VIDEO: The Honeymoon Capital of the World?

Posted In: Destinations, Video

Probably the highest compliment I can pay Niagara Falls is that it looks fake. To be more precise, at times the natural scenery is so spectacular, it seems to good to be true. We snapped a couple of photos with our SLR. Viewing the results, I just shook my head. But it is true.

It's real! Honest!

It's real! Honest!

People often describe the town of Niagara as “touristy,” and indeed the description applies. The commercial district assaults your eyes and ears with a cacophony of visual and aural noise. The downside of this “louder is better” approach is obvious. The Clifton Hill area of Niagara is tackier than a grade school bulletin board. You’re surrounded by King Kong, Frankenstein, and wax dummies of Johnny Depp. At times you’ll stroll down a street and your jaw will drop for all the wrong reasons.

It can also be expensive. Be prepared for some stupid prices. We actually walked out of the local Outback Steakhouse without ordering dinner because the menu prices were outrageous. While I can understand paying a little more in a tourist town, I’m not paying double. As I Tweeted shortly afterwards, we’re tourists — not fools!

To be fair, there’s one major upside to Niagara’s “touristy” development: there’s a LOT to do here. If you are so inclined, you can watch IMAX films, tour wax museums, haunted houses, ride a gigantic ferris wheel, and engage in any number of fun activities that have little or nothing to do with the waterfalls. There’s something here for every member of the family, young and old. In some respects it’s commendable. In others, it’s puzzling.

At times I wondered how this area might be different if it were a national park. The Falls themselves are some 12,000 years old, and we certainly have national parks dedicated to less impressive natural wonders. But I suspect the key economic developments began before we even had national parks in the United States.

What about the city’s reputation as The Honeymoon Capital of the World? It’s a nice slogan, and the Falls are undeniably impressive. There’s a lot to do here. But the honeymoon capital of the world? That’s a bold claim. It probably made sense several decades ago, when Niagara was the nearest exotic destination for East Coasters, at least. I think our Long Long Honeymoon has proven that you can have a pleasant honeymoon just about anywhere. If you choose to have it here, I certainly understand. It’s a fun place.

So to close on a positive note, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Niagara. The Maid of the Mist boat ride was a fantastic experience. And the jaw-dropping beauty of the Falls speaks for itself. As the old saying goes, “It’s something to see.” I’m grateful we had the opportunity to see it.

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