Cascading water, misty sprays, rainbow skies: Niagara Falls offers some pretty obvious aesthetic benefits. But other than its Instagram-worthy backdrop beauty, why, exactly, did the Twin Cities — which straddle the Canadian and U.S. borders — become known as the Honeymoon Capital of the World?
Chalk it up to the rich and famous. In 1801, then Vice President Aaron Burr’s daughter Theodosia visited the Falls following her wedding to future South Carolina governor Joseph Alston. Three years later, Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Jerome drove by stagecoach with his bride Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson to the majestic northern falls following their Baltimore nuptials. Commoners soon followed, but the phrase “Honeymoon Capital of the World” didn’t start appearing on promotional materials for Niagara Falls until the early 1900s. By then, railways and the Erie Canal — not to mention cars — offered much easier access to the falls.
These days, newlyweds are more likely to toast their new life together in a tropical locale, yet the Niagara Falls Tourism board estimates the geographical wonder still hosts about 50,000 honeymoons a year — almost 962 every week!
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