What are our favourite free things to do in Kingston, Ontario? Let's start with exploring the history and mysteries at Kingston City Hall.
If you hang around Kingston City Hall long enough, you might just hear a delightful rumor. Legend has it that "back in the day" (like most rumors, the exact timeline is unimportant), there were tunnels underneath City Hall. There were tunnels that led to the nearby Prince George Hotel, a notorious drinking haunt and tunnels that led down to the waterfront - depending on who you ask. It was just the kind of set up you'd need to discretely nip out for a drink between city council sessions... or be part of a bootlegging enterprise during the era of American prohibition. These rumors are short on official proof and long on delightful speculation - just as I like it! And most happily, stories like this kept coming during our free tour of Kingston City Hall, our favourite of all the free things to do in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Where can you find poutine AND fine wine? On a Quebec City food tour, of course! We're reviewing two of the most popular options - as well as giving you the inside scoop on our favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast.
When you think of Quebecois food, does your mind wander to old fashioned fare with a heavy emphasis on maple syrup and local delicacies? Or maybe you're craving less wholesome treats like a heaping plate of poutine? Perhaps your tastes are a bit more refined, with a eye towards wine and French joie de vivre? If you're like me and want a little bit of everything, your best bet is a Quebec City food tour so that no category is left out. Happily, when I was in Quebec City for the Women in Travel Summit, I participated in not one but two fantastic foodie experiences. Read on to hear about each tour, including what I loved, what I felt could have been improved, and my favourite stop on each. Plus there's a bonus review of my favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast which I know you'll like as much as I do!
Planning a Canadian road trip? Here's a roundup of our top travel recommendations for New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.
The period when late spring turns into early summer is one of my favourite times of year and it's not only because of the great weather and the chance to dig in the garden after a long, cold winter. It's also the time when people ask me a lot of questions about traveling to the Canadian Maritime provinces. Longtime readers know that I grew up in Nova Scotia and that Ryan and I make frequent trips to Canada's east coast to visit family and sneak in a little travel of our own. It's always exciting to see that other people are planning their own trips and we're only too happy to help with the process.
While I hope you peruse all of our Maritime posts at a leisurely pace, I thought it would help you fine folks if I did a round up of some of our favourite destinations, routes, foodie experiences, and Maritime roadtrip tips and tricks. And I've also included links to some inspiring pieces written by other bloggers to help fuel your great Canadian travel adventure!
Whether you're in Halifax for a weekend conference or taking the trip of a lifetime and spending an entire season on the road, I hope you'll come back to dip into this post again and again!
Saguenay is the best place to go kayaking in Quebec - even if there are a few misadventures along the way.
Brimming with confidence and cutting a dashing, athletic figure, I nimbly slid into the stern of my sea kayak, ready to embrace the elements and be one with nature.
Wait a minute.... that's not me! I've never been nimble at anything I do, let alone anything to do with boats! But when I had the opportunity to kayak the Saguenay, Quebec, Fjord - and specifically be in the Saguenay St Lawrence Marine Park, adjacent to Fjord National Park- I WAS truly ready to be one with nature. The chance to navigate a fjord here in Canada was a rare travel experience I couldn't miss.
As for the confidence.... well... let's just say that I was about as confident as I was nimble. But it didn't take me long to hit my stride, with only a few minor mishaps. And it was all worth it to be better acquainted with an absolutely incredible corner of the world. Here's why I think sea kayaking is among the best things to do in Saguenay (even if there were a few awkward wetsuit moments along the way).
Beluga whale watching in Quebec is an exhilarating travel experience - but what would a queasy girl like myself think about it?
Vomiting. Vomiting on people. Toppling over furniture. Quietly crying. Some of my most woe-begotten travel moments have involved motion sickness and many of those have involved boats. Who can forget when I had motion sickness while on the Houseboat Museum of Amsterdam? I'm not an adventurous girl and, on the rare times that I am, that adventurous spirit does NOT involve boats. But all that changed when I had the chance to go beluga whale watching in Quebec; Tadoussac to be exact. "Whale watching: Quebec" has been on my travel bucket list for a long time, and for good reason. Whale watching in Tadoussac is reputed to be among the best in the world and there was no way that I was going to miss it - no matter what my stomach wanted to do!
Visiting Fortress Louisbourg for the first time? Here's our inside tips for food, accommodations, activities.... and footwear.
"Half of you are wearing blue! And the other half have some red! What's going on? I can't tell if you're French or the dreaded English. Maybe I shouldn't let any of you pass."
It's never a great idea to provoke an armed guard, but when you visit Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada, dramatic flair is all part of the experience. Louisbourg has been described as the jewel of all Canadian historic sites - an apt term, considering how precious the fortress was to the French.
In the 1740s, Louisbourg's size, importance, and operating costs were unmatched in North America. As the second most important French settlement in North America (after Quebec City), Louisbourg was quickly transformed from a small fishing settlement to a massive fortified town on the cusp of the Atlantic Ocean. Though remote and built on finicky, low lying grounds, the fortress was a major bargaining chip as France and Great Britain battled for control of Europe and the New World.
By 1758, Louisbourg was firmly under British control - but it saw a different kind of war in the 1960s. Architects, historians, archaeologists, and engineers battled a new enemy - damage, decay, ruin, and erosion - as they undertook North America's largest restoration project. Today, Louisbourg is a Parks Canada National Historic Site and the muskets are fired for demonstration only . But you can still expect plenty of French versus English jokes from the gate guards, along with a host of other historical adventures. Here are our best tips for making the most of your visit.
I'm playing detective and discovering new things to do in and around Ottawa.
When the cat is away, the mouse will play... or something like that! This week, Ryan is traveling to warmer shores to do something I would never be brave enough for (okay, he's on a cruise - but that's a boat and we all know that boats top my list of travel enemies. So the bravery comment stands). Regardless, it's good motivation for me to plan my own amazing staycation. And it's even better that it's happening during Ottawa's festive Winterlude season.
Ottawa is a wonderful winter travel destination and it's the perfect place for a February vacation or staycation. But, I must admit, skating and other outdoor activities aren't always my strong suit. But that's not going to stop me from having a memorable time in my hometown! You don't have to strap on some skates to join in my staycation plan. Here's what's making me love Ottawa lately.
PS Canadian readers, we have a special giveaway for you at the end!
The Jigsaw Escape Room in Ottawa's Byward Market was my latest test of nerve!
Let's hear it for all the wimpy travelers! I'm an anti-adventurist, through and through. I'm not bold nor daring. I can't handle the wild side of life and things that are seemingly innocuous to the average traveler, say, like visiting a butcher shop or taking a fast boat ride, carry the same heart pounding intensity for me as, say, naked bungee jumping does for all the other travel writers. This is important background information for, as a true anti-adventurist, I would normally never find myself in such an unpredictable and devil-may-care situation as visiting an Escape Room, but I was under the influence. The influence of two nefarious friends that is, Sandy from Canadian Blog House and Ann from Kickass Living. With these devious women acting as a corrupting influence, I threw caution to the wind and entered an Escape Room for the first time.
What makes a girls' getaway all the sweeter? Adding in a delicious dose of maple on a trip to Montebello, Quebec.
Can there ever be too much of a good thing? Not when it comes to maple! This classic Canadian flavor is so much more than a pancake topping. And when I had the opportunity to partner with Ford Canada for a girlfriends' wellness weekend in Montebello, Quebec, I knew that my favorite autumn flavor would only sweeten the experience.
I was excited to indulge in as much of Quebec's signature condiment as possible, and I soon learned that there was more to maple than meets the eye. Traditional pancakes, step aside! Here are my favourite Montebello maple moments.
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