Romance Wanderlust - a yellowed and burnt edge map with a compass in the corner, with Romance Wanderlust written across itIn this month’s Romance Wanderlust, we are going to Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario. Both towns have been popular honeymoon destinations since the 1800s. They were hit hard by economic recession, but the tourist industry remains as well as, of course, the Falls. As always, this is neither and endorsement nor a review as I’ve never been to the Falls. Help me out, commenters – is this destination worth seeing, or skipping?

Niagara Falls refers to three massive falls: Horseshoe Falls (the largest), American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Theodosia Burr (daughter of Aaron Burr) visited the Falls on her honeymoon with Joseph Alston in 1801. This made honeymooning at the Falls fashionable, especially after Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, Jerome, did the same in 1804. In 1953, Marilyn Monroe had her first starring role in Niagara, a film noir in which she played a femme fatale. Visits spiked again. Other movies and television shows to feature the Falls include The Office (Jim and Pam’s wedding!) and Superman II (Lois discovers Superman’s identity!).

Jim and Pam at the Falls
Jim and Pam at the Falls

My impression based on Googling is that even though the Falls are amazing forces of nature, you wouldn’t visit Niagara Falls to commune in a peaceful way in your tent with only the sounds of nature to lull you to sleep. The Falls are right up against their respective American and Canadian cities, so you end up mixing nature with city life most of the time (there are a lot of casinos). You can walk along the top of the Falls during the day or at night, take a boat ride, and go through tunnel behind the falls. Please do not attempt to go over the Falls in a barrel or any other device because it’s illegal and often fatal. Attempts to discern whether your significant other is Superman by jumping over a railing will not end well.

The Falls and the River

As far as a place to stay, there are a lot of hotels in various price ranges but The Tower (on the Canada side) had me at “floor to ceiling windows” which would mean that, theoretically, I could ooh and ahh about the wonders of the Falls without ever having to get out of bed. They have an onsite Wedding Chapel and room service. It doesn’t look very fancy, but when this is what you see from your room how fancy do you really need to be?

view of falls from hotel window

Alternatively, if you stay at the Crowne Plaza (also in Canada), you can stay in Room 801, where Marilyn Monroe stayed while filming Niagara.

Marilyn Monroe in front of the Falls in a Blue suit

If you’ve been to Niagara Falls, let us know if it’s still a great honeymoon or otherwise romantic destination. Is the thrill alive?

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