Canada’s Top Travel Destination Cities

After the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed, Canada became the world’s second largest country by land mass after Russia and despite a considerably territory area within these countries are tundra land, Canada is a popular tourist destination for both visitors from its neighbor country (USA) and anyone around the world.

Canada is situates in northern North America bordering with the United States in the south, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the West and the Arctic Ocean in the north. Historically Canada’s the first settlements took place thousand years ago, time at which researchers believe the Bering Strait was connect to Asia.

However, after its historical timeline, Canada is a parliamentary democracy of the British Crown that preserves the French culture and language of the early French Expeditions arriving to the country along with British surveying the region, providing to modern Canada multicultural settings that can be observed throughout different cities and towns.

When it comes to visit Canada, keep in mind the following cities that are considered among the top tourist Canadian destinations to enjoy unforgettable vacations time:

Niagara Falls

Bordering with the city of New York in the United States, the Niagara Falls, in the province of Ontario, are a natural phenomenon attracting visitors from around the world. Best known as a honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls is a top-notch destination with an exciting nightlife, sightseeing and adventure opportunities.

Besides the waterfall, Niagara Falls has a popular Fallsview Casino and long-time running traditional tours including Marineland and the Maid of the Mist tour. At Niagara Falls, expect to find word-class resorts and small bed and breakfast facilities that invite to adopt this place like a dreaming retreat.

Montreal

Situated in the province of Quebec, Montréal is perhaps the most French city in Canada. The city of Montreal is a busy place where dinning, shopping and enjoying the French heritage of the city in every street are just a few of those delightful activities that visitors can find at this place.

Montreal is located between the St. Laurent River (St. Lawrence) and Rivière des Prairies, home to the Olympic Games of 1976, the city keeps the memories of the event in many building including the Olympic Stadium, although there are many other attractions such as the Underground City complex downtown and its main festivals.

Vancouver

Vancouver is the largest city in the province of British Columbia, facing the Pacific Ocean. This coastal city offers a wide array of outdoor activities thanks to its privileged location surrounded by Mountains and water streams that amalgamated with climate are the idea setting for skiing at the famous Whistler/Blackcomb ski resort.

However, there are countless opportunities for shopping, dinning and dancing at nightclubs along Granville Street, or visiting the Commodore Ballroom, a live classic music venue established in 1920. Otherwise, Vancouver invites visitors to hiking trails, take a guided museums tour, or enjoy the events and festivals taking place all year long.

 

St Tropez, France

Named after the saint, Saint Torpez, gladiator and attendant to Nero, St. Tropez, France has long gone from a small fishing village to this celebrity tourist’s destination that you have been hearing about. This side of France is a little wild, crazy and somewhat isolated as St. Tropez could only be accessed easily by boat and roads are narrow to ever consider driving around a car.

St. Tropez is busy at high months of summer with visiting celebrities and tourists alike. With these months, it is harder to make it there unless you bring your own yacht. If you are visiting during these months, don’t forget to pack infinite amount of money as prices skyrocket up into the sky. Plan your visit around spring or autumn when restaurants and accommodations are more affordable and beaches are more inviting to truly experience St. Tropez.

Private beaches sit side by side with those available to public. Most of these beaches do not mind people bathing and sun tanning naked. So, if you are a conservative tourist, this area may not work for you. Baie de Pampelonne or Grania for locals is where the beaches are located. It offers many private and public properties along its coast.

La Plage de Tahiti, home to the best beach club Le Club 55, is the most charming stretch of beach in St. Tropez. Visit Vieux Port to experience St. Tropez in its classical description, yacht, beach, celebrities and much more bodies. Getting bored at nights is never a problem in St. Tropez as it specializes in night life. Bars and clubs dotted the city a great deal. Check out Les Caves du Roy at Hotel Byblos for a party to last your lifetime.

If you are visiting with kids in tow, it is much better to bring them in a more wholesome environment such as the museums. St. Tropez has its own share of museums to be proud of. Citadel is a maritime museum that opens daily. Musée de l’Annonciade is an old chapel turned into a museum, west of the port that highlights the works of famous artists like Signac and Matisse. Former home to photographer JH Lartigue, La Maison des Papillons has been converted to a beautiful museum that housed an extensive collection of some 4,500 species of butterflies; some of them are endangered and collected by the noted photographer himself.

Stop by at Place des Lices Market, opens Tuesdays and Saturdays. The place is an open-air market selling different good items that St. Tropez offers. Cars are not advisable in this area so better walk or paddle your way with a bike.

Sights to behold in St. Tropez, France are the Chapelle de la Miséricorde, Château Suffren and Quartier de la Ponche. Chapelle de la Miséricorde is an impressive chapel located near the port and one of the most beautiful baroque buildings in the world. On the other hand, Château Suffren is one of the oldest landmarks in St. Tropez. Popular antique shops can be found here. Being the most stunning section in St. Tropez, the Quartier de la Ponche is a cobblestoned street highlighting restaurants, diners, shops and hotels.

Many quality merchandises are offered by St. Tropez and most of the famous products are locally made. Cogolin has been famous for their pipes for centuries. Kiwi is where the bathing suits come from. Handmade, thick-soled Tropezienne sandals are bought from Rondini for $85. Towels, bathrobes and linens come from Stranos and the mouth watering pastry tarte Tropezienne are sold in Boulevard Louis Blanc and Place des Lices. Lovely olive oils, popular throughout the region can be obtained at O & Co. store.

 

Christmas Towns

BETWEEN Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2007, the post office in Noel, Missouri, processed 30,428 Christmas cards and packages – double the usual volume of mail for this town of 1,500 people.

Noel is just one of a number of places with Christmas names that see a lot of out-of-towners this time of year. Sometimes, the post office is the main attraction; sometimes, there are holiday light displays and Santa visits.

Here’s a look at places with Christmas-associated names.

Christmas, Florida: This small town between Orlando and the Kennedy Space Centre is a little like Noel. The most popular destination for out-of-towners is the post office. A special mailbox accepts letters for Santa Claus, which are answered by a volunteer. Other holiday touches around town: Streets are named after reindeer, mail is collected in Santa-shaped boxes and a trimmed tree on the main highway never comes down.

Santa Claus, Indiana: In the summer, Santa Claus gets lots of visitors to its amusement park, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. But this time of year, tourism is all about Christmas. In addition to the post office, attractions include the Santa Claus Museum, Santa’s Candy Castle, Santa’s Lodge and the Christmas Lake Village Festival of Lights along a15km-trail, with a parade, holiday concerts and craft show.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Bethlehem’s nickname is the Christmas City, and its busiest time of year starts Nov 28 with the lighting of the city’s official tree. The town was named Bethlehem on Christmas Eve in 1741 by Moravian immigrants.

North Pole, Alaska: No, this isn’t the Earth’s geographic North Pole, located amid the Arctic Ocean. This North Pole, population 2,200, is 19km from Fairbanks; it was officially named in 1953

 

The Magic of Venice

There are many places in the world to see,visit and experience; yet there are only a few and in fact only one that I can say will give you the feeling that you are dreaming and you will need to pinch yourself to make sure that’s it’s not a dream when you see Venice for the first time.

It’s sheer beauty, the baroque architecture and magnificent Palazzos in rich earthy colors,reflecting off the shimmering waters of the Grand Canal,makes Venice somewhere that you will never leave behind; intoxicating and romantic, this glorious city on water is like no other place on earth; no wonder it’s has inspired so many writers and artists – Peggy Guggenheim created an ongoing landmark in Venice with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the most renowned museum in Italy, for European and American artists to exhibit.

Inaugurated in 1980 it features Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection of the 20th century and is located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home,on the Grand Canal in Venice.

Although Italy is full of Piazzas, no where will you be treated to a place like St.Marks square in the heart of Venice; one the most photographed landmarks in the world, defined by surrounded walkways of baroque arched columns framing the imposing giant square.

During the season,St. Mark’s Square is filled with people and pigeons; feeding the pigeons in the square is a popular activity.You can visit St. Marks Church or go to the top of the Bell Tower where you will be treated to spectacular views of Venice.

After visiting some of the sights, stop for a drink at the historic Caffe Florian or Caffe Quadri, both of which feature, live open air orchestras playing in the square – full classical orchestras entertain you while you sip your proseco at an outdoor table, or if you prefer you can choose the cafe that features a cool jazz orchestra on any given day; a soulful experience, indeed.

Every region in Italy has it’s own produce and cuisine, the Veneto region is well know for it’s delicious dishes and fabulous wines,but even more for it’s pastries; many pastry shops line the narrow alleyways offering trays of freshly baked cakes, one being the famous strudel influenced from the northern parts of the country. Don’t leave Venice without sampling the pastries.

Yet Venice would not be Venice without it’s Gondoliers, showing their artful balancing style perched right at the end of their Gondola’s, a traditional Venetian rowing boat, all wearing their recognized trademarked, navy and white, horizontally striped Gondolier tops.

Gondolas were for centuries the chief means of transportation within Venice; called traghetti ( ferries )today their primary role, is, as a means of transport and to carry tourists.

I had always used the bridges when going from one side to the other of the Grand Canal; however I learnt, only during a recent trip, via a friend, that there are seven points on the grand canal in between the bridges, where a Gondola service takes you from one side to the other,for just 50 cents; just hand to the charming Gondoliero who will hold his arm out to steady you as you get on and off.

I found the whole experience absolutely enlightening and a quick,easy way, to cross the canal and be treated to spectacular views at the same time.

If you catch the traghetto near to the Rialto market in the morning you will see the local women who do this daily with their shopping bags, standing all the way, with their experienced sea legs.

Whether your coming to Venice for the sites, the art, the food, the music, the gondola ride, or all of these pleasures – which is usually the case, you might like to try renting a self catered apartment which seems to be the new way of traveling when looking for Venice accommodation; saving on expensive hotels and experiencing the city like a local, shopping at the open fruit markets docked at the canals and doing some home cooking, without the obligatory need to eat in restaurants.

Many people are finding that renting an apartment in Venice; you may be lucky enough to find one with a canal view, gives them more space at more affordable prices than a a hotel.

 

Rome and Coffee

A regular morning in Rome does not begin without the “stand up espresso or cappuccino” at the local coffee bar, usually accompanied by a cornetto, a sweet, horseshoe shaped pastry; easy to eat, handed to you by the “barista” (the bar man) in a paper serviette.

You can grab a table if you want and pay triple or you can be part of the “entire blend” not just the coffee, by standing at the busy bar, part of the local culture, the interaction,where it’s all happening, hearing a string of “buon giorno’s” from the barista’s to the continuous stream of customers; at lighting speed he empties and refills another round metal container with fresh coffee, seamlessly clicking the devise onto the Gaggia. The fresh liquid appears filling the small white cups, two at the time.

The bar itself is usually glass topped, a perfect height for standing and sipping; glass extending halfway down, displaying oven fresh trays full of cornettos and other sweet choices of the morning; the custom of paying the cashier before you order and handing the receipt to the barista, leaves you with a sense of freedom to fully participate.

Even in the midst of this frenzy, you sense a general unspoken politeness, that you are there too; a “prego” as the person next to you, moves to give you some space.

You can watch the stylish Italian customers, classical Romans, come and go, typically waving their arms in mid conversation: this is not just having coffee it’s an Italian movie, thrown in.

In Rome, especially, you’ll find a bar on almost every street corner; if you can’t see them, just follow the aroma of the coffee beans or the clanking sounds of cups and spoons hitting against the saucers as the barista, serves yet another espresso; the daily sounds of Rome, these are not English tea rooms, rather a morning alarm, just to make sure you are fully awake and as soon as that espresso hits you, even though only four or five sips to that tiny cup, your ready for another day in Rome, but first the bar.

The bars have a reputation, of who serves the best coffee: it becomes an important part of the conversation among Romans, which filters through to visitors, non Romans who have come to the ancient city looking for a superior coffee shot.

We wonder if Achille Gaggia who invented the espresso machine in Italy in 1948, knew that his invention would lead to a national institution.

While you’re in Rome, looking for that special coffee,you’ll need accommodation, and since the hotels in Rome, like the rest of Europe tend to be expensive, you might like to try a Rome apartment to rent

We have close to 300 Rome holiday apartments available, ranging from 3 star upwards. The staff at Rome-Accom.com [http://www.rome-accom.com/] speak English speakers (native). You can also visit our Accommodation Italy site, which features more than 500 apartments, villas, bed and breakfasts, and farmhouses through-out all of the popular tourist sites in Rome, Venice, Florence, Amalfi, Tuscany and Sicily.