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Kenya (40 reasons to visit)


40 reasons to visit

Where else can you...

1. See two million pink flamingos at Lake Nakuru!

2. Stay in the Sagana Lodge, where Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne.

3. Meet and learn about the 42 unique tribes in Kenya.

4. Have a pint (or two) of the world-famous Tusker beer!

5. Walk a half mile into the Indian Ocean at Mombassa.

6. Visit the original home of the safari.

7. See the land that inspired Ernest Hemingway on his first Kenyan safari in 1933.

8. Dine with, and feed, the giraffes at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.

9. View the migration of some two million wildebeest in the "Greatest Game Show on Earth," from a hot air balloon above the Masai Mara.

10. See wild animals within minutes of a major urban city at Nairobi National Park.

11. Watch as a Samburu lion defies nature and adopts a baby oryx, a small antelope that is typically prey.

12. Stay on the former coffee plantation where Karen Blixen (Isak Denisen) lived, which became the inspiration for the film Out of Africa.

13. Experience a true night's sleep under the stars in one of Loisaba's "Star Beds".

40 reasons to visit

14. See where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie first celebrated their relationship, at Diani Beach.

15. Golf in both the northern and southern hemisphere in one round at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club!

16. Sip on local Kenyan coffees and teas, some of the world's most famous for its rich flavor.

17. Take in the breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley.

18. Compete in an international birding competition. Kenya has over 400 species of birds!

19. Take a "running safari" alongside world-famous marathoners and Olympians in Eldoret.

20. Test your paleo-anthropological knowledge and visit the country known as the "Cradle of Mankind".

21. View Africa's largest lake (Lake Victoria), the start of the Great Nile River.

22. Hear the beautiful songs and rhythms of the Samburu tribe.

23. Take a walk on the real wild side on a walking safari with a Maasai moran ("warrior").

24. Adopt a baby elephant at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.

25. Enjoy a sundowner cocktail overlooking the Oloololo Escarpment on the banks of the Mara River.

26. Learn some Swahili, like jambo (hello), karibu (welcome) and asante sana (thank you very much).

27. Shoot wildlife, with a camera not a gun! (Hunting was banned in 1977).

28. Test your bargaining skills while shopping for local arts, crafts, and food at the Maasai Market in downtown Nairobi.

29. Indulge in the exotic nightlife at Diani Beach.

40 reasons to visit

30. Savor a delicious bush breakfast, complete with linens and champagne!

31. Relax with a massage while listening to the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean.

32. Enjoy a romantic bush dinner for two (humans, number of hippos unknown) at the Hippo Point Lodge at Lake Naivasha.

33. Experience the mix of British Colonialism, traditional Kenyan culture, and the pulse of modern Nairobi.

34. Stand on the Equator and watch science demos of how water flows in different directions.

35. Be embraced by warm, authentic Kenyan hospitality.

36. Fulfill Wangari Maathai's dream and plant a tree!

37. Skydive in Diani's annual "Skydiving Boogie"!

38. See why celebrities like Prince William, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, and Cameron Diaz all choose to vacation in Kenya.

39. See the land that inspired the movie The Lion King.

40. Start planning your next trip to Kenya while enjoying the sounds of wildlife around a crackling campfire.

(Source: CITC) www.MagicalKenya.com

40 reasons to visit

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Lincoln, ON


Ball's Falls Centre for Conservation:
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has opened its new Centre for Conservation. Interactive exhibits and a full program of events at the Centre will enhance the visitor experience and inspire them to become good environmental stewards. The building itself is a showcase of environmentally-appropriate building design and operation and is based on the LEED guidelines from the Canada Green Building Council. Ball's Falls Conservation Area is a regionally-significant site, designated as a nodal park in the Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Space System and frequented year-round by thousands of visitors, including organized school groups. This new facility will help tell the story of Ball's Falls and the Twenty Mile Creek Watershed, including:

Centre for Conservation

  • A corridor Gallery will focus on the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve

  • Displays on watershed management and the historical uses of the Twenty Mile Creek.

  • One exhibit focuses on the 2,000 year old cultural history of Ball's Falls

  • Multi-purpose room for educational programs and community gatherings
www.conservation-niagara.on.ca

Rosewood Estates Winery and Meadery:
This Beamsville Bench vineyard is blessed with a unique terroir. Controlled fermentation enhances the unique attributes of its wines. As Niagara's first meadery, Rosewood Estates offers innovative honey wines, candles and honey. The Roman family has been beekeepers for 70 years. Originally the family kept bees in King Township, Ontario. In the year 2000, the apiary operations were moved to Beamsville. Three apiaries are located throughout the Beamsville Bench. The honey gathered there is fruity and pleasant tasting. The idea of producing honey wines or Meads has intrigued Eugene Roman since high school. Eugene and Natalie Roman combined their skills of honey production and winemaking to develop innovative handcrafted honey wines. Harvest Gold is a traditional style mead with a nose of almond and vanilla. Mon Chérie is a specialty mead made from Niagara cherries blended with local honey. www.rosewoodwine.com

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London, On

Thames Valley Trail Association

London boasts many natural areas throughout the city that are open year-round including: Kilally Meadows, Meadowlily Woods, Medway Valley Heritage Forest, Sifton Bog, Warbler Woods, and Westminster Ponds. Natural areas are wetlands, meadows, forests, valley lands and other relatively undisturbed lands that are home to many different plants and wildlife. Some contain rare plants, wildlife or landforms, or have features characteristic of the region before European settlement, or are especially large or diverse in habitat. Many natural areas are considered environmentally significant on a local, regional, provincial or even national scale. In addition to the natural areas, London also features approximately 22 kilometers of paved bike paths along the Thames River.

Visit the websites www.thamesvalleytrail.org and http://www.thamesriver.on.ca/Wetlands_and_ Natural_Areas/natural_areas.htm or call 451-2800 for additional information about London's natural areas.
Other nature related links for the London area: Friends of the Coves Subwatershed: www.thecoves.ca McIlwraith Field Naturalists: www.mcilwraith.ca

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Maine


Links to Calendar of Events

Maine 2012 Calendar of Events
For updates, visit the Maine Office of Tourism website at www.visitmaine.com

Maine 2012 Calendar of Events


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Manchester, England


Battle Of Britain Exhibit

Manchester's landmark galleries and museums like Daniel Libeskind's Imperial War Museum North, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Manchester Art Gallery give you the chance to view fantastic permanent and touring exhibitions free of charge. Here are just a few examples of Manchester's free cultural venues:
Museums:
Imperial War Museum North www.iwm.org.uk/north
The Manchester Museum www.manchester.ac.uk/museum
The Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI) www.mosi.org.uk
Urbis www.urbis.org.uk
John Rylands Library www.library.manchester.ac.uk
Art Galleries:
Manchester Art Gallery www.manchestergalleries.org

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Montreal International Jazz Festival


Jazz Festival

See schedule at: http://nouvelles.equipespectra.ca/blog/?p=1606&langswitch_lang=en

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Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan


"Did I have a good harvest?" Yes, I did, which is why you see me here now, and with all the family. Taking the waters. Out here, on the prairie, the wind blows, soil cracks, dust blows, but when we do have a good year it feels good, really does. So we come down to the Temple Gardens here in Moose Jaw every year after harvest and, well, we take a holiday.

That's what harvest is - a celebration, a thank you. Look around you. Farmers from all over, whole families come to take the waters. We've come to rest a bit - see my arm? Brown to the elbow, but that's it. That's the tan a farmer gets: half an arm on the driver's side. You know, it would have been nice to have had some oil underground, but that wasn't our call.

Drillers tested here, back in 1910, and what did they hit? An ancient seabed. And what came rushing up was this nice, hot water that's good for you because of the minerals. I'll take it. So do many others. Look at the flags above you, flags from all over the world. When we're done, we'll pack up and drive down there and on to the Cypress Hills, spend a night or two, and then head down to Eastend - that's a part of the province I can highly recommend.

Have you been to the Great Sand Hills and walked across the dunes? Most Canadians I know have no idea that the Sand Hills are even there - or that the Cypress Hills is a lump of the country as it was forty million years ago that's poked right through the prairie grasslands. There are types of flora on those hills you won't find anywhere else, and if you camp there and walk over top of it you can look over prairie pretty well all the way to Fort Walsh. That's where we'll go after that - to Eastend.

We'll walk through grasslands that haven't been touched at all by the combines we've been driving for months now. We'll see the ground as it was. And we'll look for a buffalo rub to lean against - do you know what that is, a buffalo rub? That's the kind of large glacial rock we call an "erratic" that buffalo have been rubbing up to for thousands of years to remove their dry winter hair, so that it's polished smooth like a giant gemstone. I'm going down to lean against a buffalo rub and connect, I am. You may think the prairie's empty. You may even think Saskatchewan is flat. You just haven't learned how to see it yet. Saskatchewan is a land of small miracles. A buffalo rub is one, these baths another. Take the waters. www.templegardens.sk.ca   www.manitousprings.ca   www.dinocountry.com   tprc.alberta.ca/parks/cypresshills   www.cyr.gov.sk.ca/parks

Moose Jaw

(The most famous mineral baths in Saskatchewan are in Moose Jaw, now a part of the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort Hotel. The pools are open all year, but are especially convivial in early fall. There are also mineral baths at Manitou Springs Resort & Mineral Spa, by Little Manitou Lake. Eastend was the great American writer Wallace Stegner's territory, but is famous for its dinosaur remains, too. It is situated by the US border, close to the Cypress and Great Sand Hills.)

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Naples, FL


The Big Cypress Market Place, an 87,000 square-foot market in Naples, houses the wares of 150 merchants from clothing and sunglasses to food and electronics. This one-stop-shop for everything on your souvenir list, scheduled to open in March, also has eight restaurants to help keep your shopping strength up.

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New Hampshire

Anyone who has visited New Hampshire knows how friendly and easy it is to travel throughout New Hampshire and doesn't feel uneasy about travelling at night or certain areas. New Hampshire is indeed a very safe state to live and travel and this is further evident by a recent report released by CQ Press, a Washington, DC based leading publisher of books, directories, and reference publications on US government, world affairs, and political science (www.cqpress.com). CQ publishes an annual Crime State Rankings report and in its 2009 Crime State Rankings study, it showed New Hampshire received the lowest crime rate ranking again this year, followed by Vermont and Maine.

New Hampshire

Another accolade was awarded recently to The Omni Mount Washington Resort, located in the picturesque White Mountains region of New Hampshire, as one of the "Top 10 Mountain Hotels in the World" by ForbesTraveler.com. The Omni Mount Washington Resort, one of four Grand Hotels in New Hampshire, joins the ranks with some of the world's most elite mountain destinations that were in the top 10 list including: Canada's own Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel; the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, Peru; Dalat Palace, Vietnam; Arlberg Hospiz Hotel, Austria, in addition to hotels in Italy and India. The list of the top 10 mountain hotels focuses on the uniqueness of each property and the mountain setting surrounding each hotel.

"The Omni Mount Washington Resort is filled with such a rich and colourful history enhanced by its spectacular view of the White Mountains and has always been a popular place to stay for Canadians," said Chris Ryall, Canadian Representative for the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development. "It is an ideal property for both the leisure and business traveller."

The Mount Washington Hotel, built in 1902, is situated at the foot of the highest peaks in the Northeast. It is surrounded by the nearly 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest. It has just completed a $50 million US restoration and renovation which includes a new Spa and Conference Center in addition to room upgrades, renovation of the Great Hall and Dining Room and the restoration of the 18-hole Donald Ross designed Mount Washington Course recently ranked as the Top Golf Course in New Hampshire by GolfWeek's magazine.

For further information about Omni Mount Washington Resort, please visit www.omnimountwashingtonresort.com or call toll-free (877) 873-0626. To view photos and the complete article, please visit http://www.forbestraveler.com/resorts-hotels/mountain-hotels-story.html.

To find out more about New Hampshire or to receive the new free visitor's guide, call 1-800-FUN-IN-NH (386-4664) or visit www.visitnh.gov . Canadian travel trade and media may call 1-888-423-3995, or email visitnh@travelmarketingexperts.com .

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New Jersey


Camping in Cape May County:
New Jersey is best known for its beaches and fabulous seaside resorts, but just a few miles off the shoreline of the barrier islands, from Cape May Point to Ocean City, are thousands of acres of woodlands which are home to more than 50 camping resorts. Set amid forests of indigenous flora and fauna, camping resorts in the area are rife with hiking trails and plenty of scenic views. Cape May County is a popular stopover on the migratory path for many North American bird species, so don't be surprised to see many varieties of feathered creatures on a walk around the grounds. The west side of the county is the Delaware Bay - the largest breeding ground of horseshoe crabs in the world -- containing miles and miles of natural beauty and shoreline. Although secluded from the hustle and bustle that make up the busy seaside resorts, all of the campgrounds in Cape May County are just minutes away from the area's pristine beaches and exciting nightlife and boardwalks.

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NEXUS


NEXUS (Worth it or not?): Dave Hunter

"My wife and I would not travel out of Canada without our Nexus cards. In fact, we kid our U.S. friends that we probably have higher security clearance than they do. We applied for our Nexus cards in the Summer of 2001. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the program was closed down and we heard nothing more about our applications until 2012 when the Nexus program had been substantially re-beefed with embedded electronic ID "chipped" in the cards. We had been invited along with 1,000 other Canadians (and 1,000 Americans - NEXUS is a joint Canadian/U.S. initiative) to participate in a new NEXUS pilot program.
Canada Border Services Agency

In those days, Nexus was for car border crossings only and we had to drive from Toronto to Port Huron, MI to be electronically finger-printed and interviewed by both Canadian and U.S. immigration officers. While there, we learned that during the four month processing period we had been investigated by the CIA, FBI, Interpol, RCMP, OPP and local Ontario authorities. They couldn't even find a parking ticket and decided we were "the most boring people they had ever met" and welcomed us into the program.

Nexus was a package deal, and included the car. They even inspected this before issuing our cards. We could not use NEXUS if there was anybody else in the car (i.e., a non-NEXUS person) or if we were driving a different vehicle.

In those days, we could only enter the U.S. through ports of entry controlled by the Port Huron authorities (i.e., Windsor/Detroit and Sarnia/Pt Huron). In fact, several years after our cards were issued, we were refused entry in the U.S. bound NEXUS lane on the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls. This problem has since been rectified but in those days, the U.S. computers were not networked across the country-wide border although the Canadian computer system was.

Since those early days, the program has been expanded to include air and boat border crossings. NEXUS cards also require an embedded iris scan now, as well as electronic fingerprinting.

Many NEXUS holders do not know that they can use their card when returning to Canada from destinations other than the U.S. For instance, NEXUS holders arriving from Europe can use the NEXUS (often designated "crew" lanes) at Canadian airports.

Today, we never use passports or other required ID when crossing into the USA - only our NEXUS cards even if the NEXUS lane is closed. Unlike the early days, the program is no longer targeted just to border commuters and other frequent crossers; even if you cross once or twice a year you can still apply for NEXUS. The U.S. government wants to pre-clear as many inbound folk as possible so they can concentrate on those who are "unknown."

There are some drawbacks. Apart from the car and "other passenger" restriction mentioned above, there are some one-time per NEXUS application costs involved. Also, if you change cars (for those using land crossings) or renew your Canadian passport, you must notify the NEXUS people and will probably need to be issued a new NEXUS card. The names on your passport and NEXUS card must be exactly the same - no initials and the same number (and sequence) of names and no deviations in spelling.

Dave Hunter When your NEXUS card expires, it is not renewed - it is considered a new application and you go through the entire process again. Plan ahead at least 4 months before the expiry date - we have been through this twice now. The Canadian NEXUS site is at - http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/nexus/menu-eng.html

We love our NEXUS credentials when crossing the border and will definitely apply again when our current cards expire (next year)."

Dave Hunter is a founding member of TMAC, the Travel Media Association of Canada and author of I-75, a popular travel book that you can learn more about at: www.i75online.com



Niagara Falls, ON


Niagara's Fury - The Creation of the Falls:
One of the most spectacular, dramatic and immersive attractions in the world has opened in Niagara Falls. The Niagara Parks Commission's Niagara's Fury lets you experience the extreme, violent and beautiful birth of Niagara Falls. Inside the stunning new Table Rock located at the brink of the Falls, Niagara's Fury begins with a captivating, family friendly pre-show that tells the story of Niagara's momentous creation. Then you enter an immersive environment to see and actually hear and feel all the sights, sounds and sensations of an intense climatic change as they unfolded 10,000 years ago at Niagara's birth. www.niagarasfury.com

Niagara Freefall:
Niagara Freefall is the first and only indoor state-of-the-art skydiving wind tunnel in all of Canada and is designed for both the public as well as seasoned skydivers and is operational year-round. Indoor Skydiving completely immerses visitors in the world of high adventure skydiving, without ever having to pack a parachute, pull a ripcord, or jump out of a perfectly good airplane. The new $6 million wind tunnel employs state of the art technology which accurately controls the environment inside the tunnel. The indoor flight chamber has a diameter of 12 feet and is 22 feet high providing enough room for up to four experienced people to fly together in air speeds of up to 140 mph. www.niagarafreefall.com

Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls, New York


Niagara Falls, NY: Bargains Abound at Niagara Falls International Airport

Niagara Falls International Airport in Niagara Falls, NY is an attractive alternative to larger and more expensive airports. Located close to the Canada/USA border, it boasts a 13,299.46 metre main runway capable of handling large jets. Low cost landing fees translates into cheaper fares. An added bonus is that there is free on-site parking in front of the terminal; however, starting January 1, 2011 parking will be $5 per day with a $25 weekly max - still a deal for travellers.

Contact Information:

Direct Air can be reached at: 843-916-9700;
website: http://www.visitdirectair.com/contact_us/
Vision Airlines can be reached at: 877-359-2538;
Web site: http://www.visionairlines.com/
Spirit Airlines reservations at: 800-772-7117
Web site: http://www.spiritair.com/Default.aspx
Niagara Falls International Airport: phone: 716.855.7420;
Web site: http://www.niagarafallsairport.com/

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Niagara Parks, Ontario: 101 Free Activities

Niagara Parks

  1. Admission to Niagara Parks to see Canada's most famous natural wonder
  2. Over 1,720 hectares of beautiful parkland and gardens
  3. The entire 56 km Niagara Parkway - one of the prettiest drives in the world!
  4. The 53 km Niagara River Recreation Trail for hiking and cycling
  5. Nightly Illumination of the Falls
  6. Canada's longest running Fireworks Series
  7. Live Concerts at Illumination Stage
  8. Winter Festival of Lights annual displays November to January
  9. New Year's Eve Concert & Fireworks Celebrations
  10. Live Falls Webcam on niagaraparks.com
  11. Entertainers at Queen Victoria Park all summer long
  12. Musical entertainment at Maid of the Mist Marketplace all summer long
  13. Sunday afternoon summer concert series at Queenston Heights
  14. You Discover Concert Series at Oakes Garden Theatre
  15. Picnic Tables along the Niagara Parkway
  16. Benches to rest and view the Falls & Great Gorge
  17. BBQ Grills along the Niagara Parkway
  18. Washrooms throughout Niagara Parks
  19. First Aid Services/Bike Medics
  20. Niagara Parks Police Services
  21. Free returns from our Lost & Found service
  22. A safe and clean Park open 365 days, with fully maintained roadways and recycling
  23. Welcome Centre Services for directions, information and to plan your day in the Park
  24. Map brochures of Niagara Parks


  25. Niagara Parks

  26. Over 100 historic plaques and markers along entire Niagara corridor
  27. Preserved nature and conservation areas
  28. Protected endangered and "at risk" plant and wildlife species
  29. Parking at all NPC venues outside of Queen Victoria Park
  30. After hours parking at the Falls Lot beside Table Rock
  31. Emergency vehicle assistance (i.e. battery boosting, keys left in cars) at Falls Parking lot
  32. Parking for persons with disabilities in front of Niagara Parks Police station
  33. Attraction admission for a person who is assisting a person with a disability
  34. Children 5 and under admitted for free at all NPC attractions
  35. Group Picnic Permit fees waived for churches and charitable organizations
  36. Outdoor locations for Wedding Photography
  37. Paradise Grove nature area
  38. McFarland Park
  39. McFarland Baseball diamond
  40. McFarland Picnic Area
  41. Heritage Kitchen Garden at McFarland House
  42. Queenston Boat Launch
  43. Children's Splash Pads


  44. Niagara Parks

  45. Children's Play area at Queenston Heights
  46. Scenic lookout of the north Niagara River at Queenston Escarpment
  47. Queenston Heights Park
  48. Access to the Bruce Trail, Lakeshore, Friendship and Trans Canada Trails
  49. Tennis Courts
  50. Centennial Lilac Gardens
  51. Floral Clock
  52. Wishing Pond with all proceeds to charity
  53. Botanical Gardens & Arboretum
  54. Butterfly Garden
  55. Horticultural education - plants and trees are all identified with markers
  56. Niagara Glen Nature Area
  57. Shore fishing along the Niagara River
  58. Bird Watching in an Audubon recognized, "Globally Significant Important Bird Area"
  59. Wildlife spotting
  60. Stair access down into the Niagara Glen for trail hiking
  61. Geo-caching locations
  62. Bouldering in Niagara Glen (at your own risk!)
  63. Thompson Point Scenic Lookout
  64. Viewing of the Whirlpool phenomenon and Niagara's Class 6 Rapids
  65. Oakes Garden Theatre
  66. Year-round indoor Falls viewing gallery in the Grand Hall at Table Rock
  67. Floral Showhouse with tropical songbirds
  68. Artists Garden
  69. Award-winning Orchid collection
  70. Fragrance Garden signed with Braille
  71. Regal Geranium Show
  72. Chrysanthemum Show
  73. Reiger Begonia Show
  74. Easter Lily Show
  75. Christmas Show
  76. Dufferin Islands Nature Area
  77. Online downloads for teachers
  78. Online Virtual Tours
  79. Downloadable screensavers and photos of Niagara Parks
  80. Online Calendar of Blooms in the Park
  81. Self-guided walking tour at War of 1812 historic site - Chippawa Battlefield Park
  82. Crayons and colouring page for kids at our restaurants
  83. Gardening advice from our Horticulture Staff
  84. Over 100 Community Events such as Remembrance Day Commemorations
  85. July 5th Battle of Chippawa Memorial Ceremony
  86. Candy-making demos at Pop & Lolly's, with samples to follow!
  87. Meet & Greet with a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer
  88. Children's play area at Kingsbridge Park
  89. Recipes from our Executive Chef for dishes served in our restaurants
  90. Guest photos taken for you by NPC Staff
  91. Meet and take your photo with the Carriage Ride horses
  92. Admission to view Oak Hall Art collection and public rooms with period furnishings
  93. Motor coach parking at Rapidsview Lot
  94. Bus tour permits for school groups and non-profit organizations
  95. Admission for chaperones of groups of 10 or more students (pre-booked/ Group Sales)
  96. Doors Open Niagara - Heritage site open houses
  97. North America's largest Daffodil display each Spring - over 1 Million!


  98. Niagara Parks

  99. World-famous Rose Gardens
  100. Huge hanging baskets and flowering standards in Queen Victoria Park
  101. Viewing of Battle Re-enactments at the Siege of Old Fort Erie
  102. . Play area at Old Fort Erie
  103. Rainbows - every day the sun shines!
  104. Smiles and Memories that will last a lifetime


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Niagara Region


Biking:
Ride the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Tour set for July 4th to 11th

41 communities, 8 days, 680 km-WOW! The Waterfront Regeneration Trust and over 50 waterfront partners including local municipalities, conservation authorities and community groups recently launched the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Tour. Set for July 4- 11 this summer, the Tour is an organized bike ride from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border using the Waterfront Trail. People will have the choice to travel the whole 680 km route over eight days; do it as a relay with a team of friends and family or join in for one or two days for a ride. Every single day of this fully supported tour includes the WOW Factor - the Wonderful Ontario Waterfront along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Discover vibrant communities and beautiful parks; experience delicious local food and entertainment; learn the fascinating history; visit last remaining coastal wetlands, forests and beaches; and enjoy charming shops and unique local businesses. More information and registration is at www.waterfronttrail.org.

Waterfront Trail

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Niagara Region, ON (Golf)


Legends is one of North America's first with special carts for mobility-impaired golfers.

Everybody's heard of Niagara Falls. But what about golf in Niagara? The Niagara region is home to 40-plus courses. Now, one welcomes golfers of all kinds, including mobility impaired.

In summer 2007, Legends on the Niagara became one of North America's few public facilities to offer accessible golf. The Niagara Parks Commission, which owns and operates Legends, purchased a SoloRider, a golf cart specially built for mobility-impaired golfers. Its swiveling electric stand-up seat (allowing golfers to assume any position from sitting to standing) elevates so players can tee off and putt. Turf-friendly tires allow golfers to drive right onto the greens. (You'll also find the cart at Whirlpool Golf Course, Niagara Park's other highly ranked layout.)

"The SoloRider has been a big success," says Brian Moore, Niagara Parks' director of golf. "It's great to see the way the cart is letting golfers who have been sidelined from the sport get back on the course again."

And it's a pretty snazzy course, too. Legends is a $27 million golf complex that curls just off the banks of the Niagara River, above the Falls. There are two top-notch, 18-hole courses (the world's best female golfers teed off at the Battlefields course during the Canadian Women's Open), a nine-hole loop and Canada's best-equipped practice facility - all designed by Tom McBroom and Doug Carrick, the country's premier architects. www.niagaraparksgolf.com

Niagara Golf

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Niagara: Winery Guide


Beamsville

Angels Gate Winery
4260 Mountainview Road,
Beamsville
905.563.3942 or 1.877.ANG.GATE
www.angelsgatewinery.com

Birchwood Estate Wines
4679 Cherry Avenue,
Beamsville
905.562.8463
www.birchwoodwines.ca

Cornerstone Estate Winery
4390 Tufford Road,
Beamsville
905.563.6758
www.cornerstonewinery.com

Crown Bench Estates
3850 Aberdeen Road,
Beamsville
905.563.3959 or 1.888.537.6192
www.crownbenchestates.com

De Sousa Wine Cellars
3753 Quarry Road,
Beamsville
905.563.7269
www.desousawines.com

EastDell Estates
4041 Locust Lane,
Beamsville
905.563.9463
www.eastdell.com

Fielding Estate Winery
4020 Locust Lane,
Beamsville
905.563.0668 or 1.888.778.7758
www.fieldingwines.com

Malivoire Wine Company
4260 King Street East,
Beamsville, Ontario
905.563.9253 or 1.866.644.2244
www.malivoire.com

Legends Estates Winery
4888 Ontario Street North,
Beamsville
905.563.6500
www.legendsestates.com

Magnotta Beamsville
4701 Ontario Street,
Beamsville
905.563.5313 or 1.800.461.9463
www.magnotta.com

Mountain Road Wine Company
4016 Mountain Street,
Beamsville
905.563.0745
www.mountainroadwine.com

Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery
5600 King Street West,
Beamsville
905.563.0900
www.peninsularidge.com

Thirty Bench Wines
4281 Mountainview Road,
Beamsville
905.563.1698
www.thirtybench.com

Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery
4352 Mountainview Road,
Beamsville
905.563.4383
www.rosewoodwine.com

Grimsby

Kittling Ridge Estate Wines & Spirits
297 South Service Road,
Grimsby
905.945.9225 or 800.694.6798
www.kittlingridge.com

Jordan

Calamus Estate Winery
3100 Glen Road,
Jordan
905.562.9303
www.calamuswines.com

Cave Spring Cellars
3836 Main Street,
Jordan
905.562.3581
www.cavespring.ca

Creekside Estate Winery
2170 4th Avenue,
Jordan Station
905.562.0035 or 1.877.262.9463
www.creeksidewine.com

Flat Rock Cellars
2727 Seventh Avenue,
Jordan
905.562.8994
www.flatrockcellars.com

Harbour Estates Winery
4362 Jordan Road,
Jordan Station
905.562.6279
www.harbourestateswinery.com

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Caroline Cellars
1028 Line 2,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.8814
www.carolinecellars.com

Cattail Creek Estate Winery
1156 Concession 6,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.988.9463
www.cattailcreek.ca

Château des Charmes
1025 York Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.262.4219
www.chateaudescharmes.com

Coyote's Run Estate Winery
485 Concession 5 Road,
St. David's
905.682.8310
www.coyotesrunwinery.com

Frogpond Farm Organic Winery
1385 Larkin Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.1079 or 1.877.989.0165
www.frogpondfarm.ca

Hillebrand Estates Winery
1249 Niagara Stone Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.7123 or 1.800.582.8412
www.hillebrand.com

Inniskillin Wines
Line 3 at the Niagara Parkway,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.2187 or 1.888.466.4754
www.inniskillin.com

Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
2145 Niagara Stone Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.4637
www.jacksontriggswinery.com

Joseph's Estate Wines
1811 Niagara Stone Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.1259 or 1.866.468.1259
www.josephsestatewines.com

Konzelmann Estate Winery
1096 Lakeshore Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.935.2866
www.konzelmann.ca

Lailey Vineyard
15940 Niagara Parkway,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.0503
www.laileyvineyard.com

Maleta Estate Winery
450 Queenston Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.685.8486
www.maletawinery.com

Marynissen Estates Winery
RR #6, 1208 Concession 1,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.7270
www.marynissen.com

Mike Weir Estate Winery
963 Queenston Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.684.1483
www.mikeweirwine.com

Niagara College Teaching Winery
135 Taylor Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.641.2252 ext. 4070
www.nctwinery.com

Palatine Hills Estate Winery
911 Lakeshore Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.646.9617
www.palatinehillsestatewinery.com

Peller Estates Winery
290 John Street East,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.4678 or 1.888.673.5537
www.peller.com

Pillitteri Estates Winery
1696 Niagara Stone Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.3147
www.pillitteri.com

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
1366 York Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.262.VINE
www.ravinevineyard.com

Reif Estate Winery
15608 Niagara Parkway RR #1,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.WINE (9463)
www.reifwinery.com

Riverview Cellars Winery
15376 Niagara Parkway,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.262.0636
www.riverviewcellars.com

Southbrook Vineyards
581 Niagara Stone Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
1.888.581.1581
www.southbrook.com

Stonechurch Vineyards
1242 Irvine Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.935.3535
www.stonechurch.com

Stratus
2059 Niagara Stone Rd.
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.1806
www.stratuswines.com

Strewn Winery
1339 Lakeshore Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.1229
www.strewnwinery.com

The Ice House Winery
14778 Niagara Parkway,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.262.6161
www.theicehouse.ca

20 Bees
1067 Niagara Stone Road
Virgil
905.641.1042
www.20bees.com

Vignoble Rancourt Winery
1829 Concession 4,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.2882
www.rancourtwinery.com

St. Catharines

Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery
1469 Pelham Road,
St. Catharines
905.684.8423 or 1.877.PELHAM7
www.henryofpelham.com

Hernder Estates Wines
1607 8th Avenue,
St. Catharines.
905.684.3300
www.hernder.com

Rockway Glen Estate Winery
3290 Ninth Street,
St. Catharines
905.641.5771 or 1.877.762.5929
www.rockwayglen.com

Vineland

Alvento Winery
3048 Second Avenue,
Vineland
905.562.1212
www.alvento.ca

Featherstone Winery & Vineyard
3678 Victoria Avenue,
Vineland
905.562.1949
www.featherstonewinery.ca

The Foreign Affair Winery
4890 Victoria Ave. N.,
Vineland Station
905.562.9989
www.foreignaffairwine.com

Kacaba Vineyards
3550 King Street,
Vineland
905.562.5625 or 1.866.522.2228
www.kacaba.com

Lakeview Cellars Estate Winery
4037 Cherry Avenue,
Vineland
905.562.5685
www.lakeviewcellars.ca

Ridgepoint Wines
3900 Cherry Avenue,
Vineland
905.562.8853
www.ridgepointwines.com

Royal DeMaria Wines
4551 Cherry Avenue,
Vineland
905.562.6767 or 1.888.793.8883
www.royaldemaria.com

Tawse Winery
3955 Cherry Avenue,
Vineland
905.562.9500
www.tawsewinery.ca

Vineland Estates Winery
3620 Moyer Road,
Vineland
905.562.7088 or 1.888.846.3526
www.vineland.com

Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery
3751 King Street,
Vineland
905.562.4945
www.gretzkyestatewines.com


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North West Territories


North West Territories

Arctic muskox, the warmest, most expensive wool in the world falls right off their backs: Inuit hunters in the NWT are supplying Milan, New York's hottest runway shows with this silky, sustainably harvested fibre.

They are shaggy, big-shouldered, almost prehistoric-looking beasts. At a distance they appear to be relatives of the buffalo, with their long, dark coats and curving horns. But here's the first surprise: they stand only chest high to a human. What's even more amazing is that beneath the hairy exterior is a layer of fleece so luxurious, it's eight times warmer than wool and keeps its occupants warm even at minus-50 degrees C (-58 degrees F).

No wonder that qiviuk (kee-vee-ook), as the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories call it, is one of the knitwear world's most expensive raw ingredients, selling for three times the price of cashmere. Supply is extremely limited, since wild Arctic muskox shed their undercoats just once a year - in May, when warmer temperatures arrive and the tundra becomes littered with tufts of grey-brown fleece. It's harvested sustainably - by hand, the old way. Hunter-gatherers for centuries, the Inuit collect it where it falls or strip it from hides during hunting season. (Inuvialuit officials say it's sustainable because the population is large and healthy, and native hunters slaughter only a fraction of the herd each year.) Inuvialuit hunters in Sachs Harbour on Banks Island, NWT, keep some of the wool for their families. Mittens made of 100% qiviuk can sell for up to $250 a pair in Yellowknife. The surplus wool ends up much further south.

An Alberta design firm and manufacturer, Jacques Cartier Clothier, purchases the rare fibre yearly. At the company's Qiviuk Boutique in Banff, AB, visitors can't help but stroke sweaters, cardigans, scarves and other high-end cozies made from the remarkably soft, silky fibre. New York City designer Christina Oxenberg of Oxenberg LLC uses qiviuk in her clothing line, too, sometimes blending it with other rare wools. Her company provided a custom-knit qiviuk cardigan to Queen Elizabeth; other celebrities with Arctic muskox wool in their wardrobe include the Dalai Lama, Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. As Oxenberg points out, "No one is going to spray paint you for wearing it." www.irc.inuvialuit.com   www.qiviuk.com   www.oxenbergllc.com    www.ffdp.ca

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Ontario: Microbrewery Guide


Brick Brewery
181 King Street South,
Waterloo
519.576.9100
www.brickbeer.com

Cameron's Brewing Company
1165 Invicta Drive
Oakville
905.849.8282
www.cameronsbrewing.com

F&M Brewery
355 Elmira Road N.,
Guelph
1.877.316.2337
www.fmbrewery.com

Grand River Brewing
295 Ainslie Street
Cambridge,
519.620.3233
www.grandriverbrewing.com

Huether Hotel Lion Brewery Restaurant
59 King Street North
Waterloo
519.886.3350
www.huetherhotel.com

Neustadt Springs Brewery
456 Jacob St
Neustadt, ON
519.799.5790
www.neustadtsprings.com

Niagara's Best Beer Ltd.
75 St. Paul Street
St. Catharines
905.684.5998
www.niagarasbestbeer.com

Nickel Brook Beers
864 Drury Lane
Burlington
905.681.2739
www.nickelbrook.ca

MacLean's Ales
212744 Baseline Road
West Grey
519.369.5061

Old Credit Brewing Co. Ltd.
6 Queen Street West
Port Credit
905.271.9888

Steelback Brewery
88 Farrell Drive
Tiverton
519.368.3663 or 1.800.879.0541
www.steelbackbrewery.com

Stratford Brewing Company
44 Griffith Road
Stratford
1.519.275.3496
www.stratfordbrewing.com

Taps Brewing Company
10 Walker Road
Virgil
905.468.TAPS
www.tapsbeer.ca

Trafalgar Brewing Company
1156 Speers Road
Oakville
905.337.0133

Wellington Brewery
950 Woodlawn Road West
Guelph
1.800.576.DUKE or 519.837.2337
www.wellingtonbrewery.ca

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Ottawa, Ontario


Ottawa chefs are on a restaurant-opening spree! Check this out:
  • The innovative former head chef at the Courtyard Restaurant, Marc Lépine, opens Atelier on Rochester Street near Little Italy in July with a menu that will change daily, highlighting only what's fresh and local. www.atelierrestaurant.ca


  • Simon and Ross Fraser, brothers who served in the kitchen at Domus Café, opened Fraser Café in the New Edinburgh neighbourhood in spring 2008, with just 27 seats and a commitment to local products. www.frasercafe.ca


  • Ottawa chef René Rodriguez opens a new Basque-style restaurant called Navarra in the location of the Black Cat Café, where Rodriguez used to be the chef (more recently, he worked at Luxe Bistro). www.navarrarestaurant.com


  • Stephen Mitton, known for his 'progressive Canadian bistro' style at Social Restaurant + Lounge, has purchased the location of Bistro 115, where he initially developed his signature dish of duck confit. The new place is called simply Murray Street. www.murraystreet.ca


  • Chef Derek Benitz, who opened Benitz Bistro last year on Somerset Street downtown, will soon open a second restaurant next door, to be named B Wine and Small Plates, with a 28-seat wine bar, private room and outdoor patio. www.benitzbistro.com


  • Beckta Dining and Wine will also, by the end of the year, open a second restaurant, focusing more on small plates and casual dining. www.beckta.ca


  • On Preston Street (Little Italy), DiVino Wine Studio has opened, selling high-quality wines, and offering food-and-wine pairing courses. Also coming soon to the neighbourhood: Lago Bar & Grill at the Dows Lake Pavilion and Big Easy's Seafood and Steak House. www.divinowinestudio.com


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Free or Nearly Free Ottawa



Visiting Ottawa doesn't have to cost a lot. Besides the affordable packages offered by Ottawa Tourism, there are many alternatives for people looking to save some cash.

Take the Bus
The DayPass by OC Transpo entitles you to unlimited same-day travel on the bus and the O-Train (a light rail pilot project in the west end).

Spring, Summer or Fall Activities

Parks Paths Parkways

  • Use your bike or inline skates or just hoof it and explore hundreds of kilometres of paved pathways; winding along rivers and the Rideau Canal; flat and easy or mountainous and challenging-the choice is yours. Sunday Bikedays actually close 52 kilometres (32 miles) of the most picturesque rides to motorized vehicles and let cyclists, inline skaters and runners rule from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Sunday Bikedays run from Victoria Day weekend in May to Labour Day weekend in September.
  • Buy fresh bread, fresh coldcuts, cheese and vegetables from the farmers and stores in the ByWard Market, then have an impromptu picnic in Major's Hill Park or at Nepean Point (located behind the National Gallery) for a spectacular view. The point is a beautiful spot to take pictures of Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River, Victoria Island, Jacques Cartier Park, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  • Enjoy entertainment along the Sparks Street Mall (Canada's oldest pedestrian mall) at noon hour and in the ByWard Market all day from buskers-throw a buck or two in the hat at the end of the performance if you're impressed.


  • Ottawa Beaches

  • Spend an afternoon at the beach. City of Ottawa beaches are open from mid-June to the end of August. Lifeguards are on duty weekday hours Monday to Friday from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. and weekend hours Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
         Britannia Beach: 2805 Carling Avenue, 613-820-1211
         Mooney's Bay Beach: 3000 Riverside Drive, 613-248-0863
         Westboro Beach: 234 Atlantis Road at Kitchissippi Lookout, 613-792-3832
         Petrie Island Beach: 727 Trim Road, 613-824-5704
  • Rent a pedal boat or a canoe and explore the Rideau Canal. Rentals at the Dows Lake Pavillion, 1001 Queen Elizabeth Driveway begin the first Monday of the Victoria Day weekend. Call 613-232-1001, ext. 5 for more information.
  • Mer Bleue Bog is one of the largest bogs in southern Ontario and arguably the most important natural area in the Greenbelt. Ecologically, Mer Bleue is an especially valuable example of a northern ecosystem - more typical of the Arctic than the Ottawa Valley - and it has been designated an internationally significant wetland under the United Nations' Ramsar Convention.
  • Centretown Movies, in Dundonald Park on Somerset Street West near Lyon Street. Bring a lawn chair and munchies to enjoy great movies in the great outdoors. Admission is pay-what-you-can, on Friday and Saturday nights in July and August. 613-232-1534
  • Changing the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill each summer day at 10:00 a.m. from late June to late August each summer. Pomp and ceremony.
  • While on Parliament Hill, check out the feral cats that roam the cliffs behind Parliament and meet the man who has cared for them for decades. Also, experience the "whispering wall" (east of Centre Block, behind the Famous Five monument). Have one person stand at the one end of the bench and a second at the opposite end of the bench. Now... with no more than a quiet whisper, face the wall and talk to one another.
Changing The Guard


Winter Activities
  • Hiking or snowshoeing in Gatineau Park. Located just 15 minutes north of downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park offers over 165 kilometres (102 miles) of trails, most available year-round. In winter, there are more than 25 kilometres (15 miles) of trails especially for snowshoers and 10 kilometres (6 miles) of trails are compacted once a week for winter hiking. You can rent snowshoes for $5 per hour or $15 per day at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre. Hiking is free. For more information and trail maps, visit www.canadascapital.gc.ca/gatineau


  • Gatineau Park

  • Go skating on the Rideau Canal. The world's longest skating rink offers 7.8 kilometres (4.8 miles) of uninterrupted skating (from late December to late February or early March, depending on the weather). Skate and sleigh rentals are available on the Skateway near the National Arts Centre, Fifth Avenue, and Dows Lake. Canal conditions can be checked on a hotline at 613-239-5234 or at www.canadascapital.gc.ca/skateway


  • Rideau Canal Skateway

  • Go skating indoors. Public skating in City of Ottawa arenas charge a small fee for skating (typically between $1.25 and $2.25 per person). Public Skating Information Line - 613-580-2666.
  • Go tobogganing. There are several hills in and around the Ottawa area, to suit nearly all ages and preferences. The National Capital Commission has set aside three areas suitable for tobogganning in the city's Greenbelt recreational space:
         Bruce Pit (hill not lit at night).
         Conroy Pit In the city's south, on Conroy Road, south of Hunt Club.
         Green's Creek Just west of Orleans.
  • Also, there are several hills in and around the old Ottawa South neighbourhood, to suit nearly all ages and preferences. These can be found at:
         Windsor Park: midway between the Riverdale and Belmont entrances (for younger children)
         Seneca Avenue near the Rideau Canal (for younger children)
         Experimental Farm: hillside in the Arboretum, overlooking Carleton University
         Vincent Massey Park: near Heron Road - Hog's Back Park

Attractions
  • Parliament Hill tours are free every day, but can be rescheduled due to the business of the House. You must pass through security similar to an airport.
  • Visit Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush in the spring. Take self-guided maple tours and learn all about maple syrup production. Enjoy three walking trails: the Children's Trail (15 minutes), Barney's Grave Trail (40 minutes) and the Nature Trail (30 minutes). Free admission. Restaurant, nature trails, gift shop, playground, wagon rides, music, group visits, team building programs.
  • Visit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride Centre. The Musical Ride, a world-renowned military pageant performed with 32 horses and riders, was first produced publicly in Regina in 1887. The RCMP invites visitors to tour the stables and Visitors' Centre year-round (Tuesdays and Thursdays from September through April; daily from May through August). There is a possibility during a visit of seeing the Musical Ride horses and riders practise when they are not away on tour. The free Sunset Ceremonies usually occur at the stables at the end of June each year.
  • Admission to the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Canada is free on Thursday nights from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Or, if you visit a special exhibition, you also get access to the permanent collection.
  • The newly renovated Canadian Museum of Nature offers free admission on Thursday nights from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Access to the Canada Agriculture Museum animal barns is free during the winter months (November 1 to February 28). For the exhibitions and animal barns, admission is free between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily. From March 1 to October 31, regular admission is: $9 per adult; $7 per student and senior; $6 per child 3-12; $23 per family (2 adults, 3 children). Children under 3 are free. The adjacent Central Experimental Farm is a great place to cycle or run.
  • The Canada Aviation and Space Museum offers free admission between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. each day.
  • The Canadian Museum of Civilization offers free admission on Thursday nights from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • The Museum of Science and Technology offers free admission between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily. A visit to the Museum will allow the visitor to push buttons, turn dials, and pull levers to experience science and technology first-hand, as you discover artifact-rich exhibits featuring marine and land transportation, astronomy, communications, space, domestic technology and computer technology.
  • The Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada offers free admission at all times. The museum displays Canadian notes, coins, and tokens, as well as currency and money artifacts from other countries.
  • Visit the Royal Canadian Mint. Have you ever wondered how coins are made? Find out at the Royal Canadian Mint, Canada's national mint, on historic Sussex Drive. Founded as a branch of the British Royal Mint in 1908, the Mint produces circulation coins for Canada and other countries, as well as commemorative coins sold worldwide. Since 1976, Canadian and foreign circulation coinage has been produced at the Royal Canadian Mint's production plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Admission is $6 per adult ($4.50 on weekends); $3 per child 5-17 ($2.25 on weekends); $5 per senior 65 and over ($3.75 on weekends); $15 per family (2 adults, 4 children; $11.25 on weekends). Children 4 and under are free.
  • Rideau Hall grounds are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sunset. Guided tours are offered daily in the high season and by reservation only in the winter.
  • The Supreme Court building is open daily (including weekends) from May 1 to August 31 for free tours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the rest of the year from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for guided tours by appointment only.
  • A great option for locals is to take advantage of the Museum privilege program at the Ottawa Public Library. The Library loans out family passes to several museums at no charge - all you need is a library card.


  • Canadian Museum of Civilization

  • It's easier than ever for visitors to explore many national cultural institutions and attractions-thanks to the Canada's Capital Museums Passport. At $35 per person, or $85 for a family of five (maximum two adults), taxes included, the Passport is valid for seven days from the first time it is used. The Passport is valid for admissions to the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canadian War Museum, National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada Science & Technology Museum, Canada Agriculture Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Royal Canadian Mint and Laurier House.
  • In addition, a valid Passport entitles users to a 20% discount on any of the National Arts Centre's Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre or French Theatre performances in the regular subscription series. Though they don't charge admission, Rideau Hall, the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada, the RCMP Musical Ride Centre and the Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park are also involved in the Passport program.
  • The Passport is available at the participating museums and the Capital Information Kiosk at 111 Albert Street just south of Parliament Hill. It's a cost-saving way to experience a wealth of cultural treasures while in the city.

Events
  • The Great Glebe Garage Sale is an annual event on a Saturday in late May sponsored by the Glebe Community Association. Hundreds of families in the upscale neighbourhood known as "the Glebe" participate. Plan to get there early to get the best bargains.
  • The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival (annually in late June) is a colourful two-day event that combines the excitement and competition of dragon boat races, multicultural food and entertainment, community spirit and charitable fundraising. Free admission to watch the races.


  • Dows Lake Pavilion

  • Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill - the only place to be on July 1 if you're Canadian, or even if you're not. Free concerts, short speeches by politicians, the Snowbirds, the Musical Ride, maple leaf "tattoos," face painting, fabulous fireworks, and everyone in a good mood.
  • International Museums Day features many exciting exhibits and events on May 18. On this day, many Ottawa museums usually offer free admission.
  • Doors Open Ottawa offers free admission to hundreds of architecturally or historically interesting buildings over two days in early June each year. See embassies, churches, maybe even a wind tunnel!
  • There's a free, bilingual Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill every night after dark between early July and early September. Huge images are projected onto the Parliament Buildings, using them as a giant screen. It's magnificent!
  • Christmas Lights Across Canada: The program lights up in early December and stays lit until early January. Hundreds of thousands of lights decorate Confederation Boulevard, which winds through downtown Ottawa and neighbouring Gatineau, illuminating federal attractions, historic sites and other locales.
  • Go to Winterlude. Every February, Canada's Capital Region is host to Winterlude, North America's greatest winter festival. Three fun-filled weekends of excitement and activity await the whole family! From spectacular ice carvings to an amazing playground made of snow, Winterlude is a great way to take in the best of our Canadian winter.


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Outer Banks, North Carolina


If you are familiar with Hatteras Island, you understand its appeal - stunning undisturbed beaches along with picturesque sunrises and sunsets are the trademarks of this magnificent strip of land. But what you may not know is that Hatteras Island is home to one of the finest Spas on the East Coast! Spa Koru is located in the center of Avon on Hatteras Island, and features a top-notch Spa, state-of-the-art Fitness Center, and cutting edge Salon, along with onsite luxury Villas. In addition to its Fitness Center, the Spa boasts a full schedule of daily fitness and Yoga classes, and is gaining recognition through the Spa Koru Yoga program as a retreat destination for couples, groups, and families! Spa Koru is coming off its fourth season, and has firmly established itself as a pillar to the wellness community on Hatteras Island. The next time you visit Hatteras Island, be sure to make Spa Koru part of your plans. For a full list of Spa services and descriptions, along with contact information for retreats, visit www.spakoru.com or call 252-995-3125!

FREE official card for Canadians can save you 15-20% or better on food, lodging and fun

Spa Koru

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Oxford County, ON


Photography and Nature Lovers
It's simply a slower pace here! With our gently rolling countryside, photographers could spend a whole month exploring Oxford back roads, trails and display gardens, and only make a small dent in the available photo opportunities. Keep your eyes open for our Amish friends' horse and buggies. Each year at our Oxford Beautiful Photography Awards Evening, we continue to be amazed at the new Oxford insights that we discover. To help you gain a sense of what we mean, did you know that there are a total of 321 species of birds recorded in the County. From annual migrations of tundra swans to resident, pileated woodpeckers, red tail hawks and great horned owls there are several breeds of songbirds and birds of prey that make their homes here. Wildflowers, berries and wild mushrooms are plentiful in this part of the Carolinian zone. With over a dozen public trails dotting the countryside, you'll have ample opportunity to take home exceptional images, year round. With changes in weather and changes in seasons, the scenery in Oxford is one of the best-kept secrets around.

Walking Trails
Hiking in Oxford is geared to people who enjoy nature and fresh air, so lace up your hiking boots and trek more than a dozen trails. Some trails travel through Carolinian forests, some through pine woodlots, or along riverbanks and lakeside, or near wetland conservation areas. Spring showers bring a profusion of wildflowers, including several varieties of trilliums. It's hard to beat the thrill of walking through a silent woodlot and hearing the sound of a pileated woodpecker nearby. The scent and sight of wild mushrooms is so earthy! During the winter months, the colourful leaves of autumn peek through the snow, and woodland trails still offer some visual stimulation in the various mosses and tree barks. And then, just as you think you can't stand another day of Winter, colourful fungi and emerging spring growth poke through the snow, signaling a full circle in the nature of things. Check out our website for details www.tourismoxford.ca

Studio Tours
As a hotbed of creative talent, Oxford County is home to several arts centres, galleries, artist studios and crafts guilds. Each year studio tours and art-in-the-park events showcase this talent. Each Fall, The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre alternates between a major quilting event and studio tours. Otterville Presents in July, and the Welcome Back to Otterville studio tour in November present great gift shopping opportunities. The Oxford Studio Tour during the first weekend in May is also a perfect opportunity to visit several artists' studios around the County.

This 'n That
  • Broadway in Tillsonburg is one of the widest main streets in Ontario.


  • The Elm Hurst Inn restaurant property was originally the family home of James Harris, one of the earliest Canadian cheese pioneers.


  • The Clog Steak & Seafood Grille structure was built in 1832 as the family home of Lord Strathcona. He drove the last spike in the cross-Canada railroad.


  • Woodstock is one of the few cities in Canada with all of its original public buildings still in place.
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Parry Sound, Ontario


Parry Sound

Consider including a visit to Parry Sound for a cruise among Georgian Bay's Thirty Thousand Islands region aboard the 550-passenger Island Queen. The Island Queen's three-hour cruise along the wild and rugged coast of Georgian Bay is one of Ontario's best kept summer secrets.

Although over 1.5 million people have taken the cruise since its inception in 1970, the attraction is probably better known in Europe and Asia than here in Ontario. A former RCMP officer, Mr. Anderson and his father Hugo started the Island Queen Cruise in 1970, after realizing that their water taxi service to the islands was beginning to be used more by tourists for sightseeing than by cottage owners for transportation. Parry Sound also offers the $15 million Charles W. Stockey Center for the Performing Arts on the waterfront, which houses the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame and the Festival of the Sound, an extremely popular summer music festival.

The Island Queen Cruise 1.800.506.2628 or: www.islandqueencruise.com.

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Pender Harbour, BC


Artists and artisans have long drawn inspiration from the magnificent landscapes and natural beauty of BC's Sunshine Coast. Motoko's Original Art Gallery in Pender Harbour is an incredible expression of culture, people, and memories in art. On a visit to Pender Harbour - nicknamed the "Venice of the North" because of its beautiful, intricate waterways - stop in at Motoko's gallery, known for her versatility and exquisite use of vibrant colour. She works in watercolours and acrylics and often uses a multi-media approach, resulting in a truly elegant and distinctive style. The beauty and diversity of nature and human emotions are Motoko's main subjects. Motoko's gallery is also part of the Purple Banner Route, which invites visitors in to view artists and artisans in their studios at work. Visit www.motokoart.com.

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Penetanguishene, Ontario


Discovery Harbour in historic Penetanguishene announces the Grand Re-opening of its 19th-century Officers' Quarters . The splendid Georgian Officers' Quarters, located at the north end of the historic site, was originally built by the British Military in 1836, and served as a home to military personnel stationed at the base to 1856. It was first opened to the public in 1954, but over the years suffered deterioration as it aged. A recent multi-year preservation and restoration project has now reached completion and this beautiful furnished heritage building will now be re-opened to the public. For information call (705) 526-7838 or visit www.discoveryharbour.on.ca

Discovery Harbour is operated by Huronia Historical Parks, and is an Attraction of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Free-or Almost Free


Historical Sites:
  • Snuggled behind the east wing of Independence Hall is Philosophical Hall, a brick building erected in the late 1780s that was the nation's first museum, national library and academy of science. Today, the site is home to the American Philosophical Society Museum, where changing exhibitions highlight the intersections of science, history and art. $1 donation encouraged. 104 S. 5th Street, (215) 440-3442, apsmuseum.org
  • The Betsy Ross House was the pint-sized Colonial home of Betsy Ross, who is credited with sewing the first American flag at the request of General George Washington. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children, but purchase of a $5 headset for the optional audio tour includes admission. 239 Arch Street, (215) 686-1252, betsyrosshouse.org
  • For a bird's-eye view of Philadelphia, visitors head to City Hall's observation deck, which sits just below the William Penn statue. Four-person tower tours take place every 15 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and cost $5 for adults, $4 for children and $3 for seniors. Broad & Market Streets, E. Market Street Portal, Room 121, (215) 686-2840
  • The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site was once home to the legendary writer who wrote short stories such as The Black Cat here. Visitors can examine rare books and letters owned by the writer and learn how Poe influenced today's literary heavy-hitters. Tours are self-guided or led by a park ranger from Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free. 7th & Spring Garden Streets, (215) 597-8780, nps.gov/edal
  • Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the U.S., is a quaint cobblestone alley located in Historic Philadelphia. Admission for a guided tour of the Museum House is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 to 12. A family pack costs $12, and children under 6 get in for free. Between Front & 2nd Streets and Arch & Race Streets, (215) 574-0560, elfrethsalley.org
  • Known as the birthplace of our nation, Independence National Historical Park includes free attractions such as the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall, the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Independence Visitor Center issues free, day-of tickets for Independence Hall. Visitors can also purchase advance tickets for $1.50 online or by phone. Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Chestnut Street between 5th & 6th Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde ; Visitor Center, 6th & Market Streets, (800) 537-7676, independencevisitorcenter.com ; advance tickets, (877) 444-6777, nps.gov/inde
  • Johnson House National Historic Site, a Quaker home in Germantown owned by four generations of the abolitionist Johnson family, was once a vital stop on the Underground Railroad. Today, the house displays various slavery-era artifacts and hosts lectures, art shows and other special programs. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and $4 for children, and hour-long guided tours are available. Reservations accepted. 6306 Germantown Avenue, (215) 438-1768, johnsonhouse.org
  • History buffs of all ages can enjoy Once Upon A Nation's free storytelling benches at 13 locations around Historic Philadelphia, including Christ Church, Franklin Square and Signers' Garden. Children can obtain a story flag at any bench, collect a star from each storyteller and exchange the flag complete with 13 stars for a certificate and coupon book at the Historic Philadelphia Center, Betsy Ross House or the Franklin Square Shop. Benches are open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Founded in 1751, Pennsylvania Hospital was the nation's first hospital. Today, visitors may explore the historic hospital, including the amphitheatre operating room used from 1804 through 1868. Tours are self-guided with a $4 donation, or visitors can call to schedule a guided tour. 8th & Spruce Streets, (215) 829-3370, uphs.upenn.edu/paharc
  • During free self-guided tours of the United States Mint, visitors check out coin production from 40 feet above the factory floor and see the nation's first coining press. Audio and video stations explain currency's history and modern programs. 151 Independence Mall East, (215) 408-0112, usmint.gov
  • The wintertime encampment of the Continental Army, Valley Forge National Historical Park offers a glimpse into the Revolutionary War with Washington's headquarters, memorial chapel, log huts, monuments and exhibits, as well as four free Once Upon A Nation storytelling benches. Visitors can explore the park by car, by bike or on foot guided by the park's free cell phone tours. Admission to the park, located a half-hour from Center City, and to Washington's Headquarters is free. Route 23 & N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, (610) 783-1099, nps.gov/vafo
Culture

Cultural Attractions:
  • For some serious savings on Philadelphia's most popular attractions, tour-goers can snag a CityPass, which includes access to six Philly favorites, including Adventure Aquarium, The Franklin Institute and Philadelphia Zoo, for $59 for adults and $39 for children-47% cheaper than forking over admission costs. The CityPass is valid for nine days beginning with the date of first use. What's more, it allows holders to skip to the front of the ticket line at most destinations. (888) 330-5008, citypass.com
  • The Chemical Heritage Foundation's museum and conference center may have taken $20 million to build, but visitors take in its exhibitions free of charge. Located in a former Civil War-era bank building, the 10,000-square-foot museum houses the permanent exhibition Making Modernity, showcasing hundreds of 18th- to 20th-century artifacts, including scientific objects, artwork, rare books and everyday objects that tell the stories of discoveries that shaped the modern world. 315 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2222, chemheritage.org
  • The Franklin Institute, Philly's family-friendly science museum, offers free admission on the third Wednesday of the month from 5:00-8:00 p.m. during Target Community Nights. Visitors enjoy free access to the Fels Planetarium, the Joel N. Bloom Observatory, 3-D shows in the Franklin Theater and interactive exhibitions like The Giant Heart and Sports Challenge. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
  • Located at Penn's Landing, Independence Seaport Museum houses interactive maritime exhibitions, including a working wooden boat shop. On Sundays from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, the museum invites visitors to pay as they wish. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard & Walnut Street, (215) 413-8655, phillyseaport.org
  • The Mummers Museum celebrates a centuries-old Philadelphia tradition, which can be traced back to Swedish settlers who brought to the Colonies their Christmas custom of dressing in costume and performing pantomimes. The annual parade started in South Philadelphia on New Year's Day in 1901 and has grown into an elaborate 10,000-person, all-day affair. Admission to the museum, featuring a rich collection of Mummer memorabilia, is $3.50 for adults, $2.50 for seniors and students with I.D. and $2.50 for children ages 12 and under. 1100 S. 2nd Street, (215) 336-3050, mummersmuseum.com
  • Through imaginative and interactive exhibitions, the National Liberty Museum reminds visitors of the heroes who devoted their lives to preserving liberty for all by recounting their stories. Also, a striking glass art collection depicts the fragile nature of freedom. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for students, $2 for children ages 5 to 17 and free for children under 5. The museum also offers a special rate of $15 for a family's admission, including two adults and all of their children. 321 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2800, libertymuseum.org
  • For Target First Wednesdays, Please Touch Museum® presents family fun at a discounted price every first Wednesday of the month. From 5:00-7:00 p.m., admission is only $2 and includes storytime, live puppet shows, interactive activities and more. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org
Art of all sorts:

Art

  • The Fabric Workshop and Museum is the nation's only non-profit organization that promotes innovative works in unusual materials from emerging artists. The two locations house permanent collections, display touring shows and host lectures. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children under 12. 1214 Arch Street, (215) 561-8888; 1222 Arch Street, (215) 568-1111, fabricworkshop.org
  • Starting at 5:00 p.m., Old City comes alive during First Friday when the neighborhood's 40-plus art galleries open their doors every first Friday of the month for free showings and, often, complimentary hors d'oeuvres. Most galleries are located between Front & 3rd Streets and Market & Vine Streets. (800) 555-5191, oldcityarts.org
  • The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, a working history museum in Bucks County, welcomes its visitors to watch the production of ornamental clay tiles using the same techniques used by Henry Mercer's employees in the early 20th century when the Tile Works was a fully functioning factory. Self-guided tours cost $4.50 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and $2.50 for children ages 7 to 17. 130 Swamp Road, Doylestown, (215) 345-6722, buckscounty.org/visitors
  • On the first Sunday of every month, the Philadelphia Museum of Art invites budget-conscious art lovers to pay what they wish for the opportunity to explore the impressive collections, including works by Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dalí, Himalayan artists and local luminaries such as Thomas Eakins. The museum also offers free podcasts that add perspective to the collections. 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  • Using items such as recycled glass and ceramic, mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar constructed one of the city's most eye-catching displays of public art-Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. Self-guided tours through the gallery space and sculpture garden are $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children under 5. The Mosaic Mural Walking Tour, which explores Zager's masterpieces on city buildings and homes around South Street, is $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Reservations recommended for the guided tour. 1020-1022 South Street, (215) 733-0390, phillymagicgardens.org
  • Housing the largest collection of works by Auguste Rodin outside of Paris, the Rodin Museum features treasures such as The Gates of Hell and a bronze caste for The Thinker. Docents offer guided tours at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, as well as on the first and third Saturdays of the month. A $5 donation is requested. 22nd Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 568-6026, rodinmuseum.org
  • Shofuso: Japanese House and Garden sits on the Horticultural Center grounds in Fairmount Park and includes a main house, a tea room, an ornamental garden and a landscaped pond filled with koi. Admission to Shofuso, which is open to the public May through October, includes a tour and costs $6 for adults and $3 for seniors and children ages 3 to 17; children under 3 get in for free. Lansdowne & Horticultural Drives, (215) 878-5097, shofuso.com
Performing Arts:
Performing Arts

  • Before each mainstage performance officially debuts, the Arden Theatre Company fulfills its commitment to making theater accessible to diverse audiences by opening the final dress rehearsal to the public. Attendees pay what they can or a suggested donation of $20 to see the full cast, full costumes and full scenery at this sneak preview with proceeds benefiting a Philadelphia charity. For regular performances, students with I.D. can pay $5 cash for available seats five minutes before the show begins. 40 N. 2nd Street, (215) 922-1122, ardentheatre.org
  • Music lovers can scope out future stars at the Curtis Institute of Music, where students perform solo and chamber works most Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings as part of the free Student Recital Series. 1726 Locust Street, (215) 893-5261, curtis.edu
  • Helium Comedy Club, one of the happiest places in Philadelphia featuring local and international funnymen and women, offers a $5 discount to students with I.D. for most shows on Wednesday through Friday evenings. Those who sign up on Helium's Web site receive four free tickets to a Wednesday or Thursday night show during their birthday month. 2031 Sansom Street, (215) 496-9001, heliumcomedy.com
  • Penny-pinching culture vultures catch InterAct Theater Company's thought-provoking shows at a discounted price during preview performances, scheduled before the official opening night. Students with I.D. can snag open seats for $15 five minutes before showtime. 2030 Sansom Street, (215) 568-8079, interacttheater.org
  • Music-philes can dance, listen and learn during free organ recitals, artist chats and concerts of all genres-some of which have audience members dancing along-during the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts' Free at the Kimmel series, offered intermittently throughout the year. In addition, $10 community rush tickets are available for every Kimmel Center Presents performance. Tickets are available at the Kimmel Center box office beginning at 5:30 p.m. for evening curtain time and at 11:30 a.m. for matinees. Limit one ticket per person. Free building and theater tours, offered Tuesday through Sunday at 1:00 p.m., also give visitors a behind-the-scenes look inside the majestic building. 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 670-2327, kimmelcenter.org
  • Macy's in Center City offers the signature shopping experience customers expect, but it also provides visitors with an unanticipated musical treat-the sounds of its spectacular pipe organ. Debuting at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, this 28,500-pipe organ now resides in a National Historic Landmark building where visitors can enjoy free 45-minute concerts daily. 1300 Market Street, (215) 241-9000, macys.com
  • PAFA Presents at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) highlights the breadth of Philadelphia's cultural and artistic treasures. Through partnerships with theaters, dance companies and musical groups, the academy hosts performances in its Historic Landmark Building that cost $10 for non-members and are free for members of PAFA or the participating cultural institution. Reservations required. 118 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-2011, pafa.org
  • The Walnut Street Theatre invites theater-goers to catch blockbuster shows at bargain prices. On performance day, remaining tickets are sold for $35 to the general public or for $15 to those under 24, active military and members of the entertainment industry with valid I.D. The theater also reserves 22 $10 full-view seats for every mainstage performance. 825 Walnut Street, (215) 574-3550, walnutstreettheatre.org
  • Big names such as Ryan Adams, Barenaked Ladies and the Indigo Girls have graced the stage during XPN's Free at Noon concert series, every Friday at noon at World Cafe Live. As the name implies, concerts are free; simply register for the event at xpn.org . Daily $8 lunch specials make this a perfect midday escape. 3025 Walnut Street, (215) 222-1400, worldcafelive.com
  • The ultimate in one-stop shopping for cultural savings comes from the phillyfunguide.com's free FunSavers e-mails. Every Thursday, subscribers receive discounted ticket offers for dozens of the hottest shows and events in the Philadelphia region, including theater, music and dance performances, museum exhibitions and more. phillyfunguide.com
Performing Arts

Special-Interest Tours & Attractions:
  • Part of the Bucks County Wine Trail, family-owned and folksy Buckingham Valley Vineyards offers tours and tastings six days a week that are self-guided and self-poured at no charge. Founded in the Philadelphia suburbs in 1968, Rushland Ridge Vineyard & Winery focuses on chambourcin, cabernet franc and chardonnay grapes and provides free tastings Thursday through Sunday. Buckingham, 1521 Route 413, Buckingham, (215) 794-7188, pawine.com ; Rushland, 2665 Rushland Road, Jamison, (215) 598-0251, rushlandridge.com
  • Philadelphia's spectacular Comcast Center, the tallest "green" building in the country, features a range of stunning viewing opportunities at no charge. Home to media giant Comcast, the 57-floor tower features The Comcast Experience, depicting realistic nature imagery, urban landscapes and much more on the largest four-millimeter LED screen in the world. The lobby also showcases a dramatic eight-story winter garden, featuring Humanity in Motion sculptures by world-famous artist Jonathan Borofsky. 17th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard, visitphilly.com/comcast
  • Along with two playgrounds and plenty of open space, Franklin Square, a revitalized city park named in honor of Ben Franklin, features a fountain, Philly-themed miniature golf and the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel. Mini golf: $8 for ages 13 and up, $6 for ages 3 to 12; Carousel: $3 for ages 13 and up, $2 for ages three to 12, free for children under two. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Visitors taking the free Herr's Snack Factory Tour can be assured that they won't be craving lunch. Factory visits finish with samples of chips, just out of the cooker. Route 272 & Herr Drive, Nottingham, (610) 932-1190, herrs.com
  • Nature lovers who tour Linvilla Orchards, a fully functioning, 300-acre farm, pick up some delicious goods at the year-round market, spot barnyard animals and head to the fields to pick their own fruits and veggies in season. Minimal costs for activities. 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, (610) 876-7116, linvilla.com
  • Museum Without Walls™ : AUDIO gives people an innovative, engaging and fun way to experience 35 outdoor sculptures along Kelly Drive and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Both art enthusiasts and recreational passersby can use their cell phones, audio downloads or streaming audio from the Web site to hear three-minute interpretive segments. About 100 authentic voices-those people personally connected to the works-reveal the untold histories of the public art. (215) 399-9000, museumwithoutwallsaudio.org
  • Tourists get from museums to historical sites in a flash by stepping aboard the purple Phlash trolley. Running May through October, the trolley is just $2 (free for children under 6 and seniors over 65) per ride and stops at 27 key locations around the city. A $5 all-day individual pass or a $10 all-day family pass give extra savings. Children under 5 and seniors ride free. (215) 389-TOUR, phillyphlash.com
  • The brew crew can sip suds at two local breweries, Yards Brewing Company and Philadelphia Brewing Co.-both of which offer free Saturday tours. Guests explore the facilities and learn how draughts go from barley to beer. Both guided tours run on Saturday afternoons and end in the tasting rooms. Yards, 901 N. Delawmare Avenue, (215) 634-2600, yardsbrewing.com ; PBC, 2423-2439 Amber Street, (215) 427-BREW, philadelphiabrewing.com
  • Visitors to Philadelphia can explore town with a knowledgeable guide when they download a SoundAboutPhilly® tour onto their MP3 players. Available at soundaboutphilly.com, the free, interactive and customizable audio tours offer insider tips from locals on where to go and what to know. The Web site integrates the audio with Google Maps to help people customize a map to match their selected tour. soundaboutphilly.com

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia's Avenue Of The Arts


Designated in 1993 by representatives of the region's business, political, community and arts leadership, the Avenue of the Arts is a stretch of more than four-and-a-half miles along the main artery of Broad Street that encompasses the recently built Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, as well as landmark establishments such as the historic Academy of Music and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2005. Along and around the Avenue, restaurants, shops and hotels enliven the busy thoroughfare, and just blocks away is the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, an arts and cultural hotspot that stretches from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Arts: Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), located north of City Hall, has been at the vanguard of American art since its inception. Home to works by Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins and Maxfield Parrish, America's oldest art school and museum long preceded the official designation of its address by training such notable artists as Mary Cassatt. Recently expanded, PAFA now hosts exhibitions in the beautifully restored Samuel M. V. Hamilton building.

In more recent times-2001 to be exact-the $265 million Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opened to great acclaim. It's now home to several of the city's prominent performing arts groups, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadanco, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops and the American Theater Arts for Youth. Just up the street is the venerable Academy of Music, which opened in 1857, making it the oldest opera house in the country and the current home of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Other performing arts venues located along the Avenue include the 300-seat Wilma Theater, showcasing innovative drama and musicals by national and local groups; the Merriam Theater, a 1,688-seat facility, offering a full schedule of dramatic and musical productions from local, university, regional and national companies; and Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and the Performing Arts, one of the country's premier organizations dedicated solely to jazz music, history and instruction. Within the district is the Prince Music Theater, named after legendary theater producer Hal Prince. The 300-seat venue presents a variety of American musical theater, as well as film and children's programming. Also calling the Avenue home is the University of the Arts, the only university in the U.S. devoted exclusively to education in design and the visual and performing arts, with a cadre of fine art galleries and performance spaces. On North Broad Street, Freedom Theatre is the nation's oldest and largest African American theatrical institution.

Hotels: From new construction to renovations of landmark buildings, hotels along and near the Avenue of the Arts, which is just blocks from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, offer visitors diversity in architecture, design, price and amenities.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia Hotel, a reconstruction of the exquisite, neo-classical domed Mellon/Girard Bank building, features a rotunda with public areas, two full-service restaurants and a bar. An adjacent tower houses 331 rooms, a tobacco lounge and the Ritz Carlton Club, a private lounge with dramatic skyline views and private access to 45 club rooms and suites.
  • The 172-room Park Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday, is located in a magnificently restored National Historic Landmark building and features one of the city's most memorable views from its newly renovated 19th-floor restaurant.
  • The 500-room Courtyard by Marriott, Philadelphia Downtown is located in the site that was formally the City Hall Annex, just off Broad and Market Streets. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Courtyard has the best of contemporary comforts as a full-service hotel.
  • The 270-room, Art Deco-style Residence Inn Philadelphia Center City, in the former Market Street National Bank, offers extended-stay rooms ranging from studios to one- and two-bedroom suites that include a fully equipped kitchen, as well as meeting space and fitness facilities.
  • The 425-room Doubletree Hotel offers visitors full-service amenities, as well as a spectacular view of the Academy of Music.
Restaurants: Eating on Avenue of the Arts has never been better. Broad Street features some of the area's best steak houses, with local luminary hangout The Palm, and the elegant, club-like Capital Grille-not to mention outposts of the popular Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Morton's of Chicago chains-nearby. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant flies in its fish daily from coastal waters around the world. Sharing the same building at Broad and Locust are Sotto Varalli, also serving seafood, and Upstares at Varalli, where Italian fare is dished out high atop Broad Street. Inside The Kimmel Center, Cadence is a convenient option for a pre-theater meal. The dramatic Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia Hotel boasts 10 Arts, with fine dining and an excellent wine list. On the culinary cutting edge, Bliss was recently recognized by Esquire magazine for its new American cuisine and soothing atmosphere. Inside the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue is Nineteen, a 19th floor hotspot that redefines hotel restaurants thanks to giant pearls that drip from the dining room ceiling, a thoroughly luxe living room lounge and an innovative menu. Downstairs, The Food Court at the Bellevue provides a quick bite for shoppers and strollers. Nearby, the Rittenhouse Square area offers outdoor cafes, four-star restaurants and upscale bars-with critical mass along and around Walnut Street and Rittenhouse Square.

Shops: Shopping options on and off the Avenue are constantly expanding, and with no sales tax on clothing the temptation to shop is irresistible. Visitors will find flagship stores for Banana Republic and Tower Records, plus Borders Books and Music and Robinson Luggage. The chic, upscale shops in the Bellevue include Nicole Miller, Tiffany & Co., Polo Ralph Lauren, Origins and Williams-Sonoma. Just off the Avenue, Rittenhouse Row's shopping and dining district seems to grow by the day with both nationally known shops and locally owned boutiques, including Ann Taylor, Gap, Knit Wit, Kenneth Cole, Joan Shepp, Bluemercury, Waterworks, Puma, Ubiq, Diesel, Kiehl's, Urban Outfitters, MAC, Coach, Children's Boutique, Children's Place and Barnes & Noble.

Address Book

The Arts

The Arts: Hotels:

Hotels

Restaurants:

Restaurants

Shops:

Shops


Philadelphia, Pennsylvanian


Art Rock Stars Paint Philly Fantastic In 2011: Art Groupies Can Ogle The Swoon-Worthy Works Of da Vinci, Chagall, Rembrandt & Others

2011 is the year of art rock stars in Philadelphia, where an impressive lineup of works by some of the world's greatest artists will adorn museum walls throughout the year. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will host major exhibits by Rembrandt, Chagall and Capucci. The Franklin Institute will dabble in da Vinci. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will showcase the works of Eakins, Rush, Duchamp and others in a showing of art-meets-science masterpieces. And The Barnes Foundation will welcome visitors to see a staggering number of Matisses, Renoirs and Picassos before it closes in June in preparation for a move to Philadelphia. Here's a look at the big-name artists whose work will appear in Philly over the year ahead:

One-Name Wonders:
  • Da Vinci - Museum-goers will stand in awe of Leonardo da Vinci's visionary work and concepts-including gigantic flying machines, robots, weapons of war and mechanical devices-when the Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop exhibit begins its run at The Franklin Institute. February 5-May 22, 2011. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
  • Chagall - On display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Paris through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle focuses on the paintings that Marc Chagall made between 1910 and 1920, including the masterpiece Half Past Three (The Poet), as well as the works of emigré artists who supported one another's artistic endeavors in Paris before World War II. March 1- July 10, 2011. 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  • Capucci - A fashionista's dream, Roberto Capucci: Art into Fashion commemorates the Italian couture designer who shook up the fashion scene with his groundbreaking silhouettes and unparalleled use of color. The exhibit, on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, includes 80 works, film clips and images from the world's best fashion photographers and is the first compilation of Capucci's work in the U.S. March 16-June 5, 2011. 26th Street & the Ben Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  • Rembrandt - The Philadelphia Museum of Art brings together for the first time eight paintings of Jesus by Rembrandt and his pupils, as well as 50 related works in Rembrandt and the Faces of Jesus. The artist created a stir when he depicted ethnographically correct figures, as opposed to the non-Jewish-looking figures that dominated Christian art at the time. August 3- October 30, 2011. 26th Street & the Ben Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
The More, The Merrier:
  • Medical Mavens - The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' Anatomy/Academy explores the science of the body as visualized by big-time artists in the world of American Realism, sculpture and Surrealism, including Thomas Eakins, William Rush and Marcel Duchamp. Coinciding with the return to the museum of Eakins's famed The Gross Clinic, the exhibit concentrates on case studies in which artists, scientists and doctors focused on issues in anatomy from 1805-1918. January 29-April 17, 2011. 128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org
  • French Impressionists - Art lovers have until June 2011 to see Albert Barnes' world-renowned collection in its original home before the museum closes in preparation for its move to downtown Philadelphia. (In its final months at the original location, visitors can take advantage of expanded hours Thursday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Part of the widely recognized allure of The Barnes Foundation collection, which comprises Matisses, Renoirs and Picassos, is the seemingly haphazard yet meticulous manner Barnes chose to display his priceless artwork throughout his suburban manor home. The new museum will recreate the layout when it opens in 2012. Advance tickets required. 300 N. Latch's Lane, Merion, (610) 667-0290, barnesfoundation.org
All-Access Pass To Soon-To-Be Art Stars:
  • Philadelphia Art Students - The 110th Annual Student Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the country's oldest and largest art museum and school, previews the works of third- and fourth-year art students-and future art stars. May 13-June 5, 2011. 128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org
Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationUS.html



Port Colborne, ON


Port Colborne

Haunting at Roselawn:
Ghosts? In Port Colborne? Hard to believe for some, but actors, staff and visitors report a series of ghostly sounds and sights at the renowned Roselawn Centre for the Living Arts - a beautifully restored 19th Century mansion located in the heart of the City. In recent years, the mystique surrounding Port Colborne's most treasured landmark appears to be getting as much attention for its alleged haunting as its award winning VQA Wine Bar, Heritage Dining Room and Canadian Author Series. Ghostly apparitions, unexplained footsteps, and flickering lights are just some of the events making headlines at the Roselawn Centre.

John Savoie, paranormal investigator and author of Shadows of Niagara investigated the historic building as one of Niagara's Top Haunts. "Our investigation revealed a female entity, a female child entity, an older gentlemen in the basement area, and four spirits in the attic - a male, a female, a teenage boy and again a younger girl", said Savoie. "In fact, on our investigation, the female ghost placed a comforting hand on my shoulder."

Many believe Roselawn's hallways are haunted by Charles Steele, a former resident and former Mayor. But according to Savoie, the Mayor decided not to make himself known. "Overall, Roselawn is one of Niagara's top haunted locations because the ghosts that are there interact with the living," said Savoie. "The entities that are there are caring and express an interest to what is happening with the historical building." Clearly, a common sentiment shared by ghosts and residents alike.

For more information on the Roselawn Centre for the Living Arts, visit their website at http://www.portcolborne.ca/page/roselawn_theatre. For inquiries: Port Colborne Tourism & Special Events 905.835.2901.111.
Fiddleheads
Norcliff Fiddlehead Farm:
NorCliff Farms is the largest grower, packer and distributor of fresh, frozen and marinated Wild Harvested Fiddlehead Greens in the world. Nick Secord has taken 40 acres of swamp and planted 250,000 ostrich ferns that produce an ALL CANADIAN vegetable that is grown free of harmful chemicals and pesticides. www.norcliff.com

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Portugal


Portugal for free: the top ten tourist activities

1. Castles - Portugal boasts more per capita than any other nation, and most are free to the public! In the Middle Ages, Portugal sat at a crossroads of cultures, with hostile Moors to the south and rival Spanish kingdoms to the east. Hence the need for fortifications.

The Castle of Guimarâes overlooks Campo de Sâo Mamede, a monument symbolic of the struggle for independence. Other free castles include the fortifications of Palmela, Lousâ, Evora, Marvâo, Castelo Bom, Penela, Almeida plus many others. Unlike European counterparts, the Portuguese learned the art of fortification from the master builders, the Romans and the Moors.

2. Cathedrals - God's house is free, thus hundreds of historic churches and cathedrals across Portugal are yours for free, but some may charge slightly to visit the cloisters or sacristy. Witness 1,000 years of architecture with rich gold and silver ornamentation, remarkable woodwork and sculpture, and tombs of priests, warriors, kings, and everyday people. Manuel I was crowned king in 1495 and just two years later - the same year that the explorer Vasco da Gama set sail for India - King Manuel sealed his legacy with the construction of a beautiful church in Setúbal. This project is seen as the birth of the Manueline architectural style for which Portugal has become famous.

3. Festivals - Festivals are a popular way to celebrate religious and general holidays. From Lisbon's Popular Marches to Coimbra's celebration of the Saint, Queen Isabel in July, to the Sao Pedro Festival, late spring to fall, these festivals and celebrations are free to all. Attending a traditional festival (festa) is a great way to absorb Portuguese culture and get to know the locals. Coimbra hosts one of the biggest student parties in Europe. The Queima da Fitas (burning of the ribbons) lasts for 8 days, one for each University of Coimbra's colleges. There are open-air concerts, parades, and many cultural events for the public to enjoy. This culminates with a massive burning of the ribbons, symbolizing the end of the student's stay at the old university. The finale is held in a square in front of the Romanesque city cathedral, with hundreds of students signing and celebrating their entrance into the professional world. This ancient academic festival, held to celebrate graduation from the nation's oldest university (founded in 1288), takes place at the end of the second semester in early May.

In June, Lisbon celebrates its popular saints. Parades and festivities enliven the city's nights in its historic center and neighborhoods such as Castelo, Mouraria, Graça, Alfama, Ajuda and Bairro Alto. Decorated with lanterns, colorful arches, and costumes, the streets are filled with singing and dancing. Grilled sardines are served on every street corner and basil pots are decorated with verses dedicated to Saint Anthony, the city's patron saint.

4. City Parks - From the sweeping vistas of the Sao Pedro de Alcantara Park in Lisbon, to the charming and stylish paths of the ancient Mata de Santa Cruz in Coimbra to the breathtaking Garden of the Episcopal Palace in Castelo Branco - Portugal's hundreds of city parks, rich in heritage and monuments, are free. The handsome Garden of the Episcopal Palace in Castelo Branco is built on a renaissance plan with baroque decorations, one of the most beautiful baroque gardens in Portugal. It contains statues of kings and zodiacal signs, arranged around ponds, terraces and staircases.

5. Beaches - with more than 500 miles of clean Atlantic coast, Portuguese beaches are a wonderful tonic for swimming, surfing, and sun. The Blue Flag symbolizes environmental quality and is awarded annually to beaches and marinas assessed against strict criteria. Portugal claims more than 300 miles of sandy beaches, and some of the best weather in Europe in which to enjoy them. From the warm water of the Algarve to the healing sands at Porto Santo, Portuguese beaches are most hospitable.

6. The Cacilheiro - Okay, not really free, but only 95 cents! These orange boats travel from Lisbon to Cacilhas, and they provide breathtaking views of Lisbon from the river.

7. Museums on Sundays and Holidays until 2 p.m. Children under 14 years old are free and there is a 50% discount for seniors.

8. Lisbon's historic trolley #28 -begins in Graça and descends to the river. The cost is a mere 2.50 Euros (or purchase a one-day metro ticket for 3.95 Euros) and you pay the fare directly to the driver. Lisbon's #28 trolley crosses the city from east to west, climbing away from the center through the narrow cobbled streets and steep gradients of the Bairro Alto, Baixa, and Alfama districts. The small vintage trolley navigates tight turns past markets, restaurants, and churches and the like. You can get off in the Graça neighborhood and catch a #37 bus to the Castelo de São Jorge, where you can enjoy views of the whole city. www.carris.pt

9. The running of the bulls on Terceira. The popular 'touradas à corda' are held in the streets. From the 16th Century, the 'touradas à corda' (bullfights by rope) are held by local Terceira villagers from April/May to late September. Similar to the 'Running of the Bulls,' a bull is let loose from the town's square (or other open space) with a very long rope around its neck. Participants risk life and limb getting close. Following these 'games,' a festival ensues.

10. The Levadas on Madeira - "Levada" is derived from "levar" - which means to carry and is roughly translated as "carriageway," but more correctly defined as mini-canal. The mini-canals are irrigation systems developed to distribute water from heavy rainfall and wet regions on the north of Madeira island to the drier sun-parched regions of the south. The Levada "Walks" are walking trails along the maintenance paths beside the Levadas. Although the Levadas were constructed primarily for agricultural/industrial use, they are important for tourists and local people who want to enjoy outdoor activities inaccessible by car. Madeira's levadas are famous worldwide and one of the main reasons why people arrive there. They offer extraordinary scenery through the Laurisilva forests - indigenous to the island. Being volcanic and mountainous, the combination of tropical climate and mountainous terrain makes Madeira a perfect location for walks, hikes and trekking.

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Québec (biking)


A tour along Quebec's Route Verte has cyclists veering off trails and quiet country lanes to pack their panniers - and their tummies - with more than Gatorade. Thighs burning, salty beads of sweat pour down your face as you ascend the peak. Go ahead, fancy yourself on the Tour de France. The Bordeaux-like setting certainly fits the bill. But wait, there's an atelier here, a cheese shop there. Why hurry? Quebec's new Route Verte ("green road") opened in August 2007. The network of cycling trails and walking paths, resurfaced roadways and country roads links the province. Its 4,300 km (2,700 mi) yield picturesque orchards, quaint wineries, toney art galleries, boutique chocolatiers and restaurants at every turn.

Route Verte

Twelve years ago, Jean-François Pronovost, executive director of Montréal, QC-based cycling org Vélo Québec Association, started advocating what is today the 40% dedicated bikepath/60% on-road Route Verte. The Government of Quebec and Ministry of Transport jumped onboard. "It's part of a movement of people who want to have an active vacation," says Pronovost. "We've shown there is a market."

The route covers 16 regions, meandering through some 320 municipalities. Optimal timing is May and September. A three- to four-day Montréal-Trois-Rivieres-Québec City leg is one option. From Farnham to Danville, the 225-km (140-mi) Véloroute des Cantons snakes through the enchanting Eastern Townships. Take a part of the Route des vins in the Brome-Missisquoi region to sip your way through vineyards and savour locally crafted sweets at the Musée du chocolat. Excursionists can challenge the hilly terrain at the Bromont, Coaticook and East Hereford en route. Bunk at a series of charming B&Bs along the way. Santé!

That's French for, "Let's go!"

www.routeverte.com/rv/ang/index.lasso   www.easterntownships.org   www.bonjourquebec.com/ca-en/accueil0.html

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Québec (Cheese)


Cheese

Open a package, and the powerful aroma permeates the room. Put a slice in your mouth, and you get the sensation of an incredible floral explosion. This is a masterpiece of a cheese that could easily stand up to some of the finest Old World cheeses. And it does.

Quebec cheese masters, such as Luc Mailloux, are equal parts skilled artisan and exacting perfectionist. Before putting one of his fine cheeses on the market, Mailloux made more than 8,000 wheels of it until he felt it was just right. And after his Saint-Basile debuted, none other than the great Paul Bocuse (father of nouvelle cuisine and one of the finest French chefs of the 20th century) declared he was unable to find its equal among French cheeses, so outstanding and unique was Saint-Basile.

While Mailloux's products are clearly exceptional, demand for Quebec cheeses in general is growing, both in Quebec and abroad. Whether of cow's, goat's or ewe's milk, Quebec cheeses are taking up prime shelf space at upscale grocery stores, on the menus of leading North American chefs and on the dinner tables of the most demanding connoisseurs.

"Who would have ever thought that one day there'd be nearly as many Quebec cheeses in our supermarkets as there are imported ones?" asks the late Jules Roiseux in his guide to the province's cheeses, Le Guide complet des fromages du Québec. "And that many of our cheeses, especially our raw-milk cheeses, would be served in the finest restaurants in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York?"

From small-scale artisanal outfits to sizeable producers, cheese making operations have sprouted like mushrooms in Quebec in the last few decades, "a unique phenomenon in the world," say Richard Bizier and Roch Nadeau in their Répertoire des fromages du Québec (directory of Quebec cheeses). Bizier and Nadeau are among many experts who contend that nowhere else in North America are so many fine cheeses being produced.

Here's the trick: a combo of high-quality milk mixed with the inventiveness and skill of local masters. While famous French and European cheeses have clearly inspired some, others are entirely original. For example, Quebec producers might rub their cheeses with strong Québécois beer, wash them with mead or smoke them with maple wood.

They tend to give their cheeses witty names, or names that pay homage to the beauty or history of a region: Migneron de Charlevoix, Pied-De-Vent from the Îles de la Madeleine, Coureur des Bois from Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, Riopelle de l'Île from Île aux Grues, Diable aux Vaches from Mont-Laurier, Fumirolle from Côte de Beaupré, Sieur Corbeau des Laurentides, and Tarapatapom from Knowlton.

Cheese

French roots

Cheese making has a long history in Quebec. Canadian cheese making began after Jacques Cartier imported the first French cows to New France in 1541. But a real industry didn't get off the ground until the 19th century, when artisans in Quebec and across Canada gradually took up the trade.

In 1850, a farm in Sault-au-Récollet, QC, started producing Crème de Beloeil, a sort of Québécois Camembert. In 1893, the monks of Oka, a small Quebec village, began turning out cheeses that are today among the most esteemed of Quebec cheeses. In 1895, Fromagerie Perron was founded, and is still in operation (its original building, classified as a historic monument, now houses a museum). A few years later, the Benedictine monks of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac and the nuns of Mont-Laurier also dipped into fromage making.

But the proliferation of real establishments, especially small-scale artisan operations, is a much more recent trend. André Fouillet, author of À la découverte des fromageries du Québec, which covered more than 70 Quebec cheese producers when it was published in 1998, attributes the phenomenon chiefly to growing demand from locals. "They had begun to travel a lot more, especially to France, where they discovered there were all sorts of products of the soil," he says. "And they started wondering why there was so little of that kind of thing back home."

Today Quebecers have precious little to complain about on that score. The number of local cheeses has multiplied, and the province now boasts some 100 cheese producers scattered throughout every region (La Route gourmande des fromages fins du Québec brochure lists about 50 in 14 regions). Some offer tours and others don't, but all open to anyone who wants to sample or take home some cheese.

Fromagerie au Village: 45, Notre-Dame Ouest, Lorrainville (Abitibi), 819-625-2255. Try Le Cru du Clocher, a succulent aged cheddar made with raw milk.

Les Fromages de l'Érablière: 1580 Eugène-Trinquier, Mont-Laurier (Laurentians), 819-623-3459. Try Le Cru des érables, a raw-milk cheese ripened with an "acéritif" (aperitif made with maple water).

Fromagerie Oka: 1400 Chemin Oka, Oka (Laurentians), 450-479-6396. The first-ever fine Quebec cheeses were made at this Trappist monastery in 1893.

La Biquetterie: 470 Route 315, Chénéville (Outaouais), 819-428-3061. Try their exquisite hand-ladled goat cheeses. Fromagerie du Champ à la Meule: 3601 Principale, Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes (Lanaudière), 450-753-9217. Makers of Victor et Berthold, one of the most celebrated Quebec cheeses.

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser: 459 4eme Concession, Noyan (Montérégie), 450-294-2207. Cheeses include La Tomme de M. Séguin, made with half goat's milk and half cow's milk.

Fromagerie Au gré des champs: 400 Rang Saint-Édouard, Saint-Athanase (Montérégie), 450-346-8732. Try: Au gré des champs and D'Iberville, raw-milk cheeses made with milk from cows fed on certified-organic wildflowers and grasses.

Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey: 1 Rue Principale, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac (Eastern Townships), 819-843-4336 or 1-877-343-4336 toll-free. Steeped in history and as famous for its setting as its many cheeses. Bleu Bénédictin won the 2006 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in the blue cheese category.

Fromage Côté: 80 Rue Hôtel-de-ville, Warwick (Bois-Francs), 819-358-3300. Specializes in washed-rind cheeses, including Cantonnier de Warwick and Sir Laurier d'Arthabaska. Triple Crème Du Village de Warwick was awarded the 2006 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in the soft cheese category.

Bergerie La Moutonnière: 3690 Rang No 3, Sainte-Hélène-de-Chester (Bois-Francs), 819-382-2300. Billed as the first and only farm to make ewe's-milk cheeses on site.

Cheese Fromagerie Île-aux-Grues: 210 Chemin du Roy, Île aux Grues (Chaudière-Appalaches), 418-248-5842. Try Mi-Carême, a raw-milk soft cheese, and Riopelle de l'Île, named after the illustrious painter who often vacationed on the island.

Maison d'affinage Maurice Dufour: 1339 Mgr de Laval, Baie-Saint-Paul (Charlevoix), 418-435-5692. Makes Migneron (winner of the 2002 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix) and Ciel de Charlevoix, a heavenly raw-milk blue cheese.

Fromagerie Perron: 156 av. Albert-Perron, Saint-Prime (Lac-Saint-Jean), 418-251-3164 or 1-866-251-3164. Venerable producer of an internationally renowned cheddar.

Ferme Chimo: 1705 Boul. de Douglas, Gaspé (Gaspésie), 418-368-4102. Makes unique goat's milk cheeses.

Fromagerie du Pied-De-Vent: 149 Chemin de la Pointe-Basse, Havre-aux-Maisons, Îles de la Madeleine, 418-969-9292. Makers of the famous Pied-De-Vent cheese.

www.bonjourquebec.com


La Route gourmande des fromages fins du Québec brochure is available for free at Tourisme Québec information centres throughout the province, or call 1-877-266-5687 or 1-514-873-2015.

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Québec (Cider)


Cider The grass is a tender green. The perfume of apple blossoms sweetens the spring air. The time is ripe for a cider tasting sojourn through picture-pretty Quebec. Heck, summer and fall aren't too bad either. In fact, don't miss any chance to sample this fizzy, tangy, amber elixir of which the Québécois are unrivalled masters.

It all came about in the 20's when a legal loophole rendered cider drinking illegal in a province fond of the libation made of apples. Of course, absence made the yearning palates grow fonder. So when the province legalized cider in the early 70s, Québécois downed some 52 million litres in 1974 alone. In the 80s, forward-thinking aficionados revived high-quality artisan production. They hit a chord. And in 1998, the you-drive-it Route des Cidres was born in Montérégie, south and west of the island-city Montréal.

Today Quebec is home to 20 small cidreries, and the brew just keeps getting tastier. The Quebec climate yields fruitier, juicier, more fragrant apples, says Robert Demoy, a Brittany-born, Bordeaux-trained Frenchman turned Quebec cider-meister. Colleague Michel Jodoin applied French champagne-fermentation principles for the unique "Méthode Jodoin." Whether conjuring sparkling or still, alcoholic or non, even an "ice-cider" offshoot harvested after the first frost, this new generation is honing the craft into an art form. All this means, a bubbly tour on the Cider Route is a must for any self-respecting foodie. Santé! www.tourisme-monteregie.qc.ca   www.tourisme-cantons.qc.ca   www.bonjourquebec.com

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Québec City, PQ (Maple Syrup)


A pot of pure maple syrup bubbles over the campfire. When the candy thermometer hits the magic mark (about 114º C or 238º F), the cook pours the steaming syrup into snow-filled trenches, where it hisses and cools into a sticky maple candy ready to be twirled onto a twig. Along with sleigh rides, maple-grove hikes, cross-country skiing and live music, this maple taffy lollipop is a must-try on the Québec City, QC, Maple Syrup region's romantic "sugar-shack" tour - a trip back into three centuries of Quebec's maple sugar culture. At Érablière Le Chemin du Roy, a "sugar house" once famously owned by Montréal Canadian NHL hockey player Guy Lafleur, feast on an all-you-can-eat French-Canadian meal inside a historic shack built in 1925. Traditional sugar-shack fare harkens back to Quebec's early peasant farmers, originators of hearty dishes such as pea soup, tourtière, buckwheat pancakes and sugar pie.

But it's not all confectionary concoctions when it comes to French-Canadian cuisine. Québecois chefs lead the continent in regional cuisine celebrating the bounty of fresh, local ingredients - hundreds of varieties of artisan cheese, local cider and wine, farmed game, blueberries, maple-everything, spices and artisan-crafted chocolate. Lobsters are pulled from nearby waters.

The ultimate epicurean adventure in la belle province? The Charlevoix region, a short, picturesque drive from Québec City. La Route des Saveurs de Charlevoix, or the Flavour Trail, visits 21 food producers and 23 restaurants. The route is marked by orange wooden signs with a white chef's toque. Expect food so fresh, the lamb on your plate was recently grazing just outside the window. Bon appetit!

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Reinvented towns


Reinvented towns

Canmore, Alberta:
Was a mining town going to pot until the Calgary Olympic facilities put it on the map as an outdoor Mecca.

Chemainus, British Columbia:
Used murals to launch a tourism industry when the local lumber mill closed down.

Flin Flon, Manitoba:
A mining town that used its mine shafts to grow medicinal marijuana.

Francois, Newfoundland:
A small outport (population 140) on the south coast that wouldn't say die. The only way in is by ferry. There are no cars in Francois; the main drag is a boardwalk. In spite of a downturn in the fishery, there is 99 percent rate of employment. People work the oil rigs, teach, make crafts, sell hardware/food/supplies, have B&Bs and provide eco tours.

Glen Williams, Ontario:
Near Georgetown, a former knitting mill on the Credit River, it became home to the Williams Mill a tourist draw with all sorts of designers, painters, potters, and a great glass blowing studio.

Hedley, BC:
Between Princeton and Penticton, it was a famous and lucrative gold mining town with a mine that literally clings to the side of a mountain immediately above the town. The mine ran full blast from the late 1800s to the mid-50s. One thing that makes the town very distinctive apart from its dramatic geography nestled in a very steep-sided valley with a wide chalky green river running through it is the fact that the only tourism accommodation is beautifully renovated mining mansions and employee houses, and many of the mining facilities are being restored as living museums of gold mining in the area. Another thing that makes Hedley unusual in Canada is that the Upper Similkameen Indian Band now has control of the mine site and much of the surrounding area which it is taking strong initiatives to turn into both a world class gold mining tourism town: Mascot Gold Mine, http://www.mascotmine.com/ and a native cultural tourism town with an outstanding museum, the Snaza'ist Centre, and some petroglyphs and native ochre mining sites covering their thousands of years resident in the area.

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan:
Lost its train service but not its population when a local resident convinced folks to build the Temple Garden Minerals Hotel and Spa Complex.

Shelburne, Nova Scotia:
It lost a lot of businesses with the close of the ground fisheries, followed by the closure of the Naval Base. Then, the Boys School closed etc. It was pretty grim for awhile but a couple of things happened. The Scarlet Letter was filmed there and people took a renewed pride in their town which includes 16 original buildings dating from 1785, more than Halifax or Saint John. Now there are fabulous restaurants, Inns, museums, and the citizens have done some amazing things there including building a multipurpose facility Marina/Theater.

St. Jacobs, Ontario:
Was declining badly due to mall competition from Kitchener but a businessman, Milo Schantz, opened an upscale restaurant and Mennonite culture interpretation centre; other businesses followed, and now the town is one of Ontario's most popular day trip destinations.

Val Jalbert, Quebec:
A mill town, sat abandoned for 40 years before the Quebec government acquired the site and turned into a "ghost town" park.



Richmond Hill, Ontario


    Richmond Hill
  • The first Harvey's restaurant in Canada was (and still is) at 9471 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill.


  • The Black Hole was discovered here at the David Dunlap Observatory in 1971 by resident Tom Bolton.


  • Richmond Hill is home to five golf courses: Richmond Hill Golf & Country Club, Summit Golf & Country Club, Bathurst Glen Golf Club, Bloomington Downs Golf Club, and DiamondBack Golf Club.


  • Richmond Hill has been home (and still is to some) to many professional and Olympic athletes like: Trish Stratus (wrestler), Elvis Stojko (figure skater), Emanuel Sandhu (figure skater), Tracy Wilson and the late Rob McCall (ice dancers), Karen Cockburn (trampoline), Marci Bernholtz (gymnastics), Ada Charlotte Mackenzie (golf), George Seymour Lyon (golf), and Michael Cammalleri (hockey).


  • Richmond Hill's Ed Sackfield Arena is only one of a handful of Olympic-size ice rinks in Ontario.


  • Actors R.H. Thompson and Mag Ruffman are from Richmond Hill.


  • Richmond Hill has a park named "Alias Grace" after a Margaret Atwood book with a ghost that some claim still haunts the area.


  • Children's book author Gordon Korman grew up here ("This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall").


  • Famous waterfall architect, Dan Euser, lives in Richmond Hill (famous for building the waterfall that will be part of the World Trade Center memorial, built a full-scale model over 30' in his backyard; also designed the waterfall at Richmond Green in Richmond Hill).


  • Local theatre group, The Curtain Club, was host to the first five seasons of the Royal Canadian Air Farce radio show beginning in 1973.


  • Town of Richmond Hill is the first municipality in Ontario to have its entire Engineering & Public Works Department registered to the International Organization for Standardization ISO 14001 standard.
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Rideau Canal: Fast Facts


Rideau Canal

Number of locks: 47
Number of lock stations: 24
Length of canal: 202 km (125 miles)
First official opening: Summer of 1832
Estimated travel time (one way): 3 to 5 days (motor boat), 6 to 10 days (paddling)
Season of operation: Mid May to late October
Number of land based visitors: 1 - 1.4 million annually
Most utilized locks (by boat): Narrows (6921 in 2005), Newboro (6456 in 2005)
Services: Most lock stations provide washrooms, parking for bicycles, first-aid, overnight dockage and picnic facilities, including tables, benches and barbecue grills.

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Roanoke Island, NC


The oldest grapevine in America continues to bear fruit for the Outer Banks, where its sweet white Scuppernong grapes are found naturally nowhere else. Mother Vine Premium Scuppernong Wine was introduced to the world at a ceremony on Roanoke Island, where the Mother Vine has been cultivated dating back 400 plus years. The first English colony in the New World, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, landed on Roanoke Island in 1584 and described "grapes of such greatness, yet wild, that France, Spain nor Italy hath not greater." The Scuppernong variety of Muscadine grape Vitis rotundifolia is North Carolina's official state fruit.

David Fussell, whose Duplin Winery is bottling the new wine from cultivated clippings, thinks the heritage and biology of the Mother Vine is deserving of international recognition. "I've been growing grapes since 1972, and there's nothing else in the world like it. Every Scuppernong grape can trace its roots back to this vine. It could be whole lot older. It is an absolutely spectacular specimen." Whether the vine was planted by the first colonists, or indigenous Native Americans, or developed naturally and then was cultivated, no one really knows for sure.

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Saskatchewan (20 Reasons to Visit)

Downtown Regina

1. Home of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is Canada's national police force, and it's one of the most respected and well-known law-enforcement agencies in the world. The RCMP's "Depot" Division located in Regina is considered the "Cradle of the Force," because all RCMP members receive their training here. The RCMP Heritage Centre offers a compelling, entertaining and educational experience that enthralls visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Guests gain a better understanding of both the distinguished history and the wide range of activities carried out by one of the world's great police forces.

2. World-class Fishing - Over 100,000 lakes and rivers provide the perfect backdrop for anglers in search of world-class freshwater fishing. It's here that 18-pound walleye, 70-pound lake trout, and 54-inch northern pike have been landed.

3. Saskatchewan Roughriders - The Saskatchewan Roughrider football club is one of the most celebrated professional sports teams in Canada. Legions of loyal Roughrider fans literally wear their Rider Pride on their sleeves. Despite playing in the Canadian Football League's (CFL) smallest market, the team sells four-times the merchandise of any team in the CFL.

4. Paddlers Paradise - For avid canoeists and kayakers, Saskatchewan ranks as one of the world's great adventure destinations. With plentiful water bodies and extensive river systems, there are endless opportunities for water recreation. More than 50 documented canoe routes have been researched, recorded and compiled online.

5. More greens for less green - With over 250 beautiful and challenging courses, Saskatchewan is a golfer's paradise. From long prairie fairways to the rolling hills and lakes of the picturesque Qu'Appelle Valley, and northward to courses cut from the rugged boreal forest, Saskatchewan has something for every golfer. And if you think the golf courses are great, we also have accessible tee times and green fees lower than your golf score.

6. Authentic Western Adventures - Horseback riding in Saskatchewan is not a commercial enterprise-it's a way of life. You won't need to wait in line, and it's not about plodding along single file down a well-worn trail. Instead, you'll be part of a genuine adventure, choosing your own path as you explore unspoiled terrain and experience the traditional cowboy lifestyle first-hand.

7. Dark Skies - Grasslands National Park recently joined Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park in becoming a designated Dark Sky Preserve (DSP). DSPs are sanctuaries from the pollution of artificial lighting, providing a better environment for nocturnal animals and stargazers alike. The Grasslands DSP is currently the largest in the world, encompassing 527 sq km.

8. Cypress Hills - Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park was bypassed by the last glaciations, and rises some 600 m above the great plains. The Hills are the highest point between the Rockies and Labrador. Breathtaking vistas, hills covered in lodgepole pine, and abundant lakes can be found. There are over 50 km of trails to explore on foot or bike. For nature-lovers, the Cypress Hills are teeming with abundant wildlife and plants, including 700 species of plants and 200 species of birds. Wildlife like wapiti, mule deer, whitetail, moose, gray catbirds, wild turkeys and wood warblers. Cougars have also been observed. The park is also a favourite spot for fly fishing.

9. Little Manitou Lake - Saskatchewan is home to one of the world's most unique lakes. Located near the Town of Watrous at Manitou Beach, is Little Manitou Lake. This lake's briny waters are unique to the western hemisphere, possessing natural therapeutic skin and body care properties found only at a few places in the world, such as Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and The Dead Sea of Israel. Minerals found in significant concentrations - magnesium, carbonate, potassium, mineral salts, sodium, calcium, iron, silica and sulphur - give the water a specific gravity of 1.06. This translates into an impossible-to-sink buoyancy that helps relieve pressure on tired or aching joints.

10. Athabasca Sand Dunes - On the southern shore of Lake Athabasca, in Saskatchewan's far north, Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Wilderness Park protects an ecologically fragile area characterized by jack pine forests mixed with large open sand dune formations. Some of these dunes reach as high as 30 metres, and are some of the most northerly major sand dunes in the world. Ten plant species in the park are endemic to this region.

11. Sunshine - Estevan is Canada's sunshine capital, averaging 2,540 sunshine-filled hours each year.

12. Fossil Finds - Eastend features "Scotty" the T.rex skeleton excavated in 1994/95, one of the best of only 12 such discoveries in the world. The ruggedly beautiful Frenchman River Valley near Eastend in the southwest corner of the province has long been considered a "supermarket of dinosaur bones", and now you can get a close-up view of palaeontology work in progress at the T.rex Discovery Centre. In addition to learning more about "Scotty" the Tyrannosaurus rex, whose fossilized remains were found in the area, visit dig sites and try searching for fossils yourself!

13. Birding Opportunities - In the fall, millions of waterfowl flock into the province on their southward journey - creating exceptional opportunities for birding throughout the province. A Saskatchewan birding trail guide will steer you in the right direction to the next spectacular birding locale. Visit the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area (North America's oldest bird sanctuary - established in 1887) - a great location to spy on the elusive whooping crane.

14. First Nations Culture - Wanuskewin Heritage Park interprets 6,000 years of Northern Plains Indian culture. An archaeological treasure trove, Wanuskewin contains 19 pre-contact sites all clustered within 1km of each other. The name Wanuskewin is a Cree word chosen by Elders to describe the history of this sacred place. Loosely translated, Wanuskewin means "seeking peace of mind" or "living in harmony".

15. Prince Albert National Park - Prince Albert National Park of Canada is one of Saskatchewan's most popular four-season destinations, a place where you can mix northern wilderness encounters with the comforts of a lakeside resort. The park covers some 388,000 hectares, or nearly one million acres in an area of transition from aspen parkland to boreal forest that includes some 1,500 lakes and streams.On the shore of Ajawaan Lake in Prince Albert National Park the cabin and last home of Grey Owl - the world's most celebrated naturalist of the 1930s - still stands and is open to visitors

16. Winter Fun - When the white stuff starts falling in Saskatchewan, it's time for a whole new world of fun. Roar across hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile trails, go cross-country skiing on groomed and wilderness trails, check out dog sledding events and winter festivals. A warm welcome awaits you!

17. Museums Galore - Saskatchewan became a province in 1905, with Regina as its capital. The following decades were prosperous for settlers, but in the 1930's disaster struck. Saskatchewan was hit hard by, not only the worldwide depression, but also a decade of drought and crop failure. The dreams and struggles of Saskatchewan people are recaptured in museums across the province. Some 250 museums hold more than 5 million objects in trust.

18. Saskatchewan's Multicultural Heritage - Today, Saskatchewan boasts a rich and colourful multi-cultural heritage. Multicultural festivals and celebrations paying tribute to ethnic groups help keep alive the time-honoured traditions, customs and languages which immigrants brought from their homeland. Two of Saskatchewan's largest multi-cultural events are Regina's Mosaic and Saskatoon's Folkfest.

19. Plenty of Parks - Saskatchewan has 34 provincial parks in four categories: wilderness, recreational, natural environment and historic parks. Each park showcases specific natural features and offers a range of recreation and education opportunities. Saskatchewan also has a network of nearly 100 regional parks, established by communities and municipalities to offer various camping and recreation experiences. Many regional parks are along the province's back roads and give travelers a real taste of rural Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan has two national parks: Prince Albert, in the north central region of the province, and Grasslands in the southwest.

20. Wildlife - Wide open, unpopulated spaces offer many opportunities to view wildlife. The haunting howl of a wolf on a quiet northern night... antelope bounding across the southern grasslands... sage grouse strutting in an elaborate mating ritual... the awesome spectacle of hundreds of thousands of waterfowl darkening the sky during fall migration. All are part of the spectrum of Saskatchewan's world of wildlife.

Saskatchewan

Read what travel writers say:
Saskatchewan's 1st grape-growing commercial winery: www.whattravelwriterssay.com/maplecreeksask.html
Regina's Arthur Erickson-designed RCMP Heritage Centre: www.whattravelwriterssay.com/reginask.html
Rider Nation sizzles in Saskatchewan! www.whattravelwriterssay.com/reginasaskpridelives.html
Saskatchewan: the 'git-er-done' kid: www.whattravelwriterssay.com/saskatchewan.html
Greener acres: Saskatoon locavore scene sprouts: www.whattravelwriterssay.com/saskatoonsask.html
Southern Saskatchewan, the land of endless blue sky: www.whattravelwriterssay.com/southsask.html

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationCanada.html



Saskatoon, SK


Saskatoon

Saskatoon, SK - Saskatoon is a "Hero of Industry", according to a recent announcement in "The Planner", a publication for meeting and event planners. The new Tower Awards are designed to recognize excellence in the meeting and event industry. This month's Planner features a half-page write up on Saskatoon. The citation states that "Saskatoon has gained an excellent reputation for being an accommodating partner to groups looking for a memorable event experience. With more than 30 partners in its Conventions Saskatoon! Committee, Tourism Saskatoon provides a variety of pre- and on-site planning services including site inspections, bid preparations and event programming assistance."

Todd Brandt, President and CEO of Tourism Saskatoon, was very pleased with the announcement and said, "The majority of our success in attracting many high-profile conventions, events and sporting events relates to our commitment to excellence as a host city, and the willingness of industry to collaborate on marketing activities."

The announcement also drew comments by the V.P. of Tourism Saskatoon - Silvia Martini who oversees their innovative marketing initiatives. She shared that "Saskatoon's city design offers hotels, convention facilities and offsite venues all in close proximity creating efficient, quality, stress free experiences. Support from Saskatoon's direct air access with 27 daily inbound and outbound flights from major cities across Canada and the U.S. are building ease and convenience. Our commitment to our clients is to ensure a team-based winning approach."

For further information please contact:

Todd Brandt, President and CEO, Tourism Saskatoon at (306)931-7574 tbrandt@tourismsaskatoon.com
Janelle Unrau, Director Convention and Event Marketing, Tourism Saskatoon at (306)931-7573 junrau@tourismsaskatoon.com
www.tourismsaskatoon.com

Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Food Summit
The 1st Saskatchewan Food Summit is being held on March 2-3, 2011 in Saskatoon. The theme of this conference is "Building an integrated vision to create a sustainable food economy in Saskatchewan" and will discuss the barriers and challenges, and examine solutions and opportunities for Saskatchewan's food supply. Speakers and breakout sessions will examine access to markets, competition, food distribution, food policy and strategy, food safety, regulations, land use planning, food production, First Nations and potential for local food strategies and initiatives. Wednesday evening will feature a tapas-style banquet at the farmer's market with local chefs and locally sourced food. www.ccde.usask.ca/go/ag

Saskatoon

Shakespeare Festival Reveals Summer Lineup
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan is excited to announce its plans for this summer's festivities. The annual celebration of the bard is scheduled to run from July 6 - August 21, 2011 and will feature a sparkling mix of entertainment and fun that is certain to delight. Planned for the festival mainstage are two Shakespearean greats: Love's Labour's Lost will play in repertory with The Winter's Tale under the big white tent for a captivating season of Magic and Mirth. Love's Labour's Lost is romantic comedy with emphasis on the comedy. The Winter's Tale is a wonderful blend of drama and comedy for all audiences. www.shakespeareonthesaskatchewan.com

The CCMA announces Saskatoon as host of Country Music Week and the 2012 CCMA Awards
The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced that Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has been selected to host Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2012. This will mark the first time that Saskatoon has ever hosted country music's biggest week in Canada.

The announcement was made in Saskatoon by the Executive Director of the CCMA, Don Green, who spoke highly of the city's successful bid. "We are very excited to be going to Saskatoon in 2012 for the first time to celebrate the CCMA's 36th Anniversary," said Green. "We were very impressed with Saskatoon's solid and comprehensive bid package. It will be an unforgettable event for both industry and fans alike."

Saskatoon's excellent track record of hosting national events; combined with its strong volunteer base, along with the huge popularity of country music in Saskatchewan, will ensure that Country Music Week and the 2012 CCMA Awards are a huge success. In turn, these two events will directly benefit the economy of Saskatoon with its occupation of approximately 1,600 hotel nights and historical economic impact of $5-7 million dollars.

Country Music Week Saskatoon will be held September 6-9, 2012 with the CCMA Awards being held on Sunday, September 9. www.ccma.org.

Saskatoon

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Scandinavia - Eurail


Expanded Eurail Pass Range benefits Visitors to Scandinavia: The Eurail Group is giving more options to travelers wanting to explore the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Scandinavia has long been a popular tourist destination for overseas visitors with numbers increasing steadily; in 2006 there were over seven hundred thousand visitors from North America alone. Now through a new selection of offerings, Eurail passengers can travel throughout the region's excellent rail systems using just a single pass.

On January 1st, Eurail introduced the Eurail Scandinavia Pass to its vast array of rail packages (replacing the former ScanRail Pass). The pass enables unlimited 2nd class rail travel in all four participating countries and is available throughout a range of validity periods. Discounts are offered to groups of two or more and to young people under the age of 26. Prices start from just 50 euros a day for a four-day Saver Pass.

Eurail's global network of sales agents makes the pass widely available around the world, and assists travelers in purchasing packages prior to their departure to Europe. Therefore passes can be conveniently bought using local currency, saving the time and stress of buying a series of tickets upon arrival. Eurail's new Scandinavian packages also allow flexibility for different itineraries and country combinations. Those wanting to visit only one or two Scandinavian countries can choose among the Finland-Sweden, Denmark-Sweden and Norway-Sweden options. Additionally, the Norway and Sweden One Country Passes have been adjusted in line with many other Eurail Passes and now offer "Saver" discounts in 2nd class for groups of 2-5 travelers.

Trains in Scandinavia are modern, comfortable and reliable. High speed trains such as Sweden's X2000 and Finland's Pendolino whisk travelers from city to city, while slower scenic routes, like the Bergen Railway in Norway, wind through mountain tunnels and across bridges providing continuous panoramas of unspoiled scenic beauty. Although each country's railway is operated by its own company, cross border connections are easy and efficient. Traveling from Oslo to Stockholm takes just over six hours, while Stockholm to Copenhagen is about a five hour journey. Connections between Helsinki and Stockholm are made possible by ship, operated by Tallink Silja Oy, which gives all Eurail Pass holders a 50% reduction on the full fare of the crossing.

In addition to its Scandinavian packages, the Eurail Group offers a wide range of passes from single country options to the classic Eurail Global Pass, valid in 20 countries. For more information about the Eurail Group, go to www.EurailGroup.com.

Eurail Passes are currently available from the direct sales website, www.Eurail.com, and all sales agents worldwide; ACP Rail International ( www.eurail-acprail.com); Flight Centre ( www.flightcentre.com); www.OctopusTravel.com; Rail Europe ( www.raileurope.com) and STA Travel ( www.statravel.com).

For More Information:
Eurail Group corporate website and press room: www.eurailgroup.com
Eurail Group Marketing Manager: Ana Dias e Seixas, tel. + 31 (0)30 8500 125, email: a.diaseseixas@eurail.nl
Eurail photo library: http://eurail.informationstore.net/

Scandinavian Railway Companies:
Danish Railways (DSB): www.dsb.dk
Finnish Railways (VR): www.vr.fi
Norwegian Railways (NSB): www.nsb.no
Swedish Railways (SJ): www.sj.se

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationEurope.html



Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)


Scandinavian Airlines' (SAS) long-haul premium economy service Economy Extra has been named the world's best in a survey by the U.S. magazine Global Traveler. It placed first in the category Best Airline for Premium Economy. More than 36,000 frequent travelers participated in the survey. In 2001, SAS was among the first airlines to introduce premium economy. Economy Extra is available on all SAS long-haul flights between Scandinavia and Asia and the U.S.

SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson said: "This award is an honor to SAS, especially as it is the most frequent travelers that have voted for us. Our Economy Extra product is well-liked by both business and leisure travelers wanting greater comfort, more leg room and even better service than in Economy, at a very competitive price."

Economy Extra passengers on SAS' long-haul routes are seated in a separate cabin in seats that are one inch wider and offer six inches more legroom than in Economy. Other features include laptop computer power outlet at every seat, greater choice of meals and drinks and personal video screen with audio and video-on-demand (AVOD) entertainment. Economy Extra customers may use the Business check-in, have an increased baggage allowance, and access to Fast Track security, where available, and earn more EuroBonus points.

SAS has served New York since 1946, and currently operates non-stop flights from New York (Newark) to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, from Chicago to Copenhagen and Stockholm and from Washington, D.C. to Copenhagen. SAS, which serves more than 100 cities in Scandinavia, Europe, Asia and the U.S., was ranked Europe's Most Punctual Airline in 2010.

For more information on SAS, visit: www.flysas.com/us

Scandinavian Airlines


Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationEurope.html



Seattle, WA


Selected Cultural Events

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Seattle, WA: Pan Pacific Hotel's Concierge Team recommends......

Things You (May) Have Never Done in Seattle

1. Tour the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum. 2. Visit the original Starbucks store and purchase a gift card unavailable anywhere else in the world.

3. Stroll through the Pike Place Market, watch the famous fishmongers and pet Rachel, the pig.

4. Visit the Smith Tower observation deck in Pioneer Square.

5. Take the Seattle Underground Tour.

6. Ride a ferry to Bainbridge Island and enjoy ice cream at Mora's.

7. Tour Boeing's Everett facility and see how a 747 is built.

8. Visit the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

9. Sit on the dock in Chandler's Cove on Lake Union and watch the sunset.

10. Take the Victoria Clipper to Canada for the day and have tea at the Empress Hotel.

11. Cross one of Seattle's floating bridges and view the Snoqualmie Falls.

12. Relax in the Japanese Garden at the University of Washington Arboretum.

Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel

13. Call your personal steward to order room service, relax in your Pan Pacific room and enjoy views of the Space Needle and the lights of Queen Anne Hill.

14. Seattle is a city of neighborhoods. There are two close-by locations that offer an offbeat charm, good shopping and great food. Fremont is a 10-minute cab ride on the other side of the ship canal. Billing itself as the "center of the universe," Fremont retains some of its counter-culture pedigree even as it layers on a modern level of sophistication. Another 5 minutes by cab from Fremont is Ballard, Seattle's Scandinavian heartland now up-scaled and up-linked to a vibrant new generation of young residents with a multicultural viewpoint on food, fun, and music. The Tractor and the Sunset are terrific music venues on Old Ballard Ave, and some of the best Italian food in Seattle can be found at Volterra. Do not miss the fish and chips at Totems - the best in the known world.

Seattle

15. Take pictures with all the "pigs on parade" and feast at Crab Pot. (seasonal)

16. Visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, which is located inside the old Cadillac Hotel building, to learn more of Seattle's history, from the fire that burned it down to the gold rush that helped build it up.

17. Visit Alki Beach, which was made famous in a scene from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle" where Tom Hanks flies a kite with his son. You can also wind surf or roller blade.

18. Visit the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to over 250 species of endangered birds, fish and mammals.

19. Check out the wineries near Woodinville and go for a hot balloon ride.

20. Embark upon the art walk around Pioneer Square every Monday with free, guided walking tours and wine/snack provided by galleries.

21. Go swimming at Madison Beach.

22. Take a canoe tour of the Mercer Slough.

23. Frolic to the music in the International Fountain at the Seattle Center with a picnic lunch.

24. Spy the herons at Renton's Black River Heron Rookery.

25. Give your mom a Mother's Day "bouquet" by taking her to the Washington Park Arboretum.

26. Bicycle through the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel

27. Dance tango...check out the annual Seattle Tango Magic Festival the last week in July.

28. Make a day of it...visit the science fiction museum, Seattle Center, International Fountain, and Space Needle..all for $33.

29. Take a nature hike at the Bloedel Reserve (by reservation only).

30. Hike Mt. Ranier and enjoy an astoundingly beautiful day hike on a path called "Paradise," where one can see ice caves, even in the summer.

31. Visit the Sev Shoon Art Center to watch artists at work.

32. Eat so many fresh berries and salmon that you feel like a bear.

33. Visit Agua Verde, for great food and kayak rentals at Lake Union.

34. Check out the Museum of Flight.

35. Ride the Duck - a musical tour. You will be riding on an Amphibious World War II vehicle that shows Seattle from both land and water, including downtown, Pike Place Market, historic Pioneer Square, Funky Fremont, then, SPLASH into Lake Union for a spectacular view of the city skyline, luxurious yachts and Houseboats.

36. Fly a kite at the 534-acre Discovery Park overlooking the Puget Sound.

37. Check out Rudy's barbershop for a real hipster's hairstyle.

38. Head into Ballard and Fremont and check out the life size troll under the bridge for some great photo memories.

39. A walk down the piers will take you into the world of the past - old Ivars restaurant, fire station and views of the one and only Puget Sound. Stroll down towards the water, which brings you to gorgeous views of small ships, large cruisers, sailboats and maybe even a pirate ship.

40. Get buried in the stacks of books at Elliot Bay Bookstore.

41. Visit the Seattle Public Library.

Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel

42. For a taste of the Orient, go to the Uwajimaya grocery store in the International District.

43. Kayak on Lake Union.

44. Take part in Seattle's HempFest.

45. Enjoy a Seattle Architecture Foundation walking tour of Art Deco; behind the scenes Historic Theaters; Art & Architecture; or Toilets of the Town.

46. Take a walking art tour starting at Olympic Park.

47. Explore the Seattle Gallery Scene.

48. Visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum and conservatory and walk around the park.

49. Check out Frye on 9th or Photogarhics Center NW on 12th.

50. Take an "edible" walking tour.

Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel

51. On a sunny day, Argosy cruise tour affords views of the Lake houses on Lake Union, through the locks, past Magnolia, and views of Seattle from the water.

52. Drive to Mt Rainier National Park. Take a leisurely hike through the park and have a picnic in a quiet place.

53. Take in a concert at the Triple Door.

54. Visit Seattle's Aquarium and the Woodland Park Zoo.

55. Visit Teatro Zinzanni for the best in dining and entertainment.

Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel

56. Take a ride on the Washington State Ferry system, leaving right out of downtown Seattle and either head over to Bainbridge Island to walk right up to Winslow Way and have a fabulous meal and shopping or head over to Bremerton (a bit longer boat ride) and walk a few steps to a great new restaurant and shopping area.

57. Seattle is all about the water...take a seaplane tour from Lake Union or Lake Washington out over the Sound. The islands look just like they do on the maps.

58. Visit the flagship Nordstrom store.

59. Visit Snoqualmie Falls early in the morning and have breakfast at the Lodge with fire-honey from the sky.

Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel

60. Visit Bruce Lee's Grave on Capital Hill and Ballard locks.

61. Boating related suggestions for all levels:
Beginner - Rent a canoe at University of Washington Aquatic Center. Paddle to the Arboretum and have a picnic on the beach. Watch for birds, turtles and beautiful wooden boats.
Intermediate - Rent a single or double sea kayak at Aqua Verde (also in the University District). Paddle around Lake Union, Lake Washington and down the ship canal. Have a great, healthy Mexican dinner at Aqua Verde with the locals.
Expert - Rent a restored wooden sail boat at the Center for Wooden Boats in South Lake Union (a sailing checkout is required). Have lunch at BluWater Bistro on Lake Union.

Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel




Sherbrooke, Quebec


Sherbrooke, Land of Fresco Murals: Since 2002, ten enormous fresco murals created by thirty or so local artists have brought to life the city's historic areas and downtown neighbourhood with art, history, and discoveries. Over two hundred characters are portrayed, often in humorous and convivial settings. Notable characters include Ti-Blanc Richard, Louis Bilodeau, Garou, Clémence Desrochers, Jean Malo, and many others. "This trompe l'oeil tour incorporates a great deal of historical research, allowing us to share the rich past of the greater Sherbrooke area through a popularization of our collective memories," said Serge Malenfant, the proud president of MURIRS. Visitors of the Sherbrooke Tourist Information Bureau will be able to leave with a beautiful pamphlet including a map of the mural circuit and a detailed description of each fresco mural. The tour can be enjoyed year round, whether on foot or by bike, motorcycle, or car, and showcases the following themes: Upper Mills; 100 Years at Your Service; Tradition and Prevention; CHLT-TV, 50 Years of Looking at It Our Way; Sherbrooke's 2002 Bicentennial Mural; Nékitotegwak; The Traveler's Lodge; Once upon a Time in the East; Progress in the East; and The Good Years. More information: Claude Lévesque, (819) 345-2455, levesque.com@videotron.ca

Land of Fresco Murals

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Skåne, Sweden


The Skåneleden trail:
This trail consists of 1,000 km of marked walking tracks. Choose from short walks to one-day or multiple-day trips. The trail also offers good fishing spots, rural villages with charming cafés and pure wilderness. Old windmills, Scanian farmhouses with overflowing planters full of flowers below the windows, golden rapeseed fields with scents of honey and elderflower that fill the air. Whichever you choose, there are lots of campgrounds and windbreaks where you can get much-needed rest and water. A map of the trail is easy to order from skane.com.

Skåne's national parks:
There are three national parks (Dalby Söderskog, Söderåsen, Stenshuvud) and as many as 145 nature reserve in little Skåne. In the lush national park at Dalby Hage and Söderskog, visitors can find everything from deer and hedgehogs to flowers like yellow wood anemones and bird-in-a-bush. Söderåsen national park is northern Europe's largest continuous, protected deciduous forest, with a unique biodiversity. If you visit Sweden's most southerly national park at Stenshuvud, you should combine it with a tour to the charming port towns of Kivik and Simrishamn... www.skane.com

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Southwest Louisiana / Lake Charles


Forty-five minutes from the Gulf of Mexico is the Festival Capital of Louisiana with more than 75 annual fairs and festivals held each year. One of those festivals, Mardi Gras, is the second largest in the state behind New Orleans as far as the number of krewes and events goes. We are also home to the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, which boasts the largest Mardi Gras costume collection in the world! Other museums in the area include the Brimstone Museum/Henning Cultural Center, the DeQuincy Railroad Museum, the Children's Museum and the Imperial Calcasieu Museum. Another interesting festival each year is the Contraband Days Pirate Festival. It is the only pirate festival in the state and at two weeks long, is the longest festival in the state! This festival, complete with buccaneers who take over the city, celebrates the legend of Jean LaFitte. Rumor has it, Southwest Louisiana he landed his ship on the sandy shores of this area many years ago and buried some of his treasure in our lake. In the fall, we host the Celtic Nations Festival, a festival that relocated to our area after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Other yearly festivals include the DeQuincy Railroad Days Festival, the Starks Mayhaw Festival, the Black Heritage Festival and many, many more!

Our area is also a top 40 birding destination. We are the starting and ending points of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. This 180-mile driving trail winds its way through Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes down to the Gulf of Mexico. The Wetland Walkway is 1.5 mile walking trail along the road that allows visitors to meander their way out into the marsh and perhaps catch a glimpse of the "King of the Marsh," the American alligator! www.creolenaturetrail.org

If luxury is more your style, check out L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort. ( www.ldl.com). For an island style getaway, visit the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel ( www.isleofcapricasino.com). For horseracing and slots, check out Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel ( www.deltadowns.com). For more information and photos of the area, visit, www.visitlakecharles.org.

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St. Kitts & Nevis (40 reasons to visit)


40 reasons to visit

1. The opportunity to enjoy a twin island holiday experience like no other. The opportunity to be a participant and revel in the notion that you belong here...because you do.

2. Each island experience is different, yet complementary. St. Kitts, a vibrant and compelling atmosphere. Nevis, quiet, laid back, an island that casts its spell on you.

3. The islands are just small enough to make the exploration of each, easy!

4. The St. Kitts Scenic Railway offers a 'one of a kind' unique way to view the island of St. Kitts.

5. The locals are laid back and incredibly friendly. They enjoy 'liming' with visitors.

6. The country's rich cultural heritage has been influenced by its native people the Amerindians, and also by African, British, French and Spanish inhabitants.

40 reasons to visit

7. Over 200 heritage sites have been documented on St. Kitts alone.

8. On St. Kitts, 30 of its heritage sights have been designated as being of primary hemispheric importance.

9. Brimstone Hill Fortress and National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

10. Built over a period of 104 years, beginning in 1690, British Authorities consider the Brimstone Hill Fortress to be one of the finest pieces of British Military architecture in the world.

11. A volcano safari experience on St. Kitts is a rugged hiking adventure that offers unparalleled scenic views.

40 reasons to visit

12. The popular West Indian lunch buffet served at Rawlins Plantation Inn is prepared with a care and imagination that is matched only by the excellence of the fresh produce gathered from the plantation's garden, nearby farmers and local fishermen.

13. A visit to the extensive wine cellar at Coconut Grove restaurant and Wine Lounge on Nevis is a must for every wine enthusiast.

14. Enjoy a night out visiting at least 7 beach bars on the South Frigate Bay Beach strip.

15. Play 18 holes on a Robert Trent Jones II Championship Golf Course while you enjoy dramatic views of the Four Seasons Resort, the Caribbean Sea, the foothills of Mount Nevis, and sister island St. Kitts.

16. Herbert Heights on Nevis takes you on a historical adventure along the exact trail once used by the slaves on their way to the maroons.

17. At the Golden Rock Hotel, cocktails are served from the bar in a barrel vaulted building. A ringing bell signals guests to a candlelight dinner in the castle-like dining room.

18. Divers and snorkelers will be delighted by the warm clear waters, colourful coral reef formations and fascinating wrecks. A never to be forgotten dive adventure.

19. When the sun goes down, those seeking romance can watch the city lights twinkle and palm trees sway in the cool evening breeze. Gaze at the Caribbean moon or dance the night away with that special someone on either of our beautiful islands.

40 reasons to visit

20. Sample CSR, a locally produced cane spirit mixed with Ting, to get the real 'Ting with a Sting'. Or have some fun, order a 'Bling' (Brinley, lime, and Ting), or a 'Bling - Bling' for a drink twice as strong.

21. Be the first to get married barefooted in the sand at Christophe Harbour, a 2500 acre high end development on the Southeast Peninsula. The gorgeous views to Nevis make this area perfect for romance.

22. To see the rich variety of vibrant colours and beautiful landscapes, as portrayed through various art pieces at Spencer Cameron Gallery.

23. For the pulsating rhythms at the annual St. Kitts Music Festival, which is now recognized as a primary event on the international music calendar, attracting performers of various music genres.

24. To visit Sunshine's and drink that Killer Bee cocktail you keep hearing about.

25. To partake in the Nevis International Culinary Heritage Exposition (NICHE), held annually in October for the most exquisite cuisine. A weekend celebration of food wine and Caribbean culture set in the tranquil beauty of Nevis.

26. At the Hermitage, guests say that the past comes to life. The dining room - The Great House, is the oldest wooden house on Nevis dating to 1670.

40 reasons to visit

27. To take in a game of international cricket at the newly rebuilt Warner Park Stadium. Or watch athletes compete at the brand new Silver Jubilee Athletic Stadium.

28. Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, the 18 hole Thomas McBroom designed, Royal St. Kitts Golf Course awaits you.

29. The Golden Lemon Inn on St. Kitts dates back to 1610. It was built by the Huguenots, and is the oldest occupied residence on the island.

30. Go 'liming' in a local club, take part in a karaoke night and experience the connection you feel when you mingle with locals in a lighthearted, relaxed atmosphere.

31. Be entertained by Mansion Bull, Clowns, Mocko-Jumbies, and Masquerades in the National Carnival Parade, or 'jam' to the sweet sounds of local bands on J'ouvert morning on December 26th.

32. The 35 acres of rolling lawns and gardens at Ottley's Plantation Inn offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

33. To explore the Nevis beaches that you did not have enough time for on your last cruise.

40 reasons to visit

34. Sample various seafood dishes at a variety of restaurants in the Frigate Bay area.

35. The rainforest hike is a great opportunity to see green vervet monkeys, hummingbirds, and giant river crayfish.

36. Visit the historical site of the Bath Hotel. Built in 1778, this playground for the rich and famous who visited Nevis, offers spring water, known to have cured chronic rheumatism and gout.

37. Port Zante, the cruise ship terminal is best described as a sprawling jewel box of a mall. It offers an array of handsome shops catering to every pocketbook and taste.

38. The Circus is Basseterre's primary landmark. It is a roundabout that creates an interesting focal point, with its green clock tower built in 1883 as a memorial to a local planter and politician of the era.

39. Romney Manor, the home of Caribelle Batik was once owned by the great-great grandfather of the president of the United States. Today, artisans at the batik factory provide live demonstrations of the complicated process of turning Sea Island Cotton into colourful batiks.

40. Because everything you heard from your friends about St. Kitts and Nevis is true!

40 reasons to visit

(Source: CITC) www.stkitts-tourism.com

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St. Leon, MB


It's not a scene from "The X-files." You see them from miles away, piercing the sky like a wild genetic experiment, an alien crop sprouting in the rolling prairie farmland: reed-like fibreglass spikes topped by a burst of three thin blades. These are wind turbines, scattered across 93 sq km (23,000 acre) of wheat and canola fields near the sleepy town of St. Leon, MB. And now they're a tourist magnet. In the global warming arena, wind energy is hot. It is one of the fastest-growing sources of electricity. It's clean, doesn't produce air emissions or hazardous waste and doesn't strip natural resources. What's more, the turbines only occupy a small footprint of land.

The St. Leon Wind Energy Project site, 150 km southwest of Winnipeg, is part of an ambitious project to use the province's natural resources-water, sun and wind-to generate clean, renewable energy. The 63 turbines generate 99 megawatts of energy-enough to power approximately 35,000 homes. A collaborative effort, Bison Wind Inc. completed the project in March 2006-partners included the province, Manitoba Hydro, Sequoia Energy and Global Renewable Energy. Then, the craziest thing happened: visitors began arriving by the busload to get a closer look. From a distance, it's hard to get a good perspective of the sheer size of the wind turbines. Each one is the height of a 21-storey building. The blades stretch 40 m-that's longer than the wingspan of a 747. Eerily quiet, the churning turbines make only a faint whooshing sound, like ocean waves hitting the shoreline. If you make the trip to see these amazing modern windmills, stop in at the recently-opened St. Leon Interpretive Centre just off Highway 23 to learn more about the wind farm. www.cistleon.com    www.airsourcepower.com

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Sudbury, Ontario


Sudbury

  • With a population of 155,000, the City of Greater Sudbury is the largest city in Northern Ontario. It covers an area of 3,627 sq km (1,400 sq mi.) - about two thirds the size of Prince Edward Island.


  • There are a total of 330 fresh water lakes within the city - more lakes than any other municipality in Canada.


  • It has the third largest francophone population in Canada outside of Quebec.


  • The Sudbury Structure is a famous geological feature that hosts one of the largest concentrations of nickel-copper sulphides in the world.


  • The Sudbury Basin, 27 km (17 mi.) wide, 60 km (37 mi.) long and 15 km (10 mi.) deep, is believed to have been formed by a meteorite impact 1.8 billion years ago.


  • Sudbury is home to the largest integrated mining complex in the world.


  • There are 5,000 km (3,107 mi.) of mining tunnels under the Sudbury area. Placed end-to-end, you could drive from Sudbury to Vancouver underground.


  • Sudbury's landmark Big Nickel is 9 metres (30 ft.) high and recognized around the world.


  • Sudbury has received numerous awards for its aggressive land reclamation program, including a United Nations Local Government Award and the United States Chevron Award.


  • Chilly Beach
  • Canada's popular animated cartoon series is created and produced in Sudbury.


  • Golf Fever
  • In 1922, Sudbury's first golf course was located at the Idylwylde - the former Howey farm site across Ramsey Lake. Since the wagon road around the lake was too rough for the few cars in use at the time, Sudbury's first golfers were ferried across the lake by boat.


  • City of Lakes
  • With 330 lakes, Greater Sudbury contains more lakes than any other city in Canada. Of its total surface area, 16.5% is covered by water. Lake Wanapitei, in Sudbury's northeast corner, is the largest citycontained lake in the world. Ramsey Lake, in the heart of the city, is the second largest.


  • Golden Fork Awards
  • Sudbury's Ristorante Verdicchio is the recipient of two Golden Fork Awards (2004 and 2005) and has been given the official designation as a Gourmet Diners Society 2005 Italian Restaurant of Distinction. The New York-based Gourmet Diners Society of North America recognizes restaurants that are exemplary in food service, quality of food, customer service and hospitality


  • The Land Before Time
  • Scientists believe that the Sudbury Basin, 60 km (30 mi) long and 27 km (17 mi) wide, was formed as a result of one of the largest known meteorite impacts on the planet. The force of the collision is thought to have been many times greater than all the explosions set off in human history. The mineralization resulting from the impact is responsible for the rich nickel and copper deposits that make Sudbury an important international mining centre. The presence of shatter cones in the Sudbury Basin offers scientific evidence of this geological phenomenon. Shatter cones and a reenactment of the meteorite impact are featured in the Earth Gallery at Dynamic Earth.


  • Thomas A. Edison: The Prospector
  • Thomas Alva Edison, the American inventor of the incandescent light, the gramophone and moving pictures, is perhaps the most famous person who ever visited Sudbury. He actually lived here for a short time between 1901 and 1903. He needed a good supply of nickel for his new invention - the nickel-iron storage battery. Detecting strong evidence of an ore body, he sunk one shaft but ceased operations when he encountered sand - just 15 feet from the ore body that led to the development of Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited.


  • Ghost Writer
  • In the 1920s, Leslie McFarlane, a former reporter for the Sudbury Star, wrote the first ever Hardy Boys' books from a camp on Ramsey Lake. Under the pen name Franklin W. Dixon, he banged out The Tower Treasure in a matter of weeks. The House on the Cliff and The Secret of the Old Mill followed.


  • Film Clips
    Sudbury

  • Sudbury is emerging as a popular location for the movie industry. In 2004, the film Shania, a biopic about Shania Twain, was shot in Sudbury. When growing up in Sudbury, Shania attended Sudbury Secondary School. In 2003, Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees, a Science North large format film production, won the Best Film for Lifelong Learning Award at the Giant Screen Theatre Association Awards in Glasgow, Scotland. The film has played at 47 venues around the world. In 2000, Little Italy was a setting for Men With Brooms, one of the most successful Canadian feature films. Chilly Beach, Canada's popular animated cartoon series, is created and produced in Sudbury.


  • Sudbury Saturday Night
  • In 1965, Stompin' Tom Connors' three week engagement at the Towne House Tavern inspired the song, Sudbury Saturday Night. Today, a Sudbury Saturday Night comes in a variety of flavours. Enjoy an IMAX film at Science North with dinner at Landings Restaurant overlooking Ramsey Lake, live theatre and dinner at Alexandria's or Pasta e Vino, or "entertainment with a spin" at Slots at Sudbury Downs. And whether it's funky hip at Respect Is Burning, classic rock at the Coulson, or the hard rock, jazz or reggae energy at the Towne House Tavern - "glasses still tinkle" and the "eyes still twinkle" at Sudbury's restaurants and bars.


  • First merchant
  • One of the first merchants to set up business in the Village of Sudbury was John Frawley who pitched his tent on "mainstreet" and sold gent's clothing. Other businesses followed and by 1893 Sudbury had become a town with 35 wooden shops lining Elm, Durham, Cedar, Larch and Lisgar.


  • A.Y. Jackson Mystery
  • A.Y. Jackson (1888-1974) is one of Canada's renowned Group of Seven artists. He captured a number of landscapes in and around the Sudbury area. His famous 'Onaping Falls' painting hung at Sudbury Secondary until 1974 when it was stolen. While the painting has never been recovered, you can stand in the footprints of the artist and capture the inspiring image at A.Y. Jackson Lookout.


  • The Royal Treatment
  • Sudbury has hosted four generations of the Royal Family. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Sudbury in 1939. The Queen Mother was the first woman permitted to go underground at an Inco mine. In 1984, Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Phillip, officially opened Science North. The Prince and Princess of Wales arrived in 1991. Princess Diana opened a new cancer care treatment center, Prince Charles visited Inco's industrial complex and Princes William and Harry played at Science North.


  • The Start of Something Good!
    Sudbury

  • The link between Pat and Mario's and East Side Mario's begins in Sudbury with Casey's, another popular casual dining restaurant. The first Casey's opened in Sudbury in 1979. The founders expanded their operations, first to Southern Ontario, then to Florida, where they opened Pat and Mario's. The idea was successfully imported back into Canada with the opening of East Side Mario's. The trio is owned by Prime Restaurants which has ranked among one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies.


  • Did we mention that Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy, went to school here?
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Sweden


Organic Sweden


Environmental policies and climate change have led to a surge in interest for organic products in recent years. Many farms, farm shops, restaurants and cafés in Skåne sell goods that are the perfect green choice for people who care about the environment and animals. Here you'll find tips on Scanian parsnips, happy pigs, rapeseed oil, apples, mustard, sea buckthorn juice and much much more. Here you can: Buy organic vegetables and animal products raised organically, on-site

Mandelmann's gardens:
This farm focusses mainly on raising lambs in accordance with KRAV standards. Various types of tomatoes, cucumber, chillis and basil are grown in greenhouses, all organically. In the gardens grow flowers and vegetables, and when you have enjoyed the lovely green surroundings you can have a coffee in the café or shop in the store. www.mandelmann.se

Ängavallen:
Over the years, happy pigs have come to be Ängavallen's trademark. In this beautiful setting they also raise lamb and cattle according to KRAV standards. They also make cheese, bake bread and grow organic vegetables and spices. You can stock up in the farm shop, picnic in the park, eat at the restaurant and overnight at the stylish farm hotel. 100% organic! http://www.angavallen.se/english/index.php

Bäckdalen horticultural farm:
In recent years they have grown more and more herbs at Bäckdalen, where everything is produced according to KRAV standards. The range includes 11 types of basil, as well as other fresh herbs, Asian greens and edible flowers. Or what do you say about some thirty different tomato types, with a range of colours and shapes, and around 10 different cucumber varieties? In season there are loads of activities at Bäckdalen: lectures, cooking, wreath-making courses, table decorating and willow weaving. www.basilika.nu

Sweden

Gunnarshög farm on Österlen:
On the plains of Skåne, in the heart of Österlen is the family business Gunnarshög Farm. Here they produce high-quality cold-pressed rapeseed oil - completely free of additives. Other products you'll find in the charming farm shop include cold-pressed linseed oil, vinegar, mustard, spices ,honey, jams, chutney, jellies and skin-care products made from oil. www.gunnarshog.se

Mossagården organic farm shop:
Fresh organic vegetables from their own farm and organic products from selected suppiers. Or what do you say about milk-fermented wax beans, fine balsamic vinegar, rosehip jam, sea buckthorn juice and various herbs...Pssst! Mossagården's customers include Swedish celebs Lena Olin and Lasse Hallström... www.mossagarden.se, Veberöd 1-3 August 2008 : Mossagården celebrates its 10th anniversary with a festival!

For three full days, from 1-3 August, the theme 'organic' will permeate everything on the programme, whether it's music, food or clothing.

Agriborg farm shop:
Arne Persson has run Agriborg according to organic principles since 1989. The farm is located just outside Tomelilla, in the middle of the plains of Skåne. There they grow some 40 different vegetables, potatoes, sugarbeet, hay for the animals and cereals. Arne and his Maria also have a farm shop which is open every day of the week, based on self service: the customer weighs their own vegetables and leaves the money in a little box... Tel: 0417-311 30, Hedeberga, Tomelilla

Naturlig Mat
Naturlig Mat is Ängelholm's own shop specializing in organic and certified food and products. The selection is growing constantly. There are currently more than 600 different items to choose from, including goods from local producers such as Björnekulla (in Ästorp) and Skånemejerier. www.naturligmat.com

Engelholmsglass:
Ice cream production in Ängelholm began as early as 1937, at that time as part of the local dairy. Production continued in the dairy until 1980 but when that facility became too small, production was moved to the business's new facilities on Helsingborg Road. Today almost all the products are made from cream supplied daily from the dairy. Factory sales are open on weekdays from 8-16.00 and Saturdays from 10-12.00. www.engelholmsglass.se

Wellingehus:
Between Malmö and Trelleborg you'll find the village of Vellinge and the farm Wellingehus. Here, among strawberry patches and rapeseed fields are two hotels that offer their guests genuine Scanian hospitality as well as welcome peace and quiet. Alongside the hotel business, the Wrethov family grows strawberries, onions, carrots and other utility plants, without any pesticides and inorganic fertilizers. www.wellingehus.com

Bjärhus farm shop:
Farm shop, smokehouse, delicatessen, catering, nursery, conference facilities... At Bjärhus the food goes straight from earth to plate. Here you can buy vegetables, organic groceries and many other things that you would expect at a classic farm shop. You get a friendly reception, and you can enjoy the idyllic country atmosphere, perhaps letting your thoughts float away to bygone day. At Bjärhus loft they arrange corporate lunches and eco-conferences for up to 50 people. The cosy setting includes a fireplace and licensed bar. www.bjarhus.se

Cafés or restaurants that serve organic food

En smak av österlen:
At the Vägstationen in Brösarp is a restaurant with breathtaking views of the Brösarp hills. It serves organic lamb from Österlen, KRAV-labelled Bosarp chicken, pork from Lillehem's free-range pigs and char from Öved. The menu is continually updated, and kept in tune with what is in season locally here on Österlen. The shop sells crispbread, mustard, jams, honey, smoked sausages and other delicacies. www.ensmakavosterlen.se

Tegnérs Matsalar in the Students' Building:
The Academic Society in Lund is operated by twelve of Lund's thirteen student clubs, or 'nations'. Ever since 1851, when the first part of the Academic Society's building was completed, there has been some type of restaurant here. The current premises of Tegnérs Matsalar were finished in 1911. Tegnérs Matsalar serves lunch every weekday, where you can choose from the lunch of the day, the vegetarian dish of the day or the KRAV dish of the week! www.tegners.com

Friden's farm shop, at the end of the road:
Here they specialize in wood-fired pizzas baked from organic flour. The ingredients on the pizzas are for the most part organic as well. Friden's also serves organic wine from Italy. You can sleep in one of the adjacent rooms. Relax. Enjoy Friden. www.friden.nu

Grönland 864, Café and farm shop:
In a lovely green setting they serve coffee and homemade organic baked goods. There is also a shop with a wide range of organic products. Many of the recipes are from grandmother, who ran a small café together with her sisters in Gränna in the 1930s. www.gronland864.se

Sustainable Opportunities

Railbiking in Fyledalen, on Romeleåsen, at Sankt Olof:
a guaranteed environmentally-friendly way to get around, on a discontinued railway, for all ages. Riding along the track, enjoying the Scanian scenery is a clean, green experience! www.skane.com

Sweden Holma Gård:
Boil peas from Siberian bushes instead of lentils, eat giant lambsquarters instead of spinach! Here they grow Sweden's first 'edible forest' in the in the forest garden, a garden with fruit trees, nut trees, berry bushes and herbs, growing together in a sort of 'forest' of edible plants. Discover many unusual crosses, such as current-gooseberries - little black berries that grow on a bush with serrate leaves, and current-raspberries - a relative of the blackberry. In the Eco Shop they grind your flour while you wait. Or do you have a mill at home? If so you can purchase whole rye, wheat, spelt and barley. www.stiftelsenholma.org

Ekorundan 2008:
Ekorundan, or the Eco-Tour, is like an art tour but instead of looking at art you get to take a peek behind the scenes of some organic farms in Skåne. The farms will be open on 6-7 September 2008, with tips on growing, walks in herb gardens, pick-your-own vegetables, competitions, tractors, and of course loads of fresh food. Where? At an organic farm near you. For more info, see www.ekobonden.se

Christinehofs Ekopark:
in the cultural landscape around the 1700s castle Christinehof you'll find open grazing land, wetlands and meandering waterways. You can walk on wheelchair-accessible pathways, have a guided tour, watch birds from the bird-watching tower and much more. www.christinehofsekopark.se

Landskapet JO:
Fishing, bird-watching, cultural and natural guided tours in boats and on bikes in the Kristianstad wetlands. JO also offers active environmental work for the preservation of various sensitive environments for people who want to do their part for the environment and their own conscience. It's a form of tourism that is growing all over the world, and has now reached Sweden. www.landskapet.se

Österlens Ekosalong:
a hair studio where all the hair products used are environmentally friendly. You can also buy natural brushes, eco-cotton, soaps, oils and shaving products. www.osterlens-ekosalong.se

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Switzerland


Switzerland

Nature / Geography
Switzerland has 48 peaks above 13,000 feet. The Matterhorn is not the highest mountain. The highest peak is shared with Italy - the Dufour peak. Switzerland is rich in water: the Rhine, Rhone, Inn and the region of Ticino all have their water sources in the Gotthard. The Gotthard separates the northern and southern parts of Europe. Switzerland borders 5 other countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. Lac leman (Lake Geneva) is the largest land- locked lake in Western Europe. In Switzerland you are never more than 13 miles from a lake or river in which you can swim. Juf has the highest elevation of any European town. The largest edible chestnut forest in the Alps is in Malcantone near Lugano. The longest Glacier in the Alps can be found in Switzerland: the Aletsch Glacier is more than 14 miles long and a UNESCO World Heritae Site. The highest waterfall in Europe is the Mürrenbachfall with a 2,450 foot drop

Technology
Highest Train station in Europe: Jungfraujoch, 11,330 feet. Highest subterraneous station in Europe: Mittelallalin Saas Fee, 11,482 feet. Highest cable car station in Europe: small Matterhorn, 12,739 feet. Only revolving aerial cableway in Europe: Titlis. Steepest cogwheel station in the world: Pilatus with a 48% incline. Steepest aerial cableway in the world: Gelmerbahn with a 106% incline. Steepest Posbus route in Europe: Kiental in the Bernese Oberland with a 28% incline. Slowest express train in the world: Glacier Express. The only scenic train in the Alps that takes you over the pass instead of through a tunnel: Bernina, 7,637 Feet. Highest man-made cement dam in the world: Grande Dixence with a height of 935 feet. Longest pedestrian stairs in the world: 11,674 steps, 5,577 feet of height difference, Niesen. Highest fountain in Europe: Jet d'eau, Geneva with 459 feet. Highest open-air - passenger elevator in the world: Hammetschwand at the Bürgenstock, 525 feet high. The densest railway system in the world: 3,107 miles of tracks. All major bridges leading to and from Manhattan were designed by Swiss engineers.

Sport
Only country in the world with more than 1 km of hiking trails for each km2 of area: 62,000 km (38,525 miles) of hiking trails total. 20 ski resorts that are situated at an elevation of 9,842 feet or above. Longest ski run in the Alps: Klein Matterhorn-Zermatt. Longest, most famous and most beautiful World Cup Downhill Racing slope: Lauberhorn. Craziest freestyle competition in the world: Extreme in Verbier. The largest ice sculpture in the Alps: bob run in St. Moritz, it is the only natural ice bob run in the world. Horse racing on the snow for over 101 years: White Turf St. Moritz. The best sailing nation in the world: Alinghi. Oldest ski racing competition in the world: inferno Race in Muerren, since 1928. 18 hole golf course with the highest elevation in Europe: Arosa at 5905 feet.

People
Switzerland

Mr. Louis Chevrolet hailed from La Chaux-de-Fonds. First person to circumnavigate the globe in a hot-air balloon was the Swiss Bertrand Piccard. European record astronaut: Claude Nicolier. Famous life-saving dog: Barry. Legendary storybook heroine: Heidi. First 007 girl: Ursula Andress. Best tennis player ever: Roger Federer. Famous director of Neverland and the next James Bond movie: Marc Forster. Four time Academy Award winner: Arthur Cohn.

Economy
Switzerland has the most types of bread in relation to the population. 1:250. Highest located vineyard in Europe: Visperterminen at 4,265 feet. The first bar of chocolate was produced in Switzerland: François Cailler in 1819. First ready made "cup of soup" in the world: Julius Maggi, in 1889. The best selling watch brand: Swatch. World's largest food and beverage company: Nestlé headquartered in Vevey. Largest Wellness and Spa-Resort in the Alps: Leukerbad. Most famous knife in Europe: Victorinox. The Swiss are the world's largest consumers of chocolate: on average each Swiss consumes 22 lbs of chocolate a year. Number of wines produced in the Valais: 50 (the most wines grown in such a small area).

Arts and Culture / Customs
Switzerland

There exists a town with 400 inhabitants and 3 official languages: the town of Bivio near Savognin speaking Italian, German and Rhaetoromansh. Only Olympic Museum in the World: Lausanne. Largest collection of Paul Klee paintings in the world: Klee Museum in Bern. Longest covered bridge in the world: Chapel Bridge in Lucerne.

Cheese - Food and Wine
The real Swiss eat fondue only during the winter. When you lose your piece of bread in the cheese, you have to pay for the next bottle of wine, sing a song or do something embarrassing. The other very popular Swiss cheese dish, called Raclette, is where cheese is melted and scrapped directly from the wheel of cheese. People in Switzerland raise their eyebrows when they see Americans eating fondue with fries and Coke. In Switzerland, you can lease a cow, and during the time of the lease, you get all the cheese that is made from your cow's milk. While Switzerland is very famous for its cheese - it's also the home of the first wine growing area in the world that has been made a UNESCO world heritage site. It's the area called Lavaux between Montreux and Vevey on Lake Geneva. Switzerland doesn't just have holes in its famous cheeses. It also has holes in its mountains, among them the world's longest train tunnel through a mountain. Switzerland is famous for fondue and chocolate, but chocolate fondue wasn't invented there. The Swiss also eat fondue with meat or vegetables instead of cheese, which they cook in broth or even wine. Many Swiss have a glass of Kirsch - cherry schnapps - with the fondue. The more adventurous dunk their piece of bread in it before they load it with cheese. "Fondue" is French and means "melted." Even though it's a French word, it's called fondue in all four official languages of Switzerland. Gruyere is not just the name of the world famous cheese, but also the name of a wonderful town and a beautiful region close to the mountains and on the border of the French and German-speaking parts of Switzerland.

General
Switzerland

Yodeling started as a means of communications for farmers from one mountain to another. You're never more than 15 miles away from a lake or a river, wherever you are in Switzerland. The water in the streams and lakes of Switzerland is so clean that you can swim with your mouth open. The size of Switzerland is less than a third of NY state - but if you could just flatten the Alps, it would be much bigger. In some Swiss villages in the Alps, the locals play a game called Cow Bingo. On a field with a grid of numbered squares, every participant bets on one or several fields. Then a cow is put on the field and the people wait... and wait...and wait, until the cow is doing her business. Whoever bet on the square she hit wins! Switzerland is only a seven hour flight from Canada, and there are four daily departures with Swiss International Airlines from the tri-state area to Zurich and Geneva. Switzerland has the highest and most beautiful mountains of the Alps.

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Switzerland (40 reasons to visit)


1. The Federal Capital (Bern): Bern is Switzerland's romantic political capital, the city of the bear pits, flowers, fountains and museums, and the unique medieval Old Town (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage). The Bernese Old Town is situated on a peninsula of the River Aare. Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Berne developed over the centuries in line with a an exceptionally coherent planning concept. The buildings in the Old City, dating from a variety of periods, include 15th-century arcades and 16th century fountains. Most of the medieval town was restored in the 18th century but it has retained its original character. www.berninfo.com

Switzerland

2. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes: New on the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage, it brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the northwestern part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges. The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socioeconomic impact on life in the mountains. It constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architectural and civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes through which they pass. http://www.rhb.ch/index.php?id=891?&L=4

3. Castle of Bellinzona. Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market Town of Bellinzone: The Bellinzone site consists of a group of fortifications grouped around the castle of Castelgrande, which stands on a rocky peak looking out over the entire Ticino valley. Running from the castle, a series of fortified walls protect the ancient town and block the passage through the valley. A second castle (Montebello) forms an integral part of the fortifications, while a third but separate castle (Sasso Corbaro) was built on an isolated rocky promontory southeast of the other fortifications. www.bellinzonaunesco.ch/castelliunesco/en/

4. Aletsch Glacier: With a length of 23 km, the Aletsch is the longest glacier in the Alps. It is surrounded by the Aletsch Forest, which, at an altitude of 2,2000 meters is one of the highest stone pine forests in Europe. The extension of the natural World Heritage property of Jungfrau - Aletsch - Bietschhorn (first inscribed in 2001) expands the site to the east and west, bringing its surface area up to 82,400 ha. Up from 53,900. The site provides an outstanding example of the formation of the High Alps, including the most glaciated part of the mountain range and the largest glacier in Eurasia. It features a wide diversity of ecosystems, including successional stages due particularly to the retreat of glaciers resulting from climate change. The site is of outstanding universal value both for its beauty and for the wealth

Switzerland

5. Abbey Library (St. Gallen): The Abbey of St. Gallen figures on the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage. The Convent of St Gall, a perfect example of a great Carolingian monastery, was, from the 8th century to its secularization in 1805, one of the most important in Europe. Its library is one of the richest and oldest in the world and contains precious manuscripts such as the earliest-known architectural plan drawn on parchment. From 1755 to 1768, the conventual area was rebuilt in Baroque style. The cathedral and the library are the main features of this remarkable architectural complex, reflecting 12 centuries of continuous activity. The spirit of the Benedictine Monks is still perceptible in the Abbey Library, which is said to be the most beautiful secular Rococo hall in Switzerland. www.stiftsbibliothek.ch   www.stgallen-bodensee.ch

6. Swiss National Park (Zernez): The oldest Central European and Alpine national park is famous for its great variety of Alpine fauna and flora and its virtually intact natural landscape. The Alpine landscape of the National Park extends from an altitude of 1,400 to 3200 meters above sea level. The Swiss National Park, opened in 1914 and still the only national park in the country, is an important attraction for Zernez and the Engadine St. Moritz region. Visitors obtain useful information at the National Park Centre in Zernez, where the park headquarters is also located. The centre is open daily from the beginning of June until the end of October. The Swiss National Park offers a fascinating wilderness with an intact plant and animal world, which can be viewed from an 80 km network of walking trails. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/zernez

Switzerland

7. Baroque Abbey (Einsiedeln): Einsiedeln has been one of the most important places of pilgrimage ever since the Middle Ages. In the newly restored Benedictine Abbey you will find the Lady Chapel with the Black Madonna. www.myswitzerland.com/en.cfm/about_switzerland/topattractions/

8. Castle (Gruyère): Dominating the small city surrounded by walls where counts once lived, Gruyere Castle presents an interesting opportunity to find out about five centuries of history, and to see remarkable supernatural art exhibitions. At the foot of the Pre-Alps, you will be enchanted by the charm and picturesque architecture of the medieval town of Gruyères. The town has given its name to the area and to its delicious cheese. Come and explore a little town that's been unaffected by the passage of time, built in a superb setting. www.gruyeres.ch

9. Madonna del Sasso (Locarno): A walk through the old town leads to the Piazza Grande, a square surrounded by picturesque houses and arcades. Each year in August, the square turns into a large open-air cinema to host the famous international film festival at Locarno. www.maggiore.ch

Switzerland

10. Old town/Bridge (Lucerne): The medieval city, the lake, the mountains, an unmistakable composition of natural and man-made beauty, time-tested over the centuries and carefully nurtured. Luzerne, the lively capital of Central Switzerland, is a city to fall in love with! www.luzern.com

11. Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair: The Convent of Müstair, which stands in a valley in the Grisons, is a good example of Christian monastic renovation during the Carolingian period. It has Switzerland's greatest series of figurative murals, painted c. A.D. 800, along with Romanesque frescoes and stuccoes. http://www.myswitzerland.com/en.cfm/destinations/top_attractions/

12. Swiss Alpine Museum (Bern): The only museum dedicated to the Swiss Alps introduces the visitors to cultural and natural peculiarities of the alpine world. http://www.alpinesmuseum.ch

Switzerland

13. Papiliorama (Kerzers): The Papiliorama is a fascinating exotic world, where various diurnal species fly around a tropical forest environment in total freedom. Nocturama lets visitors observe nocturnal wildlife that has been brought here from the forests of Southern and Central America. www.papiliorama.ch

14. Reichenbach Falls (Meiringen): The beauty of the mighty waterfall - height of drop 100 m - and the scenic charms of the surroundings have been described since tourism began. A Sherlock Holmes commemorative plaque by the cable railway reminds the visitor that Conan Doyle was so deeply impressed by the wild beauty of this waterfall that he decided to let his world-famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, fall to his death in the Reichenbach Falls after a fight with his archenemy Prof. Moriarty. www.reichenbachfall.ch

15. St. Peter's Isle (Lake Biel): It was here on St. Peter's Isle in Lake Biel that the famous philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his own words "spent the happiest time of his life"! Nowadays his former residence, a monastery, houses the well-known restaurant and hotel St. Petersinsel. www.bielersee.ch

Switzerland

16. The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces: stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from the Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, developed to optimize local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine that has always been important to the economy. www.lake-geneva-region.ch

17. Isole di Brissago (Brissago): The botanical garden has a collection of plants from all over the world. Around 1,500 species, most of them from the southern hemisphere, as well as from the Mediterranean and the Far East: the Himalayas, China, and Japan. www.isolebrissago.ch

Switzerland

18. Rhine Falls (Neuhausen): The Rhine Falls, the largest falls in Europe, offer a spectacular showpiece to visitors. With an average flow of 25,000 cubic ft / sec (700 m3 / sec) the water cascades down the cataracts, which are 450 ft (150 m) wide and 75 ft (23 m) high. Taking a boat trip into the basin below the cataracts you can feel the great power of the rushing water. www.rheinfall.ch

19. Travers Valley (Creux-du-Van): A breathtakingly beautiful natural rock cirque. Creux-du-Van is a paradise for ibex, birds of prey, marmots, deer, and of course for nature lovers. www.neuchateltourisme.ch

20. Olympic Museum (Lausanne): A unique, lively and interactive exhibition, the Olympic Museum is the world's largest information centre relating to the Olympics. www.museum.olympic.org

Switzerland

21. Tinguely Museum (Basel): The architect, Mario Botta, designed the Museum Jean Tinguely. It is devoted to the life and work of this major sculptor in iron. www.basel.com

22. Swiss chocolate factory Maestrani (Flawil): During the Schoggiland opening hours and without prior appointment, individual visitors can witness from an 80-meter high visitors gallery how chocolate is produced and taste the delicious Munz and Minor specialties. www.schoggi-land.ch

23. Watch Museum (Le Locle): Not far from Le Locle, a late 18th century manor house is home to a magnificent collection of clocks and watches. www.mhl-monts.ch

Switzerland

24. Swiss Museum of Transport & Communication (Lucerne): The Swiss transport museum is a theme park that reveals the history of all forms of transportation and communication in a fascinating show. www.verkehrshaus.ch

25. Swiss Miniatures (Melide): Swiss miniatures shows you the most picturesque features of Switzerland - towns, villages, monuments, transportation, all at a scale of 1:25. www.swissminiatur.ch

26. Vines and Wine Museum (Aigle): The Château d'Aigle, surrounded by Chablais vineyards, houses the Vine, Wine and Etiquette museums: the ideal place to preserve and exhibit almost 2,000 years of history and heritage! www.chateauaigle.ch

Switzerland

27. Alpamare (Pfäffikon): The largest covered aquatic parc in Europe is great fun, from activities to wellness in and near the water - a pleasure for the whole family. www.alpamare.ch

28. Thermal Spa (Yverdon-les-Bains): Yverdon-les-Bains Thermal Spa offers peace and relaxation. Yverdon-les-Bains has been making use of its thermal waters since Roman times. Its healing waters, which go back more than 15 centuries, are rich in minerals thanks to the type of soil in the area. www.cty.ch

Switzerland

29. Skater Park (Sattel): 7000 m2 of outdoor skating fun in Europe's largest open-air skating park! - With an inline school and a rental shop. For years now, this has been the venue of everyone who owns anything in the nature of a skateboard or roller skates; the Sattel free-time and sports park is open to bladers, snake- and skateboarders, roller skaters and BMX bikers of all ages and levels of skill. www.rollerpark.ch

30. Verzasca Valley (Verzasca): A hiking trail for art lovers along works of art. The "sentierone" begins in Mergoscia and leads through the entire Verzasca valley to Sonogno along the river on the opposite bank to the cantonal road. www.maggiore.ch

Switzerland

31. Swiss Holiday Park (Morschach): The Swiss Holiday Park with its a wide range of leisure and wellness offerings leaves nothing to be desired. On 44 acres this leisure and holiday park presents a plethora of sports activities and games for visitors of all age groups. www.swissholidaypark.ch

Switzerland

32. Pilatus: So close to Lucerne and so easy to reach by public transport, Mount Pilatus (2132 m altitude) is the perfect peak for everyone, large or small. 2 aerial cableways, 2 hotels, 7 restaurants, the world's steepest cogwheel railway and Central Switzerland's biggest suspension rope park guarantee exciting excursions. All kinds of sports fans meet here to hike, climb, toboggan sledge, bike and sledge (6 km sledge run). Plus: events, attractions and fun galore! http://www.pilatus.ch

34. Schilthorn (Mürren): Enjoy the magnificent mountain world of the Bernese Oberland by following in James Bond's footsteps on the 3000 m high Schilthorn. www.schilthorn.ch

Switzerland

35. Monte Brè (Lugano): A cable car from Cassarate climbs to the peak. A unique opportunity to see not only the magnificent vista extending far across the Swiss-Italian border, but also the view over Lugano and its vicinity. www.montebre.ch

36. Titlis Rotair (Engelberg): The journey is made by 3 aerial cable cars through many changes of scenery, from the green valley up into the high alpine glacier region, in only 45 minutes. The summit station at 3,020 meters (10,000 feet) has snow and ice the whole year. Engelberg-Titlis is the biggest ski resort in Central Switzerland with sledding, cross-country skiing, winter hiking, glacier skiing snowboarding and much more. www.titlis.ch

Switzerland

37. Schwägalp (Säntis): The view from the Säntis, at an altitude of 2502 m, extends over a magnificent mountain panorama with the peaks and valleys of six Alpine countries. www.saentisbahn.ch

38. Brienzerrothorn (Brienz): Ever since 1892, the summer months in Brienz have witnessed a hissing, huffing and puffing that are nonetheless pleasing to the ear, eye and nose. It comes from the Brienz Rothorn Railway, whose locomotives have for three generations climbed the 1,678 meters to the summit of the Brienz Rothorn without ever running short of puff. www.brienz-rothorn-bahn.ch

Switzerland

39. United Nations (Geneva): When you pass through the gate of the Palais des Nations, you are entering international land. A land without frontiers that welcomes 20,000 delegates from these nations every year, a place where 3,000 civil servants work towards the same goal: achieving peace, security and dignity for all mankind. www.geneve-tourisme.ch

40. The Swiss people: "As you are official representatives for Switzerland, I have to share an experience from my trip which speaks volumes about Swiss people. We were running to grab a couple of sausages at the Zurich train station (Very tasty). However, I needed to drop off our luggage cart first. In doing so, I mistakenly forgot to grab my laptop. After Paul ate 4 sausages (3 minutes) it occurred to me that I forgot my laptop. I went back to retrieve it and the cart was gone and so was my laptop. I figured that ... was on a train to Romania. Anyway, Paul suggested we visit the lost and found office. The office was closed and they said any articles received that day would be sent to Bern. I went online and submitted my claim. The next day I received an email notifying me that there was a match. I called them up and was informed that my laptop was returned to them. They will be sending to me in the next few days. Can you believe that? Can you imagine that ever happening in a NYC subway Station? What a country. What nice people. "

(Source: CITC) www.MySwtizerland.com

Switzerland

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationEurope.html



Teen Travel (Safety)


Whether you are sending your child to a traditional overnight camp, on a school field trip or half way around the world, safety is always paramount in a parent's mind. For 20 years a Chicago-based service adventure travel company called The Road Less Traveled has been providing teens and young adults the chance to embark upon unique, life-changing experiences in some of the world's most incredible locations. Whether participants are hiking the Andes Mountains in Ecuador or scuba diving and replanting underwater reefs in the Florida Keys, the programs' first priority is always safety. To ensure the best and safest journey possible, here are some safety tips for teens and parents from the staff of The Road Less Traveled:

Teen Travel

For Parents...
Choose A Credible Company: With so many teen tours, adventure trips and service-focused programs available to teens these days it can be hard to know which one to go with. Select a program that has a great track record and an established reputation. Don't be afraid to ask for references or testimonials from previous participants. Another consideration is to choose a program that is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA).
Check The State Department's Website: http://travel.state.gov Here you can find the most up-to-date information on country-specific travel warnings.
Check Your Family's Overseas Medical Insurance Coverage: Make sure your policy applies to overseas and will cover emergency transportation expenses. If it doesn't, you want to consider supplementary coverage for your child.
Check to see what minimum first aid certification level the leaders are required to have. If your child will ever be more than 2 hours away from a hospital, the best training is Wilderness First Responder (WFR). Standard first aid, and wilderness first aid are not sufficient certifications in remote settings.
Talk to the directors of the program. If they are inaccessible when you are making a decision, they will be inaccessible during the summer. Talk to the directors to learn about what their mission is as well what are the values they embrace as a program. Make sure it aligns with your own personal values.

For Teens...
Leave a Detailed Itinerary & Duplicate Documents At Home: Before leaving, make copies of your itinerary, passport and credit cards and leave them with your parents. Make sure the itinerary includes addresses, phone numbers and any other relevant information about where you will be traveling.
For those traveling in another country, register your trip on Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP). The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.
Locate the American Embassy in the country you are traveling to. Take their phone number and address with you and keep it in a safe place. Should an emergency arise, you may well need to contact them for help.
Stick Together: Avoid walking around alone, especially at night. Stay away from isolated areas and always take a friend or staff member with you if you need to venture away from the group.
Know The Laws of Your Travel Destination: While in a foreign country you are subject to its laws. Be aware of local conditions and cognizant of respecting the local culture.

About The Road Less Traveled:
The Road Less Traveled offers unparalleled service and adventure trips for teens and young adults to some of the world's most incredible locations including Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Spain, Tanzania, India, Nepal and Norway, in addition to the United States and Canada. Each summer, The Road Less Traveled introduces hundreds of teens to some of the most fascinating places, cultures and experiences while simultaneously helping them develop their sense of self and transforming their outlook on the world. The majority of programs offered by The Road Less Traveled programs feature a service-focused component in which kids have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and broaden their horizons while making a meaningful societal contribution. The Road Less Traveled was founded by Jim and Donna Stein in 1991 and is headquartered at 2331 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago, IL. For more information, please visit www.theroadlesstraveled.com or call 1.800.939.983



Toronto Brigantine Youth Sail Training


Toronto Brigantine Inc. offers Winter and Summer Programs. The Summer Program consist of a set of Training Courses where male and female youths aged 14 to 18 spend 6 to 14 days at sea on one of our brigantines TS Playfair and STV Pathfinder.

Summer Program:
Each summer, between July and September, TBI's Brigantines can be found visiting ports around the Great Lakes. While the vessels are commanded by Transport Canada-licensed Captains, the Crew members are seasoned teenagers who have two to five-years experience sailing with TBI. Trainees join the ships for 6 - 14 day training courses. Trainees are assigned to one of three rotating Watches, operating the ships on a 24/7 schedule. Trainees learn the basics of sail handling, seamanship, teamwork and leadership from the Crew members while experiencing the thrills and challenges of living and working aboard a tall ship.

Winter Program:
The Officers, get a great deal of their training during the Winter Program. Most participants in the Winter Program have sailed on at least one summer course, though this is not a requirement. The Program itself consists of training, lectures and work parties. Depending on the level of training obtained by the Officer, training ranges from basic seamanship skills to First Aid, piloting and dead reckoning, and learning general maritime rules. Work parties during the Winter Program involve the necessary winter de-commissioning, winterizing, de-rigging, re-rigging, and re-commissioning of the ships as well as painting, varnishing, and sail and rigging repair

Youth & School Groups:
The brigantines are available in May, June and September for charter by youth and school groups. This sail-training can extend from a half day course in Toronto Harbour to a full-week sail to various ports on Lake Ontario. Participants in the youth or school groups are expected to be actively involved in sailing the tall ship

Adult & Corporate Sail; Training:
The brigantines are available for adult and corporate groups in May, June and September. This sail training is offered on a for full day, half day, evening or overnight. schedules. TBI will provide Officers to deliver the training, but the charter group itself will be responsible for actually sailing the ship.

Contact: http://www.torontobrigantine.org/ e-mail: office@torontobrigantine.org.
Ph: 416-596-7117; Office: 215 Spadina Ave - Suite #413, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2C7;
Our ships and workshop are located in Marina Quay West, just east of Bathurst and Queen's Quay West.

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationCanada.html



Toronto, Canada


Toronto Architecture:

Toronto Architecture

For a relatively young city, Toronto has a tremendous variety of architecture. What is astonishing is the compatibility among the city's old architecture and the new. There are many restored buildings in Toronto along side the new developments. It is a significant achievement, and it works. Indeed, the city is on the verge of an architectural renaissance that will forever change the way we think about it. Toronto has emerged as an architectural hotspot with major projects by noted 'starchitects' Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, Norman Foster, and Will Alsop. By the time the construction dust settles, Toronto's cultural infrastructure will have been entirely remade. Some of the city's grandest and most venerable institutions have been and continue to be transformed into 21st century landmarks. Though most of these projects are additions or expansions to existing buildings, some are brand new, designed and built from the ground up. Here are a few notable Toronto architectural designs...

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Toronto Arts & Culture:

Toronto Arts & Culture

Toronto has museums involving everything from shoes to sugar and ceramic art to textiles and television. Here are some facts on the city's dynamic arts and culture scene:

There are 125 museums and public archives in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Nine of these are Toronto City museums.

There are over 50 ballet and dance companies, six opera companies and two symphony orchestras.

200 pieces of public art and monuments add to Toronto's landscape in addition to the over 2,000 moveable works of fine art on display in public buildings such as City Hall and the civic centres.

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Toronto By The Numbers:

Toronto By The Numbers

Population
The population of the Greater Toronto Area is 5.1 million ranking it as the 5th largest metropolitan area in North America.

46% of Toronto's population are immigrants to Canada

128 languages and dialects can be heard on the streets of Toronto.

Toronto's population is predicted to increase to 7.45 million by the year 2031.

Transportation
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) serviced 1.5 million daily passengers in 2008.

A total of 467 million annual passengers travelled on the TTC in 2008.

The TTC's subways, buses and streetcars cover 204,529 km (127, 088 miles) in one year.

There are 1,498 wheelchair accessible buses in Toronto.

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Toronto Diversity:

Toronto Diversity

Toronto is heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in the world and is ranked as the safest large metropolitan area in North America by Places Rated Almanac.

Over 140 languages and dialects are spoken here, and just over 30 per cent of Toronto residents speak a language other than English or French at home.

Between 2001 and 2006, Canada received 1,109,980 international immigrants. Toronto welcomed about one quarter of all immigrants, 267,855, to Canada during this period of about 55,000 annually.

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Toronto Major Events:

Toronto Events 2011

Please note: dates are subject to change without notice. Please consult websites.

January
Next Stage Theatre Festival - Jan. 5 to Jan. 16 -- www.fringetoronto.com
Toronto International Boat Show - Jan. 8 to Jan. 16 -- www.torontoboatshow.com
Interior Design Show - Jan. 27 to Jan. 30 -- www.interiordesignshow.com
Toronto WinterCity Festival - www.toronto.ca/special_events
Winterlicious - Jan. 28 to Feb. 10 -- www.toronto.ca/special_events

February
Kuumba Festival - Feb. 5 to Feb. 6 -- www.harbourfrontcentre.com/Kuumba
Kuumba Festival - Feb. 12 to Feb. 13 -- www.harbourfrontcentre.com/Kuumba
Auto Show - Feb. 18 to Feb. 27 -- www.autoshow.ca
Masala! Mehndi! Masti! Winterfest - July 23 to July 25 -- www.masalamehndimasti.com

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Toronto Infrastructure:

Toronto Infrastructure

Above ground or below, here are some facts about what's moving in, around, on and under Toronto:

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is North America's largest public transit system after New York City.
Over 1.5 million trips are made on the TTC daily.
GO Transit is the interregional public transit for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
GO runs 183 train trips and 2,074 bus trips daily, carrying about 215,000 passengers on a typical weekday. 96 per cent of riders go to and from Union Station.

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Toronto Neighborhoods:

Toronto Neighborhoods

More to Explore
Toronto is an exciting urban centre made up of diverse and colourful neighbourhoods and regions, creating a rich mosaic of cultures and lifestyles. With more than 100 cultures celebrated in Greater Toronto, visitors can enjoy art, ideas and cuisine from around the world, all within easy reach of each other. From tantalizing world cuisine and oodles of shopping to areas teeming with history, Toronto's neighbourhoods offer the kinds of experiences that unfold when diverse ideas, cultures and lifestyles mix, mingle and thrive.

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Toronto's Gay Community:

Toronto's Gay Community

Outrageous and fabulous, Toronto is full of passion, energy and the sweetest eye-candy around. A hotspot night and day and night, Toronto offers a world of arts, culture and vivacious nightlife with a vibrant gay village at the city's core.

The Village
Toronto is home to Canada's largest gay community and welcomes visitors from all walks of life. The Gay Village, or "The Village" as the locals call it, is a predominantly gay neighbourhood nestled amidst Toronto's downtown core. Centred at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets, the area is packed with cafés, restaurants, gay-oriented shops and a vast array of hot bars and nightspots.

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Toronto: Jazz


Toronto Jazz

May 15, 1953. Massey Hall, Toronto, ON. Five seminal bebop giants take the stage in "The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever." Charlie Parker. Dizzy Gillespie. Bud Powell. Charles Mingus. Max Roach. Ever since that day, Toronto's kept its ID as Canada's Big Apple for jazz, says Jim Galloway. The soprano saxophonist famous for his inimitable swing style has worked here with the greats in the earlier styles of jazz.

Few cities can boast live jazz 365 days a year, not to mention four annual jazz festivals. Toronto's live music in clubs, concert halls and main stages has thrived since the historic day when the city's jazz scene vaulted to international status.

Like all celebrated music cities, Toronto has cultivated its own stars: the late flutist Moe Koffman, vibraphonist Peter Appleyard, flugelhornist Guido Basso, composer Phil Nimmons, guitarist Ed Bickert, multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson and saxophonist Galloway. Though jazz here tends to be mainstream-Rob McConnell's Boss Brass Band-the traditionalist Climax Jazz band has pleased crowds for 38 years.

As the culturally diverse city blossomed into a place of pilgrimage for the world's best jazz musicians, the downtown core incubated a multicultural mix of styles. Toronto cultivated an eclectic genre of jazz musicians, drawing from Canadian, American, European, African and blues music from traditional to swing, bebop, sultry smooth and rousing klezmer jazz. The new breed of talents includes soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett, known for her distinctive hybrid of jazz and Afro-Cuban music, and guitarist Kevin Breit, who mixes jazz with the folksy twang of country.

Today, Toronto is an essential stop on the world tours of most notable jazz bands. Here's your hit list:
  • The retro-style Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar is famed as much for its huge variety of draught beer as for its incredible volume of acts (some 18 a week!), running from locals to legends.
  • Hooch, a quirky lounge-cum-dance club known for cutting-edge styles, dedicates Thursday nights to swing, with big band, jazz and blues numbers that invite dancing.
  • AlleyCatz Live Jazz Bar for a martini at the bar or dinner during sets of smooth jazz.
  • For really classy performances, check out the Art Gallery of Ontario: some nights, it hosts the city's hottest talents.
  • Every second Saturday afternoon, C'est What serves up traditional New Orleans jazz with comfort food.
  • And since Toronto is one of a few cities with an internationally acclaimed jazz-only radio station, tune in to what's happenin' at Jazz FM 91. Want to hear about jazz in Toronto? Just listen!
Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationCanada.html



Toronto, ON (ROM)


The ROM

Eyesore or icon? Millennium Dome or the Guggenheim? The heated debate continues. But one thing is sure: the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)'s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal is a groundbreaking piece of architecture. Thanks to its engineering complexity and lack of right angles, the new Crystal ranks as one of North America's most challenging construction projects - Canada's Bilboa, if you will. Unveiled in June 2007, it's also the latest in a slew of modern architecture high-wire acts in Toronto, ON, aimed at revitalizing the city's most prominent cultural institutions. The Crystal anchors the city's new arts and cultural district. It is part of Renaissance ROM, a $270-million, 17,200-sq m (175,000-sq ft) addition to the ROM, and perhaps the most anticipated and stylistically contested of Toronto's architectural renaissance.

The creation of "starchitect" Daniel Libeskind, the Crystal is nothing if not arresting. It seems to burst up out of Bloor Street West, one of Toronto's most-walked thoroughfares, like an enormous piece of translucent quartz with overhanging angular prisms, contrasting with the quaint brick heritage buildings nearby. Polish-born Libeskind of World Trade Center reconstruction fame first sketched the ambitious structure on a paper napkin one night at the ROM, inspired by the museum's mineral and gem collection.

The ROM

The Crystal is five interlocking, self-supporting geometric shapes, 3,500 tons of steel, 38 tons of bolts, 9,000 cubic m of concrete, 162 sq-m (1,750 sq-ft) of glass and 30 km (18 mi) of extruded anodized aluminum. One-quarter of the exterior is glass (with 52 windows and a rumoured $200,000 a year in window-cleaning costs). The tip soars 10 storeys, measuring 36.5 m (120 ft). Libeskind designed the innovative structure in a joint venture with Toronto's Bregman + Hamann Architects.

The Crystal will house seven new galleries on four floors, the C5 Restaurant Lounge, a toney retail boutique and Canada's largest exhibition hall. The first two permanent galleries open in December 2007: Mesozoic Era (250 to 65 million years ago) fossils, dinosaur specimens and mammal skeletons inside the futuristic design - a marriage of old and new.

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationCanada.html



Uniondale, ON


Uniondale Art

Arrhianna Centre, The Art of Peace Gallery
Located between Woodstock, Stratford and London, this gallery is a tranquil oasis in rural Oxford. From the moment you spot this bright yellow building, you will sense simplicity and creativity. Built in the 1940's as a hardware store and grain depot, it has been lovingly transformed into a gallery where Heidi and Antoinette display their art and photography. Paintings, sculpture, photographs, stained glass, cards, crystals and jewellery are only the beginning of discoveries at Arrhianna. This is also a place of change, beginning with the private Reiki retreat space, and continuing to the expansive studio with its warm wide plank floors and cushions for group sessions and classes. While you explore, brew yourself a cup of tea in the open kitchen. Open Wednesday-Friday 11-7, Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12-5. Oxford Rd. 96 at Highway 119 Uniondale, ON Ph: 519-349-2727 www.theyellowcentre.com

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US Tourism


US Travel & Tourism - The Canadian Connection

Canada generated record visitation to the United States at 23.4 million in 2013; up 3 percent from 2012. Therefore, Canada continued to deliver the largest inbound travel market to the United States in 2013 at 34 percent of 69.8 million international visitors. Total growth of 20 percent is expected from 2013 - 2018.

Canada ranks first in spending at US$27 billion or 15 percent of total international spending (US$180.7 billion), and first in balance of trade surplus at US$19.4 billion in 2013.

International Travel is one of the largest exports of services for the United States, accounting for 42 percent of total U.S. services exports to Canada in 2013.

All states benefit from Canadian travelers but a few dominate the numbers. The most popular states are New York and Florida. New York leads with 19% of Canadian visitors; however, Florida dominates in visitor nights (37%) and spending (25%), due to the large number of Canadian "snowbirds" seeking warmer weather.

Transportation (2011 mode of Entry into U.S.)
• 60% auto
• 35% air
• 3% bus
• 2% (rail, boat, pedestrian)
• 71% of business travelers flew

Most Popular Activities Origin Province (2011)
Ontario (43%), British Columbia (18%), and Quebec (17%) account for the largest share of visitors to the U.S. More importantly, Ontario and British Columbia have a higher share of visitation than their population at 39% and 13% respectively.

Season of Visit (2011)
The third quarter (July-September) attracted 32 percent of all Canadian travelers. Visitation in the 2nd quarter was 25%, and 22% in the 1st and 21% in the 4th quarters.

Stay Length (2011)
•57% of Canadian visits to the U.S. are day trips
• Among overnight trips:
  • 35% stay a week or longer
  • 22% stay 4 to 6 nights
  • 19% stay 2 nights
  • 16% stay approximately 8 nights
The average stay is 8.25 nights.

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
All travelers are required to present a single WHTI-compliant document proving both citizenship and identity when entering or re-entering the United States by ANY MODE. Children under the age of 16 are able to cross land and sea borders only using a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship. For more information, please visit: http://www.dhs.gov/files/crossingborders/travelers.shtm

Sources
Department of Homeland Security http://www.dhs.gov
Discover America - Official Travel & Tourism Website of the United States http://www.discoveramerica.com/
International Trade Administration, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov
Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html



Accommodations  Main Trip Purpose  Visitors & Spending

YouTubes

Canadians Cross Border to Catch Flights

"Land of Dreams" Full Length Video


Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationUS.html



Vancouver, BC


94 Things You (May) Have Never Done

Source: Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts: http://www2.panpacific.com/en/Vancouver/Overview.html
  • 1. Get a workout with stunning views - climb the Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain. http://www.grousemountain.com/


  • 94 Reasons

  • 2. Explore the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This Ming Dynasty-style garden is tucked away behind protective walls in the heart of Chinatown. http://www.vancouverchinesegarden.com/
  • 3. Try LaStone Therapy, an original stone massage, at Pan Pacific Vancouver's Spa Utopia.
  • 4. Take the Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise with Harbour Cruises, and see the city from a different perspective. Enjoy spectacular scenery along 18km of coastal mountain fjords, right in our backyard. http://www.boatcruises.com/tour.php?pv=p3
  • 5. Afraid of heights? Tackle the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and then enjoy the Treetops walk on the other side of the bridge. http://www.discovervancouver.com/attractions/parks-gardens/Capilano-Suspension-Bridge
  • 6. Explore the delights of the Kids Only Market on Granville Island. http://www.granvilleisland.com/
  • 7. Go whale watching and view the majestic Orca Whales. Tours available from Vancouver and Victoria (Summer months only)
  • 8. Take a Walking Tour of Vancouver's oldest and most historic City, Gastown...don't miss the steam clock and be sure to have a cup of coffee in one of the many coffee shops in the old part of the neighborhood's surroundings. http://www.gastown.org/history/index.html
  • 9. Learn more about our First Nations' culture at the Vancouver Museum at Vanier Park. http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/
  • 10. Immerse yourselves in the rich cultural products of the Punjabi Market located 15 minutes away from downtown and accessible via public transportation.
  • 11. Escape the tourist traps and shop Main Street's funky boutiques from Broadway to 30th.


  • 94 Reasons

  • 12. Explore the city's fascinating beginnings at the Museum of Anthropology, located at the University of British Columbia campus. http://www.moa.ubc.ca/
  • 13. Rent a bicycle and cruise the forested trails of UBC's Endowment Lands.
  • 14. Explore Chinatown on a walking tour or take a guided tour of the area.
  • 15. Bowl them over at the funky Commodore Lanes & Billiards in downtown Vancouver (5 pin bowling).
  • 16. Get a bird's eye view of Vancouver on a helicopter or seaplane tour.


  • 94 Reasons

  • 17. Rent rollerblades and whiz through Stanley Park along the famous sea wall. http://www.stanleypark.org/
  • 18. Sip a martini in a rainstorm during happy hour at the Bridge's Restaurant.
  • 19. Pack a picnic to enjoy in Queen Elizabeth Park.
  • 20. Visit Commercial Drive and sip café with the locals at an authentic Italian Coffee Bar.
  • 94 Reasons
  • 21. Rent a Mercedes convertible and cruise the beautiful coastline, from Kits Beach to Spanish Banks.
  • 22. Tour the Granville Island Brewery. http://gib.ca/
  • 23. Find some vintage vinyl at Zulu Records, Vancouver's best-known record emporium.
  • 24. Hop a ferry over to Bowen Island for a hike in the unspoiled forest lands. http://www.hellobc.com/bowen-island.aspx
  • 25. Buy native art at Hills Native Art Galleries located in Vancouver. http://www.hills.ca/
  • 26. Encounter a baby Beluga Whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, plus a one of a kind film watching experience awaits you at the Vancouver Aquarium's 4D Experience! A thrilling sensory experience that both kids and adults will love! http://www.vanaqua.org/
  • 27. Visit the Museum of Mining at Britannia Beach for a blast to the past. http://www.bcmm.ca/
  • 28. Take an invigorating dip in the indoor heated pool at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, or enjoy our very own heated outdoor pool. The scenery is stunning and we are the only Hotel with a saltwater swimming pool in Vancouver.
  • 29. Be naughty...visit the Does Your Mother Know magazine store on 4th Avenue.
  • 30. Discover Vancouver's best kept secret...visit Jericho Sailing Club and admire the view. http://jsca.bc.ca/
  • 31. Take a kayaking lesson at the False Creek Community Centre on Granville Island.
  • 32. Think you know it all? Stump the clerk at Videomatica, Vancouver's most knowledgeable video store.
  • 33. Ride in style...take a horse-drawn tour around the city's famous Stanley Park.
  • 34. Go night skiing at Grouse Mountain. The mountain is open until 10:00 pm, 365 days a year!
  • 35. Take windsurfing lessons on Spanish Banks. Everyone has been to a beach, but can everyone actually say they were ON the water blasting away with the city skyline as the background?
  • 94 Reasons
  • 36. Treat yourself to a moment from the past, go for an early morning jog through the ancient trees of Light House Park, West Vancouver. Listen to the crashing waves on granite pier through the fog to watch the lights and take in the savory scent of the coastal waters.
  • 37. Classical music enthusiasts can indulge with the seasons offerings of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra ( http://www.vancouversymphony.ca ) or search through a treasure throve of classical CDs and records at Sikora Classical.
  • 38. Vancouver is home to several professional sports teams, the most famous being the Vancouver Canucks Hockey team. Hockey season runs from September-April (or longer if the Canucks make the play offs)! Be sure to see a live game to experience the great atmosphere at the always-packed GM place stadium. http://canucks.nhl.com/
  • 39. Sit on the beach of English Bay and watch the International Fireworks Competition in July and August.
  • 40. The annual Vancouver Pride Parade ( http://www.vancouverpride.ca ) is a celebration of pride, diversity and equality organized by Vancouver's GLBT community.
  • 41. Take a sea plane ride out to Victoria on Vancouver Island, spend the day exploring and visit the world famous Butchart Gardens. Return by ferry back to Vancouver to enjoy the sunset as you sail through the Gulf Islands. http://www.butchartgardens.com/the-gardens/
  • 42. Check out Bard on the Beach during the summer evenings, where tents are set up in Vanier Park (right on the water) so that spectators can enjoy Shakespearean performances that take place within the open tent. http://www.bardonthebeach.org/


  • 94 Reasons

  • 43. Take in the flora and fauna at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden. http://www.vandusengarden.org/
  • 44. View the interesting Romanesque architecture of the Vancouver Public Library. http://www.vpl.ca/
  • 45. Visit Point Atkinson Lighthouse at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, and explore the area a little on foot.
  • 46. Sit on a log at Spanish Banks or Kitsilano Beach and soak in the views of English Bay.
  • 47. Take one of the 3 Hop-On-Hop Off tour buses available in Vancouver. The closest pick up point is conveniently located right in front of the Hotel.
  • 48. Drive to Whytecliff Park near Horseshoe Bay, stop and enjoy the views overlooking Howe Sound.
  • 49. Visit the Science World, inspiring future science and technology. Great fun for the entire family. http://www.scienceworld.ca/
  • 50. Shop on Robson till you drop.
  • 51. Enjoy Vancouver-based eco tours, the best way to see beautiful sea life, landscapes, sceneries and wilderness of Canada.
  • 52. On a clear evening, take a snowshoe hike on Grouse Mountain during winter.


  • 94 Reasons

  • 53. For those who want to enjoy the sensation of flying, head over to Mount Seymour in North Vancouver for tobogganing or snow tubing.
  • 54. Visit the salmon hatchery and walk up to Cleveland Dam, then just sit and take in the world.
  • 55. Relax in your hotel room at Pan Pacific Vancouver and watch the giant cruise ships come in and out with happy faces on the deck. (One of Elizabeth Taylor's favorite pastimes) http://www.panpacific.com/en/Vancouver/Overview.html
  • 56. Visit UBC's Nitobe Garden to view the beautiful cherry blossoms and Japanese gazebos. http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/nitobe
  • 57. Go salmon fishing in Howe Sound.
  • 58. For something different, visit the Vancouver Police Centennial Museum. The heritage building once housed both the Coroner's Court and City Analyst's Laboratory. The museum now encompasses the original Coroner's Courtroom offices, morgue and autopsy facilities. The museum also offers a "Sins of the City" walking tour. http://www.vancouverpolicemuseum.ca/
  • 59. Only in Vancouver can one snowboard, golf and kayak in the same day.


  • 94 Reasons

  • 60. Rent a speedboat from Granville Island and enjoy the beautiful views of the Vancouver skyline and the Georgia Strait.
  • 61. Enjoy the Italian Opera Buffet at the Pan Pacific on Saturday nights.
  • 62. Go to a concert at the Commodore Ballroom and then out for a Roxy Burger which is right next door.
  • 63. Kayak in Deep Cove followed by ice cream in Deep Cove Village.
  • 64. Check out the Van Dusen Botanical Garden anytime of the year for a colourful display of nature in bloom. Roam the 55-hectare gardens. Bentall Garden even offers a special Thirsty Thursdays Social Irrigation event to refresh. http://www.perkinswill.com/work/vandusen-botanical-garden-visitor-centre.html
  • 65. Sample wine, cold cuts and cheese at Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley, Gastown.
  • 66. Go to Lynn Canyon and enjoy its natural splendor. The park is free to use and it has a suspension bridge, a picturesque creek that fills into a 30-foot pool, a waterfall, many trails and the ecology centre for a great learning experience. http://www.dnv.org/ecology/index.htm


  • 94 Reasons

  • 67. Utilize the aquabus to commute between downtown and False Creek area. For cyclists, Aquabus also offers a Cyquabus ferry that can accommodate your bicycle at no additional charge (service runs from the foot of Hornby St. and Granville Island). Granville Island ferries also operate in the False Creek area.. http://www.theaquabus.com
  • 68. Rent a speed boat (valid boat license is needed). http://www.sewellsmarina.com/boatrentals.
  • 69. On a rainy day, enjoy a movie at the theatres on Granville Street.
  • 70. While in Burnaby on a sunny day, venture out to Central Park, which is not too far away from Metrotown Shopping Mall.
  • 71. On your return from Burnaby, take the skytrain up to the Waterfront station and visit the Harbour Centre for a view of greater Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains at the Lookout Centre. http://www.vancouverlookout.com
  • 72. Enjoy a variety of (over 200) gelato flavors at la casa gelato. http://www.lacasagelato.com
  • 73. Kayak on the Indian Arm or join a guided tour of Indian Arm and the Burrard Inlet. http://www.deepcovekayak.com
  • 74. Visit the Richmond Night Market and enjoy the spectacle. Indulge in the exhibitors' cuisine or browse through the various products for sale...it is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. http://www.summernightmarket.com. Also, find "treasures" in the Vancouver Flea Market's 40,000 sq ft area that features 360 tables all under one roof. The market is open Saturdays and Sundays 9:00am to 17:00.
  • 75. Take the train for a scenic day trip to Whistler and back to Vancouver. (May through October only) http://www.whistlermountaineer.com
  • 76. The Vancouver Art Gallery is always interesting especially if they are hosting a special event like Fuse. On select Fridays, they transform the Art Gallery into a posh social event. They have a DJ that spins tunes and live performances. http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/
  • 77. Enjoy theatre under the stars in Stanley Park. http://www.tuts.ca
  • 78. For food lovers who want to learn more about the local cuisine, take a cooking class or partake in other culinary experiences at Granville Island. http://www.edible-britishcolumbia.com/index.php


  • 94 Reasons

  • 79. Visit historic Steveston Village, which used to be one of the largest salmon canning facilities in North America, and go whale watching. Buy fresh fish from docked fishing boats or sample some of the best fish and chips in town at the Steveston Pier. Go for a nice jog or bike ride on the dike or have a picnic at Garry Point and fly a kite. http://www.steveston.bc.ca .
  • 80. Enjoy the local beaches, including Third Beach, which is Stanley Park's nicest. Another choice would be Kitsilano Beach, which is the best in Vancouver. A bit further away from Vancouver, down in White Rock, Crescent Beach and White Rock Beach are arguably the greatest beaches in the area because the water is warmer and the area is delightful for a nice restful afternoon adventure.
  • 81. Take a walk in the woods at Pacific Spirit Park near UBC. Even when the weather is wet, the trails are protected from the rain by all the trees and plants. It's also a mountain bikers' paradise.
  • 82. Go biking in Stanley Park. Bicycle rentals are available at the float plane terminal downtown (Summer months only) and year-round on Denman St, near the entrance of Stanley Park.
  • 83. Zip away with Air Grouse Zipline at the top of Grouse Mountain.
  • 84. Take a Sea Safari on a Zodiac from Sewell's marina in Horseshoe Bay. Tours depart daily from April - October.
  • 85. For the voracious bookworm, bargain second hand books can be purchased either at MacLeod's Books or at Canterbury Tales in the Kitsilano neighborhood.


  • 94 Reasons

  • 86. Rent kayaks and canoes at Deer Lake in Burnaby.
  • 87. Go horseback riding along the gorgeous Squamish and Cheakamus rivers.
  • 88. Enjoy a picnic on the beach at Spanish Banks.
  • 89. View the Emily Carr Exhibit at The Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • 90. Enjoy a nice nine-hole round at the pitch n' putt at Stanley Park
  • 91. At lunch time, join the line up for a "Japdog". The Japanese style hotdogs have become famous in this town for their unusual toppings (seaweed and wasabi mayo) 3 locations.
  • 92. Take a nice long walk or roller blade through Stanley Park up to English Bay and having a wonderful ocean view dinner at the Crab Co.
  • 93. Window shop on Commercial Drive.


  • 94 Reasons

  • 94. Attend dance performances at the Scotia Bank Dance Center. http://www.thedancecentre.ca/
Source: Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts: http://www2.panpacific.com/en/Vancouver/Overview.html

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationCanada.html



Vancouver Island, BC


Vancouver Island Golf Trail Proves a Cut Above the Rest:
What makes a golf trail great? Simple. It must consist of an exceptional string of golf courses (obviously) and it should take you on a memorable journey through compelling country where fine cuisine, inviting hotels, and exciting off-course activities are possible. Seem like a tall order? Not for the links to links experience to be found along the Vancouver Island Golf Trail - unquestionably one of the finest in the world. The route, which runs north and south on the Island, will take you to some of BC's grand golf courses - Bear Mountain, Crown Isle, and Storey Creek, just to name a few - and affords outstanding après golf action. Whale watching, waterfalls, wilderness walks, salmon fishing, beachcombing and ocean views, whatever your wishes, you'll find it on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail. And no need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs. This one's well marked. www.golfvancouverisland.ca
Vancouver Island Golf

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationCanada.html



Vancouver Island (Seaweed)


Seaweed

Grab your gumboots and forage the green way with BC's 'Seaweed Lady,' then dine on, or get wrapped up in, your bounty.

"You are looking at one great, big, wild, exotic garden," says Diane Bernard. Actually, she's talking about southern Vancouver Island's coastline. This is where the "Seaweed Lady" and Outer Coast Seaweeds (her company) pickers hand-harvest some of British Columbia's 500 varieties of edible seaweed. From her overflowing bucket, she offers up neon-green sea lettuce that is crisp, fresh, slightly salty. Egregia, an underwater brown-feather-boa of a plant, evokes hints of citrus and caviar.

Seaweed isn't just about the Japanese nori wrapped around your sushi anymore. It's woven into your yogawear to soothe your skin, featured in the latest spa treatments and surfacing on top BC menus. Chefs are blanching, sautéing, pickling and roasting veggies fresh from the surf. Seaweed stars in everything from pesto and hummus to a stand-in for martini olives.

Outer Coast harvests seaweeds sustainably. And the green stuff is loaded with vitamins B to K, enzymes, plus anti-inflammatories to soothe what ails you. Europeans have been thalasso "sea" therapy-savvy for years. Bernard's seaweeds end up in spa products free of dyes, animal by-products and artificial fragrances at Vancouver's Spruce Body Lab, Absolutely Fabulous and Whistler's Four Seasons Hotel.

Now you, too, can stomp along the beach and splash through tidal pools in colourful, hand-painted gumboots with the Seaweed Lady. On a beach 40 minutes west of Victoria, alongside Sooke Harbour House inn, Bernard leads small groups from May until mid-September.

Afterwards, the inn's renowned chef, Edward Tuson - who's been slicing and dicing seaweed for decades - whips up a multi-course seaweed tasting menu. You can even get wrapped up in the stuff after dinner for an inner-outer, full-body experience. www.sea-flora.com   www.outercoastseaweeds.com   www.sookeharbourhouse.com

Read travel articles about this destination at: http://www.whattravelwriterssay.com/destinationCanada.html



Vienna, Austria - the City of Wine


Wine is an integral part of Vienna - just like St.Stephan's Cathedral, the Schõnbrunn Castle and the Vienna Boys' Choir. Viennese wine is not just to be found in the traditional Heuriger, the typical Viennese wine tavern. Viennese wine is readily available and can be enjoyed at many spots in the city.

The Viennese Heurige
Traditionally, Viennese wine is drunk at the Heuriger. Today's wine tavern law goes back to an ordinance issued by Emperor Josef II in the year 1784. It allowed wine growers to serve wine produced in their own vineyards. A place where the Viennese Heurige wine is offered can be recognized by the "Ausg'steckt" sign and the fir branch which also indicates that the tavern is open. These two symbols also guarantee that only self-produced Viennese wines are served here. The relaxed atmosphere, the gardens on the edge of town, the good wine and the tasty delicacies make the Heuriger a popular destination for a diverse public. The word "Heuriger" also has a second meaning. It is used to refer to wine from the current year which invariably becomes "Altwein" (old wine) on Martini day (November 11).

Vienna as a Wine Region
Vienna is not only a province and the capital of a province. It is also wine-growing region in its own right with a wine-growing surface of about 700 hectars. About 80% of the surface is covered with white wine vines. Wine types such as Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon blanc and Gelber Muskatteller produce distinctly fruity and elegant wines. A growing number of Viennese winegrowers are producing red wines, in particular Zweigelt and St. Laurent along with trendy international types such as Merlot, Pinot noir and Syrah. The Viennese wine is influenced both by the pannonic climate contributing to its maturity and the cool winds from the north lending it fresh and fruity notes. A perfect interplay of the forces producing fruity-elegant wines that are fun to drink and are perfect accompaniment to a Heuriger snack or Viennese cuisine.

Honored for Outstanding Ecological Quality
Viennese winegrowers are also producing excellent bottled wines that are very popular in Viennese restaurants. Regular awards at samplings organized by renowned specialist journals and at the SALON Austrian Wine confirm the high quality of these wines.

Field Blend - A Viennese Specialty Returns
One specialty among Viennese wines is the so-called "Field Blend" ("Wiener Gemischter Satz"). Already in the 19th century when in most of the other Austrian high-yielding winegrowing regions were produced, Viennese winemakers focused more on quality grapes such as Riesling, Rotfgipfler, Weissburgunder and Traminer. They were mixed with grapes of different varieties and planted, harvested and vinified together. The resulting wines were not only very multi-layered and complex, merging various qualities such as freshness, fruitiness and rich body. They also meant secure yields for the winemaker. Given the different bloom times of the grapes even unfavorable weather conditions during the bloom period never endangered the entire harvest but only specific grapes. After having been hardly visible for a very long time as a simple wine from the tap at Heuriger, the field blend is now experiencing a sort of renaissance in recent years. This very typical, characteristic Viennese wine is sold as a light and succulent wine but also as an intense, complex top bottled wine.

WIENWEIN - joining forces for Viennese Wine
Four of Vienna's best and most active winemakers - Rainer Christ, Michael Edlmoser, Fritz Wieninger and Richard Zahel - joined forces in 2006 to create the group "WIENWEIN". What links these four winemakers is their uncompromising commitment to quality, their enthusiasm and engagement for wine, which go beyond the rim of the glass. Together they are seeking to define new quality standards for Viennese wine, to reveal its special character and to disseminate this message both nationally and internationally. One major interest of the group is to bring to reanimate the classic Viennese field blend ("Wiener Gemischter Satz") which they are strongly backing. In April 2010 two new members joined the group WIENWEIN: the Weingut Cobenzl - the winegrowing estate owned by the City of Vienna - and the long-established winery "Mayer am Pfarrplatz". Once a year the winemakers from WIENWEIN present their wines at the Viennese Secession. Information: www.wienwein.at

Wine & Architecture
Based on long-standing traditions wine cultivation in Vienna has undergone rapid modernization in recent years. A visible sign of this are the architecturally sophisticated cellar constructions and Heuriger built in a new contemporary style. The special location in the city required that already existing buildings be sensibly connected with new functional constructions. An example of this is Fritz Wieninger in Vienna-Stammersdorf who had an old monastery cellar restored and combined with a radically modern designed working wing. Also worth seeing is Rainer Christ's vinery and heuriger in Vienna-Jedlersdorf. With a lot of stone, exposed concrete, glass and wood a new cellar building was constructed that meets all the demands of today's wine production. In addition, a new, simple but inviting heuriger area was designed and constructed, creating an appealing contrast to the existing, traditional heuriger. Stefan Hajszan, who comes from a different background and is now the owner and manager of a vinery and wine restaurant, focused entirely on transparency. From the guest rooms one has a free view of the extensive brick vaults of the cellar and into the winepress. Thus one can witness the production of wine close-up, while enjoying one glass or more of it.

Two examples of a modern interpretation of the classical heuriger are Hans Peter Göbel's tavern in the Stammersdorfer Kellergasse and Johannes Wiltschko's tavern in Vienna-Mauer. Göbel, an architect by training, planned the interior design of his tavern. He replaced dark wood and baroque elements with simple and clear lines. Wiltschko went one step further. Looking out on the vineyards one sits here in Vienna's first "Heurigen-lounge" in comfortable seats and on leather-covered corner benches. There is also a sit-down bar in the center of the room. Guests feel good here since the selection of materials and sophisticated lighting effects create a cozy ambience.

Wine Calendar - Events linked to Viennese Wine
Wine has existed in Vienna for more than 2,000 years - yet it was only in the past decade that the Danube metropolis has blossomed into a wine city. The noble nectar is at the center of a number of events in traditional wine-growing locations in Vienna such as Stammersdorf, Grinzing or Sievering but also the center of town. The wine spring beginning in the middle of March is ushered in with the opening of Heuriger gardens, wine tastings, hikes during the vine bloom season and musical events at Heurigers ranging from jazz brunches to folk music and so-called 'Schrammel' music evenings. In May the Viennese Heuriger then does an appearance in the center of town with the "Heuriger village on the Freyung". Winegrowers and colleagues from about twenty Viennese vineries offer food and drink to several thousand visitors over an extended weekend. The highpoint of the wine year is the Viennese Wine Prize awarded at the end of June and the subsequent Wine Days in the Arcaded Courtyard of the Vienna City Hall. As part of a festive ceremony the province's winners are personally congratulated by Mayor Michael Häupl. The guests then have four days time to enjoy Vienna's best wines along with selected delicacies prepared by Vienna's top cooks. In October Viennese wine will once again be a guest in the city: each year the "Young Viennese" are the first harbingers of the new vintage luring scores of visitors to the city center. Information on the events linked to Wiener Wein under: www.wienerwein.at

           

Selected Heurigers in Vienna

Fuhrgassl-Huber: Renowned big heuriger that fulfills all wishes. Recommendation: The Riesling from Nussberg. Neustift 68, 1190 Wien, tel. +43-1-440 1405, www.fuhrgassl-huber.at

Hengl-Haselbrunner: Interesting white and red wines - excellent cuisine. Iglaseegasse 10, 1190 Wien, tel. +43-1-320 33 30; www.hengl-haselbrunner.at

Kierlinger: Traditional heuriger in a historic setting - the Liptauer cheese is Vienna's best. Kahlenberger Strasse 20, 1190 Wien, tel./fax: +43-1-370 2264, www.kierlinger.at

Mayer am Pfarrplatz: Beethoven drank wine here. A must-see for every visitor to Vienna. Recommendation: the incredible old wine cellar. Pfarrplatz 2, 1190 Wien, tel. +43-1-3703361, from 4 p.m.: tel. +43-1-370 12 87; www.pfarrplatz.at

Christ: Modern vinery and a heuriger under excellent management looking back on 400-years of tradition. The wines are some of the city's best. Amtsstrasse 10-14, 1210 Wien, tel./fax. +43-1-29 25 152; www.weingut-christ.at

Göbel: Modern setting in Vienna's only cellar lane. The red wines are of top caliber. Stammersdorfer Kellergasse 131, 1210 Wien, tel. +43-1-29 48 420, www.weinbaugoebel.at

Schilling: Pioneer of contemporary Heuriger wine culture. Recommended: the house-made roast, blood and liver sausages. Langenzersdorfer Strasse 54, 1210 Wien, tel. +43-1-29 24 189, www.weingut-schilling.at

Wieninger: Excellent cuisine and wine – the Wieninger is a heuriger as you can only hope for. Stammersdorfer Strasse 78, 1210 Wien, tel. +43-1-292 41 06, www.heuriger-wieninger.at

Winzerhof Leopold: Cozy ambience with a lot of light wood, great buffet and many-time provincial winner of wine prizes. The red wines in particular are highly recommended. Stammersdorfer Strasse 18, 1210 Wien, tel. +43-1-29 21 356; www.winzerhof-leopold.at

Edlmoser: The "young wild" vintner of Mauer has won numerous sampling competitions with its wines that are influenced by the new world style. The fantastic buffet is just as impressive as the noble wines. Maurer-Lange-Gasse 123, 1230 Wien, tel./fax.: +43-1-889 86 80, www.edlmoser.at

Wiltschko: The wine lounge in the vineyards - a heuriger of the new generation with light cuisine and fine wines. Wittgensteinstrasse 143, 1230 Wien, tel. +43-1-888 55 60, www.weinbau-wiltschko.at

Zahel: Heuriger with fine restaurant and outstanding red wines from Mauer and white wines from top locations on the Nussberg. Maurer Hauptstrasse 9, 1230 Wien, tel./fax: +43-1-88 91 318, www.zahel.at

All member restaurants of the quality platforms "Der Wiener Heuriger" can be found at: www.wienerwein.at

Viennese Wine in the City

Wine cellar in the Palais Coburg: A total of six different wine cellars arranged according to different themes are located in the historical vaults of the Palais Coburg, The Palais is also home to the five-star Palais Coburg Residenz hotel. 60,000 bottles are stored here, the oldest one being from the year 1727. The Coburg cellar, one of the world's best-stocked ones in the world, was given the rare "Grand Award" by American Wine Spectator. This spectacular wine cellar is also open to the public. Appointments can be made for daily tours and samplings - from the "wine stroll" including a glass of champagne to samplings of rare delicacies with sensory training and a full-course dinner to accompany it. Every two years the Palais Coburg is the site of the world wine festival with a number of top-notch wine events. Top wines and internationally renowned speakers. www.coburg.at   ,   www.weltweinfestival.at

Meinl am Graben: The "Meinl am Graben" is Vienna's most renowned shopping temple featuring a well-stocked wine section and a wine bar. www.meinlamgraben.at

Hotel Rathaus Wein & Design: The "Hotel Rathaus eWin & Design" in the 8th district revolves entirely around wine. Each of the 40 rooms is dedicated to a local top vintner, including those from Viennese Wine. Their best wines are also available in the minibar. The modern comfortable city hotel also features a wine lounge with a well-stock bar. It has often been the setting of wine events. www.hotel-rathaus-wien.at

Steirereck im Stadtpark: Culinary gesamtkunstwerk in the Stadtpark. Legendary sommelier Adi Schmid's cellar is always stocked with Vienna's finest wines. Am Heumarkt 2, 1030 Wien, tel. +43-1-713 31 68; www.steirereck.at

Kulinarium 7: Restaurant, vinotheque and delicatessen in an attractive building from the Biedermeier period. The historic cellar includes fine wines and spirits. Sigmundsgasse 1 (corner of Siebensterngasse), 1070 Wien, tel. +43-1-522 33 77; www.kulinarium7.at

Vinotheques and Wine Bars

Vienna Wine

Vis à Vis: Tiny wine bar. pioneering establishment in Vienna. Wollzeile 5 (passageway to Bäckerstrasse), 1010 Wien, tel. +43-1-512 93 50, www.weibel.at

Unger und Klein: Stylish, architecturally interesting wine bar with a wide selection of wines reflecting expertise and experience. Gölsdorfgasse 2, 1010 Wien, tel. +43-1-512 13 23, www.ungerundklein.at

Vinissimo: Original Viennese wine bar with connected vinotheque modeled after the Italian Enotecas. Windmühlgasse 20, 1060 Wien, tel. +43-1-586 48 88, www.vinissimo.at

Wein & Co Bar Naschmarkt: Small, fine starters from the antipasti section complemented by the full range of the wine shop. Getreidemarkt 1/corner of Linke Wienzeile (Naschmarkt), 1060 Wien, tel. +43-1-585 72 57, www.weinco.at

Wein & Co Bar Stephansplatz: Wining, dining, shopping - this is the motto of the Wein & Co flagship shop in which not only fine cuisine and an almost unending selection of wines are offered but also wine seminars on various subjects. Jasomirgottstrasse 3-5, 1010 Wien, tel. +43-1-535 09 16; www.weinco.at

Zum Schwarzen Kameel: Wine bar, sandwich bar and huge buffet with prosciutto, leg of ham, etc., a dizzying array of liquors and wines from Vienna. All of this to be found in the historic setting of the Schwarzer Kameel. Bognergasse 5, 1010 Wien, tel. +43-1-533 81 25; www.kameel.at

Meinl's Weinbar: The wine bar in the cellars of the legendary Viennese delicatessen temple "Meinl am Graben" with its well-stocked shelves offers the possibility of buying any wine, including those from Viennese vineyards. Graben 19/Naglergasse 1, 1010 Wien, tel. +43-1-532 33 34-6100; www.meinlamgraben.at

Wieno: The city's first wine bar to be given over exclusively to Viennese wine opened in 2009. Wieno serves about 60 wines from 18 Viennese vintners including leading producers such as Wieninger, Zahel, Christ and Edlmoser, as well as newcomers and excellent rarities. Lichtenfelsgasse 3, 1010 Wien, tel. +43-676-646 14 03; www.wieno.info

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Weird Museums


Weird Museums Bell Island, Newfoundland:
Ore mine. Small museum above the mine is loaded with mining artifacts, including a cup that was presented to "Tony," the horse who spent 17 years hauling ore in the mines and a surprise small collection of Yousuf Karsh miner's photos. A guide will take you underground in the shafts.

Berwick Nova Scotia:
Claims to be the apple capital of the world and has a wee museum focused on the apple industry that is a lot of fun.

Fort Erie, Ontario:
The Mildred Mahoney Doll's House was connected to the "underground railway." There is a quasi-museum in a basement room with a camouflaged entrance to another room where the slaves waited for the next step of their journey. The collection of doll houses and all the furniture, drapes and furnishings inside, including a cat band, are quite amusing.

Laurette, Prince Edward Island:
On Route 151, you find Back Road Folk Art. Owner/artist is Kerras Jeffery. His folk art and home is something else. He also has a wee museum called the Olde Times Garden House Museum. Small one room new addition to his property but you could easily spend hours there. It features a "guessing wall," old tools and a section on how skunks came to the island as tourists and never left.

Liverpool, Nova Scotia:
Famed photographer, Sherman Hines, has his own museum in Liverpool dedicated to photography. He has other museum complexes in Liverpool including a museum dedicated to outhouses!

Middleton, Nova Scotia:
The MadDonald Museum houses over 150 clocks and watches, most of them working.

Montreal, Quebec:
The Oratoire St Joseph displays the preserved heart of Brother Andre in the crypt, and the entrance hall is adorned with loads of discarded crutches etc, evidence of his miraculous powers.

Niagara Falls, Ontario:
Exhibits about the people who have gone over the Falls deliberately to make a buck with displays of what they used (barrels etc.) for the trip.

Nova Scotia:
With 170 lighthouses, the most in Canada, there are lots that have museums attached. Particular favourites are the museum/lighthouses in Yarmouth at Cape Forchu, Seal Island Light Museum in Barrington, Fort Point Lighthouse in Liverpool, the NS Lighthouse Interpretive Centre at the Port Bickerton Lighthouse, and Gilbert's Cove Lighthouse. Most of these lighthouse museums are manned by volunteers who are passionate about their lighthouses and very knowledgeable.

O'Leary, Prince Edward Island:
Potato Museum. We never knew there could be so much to say about the lowly potato. Bonus: during July/August, you can sample potato stuff in the kitchen.

Torrington, Alberta:
The GopherHole Museum is all about stuffed gophers.

Trepassy, Newfoundland:
The Museum is in a nondescript small house, manned by volunteers who sip tea and play cards and don't know much about the contents of the "museum." They kept saying things like "Well m'darlin' I'm not sure what that item be, but it's old. Real old." The home belonged to one of the first outport nurses in NL and is packed with fascinating artifacts including memorabilia associated with Amelia Earhart as she stayed in the same house for three weeks on one of her transatlantic voyages.

Trois Rivieres, Quebec:
A jail museum that closed as a jail as recently as the mid or late 1970's. A tour of the institution is enough to persuade anyone to stick to the straight and narrow. Groups of 14 or more can book an overnight stay, followed by a jail-style breakfast.



Wendake, QC


Wendake, QC

After snowball fights and fort building, snowshoeing is easily Canada's most affordable and accessible family sport. GV Snowshoes, based in Wendake, QC, make 40,000 pairs of shoes every year, and not one of them would you wear to a cocktail party, the grocery store or yoga class. Some Canadians, however, do wear them to work.

GV Snowshoes sells most of its models to winter enthusiasts looking for some gentle fun in the snow. There's even a special model for competitive runners. But other buyers need snowshoes on the job, including Hydro Quebec workers maintaining power lines, maple-syrup producers tapping trees, Canadian Forces soldiers on patrol and fur trappers working their traplines. "Trappers prefer the traditional wooden pairs," explains Ilka Tarin, GV Snowshoes sales and marketing director, "because they need a silent snowshoe. Hydro workers need to be able to walk backwards, so we designed an aluminum model to allow that. The magnesium ones we make exclusively for the Canadian Forces are not even sold to novices. They're very heavy duty, with a harness to fit the big boots."

After snowball fights and fort building, snowshoeing is easily Canada's most affordable and accessible family sport. Match your weight to the size of the snowshoe, strap 'em on and off you go... to the North Pole, perhaps? Last year, adventurers Conrad Dickinson, 50 (ex-British Army), and Québecker Richard Weber, 46 (he operates Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge on Somerset Island, NU), wore GV Snowshoes on their record-breaking, unassisted, 52-day, 12-hour trek to the North Pole.

"No skis, no dry suits for crossing open water leads, just a pair of snowshoes, making us the first to try this way of getting to the North Pole," the pair reported in their final April 2006 dispatch. "The old guys have done it." www.gvsnowshoes.com    www.northpoleclassic.com   www.CanadianArcticHolidays.ca quebec

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Whitby, Ontario


Ian Fleming took secret agent training at Camp X

  • A memorial plaque and a window in honor of English Lord, Hamar Viscount Greenwood (1870-1948), the last Chief Secretary for Ireland (1920-1922) is in All Saints' Anglican Church. Greenwood was born in Whitby and was a member of the British House of Lords.


  • Ian Fleming took secret agent training at Camp X, on the border between Oshawa and Whitby, during the Second World War. Camp X was a training base for secret agents which operated from 1941 to 1945, established by Sir William Stephenson, "The Man Called Intrepid."


  • May Irwin (1862-1938), the highest paid actress in the United States in the l890s, did a command performance for Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Wilson was so impressed with her that he named her his "Secretary of Laughter" in his Unofficial Cabinet.


  • Whitby-born James Edward "Teddy" Rowe was named the Bonniest Baby in the British Empire in 1924, winning over 60,000 other babies in an Empire-wide baby contest sponsored by the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, England, in July 1924. Teddy Rowe (1922-1930) received front page coverage in the Toronto Star when he won and was presented with a loving cup and $500 for his education. Unfortunately, he died at the age of eight in 1930.
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Whitehorse, Yukon Territory


Great River Journey Inc. Guests travel the Yukon River following the path of long ago gold rush pioneers, through First Nations' lands from Whitehorse to the Klondike claims of Dawson City. Tours begin June 20 with two departures each week until mid- September and are limited to a maximum of 10 people for each departure. Travel by riverboat and floatplane, frequent stops will allow guests to hike, kayak, bird watch and visit geological and historic sites related to the First Nations people and the Klondike Gold Rush Stampede. Overnight accommodations along the route are provided at Upper Labarge Lodge, Homestead Lodge and Wilderness Outpost. Lodges are remote, rustic, and exclusive, offering guests unique access to the backcountry. Fine cuisine featuring local ingredients and traditional foods is served throughout the journey.

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Great River Journey travels through the traditional land of its four First Nation partners offering guests an authentic glimpse into their lifestyle. Partners in this venture are the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in and the Selkirk First Nation. They are involved as owners, represented on the board of directors and their people will be among those hosting and guiding guests. www.greatriverjourney.com.

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Winnipeg, Manitoba


Winnipeg, Manitoba: WAG 100 - Part of the Art!

The Winnipeg Art Gallery The Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates its 100th anniversary September 29, 2012 - August 2013. Canada's first civic art gallery was established in 1912.

Be part of the art - enjoy incredible shows - everything from Claude Monet and Emily Carr to Andy Warhol and Guy Maddin will be featured in a series of signature exhibitions: Winnipeg Now (Sept-Dec 2012), Inuit World (Jan-Apr 2013) and Only in Canada: International Masterworks (May-Aug 2013).

The Centennial year launches September 29, 2012 with Birthday Party during the day and Nuit Blanche all night long. The Northern Lights festival debuts February 9, 2012 celebrating the North through art, education, music, food and fashion.

Recently, the WAG has undergone two major renovations. The first, over a period of two years from 2003 to 2005, expanded the vault storage area, significantly enhancing the Gallery's ability to manage, care, and transport its collections. Then in 2008-09, the WAG received the necessary funding to entirely replace its aging roof, and to transform its celebrated rooftop back to its original splendour and purpose as a sculpture garden. The WAG's highest gallery space is once again the most famous rooftop in the city for all to enjoy.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery

The WAG strives to engage audiences through unique and innovative educational programming. Family Sunday and Young Weekends offer children art adventures themed to current exhibitions. The weekly Art for Lunch features artist and curator talks, exhibition tours, and art videos. Weekend public tours of current exhibitions allow our visitors to engage with our Gallery guides to learn more about the art on view. New programs include Double Take which places equal emphasis on exhibition tours and art-making instruction. Our Art Educators are constantly coming up with new offerings to engage our audience-visits to artist studios, a symposium on Canadian female sculptors, a bird watching excursion in connection with an interactive exhibition examining how urban birds incorporate the sounds of the city into their song.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery

Exhibitions and programs are at the heart of the WAG, and over the years the Gallery has established itself as one of Canada's leading art museums, organizing exhibitions of local, national, and international artists. By developing and maintaining Manitoba's visual arts heritage, it ensures the preservation of this legacy for future generations. The WAG is also at the forefront in promoting Manitoba artists nationwide and abroad. With its connections to international curators and artists, the WAG has toured exhibitions around the world-Spain, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Taiwan, Norway, China, Italy, and the United States. Today the WAG has almost 24,000 works of art ranging from 15th-century European paintings to 21st century American multi-media art, and represents artists from countries and cultures around the globe. http://wag.ca/about/history

More information: Catherine Maksymiuk at cmaksymiuk@wag.mb.ca

The Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery

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Woodstock, ON


Unique Country Experience

Birtch Farms and Estate Winery
An estate winery featuring tours, tastings and a country-themed gift shop, Birtch's have won several fruit wine awards, and have won over many folks to the appeal of fruit wines. There are so many varieties of wine to choose from, that it's a wonderful challenge to choose your favourite. Don't miss seasonal festivities at the family farm such as apple blossom time near Mother's Day, or the six-week Fall festival at the peak of harvest season featuring apples, pumpkin picking, corn maze, scarecrow making, wagon rides and of course the country store, featuring local specialties. Motor coaches welcome year round. 655514 15th Line Woodstock, ON N4S 7W2, Ph: 519-469-3040 F: 519-469-3588 E: info@birtchfarms.com
www.birtchfarms.com

Pittock Conservation Area
Located within the city of Woodstock, Pittock Conservation Area is the perfect place for people to reconnect with nature. Once surrounded by the trees and away from the hustle and bustle, you can immediately feel the speed of life slow down. Come for the day and enjoy a picnic on the lake or a walk in the extensive trails system. Or, come to camp and you won't be disappointed. Trailer hookups are available and there is an onsite store, swimming pool and playground area for families. Enjoy fishing or boating on the huge man-made lake, take in a soul refreshing sunset or light up a campfire and feel the stress melt away. Welcome to the country within town.

Dean Michaels Griddlehouse:
Featured on the Cover of Flanagan Food Service Selections Magazine and in a 5-page feature story, this restaurant's specialty is breakfast and lunch, 7 am to 3 pm daily. Owner, Dean Kowalchuck, has created the 'perfect niche' from an idea while traveling in the U.S., where he noticed an abundance of specialty breakfast eateries. He and his Family have created a unique and extensive menu, with over 70 items. One of the most requested items is his crepes. Dean studied crepe-making with a Stratford chef and then spent a year mastering his own recipe. So, next time you're in Oxford County, be sure to stop by, you won't be disappointed! Motor Coach groups welcome, by reservation.
594746 County 59 RD S, Woodstock ON N4S 7V8. Phone: 519-456-5064

Step Into Nature

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York, England


Explore the historic city of York with a York Pass. The York pass gives you free entry to 28 top attractions - worth over £120 and offers both great value and convenience in one easy to use package. Step inside the gothic splendour of York Minster, browse around the medieval shopping streets of Stonegate and the Shambles. Revel in York's Roman heritage at the Yorkshire Museum, explore Viking York at JORVIK or take a cruise along the River Ouse with York-Boat. There's also the fascinating National Railway Museum, York Castle Museum and York Dungeon. As well as free entry to York attractions, there are also special offers such as discounts at restaurants, entertainment, car hire and shopping. Buy your York Pass online at www.yorkpass.com

Step back in time

Step back in time in York:
Ever fancied yourself as an archaeologist or modern day Indiana Jones? Take part in the biggest real live archaeological dig to be held in York in the last twenty five years at Hungate York. The site covers four hectares of archaeological activity, with the dig expected to continue for over five years. Speculation has already been high as to what hidden treasures lie hidden underneath Hungate. Call: +44 (0) 870 606 0960 www.dighungate.com

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