The author of this song of the year had me up until the last verse, but times were different in 1841 I guess, so who am I to say what is a hit. The fact is though, that despite how much the Niagara landscape has changed over the years, it has remained the perfect place for romance. But how did it get that reputation? Let’s take a brief trip back. As you know, honeymoons are the traditional holidays taken by newlyweds to celebrate their recent nuptials. They first became popular in 19th Century Britain. At that time, only the upper class could really afford to travel, and new couples would often take extended “bridal tours” during which they would visit family and friends that were not able to make it to the wedding. The tradition eventually spread throughout Europe, and soon evolved into a more wide spread thing, as the gap between classes closed. The practice of couples going on honeymoons was one of the first instances of mass tourism.

Why exactly it is called a “honeymoon” is unknown, as no real explanation exists, though there are a couple of theories. The most popular, and seemingly most likely, says that “honeymoon” is used because it is meant to infer that the first month of marriage is generally the happiest and sweetest. When there were no such things as “months” time was measured by the phases of the moon. In some countries, it is even translated to “honeymonth.” Another theory said that the term derived from the idea that it used to be popular practice for people to give free mead (honeyed wine) to married couples during the first month of the marriage. Whatever the true origin, the honeymoon has evolved into often grand tours that can last anywhere from a week to over a month. Niagara Falls first earned its reputation as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World”, after several famous faces decided to honeymoon there. Aaron Burr, the 3rd Vice President of the United States, had a daughter, Theodosia, who spent her honeymoon in Niagara Falls in 1801. In 1804, Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother is said to have travelled by stagecoach from New Orleans in order to honeymoon in Niagara Falls. And because people like to do what the rich and famous are doing, many others soon followed the lead of these two couples.

The actual phrase “Honeymoon Capital of the World” didn’t start appearing until the early 1900s, and it was often put on promotional posters and brochures. With the opening of the Erie Canal and the building of railways, Niagara Falls suddenly became a lot more accessible to people. With the invention of the automobile in the 20th century, the option of travelling to Niagara Falls was open to even more people. Couples were drawn to Niagara Falls not only because of the mesmerizing waterfall, but also the many lovely and secluded parks and paths that provided for many romantic moments. Nowadays, the city of Niagara Falls plays host to about 50,000 honeymooning couples a year; and Niagara Falls Tourism even gives out honeymoon certificates signed by the mayor. The city has given out almost one million of these certificates to date. So while many couples nowadays are choosing to go to far-flung places around the world on their honeymoons, there’s still something enduring that keeps drawing many of them to visit the world’s first honeymoon capital, Niagara Falls. And when they get here, they will find that the entire Niagara Region, not just Niagara Falls, still boasts a lot of great places to set the romantic mood. World-class spas, a dining scene to make other cities envious, fancy nights out, cozy towns for strolling…you name it, we have it here. Read on for our overview of Romance in Niagara!

Sky’s The Limit

NIAGARA FALLS AIR TOURS-WINE, DINE AND FLY PACKAGE

You can get the scenic grand tour of the Niagara Region which includes limo service to five wineries for wine tasting and lunch. Check it out at NiagaraFallsAirTours.com.

NATIONAL HELICOPTERS

This company offers a private romantic air tour, which takes you over Niagara wine region, the falls, the shores of Lake Ontario and the town of NOTL. You can even make it a sunset flight! More details at nationalhelicopters.com

NIAGARA HELICOPTERS

This company offers a “Chapel in the Sky”, the perfect thing for any couples looking for a unique way to say “I do.”. If that’s a bit much for you, there are also wine tours and sightseeing tours to choose from. More info at niagarahelicopters.com

Date Night

GET PAMPERED

Almost all of the spas in the area offers couples experiences, and a spa day can make for the perfect relaxing and rejuvenating date day. Not only do most spas offer single services for couples, but many have packages encompassing a whole spa day. And because many of the spas in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake are attached to hotels, why not make a weekend of it? Trip Advisor has a comprehensive list of all the spas in the Niagara Region.

MAKE A DAY OF IT

One of Niagara’s greatest assets is that it is made up of several small communities to form a really diverse region. For example, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a great place to spend some time…you can catch a play, go shopping and have a world class meal all in one day (www.niagaraonthelake.com/ ). In Ridgeway, you can stroll the main street, check out a movie at their small town cinema, test out some new brews at Brimstone and catch a live show at the Sanctuary (historicridgeway.com/ ) .

DANCE CLASS

Why not do something a little bit different during the week, and sign up for some dancing lessons? There are several places that offer them..here are just a few: http://ballroomandlatindancing.com, www.niagarafallsdance.com, socialeasedance.com/.

ROMANTIC EATS

Check out some of the most romantic restaurants in Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake and St. Catharines.

NIAGARA FALLS

ST. CATHARINES

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE

Unique Adventures

NIAGARA FALLS SKYWHEEL ON CLIFTON HILL

What is the most beautiful thing to see in Niagara Falls? The Falls of course! So why not get the best vantage point Towering 175 feet (53 metres) over the Niagara Falls horizon, the Niagara SkyWheel is the newest, most exciting way to see Niagara Falls. From these heights you and your special someone will be treated to memorable views of the Horseshoe and American Falls, the Niagara River, Niagara Parks and other landmarks. The best part? You will ride in fully enclosed gondolas, each equipped with heating and air conditioning. Which means you can ride day or night!

CLIFTON HILL

Speaking of the Skywheel, why not have a whole date day on Clifton Hill? There are arcades, fun houses, haunted houses…the list goes on. It’ll be an unforgettable excursion!

NIAGARA FALLS FUN ZONE

This 20,000 fun filled space is the perfect place to bring your inner child out to play for a unique date idea! With lazer tag, a mirror maze, paintball, haunted hallways, mini putt and more. It is located inside the Four Points Sheraton.

YUK YUK’S COMEDY

You know what they say a couple who laughs together stays together! Enjoy hilarious, live uncensored Yuk Yuk comedy shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at Casino Niagara.

PEAKS ROCK CLIMBING

This is a great place to go to get a little exercise on your date! Indoor rock climbing is easy to pick up, and if you’ve never gone before, you get a lesson before you are allowed to start climbing. You’ll be scaling the walls in no time. Check out peaksrockclimbing.com/ for more information.

BOARD GAME CAFES/ESCAPE ROOMS

Getting away from your phones and interacting with people is the focus in the board game cafes that are popping up around the region. A great one to check out is Mugs and Meeples at 147 Saint Paul Crescent in St. Catharines. Not only do they have a great selection of board games, but delicious food and drinks as well. Mugsmeeples.ca. Other places to check are Qube Entertainment at 4455 Queen Street in Niagara Falls and The Crux at 4999 Victoria Ave in Niagara Falls. The latter two places have escape rooms already, and the fi rst one is currently in the process of constructing their first escape rooms. Other escape rooms to check out include Adventure Rooms in Niagara Falls, The Hour in St. Catharines and Captive Escape Rooms in Niagara Falls (an escape rooms is essentially a live action puzzle game where you work to solve clues that will eventually allow you to escape the room you are in.)