Honeymoon couples have made their way to Niagara Falls for nearly 200 years. Although the area hasn't made it onto the Top Ten list of lovers' destinations for quite some time and it's become more of a family destination than a romantic one, Niagara Falls continues to attract lovers.
It's the water, of course, that's the big draw. Crashing, plunging, thundering without ceasing. (It has occasionally frozen, but it's rare.) Although there are taller Falls, there are none wider than those in Niagara, which spans the border between New York State and Canada.
Here you get three for the price of one: The raging rapids of Rainbow and Bridal Veil Falls (on the American side) tumble over massive rock formations in a nearly perfect straight line; amazing Horseshoe Falls (on the Canadian side) form a natural curve.
Whether you view the Falls from the American or the Canadian side, it's mesmerizing -- for a while. Couples who want to do it all here can arrange an American or Canadian destination wedding with a choice of dramatic backdrop.
What to Do Around the Falls
In addition to gazing at the Falls, honeymooners can spend time at a range of attractions. Some, like the Maid of the Mist boat cruise and the IMAX film Niagara: Miracles, Myths, and Magic, relate to the rushing waters; others are the type that crop up wherever tourists gather.
Up Clifton Hill, a group of the latter include the Niagara Skywheel, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf and Zombie Attack -- and are all within walking distance of the main attraction. As you may have surmised, it's quite touristy here. There could be enough to keep you busy for a day- or two-day visit, but anything longer might make you edgy.
Where to Stay in Niagara Falls
Regardless of whether you spend a night on the American or Canadian side of the Falls, be sure to insist on a room with a view. You're more likely to find an appreciable one on the Canadian side since those buildings face the Falls head-on.
The American hotels on the New York side, mostly cheaper and many older, kind of look over their shoulder and catch the mist but not the drama of the location. Falls-facing rooms in the top stories of the 26-floor Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino offer some prime views, especially at night when fireworks are lit.
Try Canada's Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls; the view couldn't be prettier. The windows in some of their rooms face the American Falls head on. To the right, Horseshoe Falls was clearly visible in the unobstructed panorama. Some suites feature balcony Jacuzzis overlooking the Falls.
Built in 1929, and formerly known as the Skyline Brock, the Crowne Plaza is where Marilyn Monroe and the cast of the film Niagara stayed during shooting. If you can't spend a night here, do try to have a meal. The hotel's restaurant offers the same wonderful view of the Falls, especially romantic at night when the water is illuminated with colored spotlights. Note: The Skyline Brock is connected by walkway to Casino Niagara.
Another Canadian-side hotel worth considering is the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Be sure to request a room with a view. Afterward, consider placing some bets on the gambling floor. Honeymooners are notorious for getting lucky in this town.
Get Out of Town
Combine a trip to Niagara Falls with a stay nearby. About 20 miles to the north, there's the scenic and historic hamlet of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The town is home to the Shaw Festival, the only theater in the world that specializes in plays written by George Bernard Shaw. (Productions run from April to October.) Plus the town features ample boutiques to jettison wedding loot. If you're driving, also consider spending time in Toronto, great for city lovers. Alternately, the quirky little towns and wineries of Western New York are fun to explore, too.)
Those intent on exploring nearby can find new sins to cultivate: Wine drinkers will enjoy weaving their way through the Ontario Wine Route. Gamblers can find action twenty-four hours a day at Casino Niagara, a three-level gambling hall right across from the Falls.
Before You Go
Keep in mind that you will need a passport book or passport card to travel into Canada and back into the United States.