Is Niagara Falls a Good Place for a Honeymoon?

Apparently Niagara Falls is a popular honeymoon destination. I wouldn’t know, but I trust Google (probably a little too much). Having spent a day at Niagara Falls I find it astonishing that newly-weds want to go to Niagara Falls to have some steamy consummating sex to the sound of roaring water.

I mean, lots of things are understatements. That it’s slightly warm in the Sahara desert at noon is an understatement; to say that Hitler killed a “few Jews” is an understatement; the fact that Nick Clegg is “a bit of a twat” is an understatement; and to say that Niagara Falls is “a bad honeymoon destination” is the biggest understatement of all time (which is an overstatement).

Niagara Falls from Canadian Side

Admittedly, there’s a lot of water at Niagara Falls, so if that’s what you look for in a romantic getaway, go for it, book those tickets! You can only see a certain amount of the water at Niagara Falls in that photo but the water just keeps on coming, pouring over the edge and down to the bottom over and over again. I’ve now described a waterfall for you, in case you didn’t know what one was. You should now pass GCSE Geography and your future will be secure!

I did a day trip to Niagara Falls while I was studying at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. All of us exchange students piled into a coach at 7 a.m. and we headed up to the Falls. I was expecting Niagara Falls to be this magical place out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a forest of trees, where animals rule and human impact is minimal, where rainbows are born and nature rules. But that’s not the case. Niagara Falls is more touristy than if you put the Statue of Liberty on the roof of Buckingham Palace and put a Pyramid in the back garden.

The “best” viewpoints, closest to the Falls themselves, are thronged three-deep with people. You can only get to the front with lots of shuffling, nudging or, if you’re suitably annoyed, a well-placed kick to an ankle. You’ll only take a photo from the front, when you don’t have people standing in front of you, so in all likelihood, the only photos you’ve seen of Niagara Falls don’t give a fair indication of what it’s actually like to be there. That was the case for me, so when I got there, I felt cheated, like someone had told me I was getting a three course meal when it turns out what I was getting was half a tin of Smart Price tomato soup, a few fish finger sandwiches and a tin of rice pudding. They weren’t lying, they just weren’t telling the whole truth. Sneaky buggers.

Broad View of Niagara Falls

After getting more and more frustrated with people, I went for lunch. I left the Hard Rock Cafés and Burger Kings behind and ventured a few kilometres away from the throbbing tourist centre and found a little pub. It was dark and quiet and there were lots of strange men looking at me. My kind of place. I tried to buy a beer but the busty, sullen Canadian serving didn’t trust my British driving license and I didn’t want to argue with a woman who looked like she’d have no problem choking me to death and throwing my body out into the alley for the feral dogs to gnaw on.

The locals who hated the tourists didn’t want me there, but I hated the tourists too, even though I was one. I had nowhere to go, like a homeless agoraphobic. After an overpriced bacon baguette and a watery Coke, I ventured back towards the Falls. I took another few photos because I’d chanced upon a free space at the railing. I guessed everyone else was now fighting each other for seats in all the cafés and restaurants.

Niagara Falls Rocks

I still had hours to kill before needing to get back on the bus, so I went underneath one of the waterfalls, in the tunnels that are designed for just such a purpose. That was disappointing too. Unsurprisingly, being behind the water doesn’t give you the best views. And, once again, you’re fighting with several dozen other people for about six spots at the railing.

Niagara Falls Casino Tourism

Anyway, Niagara Falls is a popular honeymoon destination. If you’re currently engaged to a wonderful guy or girl who makes you feel special and you’re looking forward to spending the rest of your life, THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, with them (that bit was worth repeating you poor, poor fool) and you’re considering potential honeymoon destinations, for god’s sake pick somewhere better than Niagara Falls. If you live close by, it’s worth visiting as a day trip, possibly even a weekend if you really love massive water features and close contact with other human beings. But for taking that special someone on a romantic trip, go to a Caribbean island or find a quaint cottage in a forest and be woken up by the birds each morning.

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Haha this is a brilliant post. Regardless of the fact I’m 17 years old and not considering marriage yet, I certainly won’t spend my honeymoon at Niagara when/if I marry! Thanks for the heads up.

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  2. skycastles says:

    I was similarly disappointed at the Falls. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting but I surely didn’t get it. I also went on a day trip and had to fight the hordes of other tourists for a spot at the rail and a seat in a cafe. Taking the torture one step further than you, I booked onto the Maid of the Mist for an upclose and personal view of the water. Well, I saw it. I felt it. Now what?

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    1. ambigram0 says:

      My day pass did include the Maid of the Mist, but I really didn’t feel like queuing up for it!

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  3. Great post, I agree with you that Niagara Falls is not the most romantic destination for honeymooners. The Falls is my hometown and I spent many a Friday nights cruising Clifton Hill and being a silly ‘local’ tourist. The Falls and surrounding area are beautiful is you know what you’re looking for. If we ever happen to be in The Falls at the same time – it would be my pleasure to guide you around the Niagara Region; show you the sights, taste the local flavours and hopefully remove the bad stigma this beautiful area has built up over the years from your memory. Niagara Falls like the Statue of Liberty, Ayers Rock, Trevi Fountain is a tourist destination – but you need a local to show you the underbelly of these places. 🙂

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    1. ambigram0 says:

      I’d love to go back one day, definitely. The one I did was part of the guided, exchange-student tour so I didn’t get a chance to explore anything except the main area. This was before my days of couchsurfing!

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  4. haven’t been, is on my list, but just for a day-trip as you recommend.
    Yes Caribbean island all the way for me for a romantic trip!!!!
    Barbados here I come!! 😉

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    1. ambigram0 says:

      I have a friend who got married on St Lucia and had their honeymoon there. That sounds like the perfect way to do it to me!

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  5. Have never been, but have always wanted to go… but maybe only because every time I hear the name, I sing to myself, “In Niagara Falls, Ontario / Marine Land is the place to go,” harkening back to a 20 year old jingle I’ve never got out of my head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkFn7_3-ALg&feature=related

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  6. I love this post – I will definitely be avoiding the Falls for a honeymoon… the idea of all that water crashing down over, and over again doesn’t inflame any passions… just an overwhelming need to pee!

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  7. Legal Alien says:

    Uurgh, tourists…I think I’ll cross that off my list of ‘places I’d like to visit one day’.

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  8. Never realized quite what it was like! Still on my bucket list, but now as a day trip rather than a trip ^.^ Though maybe it’s quiter during the cold wintertime?

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    1. ambigram0 says:

      And quite probably way more beautiful!

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      1. All right. Bucket list item: WINTER at Niagra Falls 🙂

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  9. haileyjw says:

    Ahh, you’ve blown our secret! It took years and billions of tax dollars to get us on that list of wonders of the natural world! Way to go.. 😦 Also, I’m surprised that after spending time in Windsor (where I currently live..and the butt of Stephan Colbert’s most recent jokes) that absolutely everything else in the world seemed gorgeous and delightful in comparison. Who knew. 🙂 Great post.

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    1. ambigram0 says:

      Windsor is beautiful! Well, walking along the river is. From the Ambassador Bridge up to where you have to head onto the road…I walked that so many times while I was studying there!

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      1. haileyjw says:

        That bit isn’t bad I guess, I used to live in an apartment right on the river at Oullette. The view was pretty spectacular and walking that path was a good way to unwind, but compared to many cities I’ve been to, I have the feeling that Windsor has sold it’s soul for something.

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  10. Julie Cao says:

    Your writing is funny, seriously. I wish I can write like this, crack a smile in readers’ face once in a while.

    I dont know if you had a chance to get on the Rainbow Bridge at that time tho. I walked on that bridge later on out of curiosity and found the view from the bridge is way more interesting than the view from the front, and there were way less people – at least you dont have to push thru the crowds to view the falls. Also, it is the best place to watch fireworks over the falls every Friday and Sunday night on the bridge, and again, you dont have to fight for a spot. But you have to exit Canada (not enter the US) to do it and all you need is your passport and pay 50 cents exit fee.

    .

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