Less is more. We know that saying in relation to art. Specifically modern art. What if that saying applied outside of the world of art? I think we could all learn something, especially when it comes to travel, from this saying. How many times you visited Niagara Falls?
Its not uncommon for us to get sucked into the “check list” style of travel. While in my opinion there is nothing wrong with this style of travelling, I do believe that it doesn’t do the destination justice. I believe that we would enjoy our trips more if we took the time to enjoy them. Sounds simple, right? Yet, how often do we see tour buses, off loading a group of tourists who simply snap a picture of the view and head straight back for the bus? Sure, we all have a bucket list. Things that we want to see at a certain destination, but I believe that the approach can be changed, or at least improve. Instead of packing several things into the days itinerary, wouldn’t we be able to enjoy the trip so much more if we use the approach “less is more” and simply put three things in the itinerary? In the same sense of “less is more”, enjoying three activities to the fullest at a destination instead of piling on several can help us enjoy the trip so much more.
Here is where the Niagara Falls Region comes in.
The Niagara Region is a perfect blend of country living and the city, making it the perfect get away. Wineries, Amazing Hotels, Great People and lets not forget the Niagara Falls… What does this region not have?
So how do we make the most of a trip to the Niagara Region? Below are just some of the events that may get your attention. Plan accordingly!
April – Easter – follow this link to get an idea where to lunch and dine on Easter weekend. And don’t forget to have a reservation!
June – Comic Con is a popular event that takes place on June 3 -5 at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre, Niagara Falls Canada, just steps away from the majestic Falls. This popular event features more than 200,000 square feet of exhibitors, comic books, movie cars, cosplay contests, celebrity autographs and photo-ops, a video gaming arena, Falls Horror Fest and so much more!
As soon as you wish – If you love your bike and a passionate cyclist – you’ll appreciate this useful info – here.
August – The 28thedition of theCanada’s largest multi-sport event, will take place in Niagara from Saturday August 6thto Sunday, August 21st, 2022. The Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games will celebrate the wonder of sport alongside arts and culture. The Games will honour Niagara’s Indigenous communities and showcase a remarkable heritage of hard work and innovation in one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations. With world-renowned hospitality, the people of Niagara will welcome visitors from across the country.
October 23, 2022 – One of the oldest and most scenic racecourses in North America following the Niagara River and ending at the majestic Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The Niagara International Marathon is truly international with the start in Buffalo, NY and end in Niagara Falls, ON. The Half, 10k, and 5k distances all start and end in Canada.
With new Hotels and Spas opening this year, the Niagara region is a must for anyone visiting the area!
And one last tip – here is a great place to stop for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea – Old Stone Inn.
During the last couple of years the topic of visiting Quebec was coming up several times in our discussions. Kids were asking if there is a zoo there, so we found out that Granby Zoo is not too far… Finally in May 2017 we booked a hotel and planned out the itinerary that would include some of the places that we thought would be interesting for everyone in the family and the zoo was one of those.
The main destination was Quebec City and its beautiful downtown was so well preserved and such a distinct French heritage. We spent most of our time just strolling the streets, window shopping and watching the street performers who really amazed us with their skills – fire jugglers, drama characters and musicians…
Granby Zoo is about 3 hours drive from the downtown Quebec, and about an hour from Montreal. We were welcomed in the nice reception hall, got our tickets and went to explore the animal world.
Right as we entered there was a gigantic size dinosaur’s head and a line up of kids willing to climb inside of it! No matter how big or small – they were very about the opportunity to see the real size dinosaurs! And there 21 of them right in front of you, so be very careful – but don’t try to feed or pat these creatures! Even in the Zoo!
Enough of the dinosaurs – the kids forgot about dinosaurs right at the sight of the farm animals. And there were lots of them – pigs, sheep, and goats – so friendly and ready to make friends!
After some hugs exchange with farm inhabitants we decided to go see some of the exotic creatures on display.
Oceania seemed to be a good place to start – first the stingrays and the variety of tropical fish and then all way around the Australian continent to see black swans, parrots, emus, and kangaroos. Stingrays seem to be attracted to the hand emerged in the water – some of them will come and allow us to gently touch their backs…
The Kangaroos were too busy to discuss any matters of their life, so the visit to the Oceania Garden was quite interesting as it is extremely rare you get to see kangaroos that close and with no fence!.
We entered the aviary and right away we were surrounded by many colorful parrots! For $1 you can buy a special nectar – just hold the cup tight and they will sit on your hand and drink it!
We spend some good time there – the parrots are so colorful and it is such a great experience to see them so close.
But there was a lot see and the time was limited.
Our next destination was Africa! Who doesn’t like to observe the grace of big cats, see elephants shower using trunks, slowly moving zebras and giraffes, and the hilarious monkeys?
One of our major observations was the design of the areas, nice fences that imitate greenery and well maintained grounds. We later learned that Granby Zoo received an Award for the Energy Consumption Reduction Efforts project that was implemented during the renovation of 2005-2010.
The Zoo is well mapped and organized – it was no problem to find any continent or animal of interest. And yes, the zookeepers definitely speak many languages, no worries if you don’t speak French!
After Africa we had just a bit of time to make a short tour of South America. We stopped by llamas who stretched out their necks asking for treat… Sure!
it was a lot of fun to feed them some green leaves that we found on the trees around; we were impressed by the spread of the wings of the Andean Condor and spent some time waiting for the alligators to wake up from the afternoon nap; finally one of them yawned and slowly moved towards the water… at the end of the South American trail we saw a powerful jaguar, at the moment it was quite relaxed and not interested in any aggression.
On our way to South American continent we made a snack stop at “Le Marcher”. The restaurant offers a variety of foods and drinks and nice dining area; there is also a large area outside with tables under umbrellas.
Next to the Restaurant there is an Amusement Park – where kids found some free rides while we were resting our feet; there is also an Amazoo Water park that offers quite the variety of water rides, not now however… we may visit it some other time when the day will be hot enough for water fun…so long for now, the Zoo is closing and we are tired enough to get to our hotel and have some dinner.
ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS’ 2018 SEASON INTRODUCES AN EXCLUSIVE “TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES
Vancouver, March 15th 2017: The spotlight shines on Canada’s North this year as the world is invited to discover epic locations in Canada celebrating 150 years of confederation. This event has inspired Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) to introduce more in-depth Canadian Arctic exploration…
The intimate and immersive nature of OOE’s small ship expedition cruises impacts travellers’ lives, while enhancing their appreciation for the Arctic and other Canadian destinations. Exploration of the Arctic is slowly becoming a journey of choice and a “Trip of a Lifetime” for Canadians and global travellers. OOE has been developing sustainable Arctic tourism for over a decade and are consistently innovative in creating itineraries taking visitors to some of the most unspoiled places on earth with programs that focus on education, science, history, arts & culture and exploration. OOE’s small ship adventures take travellers further afield providing access to archeological sites, remote Inuit communities and wildlife viewing opportunities few often experience.
OOE’s 2018 cruise season continues to inspire, with the introduction of a ‘Circumpolar Art in the Arctic’ program that bridges the Norwegian High Arctic and the Canadian High Arctic through visual art. Internationally acclaimed visual artists include Cory Trepanier, David McEown, Bruce Pearson, Christopher Cran, wildlife documentary producer Karen Bass, internationally award winning photographer Daisy Gilardini, as well as polar scientists, historians and ambassadors of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
A new and exceptional voyage for 2018 is the inaugural ‘Canada’s East Coast Golf Expedition.’ The seven-night expedition cruise invites guests to experience some of the best golf courses along Canada’s East Coast. Passengers enjoy the luxury of waking up every morning to a new course and the ease of boarding an expedition zodiac to take them ashore for their next round of golf. With additional expedition stops to Sable Island and Iles de Madeleine, this program offers unbeatable golf and cruising memories for golfers and non-golfing partners alike.
From early July to the end of September, OOE operates several 12-night ‘Classic Northwest Passage’ voyages emphasizing early Arctic exploration. Along with an historical focus, guests travel to some of the last remaining great wilderness regions on the planet with sightings of polar bears, whales, and myriad bird species.
The 11-night ‘Baffin Island – Jewel of the Arctic’ trip that was introduced in 2016 has already become one of the top selling voyages. The stunning nine-night ‘High Arctic Explorer’ voyage commences in Resolute, Nunavut, one of the most northern outposts in the Canadian Arctic. This trip offers the perfect blend of wildlife, history, culture and scenery.
The 10-night ‘Labrador and Torngat Explorer’ cruise departs from the historic town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and explores two iconic National Parks, Gros Morne and Torngat Mountains. Exploring the rugged Newfoundland & Labrador coast provides an abundance of wildlife experiences that can be seen all the way up to Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit. This itinerary is special and a gem of new offerings launched for the 2017 summer travel season.
A number of early booking offers are in place for 2018 summer travel. On Canada’s East Coast Fins and Fiddles and Golf Expedition a complimentary pre-voyage hotel and US$100 shipboard bar credit is provided. For all other Arctic and Labrador voyages, early bookings benefit with a flight credit ranging from US$500 to US$1000. All offers expire May 31, 2017. ONE CLUB Loyalty Program members (past travellers with OOE) can apply their 10% loyalty savings to any current booking offers.
Jean-Yves Cavin – Co-director of the Cully Jazz Festival
The Cully Jazz Festival, which will be celebrating its 35th edition this year, has become an illustrious event thanks to a clever blend of specific ingredients. The recipe isn’t that easy, but it’s a resounding success each year. Co-director and artistic director Jean-Yves Cavin has been able to maintain and improve its preparation. He tells us all about it in this new episode of the video series “Encounters in Vaud” which is produced by the Lake Geneva Region Tourism Office. Internationally reputed artists, a stunning setting, a goodly pinch of art de vivre, passionate winegrowers, charming wine cellars, a welcoming village and a strong sense of hospitality: the Cully Jazz Festival is all that. Be tempted…
Villars – Bretaye / 17.03.17 – 19.03.17
Afterseason Villars Electro FestivalCome and join the best of Electro clubbing at the Maison de Montagne in Bretaye. Swiss and international DJs will perform set after set in a heated tent with an incredible view, perched at an altitude of 1700m overlooking the Dents du Midi.
Leysin / 20.03.17 – 26.03.17
The biggest “British” electronic musical event of the Vaud Alps is held every year in March in the Leysin resort and ski area. Presented by the star of British radio, Gilles Peterson, famous DJs perform for 5 days of musical madness!
Diablerets – Glacier 3000 / 25.03.17 – 26.03.17
Enjoy the incredible ski region of Glacier 3000, offering powder snow and the motto “freeride for all”. Follow in the footsteps of some of Europe’s best proriders and experienced mountain guides.
Morges / 05.04.17 – 10.04.17
Divinum Wine Fair
Divinum opens its doors to the discovery of some exceptional vineyards as well as tasting of wines from all horizons. Let you guide by the wine-grower artisans whose mission is to satisfy your taste buds and to share with you their passion. Divinum is more than a wine fair, this is an experiment.
Leysin – Les Mosses – La Lécherette
Offer available from 13th March to 18th April 2017
The perfect hotel break !
7 days and 7 nights in the snowy mountains for CHF 710.- For the Easter holiday, from 13th March to 17th April, Leysin – Les Mosses – La Lécherette offer accommodation in a hotel with half-board, plus a daily ski pass (100 km of slopes), entry to the swimming pool as well as price reductions on ski equipment or ski/snowboard classes.
Villars-Gryon – Les Diablerets
Offer available from 1st April 2017 to 17th April 2017
Ski & Snow Fiesta
To celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring, Villars-Gryon – Les Diablerets offer a rich programme of music and crazy events from 1 April to 17 April. All that comes with special SkiSnowFiesta offers in some of the hotels, apartments, ski schools and sport shops. A wonderful way to spend the Easter holidays.
FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE LAUNCHES POWERFUL TRANSFORMATIVE WELLNESS PROGRAM
– Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise adds holistic wellness experiences
to the magical setting of the hotel –
LAKE LOUISE, March, 2017
Guests come to Lake Louise to enjoy endless outdoor activities, including world-class skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, guided hikes, horseback riding and canoeing. There is also a luxurious day spa, exceptional dining experiences and upscale accommodations with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Louise.
A few years ago, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise began offering wellness retreats throughout the year that complemented the guests’ stay in a truly breathtaking and spectacular setting. The wellness retreats struck a chord with the hotel’s international guest base, which, like more and more people around the globe, are looking for transformative travel experiences that leave them inspired, invigorated and renewed physically, mentally and spiritually.
In Spring 2017, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will launch an extended wellness program with a new series of centering, holistic wellness experiences that will bring a deepened sense of Zen and mindfulness to the magical setting of the hotel.
The transformative wellness retreats are based on the pillars of mindfulness, meditation, creativity, authentic happiness, resilience and optimum wellbeing, that help guests find their true center and live in a more balanced and authentic way.
The retreats will be presented by renowned health and wellness experts including:
Tracy Delfs, passionate yoga & mindfulness instructor and long-time student of world-renowned Zen and mindfulness master Thich Nhat Hanh
Dr. Eva Selhub, internationally known medical doctor, author, stress management and resiliency coach
Shannon Kaiser, author and life coach, named “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” and “Top 25 most influential wellness writers” by MindBodyGreen
Sean Murphy, author, Zen meditation teacher, creative writing coach
Kim Roberts, yoga instructor, psychotherapist and author
Wellness retreats are all-inclusive, two to four night packages with deluxe accommodation, healthy, delicious cuisine, daily yoga sessions, morning and afternoon wellness programs and plenty of time in between for guests to explore Lake Louise at their own pace.
To view the full wellness retreat calendar visit: fairmont.com/wellness
Adventures during our Perth-Ottawa Road Trip. Summer 2016
We left Toronto early in morning and after about an hour on 401 as usually stopped over at Big Apple. The place is well known for cute cafeteria, large giftshop, children`s outdoor pet zoo, and clean washrooms.
After arriving to Perth, we first stopped over at the Fairgrounds where the place was already prepared for the 200th years celebrations. One could see the rib grillers’ stands from all over Lanark county and the vendors offering foods and drinks to all tastes. There was a mini amusement park for young children with bouncy castles and a climbing tower. The stage was ready for musicians and singers; close by the stone carvers were competing in their art – the winners’ sculptures will become part of the new stone bridge being constructed in Perth and funded mainly by donations.
Late afternoon we headed to the McReary’s beach resort. The resort has beautiful and spacious cottages and we stayed in one of them for the next 3 days. The resort is located on the beach and at the same time not far from the main road; that made it convenient for our local day trips exploring the area. Our cottage had fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, living room and the deck with BBQ. The environment is really family friendly and kids were allowed to go around by themselves.
Once settled we all headed for a boat tour that was so much fun!
We swam in warm lake water, did spectacular jumps from the boat and raced each other. On the way back to the cottage we saw two eagles high up on a pine tree.
Next to the beach there one can find a boat house with many canoes and kayaks to borrow, but we were too tempted to relax in the indoor pool; under same roof there is a sauna and hot tub. After dinner we played for a while and later enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the marshmallows roasted on the campfire right behind the cottage.
The next morning we went to Perth to see the 200th year anniversary parade, which was very well organized and included a lot of various performances. After the parade we stopped by the ice-cream shop before heading to the park.
Not far from the park there was a farmers market where we bought local maple syrup and some homemade jams; the stands were also filled with crafts and flowers. It was a fine place to browse…
In the park the speeches were already underway and we could see the Mayor and other city officials on the stage. At the end of the ceremony the Mayor handed the special capsule with the money collected for the construction of the new stone bridge to the builders.
After the official part everyone headed across the park to the spacious lawn where the dressed up musicians and dancers were getting ready to perform. The Scottish kilts in different colours, traditional musical instruments and actors were all mixed with the arriving public.
For the next hour we all could watch the scenes from the past brought by the musicians and actors to show the history of Perth from 19th century. The show ended by the guns’ salute and marching of the bands.
On the way back to the cottage we stopped again at Fairgrounds to have some ribs, check out the stone carving competition and listen to some music.
The day was almost done, we only had enough time to get back to the cottage for some swim in a pool and dinner.
The next morning we left early for the Blue Heron Golf club. The club house was already busy with the arriving golfers, so we quickly got ready and headed out to the course.
The course has nine holes which makes it suitable for those new to the game or seasoned golfers. The beautiful landscaping adds to the natural surroundings creating pleasant environment – mix of water, forest and green lawns… after golf we all were ready to have good lunch, and decided to go towards Perth.
On the way we stopped by the General store to buy sandwiches. Forget the sandwiches – in the middle of the store there was a small table where a lady was painting the large egg… The painting reminded us some fine antique porcelains, Easter eggs and may be Christmas… the paintings were filled with very fine details such as flowers, birds, butterflies, little bunnies and colourful ornaments. Hard to resist – we bought two beautifully painted eggs and then turned to sandwiches – we were hungry!
After Perth our destination was Ottawa. Instead of staying in the city hotel we stopped at the Generations Inn., which is about thirty minutes away. Even before we open our bags right away kids went to swim in a lake… The Inn has three rooms with private bathrooms located in the old estate. The place is quite well known for the fact that the chief for the Ottawa Senators sometimes cooks his famous dishes for the guests, but you have to call in advance to find out when; we didn’t and so had to visit nearby restaurants.
Next morning we were in Ottawa. First we visited The Museum of History, Children’s Museum and Parliament Hill, later the Airspace Museum and we finished the day watching the amazing Light Show that is projected right on the Parliament building.
In the Museum of History “Napoleon” and “Gold Rush” special exhibits were well worth to visit. Going back in times of Napoleon and learning about his personality and various projects was really like visiting France and Europe of that time. In the halls of “Gold Rush” we were able to wash some golden nuggets and learn about gold mining history. At the exit the special scale displayed the value of your weight as gold equivivalent in $$ – so we all got on! Worth millions!!
Children’s Museum is always full of kids and their parents. It’s a wonderful world of real things scaled to toy size. One can be a banker, another a salesman of Turkish rugs or spices, be a sailor or mechanic or dress up and go on stage!
After lunch on the French side in a small lovely café and some rest we headed to the Airspace museum. And that is where we spent a lot of time learning about airplanes, history of aviation and space exploration.
A bit tired we went back to the city to have dinner. And again we went to the Airspace Museum this time for the conference to meet the real astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Robert Thirsk.
They were presenting the launch of the new recruitment campaign and there were various officials and a lot of fans. We even got a chance to chat with them and get autographs.
After such an exciting evening we were back to the Parliament Hill for the Light Show that presented the history of Canada in projected images accompanied by narration and music.
Tired after such a long day full of events we were ready to go back to Generations Inn for a good night sleep…
Next morning we were on our way back home. We decided to stop over in Peterborough and visit the unique lift locks. Dated back to 1900 the locks operate based on the natural powers created by the weight of the water in the tubs – this is the largest hydraulic lift lock in the world that raises boats up to about 65 feet high! It was a lot of fun to watch the boats go up and down – they looked so small compare to locks’ structure!
Before getting back on the road we stopped over for pizza lunch and then drove all the way home talking about places we liked most…
Walk about 4 blocks for 8 minutes to Stewart Park (80 Gore Street East) to see the parade. Map: https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Stewart+Park+Festivalfirstname.lastname@example.org,-76.250517,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x41185e3fc910fbd2!8m2!3d44.8988287!4d-76.250517
Our son, after receiveing PADI E-learning Diving Certificate wanted to get an Open Water Diver Licence.
We planned to visit St.Lucia in November, and found it will be a good option to combine vacation with 3 day practice diving course with DIVE SAINT LUCIA. We booked Bay Gardens Inn. It’s in walking distance to Dive St.Lucia facilities, where our son for three days was training to pass Deep Water Diver Licence. This state-of-the-art facilities with modern pool, and own moorings, offered good price for licencing. Actually it’s also fun for the day trip with divers..
On the last day of practicing, we booked a diving trip for the whole family. This was a good treat for all. We enjoyed the speedboat trip down to Soufriere, snorkelled and suntanned while our son was diving. Actually I did one dive with my son and instructor at the foot of Petite Piton. Lots of coral reefs and fish. The other dive was at Anse Chastanet, and my son had a chance to encounter with two turtles. The views of Pitons from the boat as much spectacular as from nearby expensive resorts.
For the second half of our vacation we moved to South East, Praslin Area, where Mamiku Gardens and Piece-of-Paradise , to our family favourite Fox Grove Inn, our home-from-home. This time we got two bedroom apartment ( for the price of one room in Bay Gardens Inn). It was our special treat… We spent time in the pool (which is double size than in Bay Gardens Inn ) ,or playing ping pong, billiards, chess and puzzles , or hiked the road to beautiful vistas.
The owners, Esther and Franz as usual were sweet and helpful at any our request. If traveling as a couple , or alone, the best option will be to have a room with breakfast, and have optional lunch and dinners, but if traveling with children, especially for longer period, we prefer to book two-bedroom apartment, and have full independence, having equipped kitchen.
At Fox Grove Inn we usually enjoy hiking into tropical forest, while birdwatching, find and photograph some exotic flora.
As Wales celebrates its Year of Adventure in 2016, VisitWales had highlighted 16 unique things to do in the destination – discover your own adventure! Choose from trampolining in a slate mine, experimenting with seaweed, catch some waves inland, find the world’s biggest Elvis festival and try to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch…and much much more!
If you’ve ever visited Grey County during the fall, you know we’ve got something special here. From blazing colours atop the Niagara Escarpment to warm sunny days topped with crisp fall nights, from bustling farmer’s markets to orchards and vineyards tucked away in the Beaver Valley, fall in Grey County is a truly epic experience.
This fall, we’ve been sharing those fall touring opportunities with folks far and wide via a giant Facebook campaign. We’ve mailed out over 3000 packages with maps, brochures and information for those hoping to visit. At the heart of our campaign is the Ultimate Fall Colour Adventure Contest which will see one lucky winner walk away with a fabulous fall tour of Grey County, valued at over $3000. The contest runs until, October 9, 2015.