Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Seeking Travel Suggestions

My dh will retirie the end of June and would like to celebrate with a trip. You don't hear me squaking. I'm thrilled to death, but need some help. And who better to ask than my blogging friends. I'm going to list some of the places we are considering and if you know of any 'must see' sights or 'must do' activities in those areas, please let me know. We will be vacationing during the month of July, if that helps, but we don't need any suggestions as to where to watch the fireworks on the 4th.

Suggestions do NOT need to be the normal touristy places, but they can be. If there's a terrific library, beautiful park, peaceful cemetery bench, interesting architecture, etc. that you know of, let me know.

St. John's Newfoundland and the Island of Newfoundland
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Bar Harbor and Maine
Northern New York

As you can see, I need lots of help in deciding where we will be visiting and what we'll be seeing. Sell me on some ideas, please.


Anonymous said...

My husband and I spent a few days in Montreal over Christmas, and we just loved it. Beautiful city, just a lot of fun to walk around in. A lot of the sights were closed for the holiday but we just enjoyed spending time in the city, walking around and sitting in restaurants. They have a beautiful botanical garden, and if the outdoor garden is as gorgeous as the winter garden, it's really something to see.

Northern New York state is also a wonderful place if you like the outdoors and nature. I am especially partial to the Lake George area, near Keane Valley.

Melissa said...

Being a Michigander, I'll put a plug in for that state. Holland is beautiful, and there are tons of lighthouses along the shores. Mackinac Island is a touristy place, but worth the time, if only for the fudge. Stay in St. Ignace in the UP, though (it's a ferry ride away and the rates are much more reasonable.) Oh, and if you're there, you might as well drive up to Sault Ste Marie and see the Soo Locks.

And if you want to venture into Canada (stay away from Windsor around the beginning of July; they do a joint Canada Day-Independence Day thing, and it's PACKED), there's a great national park south of Windsor, Pt. Peelee, on Lake Erie. I don't know if you're into beaches, but they are wonderful there. Waves like you'd get at the ocean, and no salt! (It's a monarch butterfly migration hotspot, but that's not until September.)

Toronto is a blast, too, in a big city way. (It's one of my favorite big cities.) And if you end up in Vermont (I think that's where it is), there's always the Ben and Jerry's factory.

tanabata said...

P.E.I to me is Anne of Green Gables and lobster! Course we visited in my pre-teen Anne days! Having recently read The Shipping News, I think Newfoundland might be interesting for the impressive views and I've long wanted to visit Quebec City for its history and architecture. I haven't really been to the places you mention so can't really help, sorry. Sounds fun though, looking forward to hearing about wherever you go.

Anonymous said...

Quebec is gorgeaus. I went w. my niece for an 8th grade trip and I so want to go back. The food, the atmosphere, the scenery are amazing. It feels, what I imagine, old world to feel like.

Montreal is fun. It is a city.

I grew up in Vermont and it is gorgeous there as well.

I live in Maine. And, unless you like crowds I would not go to Bar Harbor in the summer. But, it is beautiful. Most of Maine is beautiful on the coast. But, Route 1 and traffic in the summer is neverending and nervewracking (is that a word?.

My vote is Quebec.

Anonymous said...

You've listed two of my favorite places on earth - Montreal & Vermont! Montreal is an awesome, fun and clean city - usually they have a couple different festivals (Jazz, Comedy, etc) going on in the summer, so I would just check out their travel site. You could also drive (in about 1 1/2 hours) to Quebec City - even more fantastic!
As for Vermont, we have stayed numerous times in the southern part of the state. My most favorite B&B ever can be found here It is secluded, relaxing and even though pricey it is well worth the stay! You can go shopping in Manchester Center one day, drive up to Mt. Equinox and visit the Vermont Country Store in Weston.
Please let us know what you pick!

Booklogged said...

Annie, Thanks for the suggestions. We've got Lake George on the list if we decide on Vermont and Northern New York.

Melissa, I've been checking out Holland, MI and it looks so wonderful with it's old windmill. My son-in-law used to live in Michigan and said we MUST go to Mackinac Island. Point Peelee looks and sounds awesome. Mmmmm...Ben and Jerry's!

Tanabata, Lobster-yay! We've already decided if we go to PEI to attend the musical Anne of Green Gables. My mother & brother also suggested I read Shipping News if we go to Newfoundland. Have been checking out Quebec online. It looks beautiful and Old Town is calling to me.

Nancy, Old Town does look neat. Is there anything specific we should see in Vermont besides the gorgeous scenery?

Stephanie, thanks for the b&b suggestion. I've got its site pulled up and am checking it out. Wow. It's soooo beautiful. I think I could spend forever right there.

Kailana said...

You were the inspiration in part for my Thursday Thirteen today:

Juliann in WA said...

I haven't been there but I have heard good things about the art museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

raidergirl3 said...

PEI - Anne, the musical is a definate must see; Victoria-by-the-Sea is a beautiful little community to walk around, see a chocolate shop, and eat lobster on the wharf; go to a ceilidh house party; lots of golfing, if you like that; take the bridge over and the ferry back to NS; beaches galore; Rick's Fish and Chips or an old fashioned church lobster supper
NS - Peggy's Cove is amazingly picturesque; Halifax is a big, little city with lots of action on the waterfront - restaurants and music and pubs
If you do plan the Maritimes, I can get more info for you.
Everyone should get paid from their tourist department for all the glowing reports.

Bookfool said...

I loved Maine, but Bar Harbor is best off-season. There are a million things to do in Michigan; I see Melissa made some suggestions. There are lots of wonderful festivals in MI; we had a fantastic time when we lived there. Wisconsin has the Dells, which are very pretty - probably pretty touristy, but I enjoyed them when I was a kid. Toronto is one of those cities you could spent weeks in and still not feel like you've seen enough. They have a huge bookstore that you can get a peek at in the movie Short Circuit II (the movie is allegedly set in NYC, but it was filmed in Toronto). The science museum is awesome.

Melissa said...

Completely off topic, but I tagged you for a meme.

Oh, and downtown Chicago is a ton of fun -- yummy food, Ghiradelli chocolate and the water tower -- and only across the lake from Michigan...

Bookfool said...

Oh, heck, everyone I've tagged has already been tagged. LOL Well, I tagged you for the same meme: "8 things about me". :)

Framed said...

I think the trip would be a lot more fun if you were to take your youngest sister.

hellomelissa said...

see, now you've already told me you won't be in MY neck of the woods in michigan, so i can't recommend that. otherwise, i'm clueless! haven't done much travelling in canada yet.

Chris said...

I second my Maritime buds reccommendations, raidergirl and Kailana. Cavendish in PEI is such a beautiful vacation spot. I love those red sand beaches.

I always love trips to Halifax, NS. The Cidadel is really interesting and the Public Gardens are beautiful.

Cape Breton, NS has the best scenery. It's always on top ten lists for that. The Cabot Trail is gorgeous and is quite a drive. Lots of places for whale watching up there. I love Cheticamp and the Acadian flavour of the place. The Bras D'or (pronounced Bra Door) Lakes are beautiful to look at as well. For history, Louisbourg (Canada Day is free day), the Highland Village in Iona and Baddeck (where Alexander Graham Bell lived) are great places to go.

I've never been to Newfoundland. My husband goes there a lot and he says St John's is an amazing city. There are cliffs all around it and it's on the edge of the ocean.

Lisa said...

What about the Black Hills of South Dakota? It's really pretty here in the summer, lots to see and do. Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, Buffalo herds, Bear Butte, Devil's Tower is nearby.

MizB said...

I'm from near Windsor, and I've been to Toronto, lots! So, I have to put in my recommendation for the Royal Ontario Museum there! I love that place, and admission is fairly cheap ($15 cdn for the day, I think).
The Science Centre is cool, too. And, the underground shopping... called the P.A.T.H.; it starts at the Train Station (which is beautiful, btw!), and goes all the way to the Eaton Centre...

And, I agree with Melissa -- Windsor can be CRAZY around the July 1st-4th time! Definitely don't watch the fireworks there... you'll never get a spot! We don't go ... just watch them on T.V. 'cause the hassle of trying to find parking is nuts!

Either way, happy retirement to your hubby, and I pray you have a great time wherever you go, and whatever you do! :D

<>< Mizbooks

Anonymous said...

I went to college in Michigan, and I have a few suggestions. Ann Arbor (where I went to school) is a great little town. It has tons of restaurants (Zingerman's is my favorite but there are a variety to choose from!), cute shops in downtown (try Main Street and then branch off down the little roads), and two independent theatres near downtown. It also has several used bookstores (my favorite is the Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room), the original Borders Books and Music, and two independent movie theatres.

I also have to recommend Dearborn, MI, especially if you're a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine. Dearborn boasts the densest Arab population outside of the Middle East. Al-Ajami's is my favorite restaurant there, but you should definitely get dessert at the world-famous Shatila's.

Couple links that might be helpful:

Anonymous said...

Also, if you're going to be in Michigan in July, check out the Art Fair in Ann Arbor. It's a huge attraction.

Anonymous said...

I have to put in a plug for Minnesota! I live in Minneapolis and it is a beautiful city, lakes, parks, food, theater, shopping, art, you name it we got it. There's the Mississippi River which begins in MN. We've also got Duluth and Lake Superior, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. And the people here are nice, except on the highways, not so nice there, but everywhere else, you betcha!

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about any of the places you've mentioned. But I'd love to learn - can I come too?

Melwyk said...

I'd vote for Montreal & Quebec City. Q.C. is quaint and beautiful, and Montreal is a great city to visit. Old Montreal, the shopping, the restaurants; lots of fun if you want a city vacation. The Planetarium, Art museums & historical museums, Jazz Festival in July, Film Festivals in Aug, lots to do.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I don't have any useful suggestions, but after looking over your list, I would really recommend Prince Edward Island. I have some travel brochures from there, and you can rent a house and bicycle all over the island. If you're not into bicycling, there are other ways to get around, too. But it's gorgeous and relaxing -- I have definite dreams/hopes/goals to go there.

Booklogged said...

Thank-you all for the great suggestions. I've been having lots of fun researching and learning about so many exciting places and their history.

Les said...

Funny that nobody ever has Nebraska on their list of places to visit. ;)

Booklogged said...

Les, I was planning a stopover in Lincoln (my old stomping grounds), but hubby wants to see some sights in Missouri. The quickest way home from there will be through Kansas. At that point in our trip I will be so ready for quick!

Lotus Reads said...

Booklogged, sorry I am so late!!! I want to direct you to a site called "Seven Wonders of Canada" and there you should find a number of nice suggestions for your trip to Canada. Like Nat, although I am a Torontonian, my heart is in Quebec City. For a little touch of Europe I would suggest you go there.

Here's the link to the Seven Wonders of Canada:

Ofcourse, I will insist you visit Toronto so I can meet you. Maybe we can drive you to the Niagara Falls? Have you been there before?

Again, sorry I'm so late, it's been such a busy time here!

Booklogged said...

Lotus, thanks so much for that reference. It's amazing that we are going to be visiting some of those places and seeing some of those awe-inspiring sites on our trip. I can't wait to see the Library of Parliament. M. MacCormac is a hero for saving it. We'll have to be sure and order Montreal bagels. Do you know where the Stanley Cup is on display. I had no idea it was so beautiful.

I loved the nomination for Mum's House and the one by the Nonosabasut Rock by the 2nd graders.

Hubby's laptop came yesterday so we can keep an online journal of our trip. That will be wonderful, because I so often forget so much by the time I get back home. I'm always asking him, "Now where was this picture taken. And what is it?" I'd give quite a bit for a better memory!

We are planning on going to Niagra from the Canadian side. I'll email you and see if we can arrange to go together. That will definitely be a highlight.

Bellezza said...

I definitely vote for Chicago. There are so many lovely things to do in the city on the lakefront of Lake Michigan: Millennium Park, The Art Institute, shopping on The Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue), plus theater and the Chicago Library. Oh, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. You would not be disappointed, I think. However, wherever you go, I know you'll make it special.

Lover of Books said...

I also live in MN and there are some great places like Stefanie mentioned. You cannot go wrong with the Mall of America. The best time to go is right away when it opens cause you can see so much more and not as much foot traffic. :) I love the MN Zoo that we have. It is $12 a person but well worth. If you decide to go to Duluth make sure you go see the Glennsheen house and before you go read A Will to Murder by Gail Feichtinger cause it will give you the website to all the info. That is my two cents. :)

Booklogged said...

Bellezza, I really wanted to spend a few days in Chicago, but it doesn't look like it will be this summer. :(

LofB, We will be going through Duluth so I'll add Glennsheen house and I'm going to see where I can find A Will to Murder.