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.
Porter Airlines now flies to Orlando Melbourne International Airport, Florida - where kayaking and oceanfront adventures await.
Did you know that the trick to not spooking a pelican is to calmly talk to it... almost like it's a dog? I'm not entirely sure this information is completely accurate, but it worked for me as my kayak glided towards a mooring post in the lagoon of Indian River, part of Florida's Sebastian Inlet State Park.
The pelican - much larger and broader than I had imagined while on land - showed no signs of abandoning his perch as the boat drifted closer but he did fuss about nervously. "Good pelican" I purred. "Who's a good bird? You are. Yes you are. You're a good bird and you have very handsome feathers". The cooing and coaxing worked; the pelican settled down and relaxed, and I breathed a sigh of relief that I another travel day had passed free from animal attacks.
Death Valley National Park is unlike any place you've ever been, ever.
With neighbors like Hollywood, the Vegas strip, and the Grand Canyon, it's easy to understand why people don't always take the opportunity to visit Death Valley National Park - there is just so much competition when it comes to nearby amazing sites and experiences. But there is literally nowhere on Earth that is quite like it and, if you're one for making travel lists, Death Valley crosses off a lot of milestones. It's the driest place in North America, as well as the hottest - and, with older records from other countries disqualified, it holds the record for the hottest recorded natural temperature in the world. Let's just go ahead and declare that Death Valley reigns supreme! Which is exactly why I went there in July!
Travel writer Emma Higgins spent a year traveling solo around Ireland and the UK... and didn't shy away from taking some walks on the wild side.
Travel writer Emma Higgins went on a journey through the UK and Ireland for the whole of 2015. Emma travelled around her native land from the Hebrides in Scotland to the far corners of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and eastern England. Her book, A Year in the UK & Ireland, which is out now, is a collection of twenty long-form stories about her voyage, with beautiful accompanying photography aimed to inspire you to see the British Isles from a new perspective.
We sat down with Emma to talk about her incredible adventure!
On Hawaii's Big Island, you won't find a 'hotter' hangout than Pahoa and Lava Tree State Monument.
If I told you that Pahoa, Hawaii, was one of the hottest spots on earth, you'd probably think I was exaggerating or that I was describing a spot with a lot of buzz. But Pahoa, on Hawaii's Big Island, is indeed one of the world's hottest spots and it's all thanks to its neighbour, Kilauea Volcano.
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and, as recently as 2014-2015, lava flows threatened to destroy part of the town of Pahoa and surrounding communities. Fortunately, the lava stopped just in the nick of time, but local residents were right to be wary. This region bears the scars - and the beauty - of centuries of volcanic power. From delicate wildflowers to the toughest "trees" you've ever seen, nearby Lava Tree State Monument (sometimes called Lava Tree State Park) is a captivating tribute to the prowess of mother nature.
We found a great place to stay just outside Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.
Value travelers will be familiar with this struggle. Sometimes it feels like there aren't many options between the realm of luxury hotels and bare-bones campgrounds, especially if you're searching for a property that comes with a bit of character, as well as great value. But when Ryan and I were exploring one of the 'hottest' spots in Hawaii, we discovered an inn that's decidedly cool. Kilauea Lodge, in the village of Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, is a beautiful property but that's not why we enjoyed it so much. We found some cool things here that you just don't discover every day.
Four fun, frugal Florida vacations for those who want more than Disney.
I do my best to embrace winter. I've recruited my blogging friends to help me write about all the amazing things you do when you travel in the heart of winter. I've eaten Beavertails on the Rideau Canal - the world's longest skating rink. And I've traveled to amazing winter destinations around the world. But I'm also a proud Canadian - and that means dreaming of a warm escape is in my DNA! And for most Canadians, there's no winter avoidance destination quite as affordable as Florida.
Whether you're heading to Orlando, Miami, Tampa, or further afield, Canadians can find cheap flights to Florida, plenty of value priced (and delicious!) food, great road trip opportunities, and bargain basement priced attractions. There's just one catch - none of it is in a theme park. My friends have always given glowing reports about Disney, except for one thing: the price. Even basic theme park passes can make your budget soar. So with all due respect to Cinderella and Snow White, this girl's recommending four Florida vacations that are completely cartoon free.
Exploring the hidden history of Alcatraz Prison through a night tour.
For most travelers, being in a maximum security prison with no chance of escape would be the ultimate nightmare; but for me it was the ultimate adventure! When the prison in question is the legendary Alcatraz and it's the 50th anniversary of its closure, the idea of spending a night in jail has tremendous appeal.
Why Golfing in Death Valley National Park (in July!) is Something That Should be on Every Golfers' Bucket Lists
There are a couple of things I must be doing wrong. Waking up at 5am and stepping outside into a 105 degree pressure cooker is not normally high on my agenda of pleasant summer activities. But this is no ordinary morning – I have a 6:00 am tee off time at the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley.
This course was rated as one of the 50 most difficult to play in the United States by Golf Digest, and it’s not hard to see why. By the time my round finishes on this clear July morning, the sun will be baking the 18th green with temperatures passing the 120 degree mark. Combined with the heavy, still air of the valley at 214 feet below sea level, this course certainly tests the resolve of any golfer who attempts it – and that’s the very reason why I have come to play. To play the world’s lowest elevation golf course, to dodge coyotes who are chasing road runners, and to sweat out a round that should be on everyone’s golf bucket list!
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