A Shot Away…

Although jaunts to Thailand, safaris in Africa, digging up our roots in Great Britain or exploring the wonders of the Galapagos Islands are all wonderful and worthy adventures; we tend to forget sometimes, what is right at our doorstep. For those of us who live here in Ontario, we needn’t travel very far to find remarkable weekend or long weekend getaways at a reasonable price. Via Rail is continually having half off sales and I cannot say enough for modern train travel. Stress evaporates the minute you step aboard and the ever changing vistas make the “getting to” almost as good as being there.

Downtown Montreal Skyline

Montreal is burgeoning with beautiful hotels, extraordinary cuisine; unbelievable shopping and its historic ambiance makes it a “must see”.

On the not so cosmopolitan front, Quebec City is a veritable cornucopia of old world charm. It is a weekend in Europe without the cost.

Perhaps a few days in our nation’s capital is more to your liking? Ottawa runs neck and neck with Montreal for curb appeal and urban offerings, and is a fabulous way to spend the weekend. The parliament buildings, the Byward Market and the art gallery alone are worth the trip.

Skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.

Or try skating on the Rideau in the winter and stopping for a beaver tail. It is intensely, proudly and heart poundingly CANADIAN.

Is it shopping for bargains that gets you going? Or the thrill of the casino perhaps? What about a play at the Shaw Festival or a wine tour? You can never dismiss Niagara Falls or it’s well bred baby sister, Niagara-on-the-lake. It is one of the seven wonders of the modern world and compelling enough to draw people from all over the globe for centuries now, with its breathtaking views.

Niagara Falls at night.

The celebrity entertainment currently being drawn to Fallsview and some of the other big casinos was once only available at huge venues like the Air Canada Centre. Weekend packages can be had for a song and it’s close enough to drive to.

There is no reason to sit home when unforgettable adventures are just a shot away and so easy on your wallet. If you can’t seem to afford the time or the money for a full blown southern resort vacation; you still deserve to get away and the possibilities are endless. I have only touched on the obvious Canadian, ‘close at hand’ escapes. There are many more Ontario weekends to discover.

The near states have extraordinary options to offer as well. Porter Airlines which operates out of Billy Bishop airport on Centre Island and shuttles people every 15 minutes from the Royal York Hotel (take the GO and go) has a reputation for treating its guests the way it was 30 years ago when you stepped aboard an airline. They make you feel as though you are special and bend over backwards to make your flight comfortable and memorable. What a concept in these days of cattle-herding and do-it-yourself everything to actually value your customers. They service such south of the border gems as Boston, Chicago, Washington and of course the big apple among other eastern seaboard destinations, in high style.

The Boston harbour.

All of the above are “stand alones” which need no sales pitch. Boston is a fabulous mix of the trendy and the traditional. It has more museums and art galleries than you can imagine and is small and easy to navigate. Enjoy an old town trolley tour or spend an afternoon exploring it’s famous waterfront. Tea anyone? Or why not rent a car and fall in love with old Cape Cod?

Times Square in New York City.

New York simply speaks loudly and brashly for itself and needs no accolade from me; but lesser travelled are the incredibly clean, absolutely beautiful, sparkling gem of Chicago with all its history, sporting events, entertainments etc. This “second city” is second to none.

Last but not least, I adore Washington. You don’t need to hit the cherry blossoms in April to enjoy it. The Smithsonian alone will keep you fascinated all weekend long. The Capitol Building, The White House, concerts at the Kennedy Centre or the shops and restaurants at the historic Georgetown waterfront will all keep you fascinated. Enjoy fabulous shopping, unlimited cultural options and world class cuisine. Need I say more?

The Capitol building in Washington.

And if none of the above get your imagination going or stir your senses, all the major airlines service Las Vegas and there is simply nowhere like it on earth. Three and four day packages abound and even if you aren’t a gambler, it is a sight to behold. The shopping is some of the best in the country and for those who prefer a little more adventure than that provided by holding one’s breath awaiting the sought after clinking of a slot machine, what about an excursion to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam; by jeep, by bus or by helicopter. It’s all just a matter of choice.

Give us a call. We will be happy to find you a weekend wonder you won’t soon forget. Even without a birthday or anniversary to celebrate, you owe it to yourself to seize the day. We don’t charge service fees. You have nothing to lose. Drop by for our City Escapes brochures and dare to dream.

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