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We were pleasantly surprised, recently, to discover that Niagara Falls is still one of the most romantic destinations in the world. We shouldn't have been, considering that Niagara has been the "Honeymoon Capital of the World" for nearly 200 years.

Maid of the Mist on the Niagara River
Maid of the Mist on the Niagara River
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Less than two hours after we left Toronto, by car, we were strolling hand-in-hand along a walkway, gazing at the thundering waters tumbling over Bridal Veil, Horseshoe and American Falls.

Horseshoe Falls boat tour

Donning yellow ponchos, we descended 38 meters to the tunnels, behind the falls, and ventured out through one of the openings. The incessant roar of the water deafened us. The wind-buffeted spray dampened our faces and camera lenses. We stood arm-in-arm, watching the seagulls soar and the Hornblower Niagara Cruise tour boat battling the current.

We then boarded the boat, which plies its way up to the foot of Horseshoe Falls. Hornblower Cruises replaced the Maid of the Mist, which first made this journey in 1846. Millions of passengers have experienced this boat tour of the falls, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Besides daytime cruises, Hornblower Niagara Falls catamarans also depart at sunrise, sunset and after dark, so passengers can view the illumination of the falls, as well as fireworks over Horseshoe, American and Bridal Veil Falls.

Aerial view of Horseshoe Falls
Aerial view of Horseshoe Falls
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Whirlpool Aero Car

The Whirlpool Aero Car travels 540 meters across the swirling waters of the Niagara River's whirlpool rapids. The journey in the basket-like cable car looks dangerous, but an attendant assured us that the emergency rescue vehicles have never been used — although they are tested regularly.

The true power of the whirlpools and falls came vibrantly to life for us in the spectacular six-storey-high IMAX movie: Niagara Legends and Daredevils. Afterwards, we browsed through the attached museum to see the barrels and tightropes used by daredevils to challenge the falls.

Butterfy Conservatory

Colorful fireworks over Niagara Falls at night
Colorful fireworks over Niagara Falls at night
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

At the Butterfly Conservatory, colorful butterflies flitted from flower to flower and even landed on our foreheads. It was also fun to stroll through herb, vegetable and rock gardens at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Its splendid arboretum showcases one of Canada's finest collections of ornamental trees and shrubs.

Looking back on our visit to Niagara, we recall one incredibly romantic memory after another: Viewing the falls through giant picture windows while dining at the Minolta Tower and Table Rock restaurants. Sampling wines at Niagara wineries. Soaring through rainbows on a helicopter flight around the falls.

And watching cotton-candy pink, powder blue, soft green and warm amber lights illuminate the falls after dark, as the sky fills with dazzling fireworks.


Tourism Niagara: www.tourismniagara.com

More things to see and do in Niagara

Niagara Falls Helicopter Tours

Icewines from Niagara Wineries

Niagara Wine Festival