Base yourself on the Canadian side of the falls. Make reservations at the Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa, which boasts the best spa in town. It’s worth the splurge to stay in one of the hotel’s two-level loft rooms, where you’ll get a great view of the falls from floor-to-ceiling windows, and a fireplace and whirlpool tub in your room.
Check into your hotel, then use the afternoon to acquaint yourself with the falls area. Take a boat ride to the base of the falls with Hornblower Niagara Cruises, then go for a different perspective with Journey Behind the Falls. Head three miles downstream from the falls for a peak at the Lower Niagara’s entrancing whirlpool.
Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around town as dusk approaches. You can find the carriages on Niagara Parkway, close to Murray Hill. Enjoy an intimate dinner at one of Niagara’s most exclusive restaurants, AG. Be sure to order an ice wine martini as an aperitif. Make your reservation for 7:30pm to give yourself enough time to enjoy the fireworks display over the falls at 10pm.
After dinner head to the Skylon Tower. Grab a coffee or other warm beverage at the coffee shop in the base of the tower to keep you warm once you’re out on the Observation Deck. This is the perfect spot to watch the fireworks display. Your perch 520 feet above the ground gives you the opportunity to look down on the pyrotechnics.
If you still have some energy left, go to Clifton Hill for a ride on the SkyWheel, some arcade games, or a kitschy trip through one of the numerous haunted houses.Spend a few hours walking around Goat Island, being sure to check out Terrapin Point and Luna Island. From there, you can venture out onto the Three Sisters Islands, which will place you as close to the upper rapids of the Niagara River as you can safely get.
Following breakfast, head out for a tour of the wineries in wine country. The best way to relax and enjoy a tour and lunch is by bus. If you and your partner are more active types, try a bicycle tour. Grape Escape offers both bus and bike tours, and will pick you up at your falls-area hotel. The bus tour covers stops at four wineries, plus a three-course meal at an excellent Niagara-on-the-Lake restaurant. The bike tour offers a picnic lunch in an orchard.
After a day of touring, it’s time to relax back at the hotel. The Marriott’s Serenity Spa offers couples services. Start off with the hour-long massage. Next, get a facial treatment for two, followed by 30 minutes of hydrotherapy in a shared tub.
For dinner, make your way to Elements on the Falls after the sun goes down. Here, you’ll enjoy great food and an excellent view of the nightly illumination of Niagara Falls. After dinner, head over to the Fallsview Casino Resort, where you can try your luck at the tables or catch a show at the casino’s Avalon Ballroom Theatre.
If you’re heading back to the States today, stop at Niagara Falls State Park after you cross the border. The park is a wonderland of natural features, and offers some different views of the falls.
Spend a few hours walking around Goat Island, being sure to check out Terrapin Point and Luna Island. From there, you can venture out onto the Three Sisters Islands, which will place you as close to the upper rapids of the Niagara River as you can safely get.
On your way out of the park, stop at the Observation Tower Platform for one last look at amazing Niagara Falls.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Niagara Falls.