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.
I should have been on vacation but I couldn't stop thinking about the next big thing to share with you. If you've dreamed about a travel scarf with pockets, you're going to love this post!
What does summer vacation look like for a travel blogger? Probably a lot like it looks for everyone else! First, there are plenty of indulgent snack foods (hello there, poutine, ice cream, and popsicles). Next, there's a lot of laziness and lounging about in the sun, enjoying the breeze and watching the leaves ripple on the trees. There's even a good amount of time hanging out by the shore, collecting feathers and shells, and generally being thrilled to put social media on snooze.
Of course, there's also the unexpected rain - but we'll get to that in a moment!
This year, our summer vacation brought us to Craigleith Provincial Park for four nights of southern Ontario camping. Ryan and I stuffed our car with camping gear, beer, extra beach towels (but no pillows.... not our finest moment), a backpack brimming with books, magazines, and board games - and, of course, our dog, Oliver! Aside from the pillows, just one thing was missing and this one was intentional. My laptop was left at home and I couldn't have been happier!
But while I had officially banished work, I couldn't turn off the blogging side of my brain. Case in point: while camping, I was able to try out an incredible travel scarf with pockets, something I've been enamored with ever since I first heard about it. And I couldn't wait to tell you all about it! An infinity scarf with pocket features has been on my travel wish list for a while now. Originally I had visions of cuddling around the campfire in a chic scarf, looking glamorous while keeping my phone and keys safe, but Mother Nature delivered a heck of a rain storm that really let me put things to the test.
Check out our video showing just how gorgeous Ontario camping at Craigleith Provincial Park really is - on clear days and stormy ones alike! Then read on to learn more about my new favourite travel scarf (and enter to win one for yourself....)
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.
Here's how to mix business with pleasure in Canada's capital city.
Millions of people travel to Ottawa each year on business. Politics, law, high tech, conferences, universities - some trips last just a few hours, while others go on for a week or more. But even if you're on a tight schedule, Ottawa offers plenty of attractions and amenities for business travelers to enjoy. So whether you have a day or even just an hour to spare, make sure to visit some of the city's best attractions before you leave - and check out our insider tips that will have you getting around town like a true local!
Ottawa's culinary scene is sensational.
Note from Vanessa: We're thrilled to showcase this guest post on Ottawa's foodie scene from Shannon of Shan's View from Here. I've seen Shannon's culinary chops first hand when traveled together to explore Ontario's Prince Edward County and can't imagine anyone better to report on Ottawa's best food experiences first hand.
Culinary tourism is defined as the pursuit of a unique and memorable eating and drinking experience. Whether you live in Ottawa or are visiting to celebrate Canada's 150, you will find a vast amount of culinary experiences. Some experiences will have you strapped into a race car seat and hoisted in the air, while other experiences will immerse you in an Ottawa neighborhood and its flavours. Ottawa is growing into a culinary destination in its own right and offers memorable once in a lifetime foodie adventures.
When pop art, silos, puppies, and deep fried treats come together, you have an unforgettable day trip from Ottawa.
What do you get when you combine the rural Ontario countryside, farmland, and grain silos, with massive, street-art inspired murals soaked in social commentary and diverse inspiration? Why, Popsilos, of course! This truly unique art project, unlike anything else in Canada, proves the old adage that opposites attract. And I can't think of a better way to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. Here's what Popsilo's inaugural day looked like.
There's great fishing in Niagara Falls - but most people overlook it. Here are the best fishing spots, the best fishing boat tour guides, and info on the kinds of (delicious!) fish you can catch in and around Niagara Falls Canada.
One of the most popular activities on a North American "bucket list" is to visit Niagara Falls, Canada, to explore the waterfalls and ride on a Hornblower Niagara Cruise. And no wonder! The falls really do live up to all the hype. But I'm going to be bold and suggest that there are other bodies of water around Niagara Canada that are equally worthy of exploration.
There's a reason why this part of Canada is referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World - there is so much to see and discover. And (no surprises here!) there's a reason why I'm so particularly fond of the Niagara River, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. It all starts with food!
The food in southern Ontario, and especiallyaround the Niagara Region, is absolutely amazing. The micro climate of the region means milder winters and favorable conditions, the kind that coaxes finicky grapes and coddles delicate tomatoes. But while I love the fresh produce and local wine (and cheese..... and preserves.... and ciders.......) one of my absolute favourite things to eat in this region is the freshly caught fish.
Have you explored your Long Point Provincial Park camping options. You'll love our review of this beautiful park, and our favourite campground, Turtle Dunes.
When I was recently asked what one of my favorite places in Southern Ontario was, Long Point Provincial Park immediately came to mind. As one of Ontario's oldest provincial parks, and the only one to be located in a designated World Biosphere Preserve, Long Point Provincial Park is long indeed on bragging rights. And Long Point Provincial Park camping is the perfect way to experience summer - it's an escape filled with sun, sand, swimming, and more.
Every summer we join friends for our "big" annual camping trip, lasting anywhere from several days to nearly a week, and Long Point is a favourite spot among all of our preferred destinations. It checks all our usual camping boxes (clean sites, clean washrooms, a nice blend of lively but not TOO lively atmosphere) and yet it offers so much more than that.
Here are our five favourite things about Long Point Provincial Park.
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