A spark of hope, rescued from Haida Gwaii, grows in Norfolk County's Whistling Gardens.
Strolling through the grounds of Whistling Gardens early on a sunny autumn day, I was dazzled by the brilliant colors of the cheerful flowers bobbing in the breeze. Leaves of all shapes and sizes rippled from the trees and a hearty selection of wild grasses created velvety swaths, undulating and twinkling in the sun.
Little did I realize that Whistling Gardens' most extraordinary plant would be a small, scruffy, rabbit-nibbled shrub.
I found an incredible bargain at London's most expensive attraction.
The Tower of London was the first famous tourist attraction I ever set my eyes on. Studying in nearby East Sussex for a semester meant weekly field trips into London for the purpose of visiting galleries, museums, and other historic sites, with plenty of free time on the side. Rolling into London for my very first time, the gloomy and atmospheric Tower loomed in the distance, beckoning me to investigate its secrets and scandals.
So why did it take me over 12 years to visit?
A touch of the Caribbean in Norfolk County
201 years ago, Port Dover (or Dover Mills, as it was then known) was at the heart of the action in the war of 1812. Fortunately, modern visitors receive a much warmer welcome than the American troops experienced all those years ago! Today, Port Dover is an affordable, diverse, beautiful place to spend a weekend or even a whole week. The town has a fun, funky, young, vibrant edge to it and, between the sandy beaches, the public art, and the neat shops, it's possible to enjoy a value packed visit without ever feeling a budgetary pinch.
There are a lot of beautiful hotels in Toronto. What sets the Royal York apart?
After a long journey and arduous travel, there is nothing like a beautiful hotel to greet you at the end of the day. There’s something so soothing about having your needs anticipated and indulging yourself in a special retreat. This is exactly what I had in mind when we splurged on a stay at the Fairmont Royal York in the heart of Toronto. I’m a huge believer that you can find great value at all points of the price spectrum and, even though the Fairmont is a well-known luxury hotel, I wanted to examine it for value. After all, in the heart of Toronto, there are many beautiful hotels – what makes the Royal York worth the splurge?
There's something special about Traverse City's State Theatre.
It’s not very often I have the opportunity to visit something acknowledged to be the best in the world. I have to admit I wasn't expecting to find anything with that stamp on it in a small city in Michigan. And even more unexpectedly – it’s practically free!
The State Theatre on Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan, is a movie theatre and film festival site whose roots go back nearly 100 years. Citing it's location, architecture, and diversity of spirit, the State Theatre, TheCredits.org (a film industry news site operated by the Motion Picture Association of America) declared it to be the best theatre in the world.
Over time, this beautiful building has gone through many incarnations, most recently in 2005 when filmmaker Michael Moore threw his support behind the theatre and the Traverse City Film Festival. Today, the State Theatre is the heart of Traverse City, leading the way in keeping the downtown core lively and the arts scene flourishing.
Bikes are everywhere in Ireland.
Ireland is such a beautiful country; you can find photographic inspiration on every corner. We loved capturing bicycles against so many different backdrops - from modern, bustling street corners in central Dublin, to the outside decor of County Limerick's most famous pub, to the centuries-old stone walls of tiny Bunratty village. We hope you enjoy Ireland's beauty as much as we did!
The Montreal Tower Observatory is a world record holder...
Move over, Leaning Tower of Pisa. Step aside, Towers of Bologna. I tackled the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the tallest inclined tower – and I won!
At 165 meters high, and angled at 45 degrees, the Montreal Tower Observatory is indeed a world record holder, and by quite a bit. Its more famous cousin, in Pisa, is only a paltry 3.99 degrees. Designed as part of the 1967 Olympic Park, the Tower is now at the center of a large recreation and tourism complex whose neighbours include the Montreal Botanical Gardens, the Insectarium, the Biodome, and the Plantarium.
Kingston will always hold a special place in my heart.
Kingston will always hold a special place in my heart. I lived in Kingston for 4 years as a student at Queen's University (as did Ryan, although our paths didn't cross) and many of the skills I needed for travel were developed there. Skills like the ability to read a map, discipher a bus schedule, wield a set of chopsticks, make online travel reservations, and pack a mean suitcase. I also started my first blog in 1999 - which was short-lived, thanks to my dubious IT skills - and then a second in 2001 - which eventually died down when I was on the road.
I love cozy, affordable travel - and visiting spiritual sites fits in perfectly with that! Read my best tips for visiting churches when you travel.
Meet one of our travel value all stars! No matter where you go, what you do, or why you travel, these features, attractions, or amenities will always offer you tremendous value; an excellent experience for your limited time and money.
Houses of Worship
For many travelers, visiting a house of worship is a deeply personal occasion. Seeking solace and spiritual inspiration, travelers of all different beliefs cross the globe to visit those locations that are meaningful to their faiths. For the spiritually inclined, visiting churches when you travel can be a life changing experience.
However, you don’t have to have strong spiritual beliefs to enjoy a visit to a house of worship or a spiritual site. Virtually all religious sites welcome people of different faiths and most allow visitors to enjoy the sanctuary space between prayer, worship, and music programs. Houses of worship offer a special insight into the beliefs and culture of a region. They are also of interest for those who love history, philosophy, art, architecture, genealogy, anthropology, music, and literature.
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