Road Scholar : Home
The Historic and Natural Gifts of the Niagara Region: From the Falls to the Underground Railroad

Program Number: 16303RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/12/2014 - 5/17/2014; 9/14/2014 - 9/19/2014; 5/24/2015 - 5/29/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Niagara Falls (New York), New York
Price starting at: $746.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic; History & Culture
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt; Vegetarian; Low Fat    

Join us to examine the fascinating “Niagara” region of Western New York from one of the world’s iconic natural wonders, the majestic Niagara Falls, to the area’s role in a moving chapter in American history, the Underground Railroad. Awaken all of your senses as you explore this beautiful and historic region.




Highlights

• Take an expert-led boat ride on the Maid of the Mist. Observe scenic sites on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border with insights into the geology, hydropower and Native American heritage of the area.
• Field trips provide encounters with the beautiful region’s variety and a sampling of rural life, from a visit to a winery to scenic farm vistas.
• Visit key sites in the history of the Underground Railroad and be inspired by a special related art exhibit at Niagara University.



Activity Particulars

This program involves minimal walking.



Valid passport needed to travel to Canada.




Date Specific Information

5-12-2014, 9-14-2014, 5-24-2015

This program week stays at a retreat and conference center on 134 scenic acres along the Lower Niagara River in Lewiston. Tranquil environment, scenic walking trails, outdoor labyrinth, indoor swimming pool. Shared, gender-specific, dormitory-style baths. Sink in each bedroom.



Coordinated by Stella Niagara Education Park and the Center of Renewal.




Niagara Falls (New York)

The waterfalls at Niagara straddle the border with Canada, plunging 60 feet farther on the Canadian side, and can be visited by boat, helicopter or by peering over the edge. The area offers casinos, a butterfly conservatory, sites along the Underground Railroad, the Niagara Wine Trail, the Erie Canal and several parks and recreational trails.



Accommodations
Retreat and conference center on 134 scenic acres along the Lower Niagara River. Tranquil environment, scenic walking trails, outdoor labyrinth, indoor swimming pool. Shared, gender-specific, dormitory-style baths. Sink in each bedroom.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Peter Green

Recognized as one of the most informative and entertaining educational excursion leaders in the Niagara region, Peter Green was raised in Toronto, Canada, but after living in America for the past 10 years, has fallen in love with the history and beauty Niagara has to offer. Peter utilizes his passion of history, his expertise in local American and Canadian history, and an understanding of our culture and heritage to be an exceptional and exciting instructor.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
  Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY 5 nights
 Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Celebrating its 40th year as a retreat center in 2014, the Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara is a tranquil, peaceful site on 134 acres, conveniently located on the banks of the Lower Niagara River in Lewiston, New York. It features an outdoor labyrinth, nature trail, riverside chapel, indoor pool, healing massage and reflexology, arts, music, relaxation, and more. Designated as an Official Peace Site, Stella Niagara has a rich historical tradition in Western New York, and is well worth the visit! Our peaceful atmosphere provides individuals and groups with the opportunity to get away from the everyday demands and distractions and focus on personal goals and objectives, including lifelong learning and relaxation. Quality service and hospitality ensure a pleasant and enjoyable visit. Guests will be refreshed and motivated after visiting the Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference at Stella Niagara Education Park. Close distance to key features of the area: 10 miles north of Niagara Falls on the Niagara River. 4 miles south of Old Fort Niagara. 6 miles to the Niagara River Parkway in Ontario, Canada leading to nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake and Shaw Theater. 20 miles from the original Erie Canal and 15 miles to Welland Canal. 26 miles north of Buffalo, New York (36 miles to the airport). 90 miles north to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  Contact info: 4421 Lower River Road
Stella Niagara, NY 14144 USA
phone: 716-754-7376
web: www.center-of-renewal.org
  Room amenities: Single bed, easy chair, desk w/chair, lamp, fan, clothing racks, sink. Limited # of double rooms based upon availability where extra bed replaces easy chair. Double & single rooms are same basic size. Single upgrades guaranteed own room w/no roommate.
  Facility amenities: Relaxing lounges and casual gathering areas both indoors and outside amidst all nature has to offer. Coffee and tea service available all day. Bookstore on site. Indoor swimming pool available for Road Scholar at specified evening times and days. Free outdoor parking, including room for trailers.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: Common-area shower and commode facilities on each sleeping-room floor are separated for men and women. (NOTE: Four rooms with partial or full separate baths sometimes available for additional charge. Call Center directly (716-754-7376) for info.)
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Only $33 per person per night SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATE: Only $33 per person per night for any extra nights added to start or end of Road Scholar package for standard room. Meals @ $24 per person per day. (Recommend two-weeks advance notice on rooms and meals.)
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Only $33 per person per night SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATE: Only $33 per person per night for any extra nights added to start or end of Road Scholar package for standard room. Meals @ $24 per person per day. (Recommend two-weeks advance notice on rooms and meals.)
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5:00 PM Welcome dinner You will be staying at Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
1:00 PM following noon lunch You will be staying at Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking on site, including limited space for RV's and campers. Please call in advance to determine available space for larger vehicles.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
  Nearest city or town:  The charming villages of Lewiston (2 miles) and Youngstown (3 miles)
  Nearest highway: I-190 North to Robert Moses Parkway (North)
  Nearest airport:  Buffalo Niagara International Airport (36 miles)
  From End of Program
  Location: Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Buffalo-Niagara International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
ITA Shuttle
phone: 716-633-8294
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$45.00
Prices are subject to change.

   

Operates 7 days a week from Buffalo airport to downtown Niagara Falls (closest stop to the Center of Renewal is Howard Johnson on Main Street). Shuttles currently run on demand 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, but call in advance to confirm. Current fare is $45.00 per person one-way Buffalo to Niagara Falls which is 10 miles from our Center. You will then need a separate taxi from Niagara Falls to the retreat center (additional $ fare required for taxi). Call 716-633-8294 for information and reservations.

 

Buffalo-Niagara International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Various taxicabs
phone: 800-649-8166

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Currently $85 per taxi (up to 5 people depending upon space)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45-60 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

36 miles

 
Driving Directions
  From Canada: Take QEW to 405 to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Take first exit past customs marked Lewiston (exit comes up suddenly). Continue until you see Robert Moses Parkway North/Fort Niagara. Drive about 4 miles to Pletcher Road exit. Turn left onto Pletcher Road. Continue for about ¾ mile and turn left at first driveway (between two small white fences) onto the Stella Niagara property. Follow road PAST the "Main Entrance" sign to the Center of Renewal, last building on the right (separate entrance).
  From Interstate 90: Take New York State Thruway, I-90 to Exit 50, I-290 West. Follow I-290 West to I-190 North (exit marked Niagara Falls). Follow I-190 North to exit 25B, Robert Moses Parkway (last United States exit). From exit 25B, take Robert Moses Parkway North/Fort Niagara. Drive about 4 miles to Pletcher Road exit. Turn left onto Pletcher Road. Continue for about ¾ mile and turn left at first driveway (between two small white fences) onto the Stella Niagara property. Follow road PAST the "Main Entrance" sign to the Center of Renewal, last building on the right (separate entrance). Driving time from Buffalo is approximately 35-40 minutes, and from Niagara Falls, 15 minutes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-In / Welcome Dinner / Orientation / First Lecture / Wine-&-Cheese Social
(Monday, May 12)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in from 2:00 to 4:45 PM. Earlier check-ins available with advance notice.
 Dinner: Dinner at Center of Renewal at 5:00 PM.
 Evening: 6:30 PM: Formal welcome and orientation session (meet the group!).

7:30 PM: Evening learning program by adult learning facilitator and Center of Renewal Executive Director Nancy P. Askins, Ph.D. Explore the upcoming week's programs through formalized learning activity including Niagara Falls video.

8:30 PM: Welcome wine-and-cheese social.
   
Accommodations: Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Field Trip to Old Fort Niagara / Field Trip to Niagara Power Project Power Vista and Niagara Wine Trail.
(Tuesday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30 AM Breakfast at Center of Renewal.
 Morning: This morning we'll take a field trip to Old Fort Niagara, a 250 year old fort that was instrumental in the War of 1812. Our trip will also include a segment on Native American history and the War of 1812 (celebrated its bicentennial in 2012).
 Lunch: 12:00 noon Lunch at Center of Renewal
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll take a field trip to New York State Power Authority to learn about hydroelectric power in the Niagara Frontier. After we'll enjoy a visit to a site along Niagara USA Wine Trail before returning to the Center of Renewal for dinner.
 Dinner: 5:00 PM Dinner at Center or Renewal
 Evening: Open evening at the Center. Evening activities vary from night to night, but typically include classes, films, open times, periodic swim times (specific schedule), or socials.
   
Accommodations: Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture on Niagara Falls Geography and Natural History / Field Trip to Niagara Falls State Park / Maid of the Mist Boat Ride (pending seasonal and weather restrictions).
(Wednesday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30 AM Breakfast at Center of Renewal.
 Morning: 9:30 AM: Morning class with specialists from Niagara Falls State Park (Topic: Niagara Falls Geography and Natural History).
 Lunch: 12:00-12:45 PM Lunch at the Center of Renewal.
 Afternoon: 12:45 PM: Bus to Niagara Falls State Park. The Park is the oldest state park established in the USA, and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2010. While there we'll take a ride on the Maid of the Mist (boat ride pending seasonal availability), and explore Goat Island (part of the Niagara Falls USA State park). A breathtaking afternoon experience!
 Dinner: 5:00 PM Dinner at the Center of Renewal.
 Evening: 8:00 PM in the Main Lounge: Enjoy our showing of the feature film, "Niagara", starring Marilyn Monroe and filmed right here in Niagara Falls. Popcorn and other treats will enhance the movie experience!
   
Accommodations: Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field Trip Niagara Falls and Ontario Canada
(Thursday, May 15)

Note: TO CROSS THE USA-CANADA BORDER, YOU MUST BRING VALID PASSPORTS (or other mandatory customs documents) as required by USA and Canadian Customs.



   
 Breakfast: 8:30-9:10 AM Breakfast at Center of Renewal.
 Morning: Free Time until bus leaves for Canada trip at 11:30 AM. IMPORTANT! BRING PASSPORT AND JACKETS FOR TRIP TO CANADA!
 Lunch: Join the group for a special lunch in the restaurant at the top of the Skylon Tower overlooking Niagara Falls -- breathtaking views and a wonderful meal, too! Skylon Tower's world-famous dining simply must be experienced. Their award-winning continental cuisine is presented in an elegant setting 775 ft. above the Falls. Experience once-in-a-lifetime views of Niagara Falls, the Great Gorge, and Niagara Wine District. Lunch includes admission to the Skylon Tower Ride-to-the-Top and Indoor/Outdoor Observation Decks.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a visit on the Canadian side of the Falls and Ontario, Canada.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own tonight in one of many restaurants in the Village of Lewiston back in the USA.
 Evening: Free Time to explore the area on your own.
   
Accommodations: Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Morning Exploration in Lewiston / Underground Railroad Field Trip with Costumed Re-enactors / Farewell Social.
(Friday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30-9:10 AM Breakfast at Center of Renewal.
 Morning: This morning we'll explore the Village of Lewiston to see some inspiring historic statues: 1) "Freedom Crossing" depicting Josiah Tryon helping slaves cross the river into freedom in Canada; 2) Tuscarora Native Americans helping villagers escape from the British.
 Morning: Visit the special docent-led Underground Railroad exhibit at Niagara University's Castellani Art Museum.
 Lunch: 12:00 PM Lunch at Center of Renewal
 Afternoon: 12:45 PM - Board bus as we continue our field trip on the Underground Railroad, including Murphy's Orchard, with Underground Railroad re-enactor Peter Green as former New York State Governor DeWitt Clinton. Experience the farm now known as Murphy Orchards, originally established by Charles McClew in 1850.

Charles and his wife, Anna Marie, are believed to have been involved in the Underground Railroad Network from 1850 until 1861. The house, barn, and orchards themselves remain virtually as they were when built 150 years ago, offering an authentic setting for sharing the history of the Underground Railroad. Additionally, as a working farm, experience a real hands-on illustration of how farming in the new American Colonies eventually led to the horrifying chattel slavery that existed for generations.
 Dinner: 5:00 PM Dinner at Center with re-enactor Peter Green.
 Evening: 7:00 PM - Join re-enactors from the 1800's in an Underground Railroad performance in the Main Lounge. Met abolitionists "Josiah and Sally Tryon" (Lewiston Council on the Arts) as they share their stories of 19th Century life and related challenges.

8:15 pm - Closing social before heading home tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Program Recap / Lunch / Departure after a wonderful week
(Saturday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30 AM Breakfast at Center
 Morning: Free Time until 10:10 AM to finish packing and checking out from room.

10:15-11:45 AM: We'll have our final class and a fun competition exercise: "All You've Learned about Niagara Falls", facilitated by adult learning facilitator and Center of Renewal executive director Nancy P. Askins, Ph.D. Enjoy this final session structured as a fun-filled learning game complete with prizes!
 Lunch: 12:00 noon Lunch at Center of Renewal. Program officially ends after lunch.

Have a safe trip home, and thank you for enjoying our Niagara Falls area Road Scholar lifelong learning adventure!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitor's Bureau
1-800-BUFFALO (283-3256) For additional information, visit buffalocvb.org/home.html
  Historic Lewiston and Youngstown, NY
Lower Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce (716) 754-9500 For additional information, visit www.niagara-lewiston.org
  Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp.
1-800-338-7890 For additional information, visit www.niagara-usa.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Buffalo-Niagara Connection: A New Regional History of the Niagara Link


Author: John W. Percy


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail). Geography's impact on the history of Western New York and Ontario's Niagara Peninsula.



Colossal Cataract: The Geologic History of Niagara Falls


Author: Irving H. Tesmer (Editor)


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).



Daring Niagara: 50 Death-Defying Stunts at the Falls


Author: Paul Gromosiak


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).



Goat Island: Niagara's Scenic Retreat


Author: Paul Gromosiak


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).



Nature's Niagara: A Walk on the Wild Side


Author: Paul Gromosiak


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).



Niagara Falls Q&A: Answers to the 100 Most Common Questions about Niagara Falls


Author: Paul Gromosiak


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).



Owahonton: Maid of the Mist


Author: Paul Gromosiak


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).



Seeing Niagara: The 10 Best Ways to Experience the Falls


Author: Paul Gromosiak


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).



Zany Niagara: The Funny Things People Say about Niagara Falls


Author: Paul Gromosiak


Description: Book available for sale in Center of Renewal bookstore (call if interested in advance purchase via mail).





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768