• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Time to start thinking of your next summer holiday…

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

USA and Canada

Everyone’s situation is different as to what they need to think about when booking a holiday. Do you have children at school, are you in a job that restricts you from taking time off when you like?

Early planning is a must to avoid disappointment in these situations. Booking early also means you can take advantage any early booking discounts, which can save significantly sums for your holiday.

We are here to assist you make those plans and to help take the stress out of organising your trip. Once booked you can simply sit back and look forward to a wonderful holiday!

We are experts in the USA and Canada priding ourselves on the fact we have stayed in and visited many of the places we send our clients, helping you to make the best choices. The USA and Canada are well worth booking early in high season and they both offer something for everyone, from big city glamour to small town charm but can have limited availability.

 

USA – first thoughts

For the USA ‘big city glamour’ try the city of Chicago in Midwestern USA, a metropolitan hub for dining, shopping and entertainment. The Magnificent Mile is one of Chicago’s most famous shopping districts, and you’ll find flagship stores — from high street favourites to high fashion stores — along the stretch of shops. Nearby, wander along State Street, where you can visit the original Marshall Field’s, now Macy’s. For boutique shopping, head to Chicago’s 77 neighbourhood, where you’ll find unique, one-of-a-kind items you simply won’t want to leave without.

Chicago is bursting at the seams with theatrical talent. Broadway in Chicago and many Tony Award winning companies bring in big names and blockbuster shows, while more than 200 storefront, experimental and neighbourhood theatres bring you pioneering contemporary performances. Chicago is also a city that loves to laugh —after all Chicago invented improvisation comedy. See where Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell performed at world-famous ‘The Second City’. If stand-up comedy is your thing, grab your tickets for The Laugh Factory or Zanies. It is also a hub for all kinds of music and well worth experiencing.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For small town charm, we would recommend Jackson in Wyoming USA, sitting 15 miles from the Idaho border and approximately 12 miles from the entrance of Grand Teton National Park and 60 miles from the famous Yellowstone National Park. Offering you an adventure holiday exploring the wildlife and immersing in the local culture. You can explore on skis (in winter), mountain bikes, rafts, horse drawn stagecoaches. Add in exquisite cuisine, world-renowned art, and unique shopping to make a holiday to remember.

 

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Canada some places to consider

For ‘big city glamour’ consider a visit to the vibrant city of Vancouver, British Columbia with its skyline of glass buildings and the surrounding ocean and coastal mountains. Here you can swim from the beach and then go off to explore a mountain all in one day.  This is such a versatile city with so much to do. The city is the largest in British Columba, but manages to hold on to its rustic charm and natural beauty nonetheless. Visitors can enjoy bike riding, shopping, visiting a local museum or just relaxing in Stanley Park. Take the free shuttle service out to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Originally built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River. Cliffwalk is the park’s newest attraction – a cantilevered walkway clinging to the granite cliff high above Capilano Canyon. Treetops Adventure, seven suspension bridges through the evergreens taking you up to 100 feet (30m) above the forest floor, offers a unique squirrel’s eye perspective of the forest. See the jaw-dropping majestic nature of British Columbia unfold as you ascend via aerial tram to the summit of Grouse Mountain. Rising 4,100 feet (1,250 metres) above Vancouver and just 15 minutes from the city’s downtown.

You can dine at a world class restaurant or join a Vancouver foodie tour which allows you to visit a wide variety of highly recommended restaurants trying varied cuisine and enjoying the nightlife. A visit to Granville Island is a must for true foodies looking to sample the best of this coastal city. This gastronomic-focused district offers everything from elegant waterfront restaurants to small ethnic eateries. The Granville Island Public Market is a must see, an indoor market featuring a fascinating assortment of food and produce, displaying handcrafted products and unique gifts.

 

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For small town charm in Canada, we suggest Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan – an attractive town with an underground network of bootlegging tunnels connecting buildings. The tunnels were created in 1908 for a steam system that never happened, but it is rumoured that Al Capone gambled and made deals in them. You can get around this historic town on trolley buses and guided tours, stopping to visit one of the many attractions and museums, or you can simply relax in one of the many spas around the town. Summer in Moose Jaw is always bustling with activities such as Sidewalk Days, Park Art, the Motif Multicultural Festival, Farmers’ Markets, events in Crescent Park and much more.

 

Picture courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan Greg Huszar Photography

Picture courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan Greg Huszar Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information and help with organising and booking your holiday please contact us.

River Boat Cruising with a Difference

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Many people enjoy the freedom of river and/or canal cruising and the choices to do this are various and different. But for something that is of the beaten track (well for us in the U.K.) would be to consider cruising the Rideau Canal in Canada.

Picture courtesy of Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Being over 200 kms long with 49 locks, this canal is the oldest continuously in use canal in North America and is also a World heritage Site. Following the war between Britain and the USA in 1812, the canal was built to ensure that the interior of Canada had access to open water and ultimately the sea without threat from Canada’s neighbour. It was opened in 1832 and is an amazing feat of engineering with sometimes up to 8 locks to overcome the height differences between lakes.

 

John By supervised the work and made the most of the rivers and lakes that cover this amazing region. If you were in a hurry you could probably cruise from Ottawa to Kingston on Lake Ontario in 3 days but was is the rush. Why not take your time and explore the lakes and enjoy the locks – particularly as they are manned. And if you do not want to sail the whole way, that is OK as well. Cruise in your own boat or join a larger cruiser that sales the waterway and has a capacity of 45 guests.

A wonderful way to slow down a holiday to a fascinating part of Canada which would truly add to your experiences whilst here and a great way of getting back to nature.

Picture courtesy of Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Picture courtesy of Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

 

It is not too late!

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

With the longest day just about to arrive and the true summer weather with us, you may think that it is too late to book a holiday for this year, but you could well be wrong! Many regions still have the capacity to take good numbers of travellers and still feel un-crowded.

Parts of Canada and the USA fit this bill well and do have the option of medium and long haul flights on offer. Atlantic Canada is just 6-7 hours flying time away and offers a huge variety of experiences, scenery and excellent food and wine. Eastern USA also has much to offer and is only a little longer on the plane. September is a particularly good time for these regions, as the fall colours begin to show.

If you are willing to be more adventurous in your destinations and avoid the really popular locations, then you have time to book your holiday for this summer or autumn.

It starts with a call – Contact us / 01323 446550 and you could be on your way.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

 

Escape to Canada’s Maritime Provinces

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Think of visiting an area of Canada that is really quite close to the UK – a 6 hour flight from London brings you to the compact little city of Halifax Nova Scotia and from here opens up a wealth of just about everything one possibly want of a holiday.

Nova Scotia is one of four Atlantic Provinces – the others being Newfoundland (and Labrador), New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  Each Province has its own trademark and its difficult to decide which is the best!

The overwhelming feature that binds all four together are their people – there are few places in the world where one would feel truly comfortable talking to anyone and everyone, from the assistant in the fuel station, to the waiter at your table, from the fisherman tending his nets, to the keeper of the little craft shops that line the roadside, from the casual passer by, to the person sitting on the next table in the pub.

NS Lunenburg Harbour Fall

Picture courtesy of Kelley Keefe Atlantic Canada Holiday

Let’s add in a second feature – music! These Maritime Provinces were settled in the 17th Century by the Scots, the Irish, the English and French.  There were ensuing battles between the French and the English, mostly it seems to secure the fishing rights of the Grand Banks. The Scots and the Irish brought with them their very distinct brand of Celtic music, bagpipes, fiddles – the whole nine yards – and today, ceilidhs and concerts abound in most villages.  Music is the very life blood of these areas, and its not uncommon to see a fiddle casually laid on the side just in case someone fancies a little tune.

The seafood in the Maritimes is, without doubt, the best in the world. So fresh, and so delicious.  If you have never tasted lobster – this is the place to do it.  In the early days of these Provinces, lobster was caught in such abundance that it was eaten much as we might eat mince. It was not regarded as a delicacy or a treat at all.

One of the key features is the landscape itself. From the richly wooded interior with Autumn colours to rival anything New England can offer, to the rugged Highlands of Cape Breton Island, from the quaint farmlands and gorgeous beaches of Prince Edward Island to the fly-fishing opportunities of the Miramichi River in New Brunswick and the Margaree River on Cape Breton Island.  From the extraordinary geology that has created Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, to the extraordinary sight of icebergs the size of apartment blocks.  This is an ancient land, sculpted by the forces of plate tectonic movement, ice and the mighty ocean.  What remains is a variety and depth of experiences that rivals anything in the world.

Explore Canada’s best kept secret for yourself, and return a reformed and enlightened being, with the ability to smile at everyone, chat with anyone that cares to chat back.

A quick call or email starts your journey to Atlantic Canada please contact us.

Picture courtesy of Kelley Keefe Atlantic Canada Holiday

NL Western Brook Pond Fjord.

Picture courtesy of Kelley Keefe Atlantic Canada Holiday

Bear Watching Lodge – British Columbia

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Bear Watching at Great Bear Lodge

Picture courtesy of Great Bear Nature Tours.

 

One of our favourite places for bear watching is bringing a new floating lodge in to commission this year. Great Bear Tours are located on a beautiful salmon river in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Colombia, Canada and has featured on BBC programmes about bears and their environment.

The new lodge is a floating one and will have larger rooms with en suite facilities for their few, lucky clients. During the autumn when bear viewing – fishing for salmon – is at its height the lodge is host to just 16 clients. For the rest of the year the number of visitors are limited to 10 making this a very exclusive experience.

They have also 2 new bear viewing sites and to see how close you could be to these wonderful animals view some of their clips on their website www.greatbeartours.com.

Bear Watching at Great Bear Lodge

Picture courtesy of Great Bear Nature Tours.

 

Bear viewing, both grizzly and black, can go ahead during the spring and summer and the wilderness is home to many other animals, including wolves, deer and a host of birds.

This is “must” for lovers of bears but because numbers are limited it does need booking well in advance. If you are interested or want more information, then get in touch on Tel: 01323 446550 or  Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

Making the most of the Wild Rockies

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

We know how appealing the Rockies of both the USA and Canada are. Many of our clients return time after time to explore further. It is a year round destination if you like your skiing and winter activities.

One of the attractions is being in the pristine mountains and with all of the wildlife around you. Camping out for a night enhances the getting back to nature feel. For those wanting more of this, there is the chance to join a horse pack trek of 3 or 4 or more days through beautiful country, with mules bringing up your camping equipment and food.

What could be better than stretching out by the camp fire after a day in the saddle, feeling well fed and gazing up at a host of stars above you? You will certainly see much of the wildlife that lives here but if you wanted to learn more about it, you could join a trek on which the guide will teach you about tracking and seeing these animals and birds to your best advantage.

For more information on making this part of your own bespoke tailor made holiday call us on – 01323 446550 or email info@expereinceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Iceberg Alley – Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

When it comes to viewing icebergs, Iceberg Alley is one of the best places in the world. On a sunny day, view these 10,000-year-old glacial giants from many points along the northern and eastern coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador in every shape and size. The colours of each iceberg differs ranging from snow-white to the deepest aquamarine.

There are a number of ways to experience these amazing natural spectacles. Go on a boat tour, paddle along in a sea kayak or hike along parts of the 29,000 km of coastline and watch a sparkling spring berg parade down Iceberg Alley.

 

Quirpon Island Zodiac Iceberg

Picture courtesy of ACTP

 

To mark this occasion an Iceberg Festival takes place every June on the Great Northern Peninsula. It celebrates the coming of spring in the north and the annual arrival of icebergs. The festival features music, food, entertainment, history, culture, great hospitality and of course icebergs. Dip your toes into the North Atlantic! Have a dance! Eat seafood fresh from the sea! If you want breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, fantastic fare and good company, you belong at the Iceberg Festival!

Nor is that all you can do while in this beautiful region. Here nature is very much to the fore and the scenery is spectacular. The people very welcoming and it is still one of those places that is well off the well trodden holiday destinations.

If you would like more information on tailor made holidays to Canada then please call us on Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Green Gardens, Gros Morne National Park

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Iceberg Near Triton Island, Green Bay

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Puffins

Picture courtesy of ACTP

The Lighthouse Route of Nova Scotia, Canada

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Region: Atlantic Canada

 

Come and celebrate the timeless romance of the sea, in the stunning scenery of Atlantic Canada. The Lighthouse Route journeys through an unforgettable landscape of coastal beauty and historic charm that has captured the hearts and minds of travellers for generations. Imagine the landscape as it was when Champlain and de Monts first arrived here four centuries ago. Follow shoreline roads past rugged, wave-carved headlands and tranquil, island-studded bays. Discover historic towns and weathered fishing villages where legends of the sea come alive and the rhythm of life moves in harmony with the tides.

The Lighthouse Route follows Nova Scotia’s South Shore, where the past is a part of everyday life. You’ll find it along quiet country roads where ox teams still haul lumber, and coastal villages where fishermen still row wooden dories out to sea. Explore towns like Liverpool, with its privateer legends, and Lunenburg, where a working blacksmith still plies his trade amidst the beautifully preserved buildings of the old town district. And yes, they do have lighthouses, over twenty of them, from the dramatic beauty of the famous lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove to Yarmouth’s towering Cape Forchu light.

This is a wonderful self drive destination, with B&B and small hotels along the way to make your journey special. The owners of these places will be more than happy to suggest places to visit locally and where to enjoy the local produce. Summer is the key time to go but late spring and early autumn are also well worth considering.

Call or email us for more information on tailor made holidays to Canada: Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Shelburne on Nova Scotia's Lighthouse Route

Picture courtesy of Nova Scotia Tourism Culture and Heritage

Lunenburg waterfront on Nova Scotia's Lighthouse Route

Picture courtesy of Nova Scotia Tourism Culture and Heritage

Algonquin Park Wolf Howl Canoe Trip

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Is this for you?

Have you ever thought of combining a canoe trip with camping in the pristine nature of a National Park? Well Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada has a 2 night/3 day trip that is proving popular. Nor do you have to be a canoeing expert – this is a beginner friendly experience.

Your trip starts with an overnight stay in one of the Park’s unique forest cabins and then you set off. Imagine paddling through the early morning mist on the lake and then taking a walk through the forest on one of the numerous forest trails looking out for the animals and birds that live here.

After setting up camp and getting the fire going, you all gather by the lakeside and send out a group wolf howl. This is very often answered by the nearby wolf pack, which should send a tingle down your spine.

Wolves at Yellowstone

Picture courtesy of Helen Wibley

If you go in the autumn you will have the extra benefit of seeing the beautiful fall colours as well.

To make this part of your bespoke tailor made holiday to Eastern Canada please give us a call on 01323 446550 or email  info@experienceholidays.co.uk or if you would like information on other tailored holidays to Canada.

 

Help Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary in 2017 – by Canoe

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Lake Superior

Naturally Superior Adventures are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday by recreating the fur trade experience on Lake Superior. The route starts in Sinclair Cove in Lake Superior Provincial Park and finishes on Old Fort William in Thunder Bay.

The canoeing will be in 6 stages varying from 5 to 10 days starting on July 02 and ending August 19. You can elect to join for the whole journey or for just one or two stages. This is canoeing just as the fur trade voyageurs did two centuries ago in the very stable and seaworthy canoes – 12 metres long which carry 12 to 14 paddlers. The size of the crew allows for a mixture of experienced and novice paddlers. You are guided by well experienced trip leaders who have an intimate knowledge of the coastline, including the best campsites, and are talented wilderness chefs!

Lake Superior – Photo courtesy of Naturally Superior Adventures

For full details please get in touch. We have the details of each stage, the equipment included and how to join at different points. A true adventure based in some of the most pristine areas of Canada.

We look forward to hearing from you, please call us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Lake Superior – Photo courtesy of Naturally Superior Adventures

Lake Superior – Photo courtesy of Naturally Superior Adventures

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