Disclosure: I received IHG Rewards Club points towards a hotel stay and this post. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.
Okay, so maybe you’ll never be able to effectively recreate eating pizza in Italy or taking in a safari expedition in Tanzania. However, for a large portion of Canadians, worldly adventures are often out of reach financially. In fact, one of the key responses from readers of my blog is that they’d like to duplicate family travel adventures – but on a smaller scale, and at a lower cost.
According to a recent survey of Canadians conducted by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG):
1. The majority (78%) of respondents don’t consider two days long enough to unwind, and suggest their ideal holiday should be longer than three days. However, it’s often difficult to plan a trip abroad for extended periods due to cost constraints. Finding an equivalent destination in Canada means your money (and vacation) is stretched farther.
2. 38% of respondents suggested they would most like to vacation with their partner – time to focus on each other. In order to compound “us time”, it’s beneficial to stay within Canada, as flights to destinations are often shorter. Therefore, you spend less time getting to your vacation spot, and more time enjoying your vacation.
3. The survey results suggest that the top three ultimate summer vacation destinations in Canada according to Canadians are British Columbia (33%), Ontario (18%) and Quebec (15%). Are you ready to start planning your adventure?
Today, I’d love to share coast-to-coast travel destinations that will allow you to experience the world without leaving the country.
Think Australia. Visit Nova Scotia.
Want to savour fresh, flavourful seafood, experience the thrill of whale watching, or ride a juice swell for prime surfing? You don’t have to travel across the world to do it! Nova Scotia offers some of Canada’s best scenic drives where you can explore all the places in between – from the sandy beaches of the southern shore to the famous Cabot Trail. Discover world-famous lighthouses, pristine coastline, and fun, friendly people.
Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Truro. Experience the warm, East Coast hospitality the moment you arrive at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia. You’ll be steps away from the Tidal Bore, Victoria Park, shopping and more. This beautiful, newly renovated hotel is 100% non-smoking and is a modern oasis for the leisure traveller.
Think Paris. Visit Montreal.
Is there is a city in Canada more romantic than Montreal? Ah non! Montreal is known for its superb cuisine, vibrant nightlife, artsy festivals, sunny terraces, cultural diversity and that special joie de vivre (joy of life) that Montrealers are famous for. Old Montreal, one of the most beautiful places in the city, is a must-do; take in the stunning architecture, enjoy a sumptuous meal or stroll through cobblestone streets hand in hand with your loved one.
Where to Stay: InterContinental Montreal. Perfectly placed for business or leisure, the InterContinental Montreal is connected to the Montreal Convention Centre and boasts stunning views overlooking Old Montreal and the port. Nearby you’ll find many places to explore in the old city of Montreal, including Notre-Dame Basilica. Upon your return, enjoy signature cocktails at the Sarah B. bar, relax in the salt-water lap pool or sample the tantalizing menu at Osco! Restaurant.
Think New York. Visit Toronto.
Toronto is often called New York North, Canada’s answer to the Big Apple — a glitzy, fast-paced, ultra-modern city that pulses 24-7. You can find world-class theatre, shopping and restaurants here, but the sidewalks are clean and the people are friendly. The best place to start is literally at the top – the CN Tower – followed by Yonge Street for sightseeing, Queen Street for shopping and Front Street for the St. Lawrence Market.
Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre. Location, location, location! The Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre is located in the heart of Toronto, at Carlton St. and Yonge St. Forego the rental car; the hotel is steps from the College Subway Station, and the main artery of the city is less than a block from the hotel, providing immediate access to all attractions, shopping, dining, hospitals, theatres and the financial district.
Think Monte Carlo. Visit Niagara Falls.
Yes, you can spend a day (and night) at Casino Niagara. But Niagara Falls is also one of the most attractive four-season destinations in the world. From the sheer spectacle of the Falls to the region’s renowned wine country, from its rich history to its beautiful parks and hiking and biking trails, Niagara overflows with things to see and do. In fact, many of Niagara’s top attractions are within walking distance from the Falls.
Where to Stay: Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls. If you’ve been following me on social, you’ll know that we recently stayed at the hotel for a long weekend getaway. Situated directly across from the breathtaking falls, the property is one of the most celebrated hotels in Niagara Falls. As part of the Falls Avenue Resort, the hotel is connected via indoor walkway to attractions, including Casino Niagara, Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, Hard Rock Café and an array of shopping.
Think Texas. Visit Calgary.
Although it’s a cosmopolitan Alberta city with numerous skyscrapers, Calgary is still steeped in the western culture that earned it the nickname “Cowtown,” evident in the Calgary Stampede, its massive July rodeo and festival that grew out of the farming exhibitions once presented there. Like Texas, Calgary is fast-becoming a foodie destination, with world-class restaurants, amazing pub food, street-meat and more.
Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Express & Suites. Want to be in the center of the action in Calgary? The hotel is just minutes from the Scotia Bank Saddledome, the Glenbow Museum and other popular attractions in downtown Calgary. Hotel guests can see a concert at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, visit history at the Mewata Armoury and shop in the CORE shopping centre.
Think California. Visit Vancouver.
Need to get away, stat? Summer in Vancouver is a party not to be missed! Between July and September, the long days and warm nights vibrate with energy fueled by theatre, music, lights, and festivals. Stretch out on the rich green park grass, lounge on a sun-soaked sandy beach, or find your place among the crowded, boisterous city patios. Grab a book, find a shady spot under a tree and revel in the hipster, super-laid back Cali vibe without leaving the country.
Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Broadway. The newly renovated hotel’s location is convenient to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the Pacific Central Train Station, and only 2 blocks from the Canada Line SkyTrain Station. From Grouse Mountain to Science World, you’ll find a variety of attractions near the hotel. Cheer at Rogers Arena or BC Place Stadium, walk through the VanDusen Gardens or explore the Vancouver Aquarium. Staying here also puts you near world-famous attractions like Granville Island and Canada’s largest Chinatown.
Ready to book your stay? Take advantage of IHG’s Three Nights a Dream promotion, where vacations of three nights or more at participating Canadian hotels offer savings worth 15 to 25 per cent! (The three nights must be consecutive and paid in full at time of booking.) IHG brands include Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, and more than 160 properties across Canada are taking part in the deal! Travel must be booked and completed by December 30th, 2015.
Bonus: IHG offers the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program with over 82 million members worldwide. Earn points when you stay at ANY of their 4,700 hotels (that’s 697,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries), or make use of their promotions and partners. Since your points don’t expire, they aren’t going anywhere but up.
So, where will you vacation first? Now that I’ve crossed Niagara Falls off my vacation list, I’ve set my sights on Montreal next! Poutine, anyone?