why I recommend finding a hotel or another lodging option for the night and giving it a rest.
The next day, you can do some shopping or perhaps enjoy hiking or bird-watching at the beautiful parks and natural landmarks throughout this part of Pennsylvania.
Wellsboro to Painted Post
Excitingly, Wellsboro is your last stop in Pennsylvania. Once you and the kids wake up ready to continue on your voyage, you’ll drive into New York, first arriving at Painted Post.
From Wellsboro to Painted Post, you’ll cut northwest and drive for about 45 minutes if you can evade most traffic.
The village of Painted Post in Steuben County features art galleries, glass studios, historical museums, and the beloved Market Street, which is another part of this village that’s steeped in rich history.
Painted Post to Castile
From the lovely ambiance of Painted Post, you’ll continue deeper into New York State.
You could always pull off to Letchworth State Park if you’re craving some fresh air and outdoor activities with the family.
Otherwise, you can drive through into Castile, where the park is technically located in.
You’ll drive northwest in a diagonal across New York State, passing Elmira and Ithaca on your route.
Another small New York village, Castile is both a town and a village, which I’ve discussed on the blog before.
Are you a little confused? Allow me to explain. The Village of Castile is a part of the Town of Castile, which is in Wyoming County!
Castile to Buffalo
You’re getting closer and closer now!
From Castile, you’ll drive for about an hour to Buffalo. The route sees you continue that diagonal northwest route. You’ll be at about the northwestern boundary of New York State.
As the second biggest city in New York, Buffalo has plenty of activities to engage visitors, including zoos, history museums, botanical gardens, children’s museums, and nature preserves.
Buffalo to Niagara Falls
Once you’ve reached Buffalo, you’re only about 30 minutes away from Niagara Falls if you drive northwest. Congratulations on reaching your destination!
How long does it take to reach Niagara Falls from Baltimore?
You’re ready to drive from your home in Baltimore until you get to Niagara Falls, and your kids are equally as excited about the road trip. How long are you going to spend in the car?
To drive from Baltimore to Niagara Falls takes approximately six hours and 43 minutes across 392 miles.
That drivetime does assume that you don’t run into traffic. Since a lot of your route consists of short drives from one part of a state to another, you might not have to worry about tremendous amounts of traffic, but there still be some.
That’s especially true when driving through New York State. Even outside of the city boundaries, the traffic can be a lot.
You should also expect to run into a lot of traffic as you get nearer Niagara Falls. This is a major tourist attraction that gets more than eight million visitors per year, so getting in can be a little congested.
Family-centric destinations and activities on the road to Niagara Falls
The best way to spend a vacation is to focus less on the destination and more on the experience of getting there.
If you approach your road trip that way, you’ll find so many fun attractions and sights along the way that you’ll have just as much of a good time as you would in Niagara Falls!
Here are some must-see stops I recommend.
- Perrydell Farm and Dairy
For a fun-filled afternoon the kids will surely delight in, stop on by Perrydell Farm and Dairy.
The farm offers self-guided tours to learn about the calves and cows that produce the dairy products that Perrydell is so beloved for.
The young’uns can pet the calves, which is a photo-worthy experience for sure.
When you’re done seeing the animals, you can visit the farm store, which features fresh milk, ice cream, yogurt, cream, and butter. You can also pick up some baked goods here that are made from area bakeries.
- Nixon Park Nature Center
Within Richard M. Nixon County Park is the Nixon Park Nature Center, which is open on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then on Sundays from noon to 4:30 p.m.
The Nixon Park Nature Center offers nature walks on many Sundays where you can take a guided walk and learn more about York’s natural history.
Naturalists are also on hand at the nature center.
Themed programs and events occur all year long as well, with some of the most popular being Reptile Week, the Great Backyard Bird Count Weekend, and Maple Sugar Weekend. Check the park calendar ahead of your visit!
- York Central Market
Whether you call it Central Market York or York Central Market, this public market has rich historic origins, as the house was constructed in 1888 by the architect John A. Dempwolf.
The two-story building boasts a Romanesque Revival design style that you don’t get to see every day!
Once you’re done marveling at the exterior, head on inside. York Central Market has more than 50 vendors specializing in baked goods, deli products, produce, vegan offerings, beverages, and specialty goods.
You can also sit down with the family and grab a bite to eat at various restaurants across the market, including Global Café, Foltz’s, Gigi’s Crepes, 2 Wild & Crabby Guys, and Lori V’s Pizza.
- Samuel S. Lewis State Park
Fall in love with the natural beauty of Pennsylvania at Samuel S. Lewis State Park.
The York County park is 85 acres and affords views of Mt. Pisgah, a ridge that stands at 885 feet tall and divides Kreutz Creek Valley from East Prospect Valley.
The park has picnic tables, a hiking trail that expands for a mile, and plenty of areas to fly a kite if that’s your sort of thing.
If you and the kids have some hiking background, reaching the top of Mt. Pisgah is a truly amazing experience, as you can see the Susquehanna River as well as nearby fields and towns.
- York Galleria
If by chance you didn’t get your shopping fix at York Central Market, then you can always stop by the York Galleria, an indoor shopping mall that has all the retail you could ever want, including kid-friendly shops.
The children will love browsing Go! Calendars & Games, FYE, The Party Palooza, and plenty more.
When you inevitably get hungry, York Galleria has no shortage of places to stop and grab a bite to eat.
For the family, I recommend Red Robin, Chili’s, Auntie Anne’s, Frey Daddy’s Pizza and More, and Dippin’ Dots.
- Best Bowl
If the kids are a little too energetic for your taste, then your first stop in Selinsgrove should be Best Bowl.
The family-oriented entertainment here will bring you and the children together as you compete to see who’s the best at bowling!
- Penns Creek
Get lost in the wonders of nature at Penns Creek, a Susquehanna River tributary that extends 67.1 miles.
Penns Creek features a commercial cave as well as a sizable spring. Flyfishing is a popular activity here as well, especially in the creek’s upper areas.
You can also sightsee and take some incredible nature photos.
- Selinsgrove Speedway
It’s time to put the pedal to the metal at Selinsgrove Speedway.
All nature of racing entertainment is available here, so you can thrill the kids by getting great seats to a race.
Most races take place in the spring and summer, which is something to consider when planning your visit.
- World of Little League Museum
The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, which is known as World of Little League Museum for short, is in South Williamsport’s Little League International Complex.
The museum has artifacts like uniforms, bats, balls, and championship plaques detailing the rich history of Little League baseball in the state of Pennsylvania.
If you’re interested, you and the kids can go on a group tour and learn even more detailed information about the museum and its artifacts.
- Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat
Each day, the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat sets sail on the Susquehanna River.
The historic paddlewheel boat is available for rides five days per week.
The boating season runs from May until October, with hours on Wednesdays through Fridays and then Saturdays and Sundays during the summer.
In the fall, only weekend hours are available. That’s also the case in May.
The cruise lasts an hour and features music and narration to fill you in on the history of the Hiawatha and its many voyages over the years.
- Upper Pine Bottom State Park
Another beloved state park that you should check out as you venture through Pennsylvania to reach Niagara Falls is Upper Pine Bottom State Park.
The Lycoming County park is a cozy five acres and is open all year long from sunrise until sunset.
The park is known for its hiking, picnicking, fishing, hunting, and XC skiing, as the park has over 50 miles of skiing trails through the Tiadaghton State Forest.
- Pop’s Culture Shoppe
If the kids have been patient all the way to Wellsboro, treat them by stopping at Pop’s Culture Shoppe.
This game and hobby shop sells card games, comic books, children’s games, family games, RPG accessories, and hobby items. The kids will surely find something great here!
- Pudgie’s Pizza
When the whole family has rumbling tummies, make a beeline for Pudgie’s Pizza.
This pizza parlor whips up fresh calzones, subs, wings, and pizza pies.
All pizzas are custom-made with real mozzarella and are available with toppings such as chicken, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, extra cheese, broccoli, pineapple, mushrooms, and peppers.
- Leonard Harrison State Park
Before you leave Pennsylvania, don’t miss Leonard Harrison State Park, which is 585 acres of beauty.
The Tioga County park is within the vicinity of Pine Creek Gorge, which has earned the nickname of the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.
The gorge is 4,000 feet wide and 800 feet deep, so it’s truly astonishing!
The park affords plenty of space for activities such as hunting, fishing, watching wildlife, picnicking, and hiking.
Overnight stays are also available if you want to camp out under the stars with the kiddos!
Painted Post Destinations
- Corning Museum of Glass
In nearby Corning is quite the museum, the Corning Museum of Glass.
This museum sheds the spotlight on glassmaking. Here, you can witness hot glass demos and flameworking demos.
If you want to try making some glass yourself, the Corning Museum of Glass has a studio where you can.
This all-ages-friendly activity does not require any prior glassworking experience.
The available works to make change seasonally, so if you see something you’re interested in trying, be sure to sign up fast. Availabilities do not last long!
- Watkins Glen State Park
Continue your state parks tour by visiting Watkins Glen State Park, one of New York’s magnificent state parks.
This park is 778 acres and features Glen Greek and a 400-foot gorge as the centerpieces.
The park has three trails (that are open from May until November) to get you closer to the gorges.
Watkins Glen State Park also features cross-country skiing paths, hunting, hiking, fishing, a pool, a playground for the kiddos, pavilions, picnic tables, and spots for overnight stays if you own a trailer or tent.
You’ll even find showers and dump stations for you RVers out there.
- Dolce Delight
In nearby Ithaca is the perfect place for one’s sweet tooth, Dolce Delight.
In the morning, you and the kids can nosh on breakfast sandwiches or pastries such as croissants, cinnamon rolls, or muffins.
The lunch menu includes staples like soup, chili beef, pizza bagels, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, hot dogs, tuna melts, and salads.
What everyone really comes to Dolce Delight for is the baked goods, which include everything from cookies to pies, tiramisu, brownies, lemon bars, baklava, affogato, cupcakes, and cheesecake. Yum!
- Castile Cider Mill
Another out-of-the-way spot that you’ll be glad you checked out is the Castile Cider Mill.
The family-owned business that operates the mill produces fresh apple cider, cold-pressing it and selling it directly to you. The delish apple cider fry cakes are also made fresh every day.
- Genesee Falls Balloon
Only eight minutes from Castile is Portageville, the home of the Genesee Falls Balloon Company.
You and the kids can take a private hot air balloon ride over Letchworth State Park and its waterfalls and gorge.
The ride lasts an hour and will afford you and the children an incredible view that you can’t witness any other way!
- Adventure Calls Outfitters
If you’d rather your adventuring happen at ground level, Adventure Calls Outfitters is another exceptional option in the area.
Open from April through late October, Adventure Falls will take you out on a guided raft ride across the waters of Letchworth State Park.
You can select from cost-effective rafting and barbecue packages with food for fueling up. Your options include an eight-ounce strip steak, a boneless chicken breast, a wrap sandwich, or a hot dog or hamburger.
Overnight stays are also available. After you go rafting, you’d come back to shore, eat dinner with your group, and then camp out under the stars in your tent. You need at least 10 people for this package.
- Elmwood Village
One of the premier attractions in Buffalo is the town of Elmwood Village.
This lively downtown offers farmer’s market vendors, open-air cafés, shopping with wares made directly in Buffalo, and all the food you can shake a stick at.
For the kids, I’d recommend Mister Pizza or The Market on Elmwood.
- Canalside Buffalo
Venture deeper into Buffalo at Canalside in the downtown area.
Its proximity to the Erie Canal is reason enough to go, but the recent revitalization and remodeling of this waterfront area will surely lure in you and the family as well.
The events that take place here range from shopping events to concerts and live music, health and wellness events, family events, charity walks, festivals, and cultural and historical events.
There’s always a reason to come back to Canalside Buffalo!
- Buffalo Museum of Science
For an educational experience on the road to Niagara Falls, the Buffalo Museum of Science will not disappoint.
The museum has temporary and permanent exhibits, the former of which change with the seasons.
Kids can learn about animal species that are sadly going extinct or about snow. There are also exhibits on insects, biodiversity, and space.
The Zygmunt digital planetarium is available for public shows on Sundays and Wednesdays. The shows are 45 minutes apiece.
Are you thinking of planning a road trip from Baltimore to Niagara Falls? This isn’t an arduous drive in the slightest, and even more so, there are so many fun things to see and do on the way that you and the kids will be sure to have a blast!