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Take a few flights outside of the United States, and you’re likely to notice a slightly disappointing observation: Many U.S.-based carriers simply don’t measure up when it comes to perks in economy class. Whether it’s a free snack, or real wine glasses filled with (free!) vino, here are a few coach class airline perks we love on the foreign carriers… Read more
There are cities where winter is something to be endured, where the cold months from November to March reduce citizens to shut-ins. Québec City is not one of those places. In Quèbec, the winter is celebrated. In fact, it may be one of the best times of the year to visit. Here’s how to enjoy it … Read more
Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is emerging from the long shadow cast by its neighbors, Montreal to the east and Toronto to the southwest. Primarily known for its arts and culture attractions (Ottawa is home to all of Canada’s national museums and galleries), the city now also prides itself on a standout food scene, affordable local attractions, and easy access to the surrounding countryside.
We spoke to Jantine van Kregten, a long-time resident of the city and Director of Communications for Ottawa Tourism, about the best ways to see the city, her favorite neighborhood spots, and some off-the-beaten-path places to visit. Here are some of her recommendations…
The Canadian province of Ontario is home to some of North America’s most popular travel destinations, including cosmopolitan Toronto, the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and the majestic Niagara Falls. And while it may seem counter intuitive, winter is actually a great time to visit this versatile state.
If the January blues are getting you down, it might be time to book a quick, revitalizing getaway. The Fairmont hotel chain is offering winter weekend getaways at its British Columbia properties – some of the nicest hotels in the province – for as low as $149 a night. Compared to regular starting rates of $240, that’s a significant savings.
The Weekend Warm Up Offer is available available for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night stays from now through March 31 at four hotels in Vancouver – the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Waterfront, Fairmont Vanvouver Airport, and Fairmont Pacific Inn – and at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress. Click on the hotel names to book.
Frigid winter temperatures are in full force, and for hardy Quebécois, that means one thing: It’s time to bundle up and get down for some serious partying, aka the Quebéc Winter Carnival. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the frozen fete, which happens to be the largest winter festival in the world (last year, it drew 600,000 people). Charming and beautiful all year long, the city will open itself up later this month (Jan 31-Feb 16) for over two weeks of activities, shows, and general merrymaking. Carnival passes start at just $15 CAD (about $14 USD). Here are some fun facts about the festival that are guaranteed to inspire a visit…
Adventure traveler or not, few things inspire wanderlusters everywhere to brave the elements like the jewel-hued Northern Lights. If you’ve dreamed of chasing this legendary phenomenon, now’s the time: The aurora is reaching solar peaks this winter and next, meaning visibility will be the greatest in this time for a good decade. And as with all epic travel experiences, you’ll probably want to capture your sightings on film (or an SD card). Here’s how. Read more
These days, cost-conscious travelers have more options than ever. The question is no longer “Where will we go?” but “How cheap can we get there?” Rest assured, we’re here to tell you the answer: pretty cheap! As evidence, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most budget-friendly travel destinations to watch out for in 2014. These places show it’s totally possible to plan an unforgettable trip to a unique, accessible, and culturally interesting destination, and still feel like you’re getting a deal. Trying to fit all these fabulous trips into a single year? Well, that’s another question…
1. Singapore It’s telling that Singapore Airlines spent the better part of this fall introducing over two dozen brand new 777-300ER planes into its fleet. The national carrier, consistently recognized as one of the top airlines in the world, is simply catering to demand as more and more visitors flock to this verdant Southeast Asian hub. Scores of new hotels are opening all over the city – many of them artfully designed and, best of all, reasonably priced. But it’s not just affordable lodging that keep travelers coming back. The city’s treasure trove of cheap hawker centers (food stalls), diverse ethnic neighborhoods, and abundant green spaces (Gardens by the Bay, for one) show why it’s becoming one of the region’s most accessible, yet endlessly entertaining modern metropolises. (See also: Off The Beaten Path In Singapore)
Winter predictably sees travelers heading to tropical islands for their vacations, but what about the cooler weather islands? There are a few advantages to heading someplace where you’ll be packing a sweater rather than a swimsuit: less crowds, better deals, and plenty of interesting things to do.
Here are a few of our favorite cold-weather island getaways.
Shetland Islands, Scotland
You’ll have to wrap up warm if you’re planning to visit Shetland in winter, but you may be rewarded with a sight of the Northern Lights; its far-north location makes it the best place in the British Isles to see them. Besides the aurora borealis, winter brings unique festivals, such as Up Helly Aa, a Viking fire festival held in Lerwick on the last weekend of January.
The first national park established in Canada (in 1885) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park occupies a sweet spot in the Canadian Rockies and includes unspoiled wilderness and beautiful mountain lakes, like Lake Louise. Want to include Banff in your vacation plans? Follow our tips: Read more
Between 1873 and 1935 the Red Star Line shipping company transported more than two million European migrants from Antwerp, Belgium to new lives in the “New World” of the United States and Canada. The shipping line’s former warehouses, which stood empty and decaying (and slated to be turned into apartments) since the line ceased operations, will reopen as a museum on September 28th. Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, the architectural firm behind the renovation and preservation of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and Grand Central Terminal, were responsible for the warehouses’ restoration.
The museum will likely draw many American visitors who will be able to research their ancestry and see the very place, in a warehouse at the port of Antwerp, where their ancestors embarked on these life-changing journeys. Also of interest will be the stories of the famous passengers who left Europe on the Red Star Line, such as Irving Berlin, whose family loaned his transposing piano to the museum, and Albert Einstein who, as he fled Nazi persecution, wrote a letter on Red Star Line stationery announcing his resignation from the Prussian Academy of Sciences — also on loan to the museum.
The museum’s slogan is “People on the Move,” drawing attention to the fact that “migration is a universal phenomenon” and links the experience of the Red Star Line’s passengers with that of contemporary migrants. Interactive exhibits will attempt to simulate the experience of immigration, including a visit to, first, a Warsaw travel agency and finally an intake center in New York City or Philadelphia.
Here are some other migration museums around the world where you can trace your heritage…
At the extreme northern edge of Minnesota, there are a series of bays – Buffalo Bay, Muskeg Bay, and Fourmile Bay – which together constitute over 65,000 miles of shoreline, and provide one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. On a map, everything north of these bodies of water would appear to be Canadian territory, but look more closely and you’ll see there is actually a small piece of Minnesota awkwardly wedged between Manitoba and Ontario. The Northwest Angle, as it’s known, is the northernmost point in the contiguous 48 states – not to mention one of the coldest places to visit in America during the winter.
Angkor Wat, the Grand Canyon, the Blue Lagoon: just a few of the natural and man-made wonders many of us, if we’re lucky, get to experience during a lifetime of travel. In most cases, visiting them is as easy as just showing up. But what about the countless other jaw-dropping sites we’ll never get to see? Whether too remote, or frozen under ice, or sunk at the bottom of the ocean, here are a few “hidden” sites that no technological advancements – or wishful thinking – can ever bring us closer to.
Earlier this month, a team of scientists discovered a previously-unknown volcano, located deep under the Pacific, 1,000 miles off the coast of Japan. Confirmed as the largest volcano in the world (about a hundred times bigger than Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, which previously held the title), the rock mound, nicknamed Tamu Massif, would make for a pretty impressive sight – too bad its summit lies 4,500 feet below the ocean’s surface. Evidence shows that the 124-million-year-old volcano likely went dormant shortly after it formed, though that doesn’t bring us any closer to traversing its wide, craggy surface. Read more
At a glance, the 48 contiguous United States seem pretty well glued together. A few oddities may stick out – like Florida dangling limb-like out into the ocean, or that big hole in the northern Arizona desert – but for the most part, with a full tank of gas and the open road, you can pretty much get anywhere you need to go. Which makes it even harder to believe there’s a part of Washington state that can only be accessed by crossing the Canadian border, and then re-entering the country. Located just 22 miles south of Vancouver, Point Roberts, Washington is indeed out-of-the-way, it’s what you’ll find there that makes the trek worthwhile. Read more
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