It was once called the Honeymoon Capital of the World. With heart shaped jacuzzi suites and themed honeymoon suites it was the destination of choice for many of the rich and famous. Niagara Falls is the “go to” spot for romantic weekend getaways in Ontario, and there a reason why.
The Best choice for Weekend Getaways
When we were approached to book a weekend getaway anywhere in North America as part of the #ClubCarlsonAmbassador program by Club Carlson we didn’t hesitate in choosing our own backyard of Niagara Falls. I don’t think there is a more picturesque city stay than Niagara Falls. And we have the Instagram photos to prove it!
After all our years of travel, it is still one of our favourite destinations to spark the romance in our relationship. We’ve watched Niagara Falls evolve over the years from staying at cheesy motor inns to perusing kitschy wax museums and thrift stores on Clifton Hill to staying at chic luxury hotels and fine dining surrounding the Fallsview Casino. The wax museums are still there, but Niagara Falls has grown up offering something for everyone.
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Located just an hour and a half from Toronto, it’s the easiest and most accessible romantic destination in Ontario for quick weekend getaways. Luxury hotels draw visitors from all around the world to witness Ontario’s world famous site.
The Radisson Fallsview by Club Carlson offers one of the best views of the majestic wonder. Located near the Fallsview Casino in the new part of town, it’s our favorite location to stay. It’s quieter than the Clifton Hill hotels and the views of the falls are out of this world.
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The Raddison also has some of the best hotels deals of the luxury accommodations in the area. We’ve stayed there before on our own dime and there’s a reason why. It’s stylish, in a perfect location and its affordable. Its falls view suites have outstanding views, the indoor pool is inviting and quiet and it’s walking distance to all the attractions. Plus, if you don’t want to walk too far, you can catch the nearby incline railway that takes you directly to the Journey Behind the Falls or catch the WeGo bus just a block away!
Romantic Weekend Getaways – Niagara Falls
When you have an astounding view of Niagara Niagara Falls, you don’t often want to leave your room. Especially when you are on a romantic getaway. Believe me, we’ve had many a weekend at the Falls doing nothing but sleeping late, sipping champagne, having long dinners, and taking in the extraordinary view. But we can do that because it’s our regular weekend getaway. We used to go to Niagara Falls two to three times a year. We’d mix it up with a bit of relaxation from the hustle and bustle of work in Toronto, but also set out to experience everything the town had to offer.
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When you are visiting Niagara Falls for the first time, you want to make sure you see some of the top attractions. So, as two Niagara Falls veterans, we thought we’d share some ideas and tips for couples traveling to Canada’s premier attraction.
Peace and Quiet for Romantic Strolls
Niagara Falls can be extremely busy during the summer months. It can actually be overwhelming at mid day, so we suggest getting up early to enjoy the falls in peace and quiet. We went down to the Table Rock Welcome Centre at the Brink of the Horseshoe before dawn to snap spectacular views of the top of the falls. It was only us, the seagulls and the occasional jogger taking in the scene.
We then walked hand in hand along the river walk to see the U.S. side of the falls and the raging river below. We felt as if we had the entire place to ourselves.
There are many spots for breakfast at all the hotels in the area and nearly every restaurant in town serves breakfast buffets. We simply walk and look for a place that looks great. The Raddison offers $10 discounts on Tony Roma’s breakfast buffets downstairs to all their guests and you’ll find a Starbuck on nearly every corner in town.
Romantic Niagara Falls
Today should be a day to sleep in and enjoy breakfast in bed. Enjoy that suite and sit with each other to appreciate how luck you are. You are staring at a world wonder. Once you’ve got enough caffeine in your for the day, it’s time to venture out and enjoy each other’s company.
For a more romantic day, we suggest going to the Botanical Gardens for a quiet walk. The tranquil setting is a reprieve from the chaos of Niagara Falls. There’s a butterfly conservatory that is quite beautiful. The rainforest setting transports you to the tropics where you walk through a forest filled with 2000 butterflies.
The Niagara Region is one of Canada’s premier wine regions. Going to one of the many world class vineyards for wine tasting is a must for couples. If you don’t want to drive, there are bus tours that can take you from Niagara Falls where you will visit such famous estates like Inniskillin, Jackson Triggs, and Peller Estates.
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Before heading back to Niagara Falls for the night, you can dine in Niagara on the Lake or enjoy an old fashioned horse and carriage ride through the historical town. Or better yet, enjoy the horse and carriage ride at the Falls as you watch the falls light up each night. The Ontario Power Generation has been illuminating the falls each evening since 1925 and it makes for a beautiful scene.
Fireworks at the Falls
On Friday and Sunday nights a fireworks display is put on over the falls. You can either watch from one of the Fallsview restaurants or grab a spot on the promenade to watch the event. The crowds amass quickly so make sure to secure your spot a good half hour before the fireworks go off. You can check the Niagara Falls website for timetables.
Day 2: Niagara Falls Weekend
Dave and I always say that a little adventure adds to a romantic getaway. When you do something exciting during the day, you have a lot to talk about over dinner and your energy is on an all time high to enjoy the night.
The top tourist attractions of Niagara Falls can be done in a day. Whether you are with a family or on a romantic vacation you’ll want to see the wonders of Niagara Falls. If you buy a Niagara Falls Attraction Pass starting at $54 per person for a 2 days it’s well worth it. $79 gives you access to everything you’ve ever wanted to do.
Journey Behind the Falls
Start your day either at Journey Behind the Falls or at the Hornblower as both are the top attractions in the city. The Journey Behind the Falls is a spectacular walk through tunnels behind Niagara Falls. The tunnels jut right out to the water crashing overhead. Don’t worry, there are fences and screens to keep you from falling in.
You then get to walk outside so close to The Falls you can feel the earth rumble. You cannot explain the power of Niagara until you have been there. It’s truly a massive volume of water crashing over the edge.
Formerly the Maid of the Mist, the Hornblower takes a boat ride out to the centre of the Horseshoe Falls where you feel so small and insignificant, it’s almost overwhelming. Not for the faint of heart, it’s a thrill ride for anyone. The boats plough through the powerful current taking you so close to the falls, you feel that you can reach out and touch them. Make sure to keep your electronics tucked away under your raincoat, you are going to get wet!
You can take now take the afternoon off if you like or continue on with the rest of the attractions on your pass. Remember, it’s a romantic couples getaway. Ao why not enjoy a long lunch and finish off sightseeing tomorrow. The afternoons get busy quickly so relax the rest of the day and enjoy the sites of downtown.
The attractions pass lasts for two days anyway, so you can finish off tomorrow. Plus it gives you access to the WeGo bus that will take you everywhere. You can leave your car parked at your hotel and hop on hop off the bus to see everything.
It’s in the afternoon that we like to walk along the promenade known as Clifton Hill. Call me crazy, but I love going through the wax museums, Ripley’s and being scared to death at Nightmares Fear Factory. What’s more romantic than letting your strong man take care of you as you tiptoe through a haunted house? When in Niagara Falls, we give into the tackiness and cheese. We love it. As long as we aren’t staying on Clifton Hill, we’re happy to visit it and then go back to our quiet oasis up on the hill overlooking the lip of the Horseshoe Falls.
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This is when we either take a nap or enjoy our hotel’s amenities. But if you want to continue exploring Niagara Falls, there are still plenty of things to do on your adventure pass.
There is the WhiteWater Walk that is a thrill and gives you an up close view of Class 6 Rapids, You can watch and feel the 4D movie, Niagara’s Fury or you can hop on the WeGo bus to the Whirlpool Aero Car to see the mighty Niagara Whirlpool down river. Take though, lines are long in the afternoon. So you may want to wait until the morning of day 3.
After an afternoon on Clifton Hill, it’s time to choose a spot to eat. There are many choices near the Raddison that offer Falls Views. Our recommendation is dinner at the top of the Tower Hotel at Marilyn’s Bistro. Formerly the Minolta Tower, this was once the premier spot to view Niagara Falls. Many high rise hotels have popped up around it, but it still offers and outstanding panorama view of both the US and Canadian Falls.
When we visited, they had fabulous entertainment by Ron Dewberry. His velvet voice entertains without interrupting the conversation. So often we go for dinner with entertainment and can’t hear ourselves think. Here at Marylin’s there’s fine dining, soft music, and out of this world views. It’s definitely the top romantic spot in the city. Plus, what we like is that it’s filled with locals and everyone is friendly. If you want to stay out for a late night, this is the place to do it!
Casinos of Niagara Falls
It was the casinos of Niagara Falls that really changed the city. If you want to a Vegas Style night out, head over to Fallsview Casino and catch a world famous act performing at the resort or try your luck at the tables. It’s a great way for couples who don’t mind losing a bit of money to enjoy an evening together.
Niagara Falls was made for romance and if you are thinking of visiting Canada or already live here, we highly recommend making it your top choice for weekend getaways. Go with romance in mind and you can enjoy that second honeymoon, anniversary or special event with the one you love. It’s never let us down and after traveling the world to many of the most romantic destination on earth, we still love coming back to our beloved Niagara Falls again and again.
We were asked to participate in the #ClubCarlsonAmbassador, sponsored by Club Carlson. Although we have been compensated, all opinions as usual are our own.