It’s time to start thinking about vacation and wondering what some are planning. Clyde & I are thinking about going to Toronto. We like going to other baseball stadiums so thought Toronto might be a good choice, not too far of a drive. Would like to go to Niagra Falls, maybe just an overnight there. Any advice on being a tourist there, what to do, what to avoid, just tossing it around for now. Also interested in anyone else’s plan, but has to be a drive, no flying, lol.
Not everyone is crazy like me but we're going to Antarctica in November through the Drake Passage purported to having the roughest waters in the world; possible 30-40 foot waves..yeeeeeha!!
Get to Niagra in the early afternoon, enjoy the sites, and leave the next morning. I’m not sure how people can stay longer than a day there.
In Toronto take a ferry over to the island park - kind of like Central Park in NYC but it is an island. You can walk and bike all around.
The Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto and worth a stop if even remotely interested in hockey.
I did a very touristy thing by having dinner up the CN Tower. Was a good meal, but if you want to save a few bucks just go up there for the view.
For Niagara, the American side is more quiet and natural, Canadian side more touristy. We needed a day and a half. There’s a tower on The Canadian side (name escapes me right now) to view the falls from above. And on a clear day from the top, you can actually see Toronto across the lake in the far distance!
We may plan a trip to Boston to catch a game, Bessie!
Bessie - I've only ever gone to maybe three baseball games ever, but one was up in Montreal. Particularly an afternoon games has a lot to do there at the Olympic Park. (gardens and insectarium are also there) Subway is every easy to get around, and in my opinion a lot more to do than Toronto.
In Toronto, drop Clyde off the hockey hall of fame. (not that he'll appreciate the best teams mind you...) Go to the market. Then head up the CN tower. Niagra is a nice place to stop into. You can do other NY state things as well on the way, in the Finger Lakes, Corning. Or on the Canadian side there are casinos. Both areas have wineries.
Ottawa and Quebec City are both very nice too although not baseball destinations. Montreal and Toronto are very cosmopolitan but Ottawa and Quebec are more old world.
iris - I love your vacations. Way too much fun!!
I can't see myself getting a vacation this year. If I had to drive I would be going down to Tennesee. I need to see Shiloh one of these days and might combine it with Nashville or Memphis.
If I was allowed to fly, next on my list is either Poland or Croatia/Bosnia/Montenegro.
Our spring trip will be to Missouri. It's on our list of possible places to retire. Going out to take a look at property in a couple different areas. We haven't decided on a destination for our fall trip yet.
Toronto is great. You will have a good time if you go.
Two tips for Toronto:
1) Do not, under any circumstance, get pizza;
2) Drink beer not mixed drinks, unless you can find an illegally operating, free hand pouring establishment. ;-)
Last year, we did 3 weeks in Europe. Iceland (Reykjavik), France (Paris and Montpellier), Italy (Venice/Murano/Burano), Croatia (Split and Dubrovnik), Czech Republic (Prague), Hungary (Budapest), and Germany (Dusseldorf).
This year, we are settling on just one week in Europe ..... a bike and boat trip on the Lycian coast of Turkey. Really excited about it! :-)
IRIS, your trip sounds GREAT!! My G/F's daughter really wants to go there. We are looking at different tour packages, ..... thinking about next January.
Last time I was in Toronto I was in high school... so probably not much help on what to see or do now (I did go up in the CN tower and spent a few hours at Niagara Falls), but I was also in the Finger Lakes area a few years ago to go to Watkins Glen (the park and the race track) and you may be driving right by a few things we did on I-86 / I-390.
We took a winery tour at Pleasant Valley / Great Western near Hammondsport. Oldest winery in the Finger Lakes. Hmm, I still have a bottle of sparkling burgundy to open...
Right around the block from there is the Glenn Curtiss museum. He was an aviation and motorcycling pioneer. Some neat things to look at in there.
Also right off the highway (further south near Corning) is the Wings of Eagles discovery center. It was closed on the day we drove by (didn't even know it was there initially) but they have several planes outside which are cool to look at up close (F15, F14, and some older vintage models which I can never remember the names of).
We have 3 annual trips we always do:
long weekend in the Finger Lakes wine country (we can bring the dog)
week in Cape Cod (with best friends, for like 20 years)
long weekend in Rehoboth (we can bring the dog)
We are adding one more trip this year: for my 50th, we are going to NOLA. It was a toss-up between Nashville+Memphis (been to Nashville twice, never Memphis) or NOLA (went once, many years ago, only saw the quarter... this time, we are going to eat and listen to music where the LOCALS do)... we are both huge live music fans and foodies.
Bessie, if you're going up that way, be sure to stop at Niagara-on-the-Lake on the Canadian side north of the Falls. Reif Winery is a must-stop for us in the N-o-t-L area.
In Toronto, Clyde will love the hockey HoF. You will probably enjoy it too. Other sights of note are the Distillery District (restaurants, breweries, art galleries, other retail shops) and Casa Loma, which served as Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows... in addition to the other sights mentioned by others above.
This year, we're headed to southeastern Virginia for 10 days including the 4th of July. Driving through Shenandoah NP on Skyline Drive, then stopping overnight in Charlottesville. From there we'll hit Monticello before arriving at our cottage in the woods that we rented outside of Williamsburg. In addition to the Colonial section, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, we're also going to do Jamestown/Yorktown, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, NASA Langley, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (I'm already convinced it will be the highlight of the trip for weeanimal - he's a transpo junkie like his old man) and hopefully spend a day sailing on the Chesapeake. I'm probably going to need a vacation when it's over...
sheanimal and I are also spending a 4-day weekend in Old Town Alexandria in a few weeks for our 12th anniversary. That should be a little more relaxing...
Next month we're going on a cruise from Miami to four stops in the western Caribbean, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Costa Maya.
Usually try to get away for a long weekend without the kids once a year, but nothing planned yet other than a wedding in Connecticut that will require an overnight (of course the day before Mother's Day).
I really want to see Niagara Falls. We drove up to Barrie, Ontario once when we were first dating but it was a short trip and we didn't have time to stop.
In Toronto, stay in the Oakville area - you can easily get to Niagara Falls for the day (Canadian side is 10X better than the US side) & you can also get to the wineries in the Niagara by the Lake area as well. You can also get into the city of Toronto no problem staying in Oakville. I saw the Blue Jays a few years ago - great stadium!
Growing up outside Buffalo, I have been on the US side once. The Canadian side is touristy because it’s better. Better attractions, better views, better flowers— spectactular in the fall. Two towers, the smaller has a revolving restaurant. The larger, up on the bluff, has an external elevator. You can park there and walk to the falls. If I was with you, I would show you the shortcut through the woods….
We used to cross into Canada over the peace bridge and then amble down the Niagara Parkway sometimes stopping at Chippewa for touristy restaurants. Angry river on one side and million dollar homes on the other.
If you get there early, the upper parking lot lot just before the falls, if it’s still there, is the best place to park. Everything is easy walking distance from there. Over the years, I have been impressed at the unchnged aspects of the Canandian side so good chance it is all still as I say.
We love the caves under the falls. It was a real test of bravery to see if you could make it to the end of the third tunnel. We also like the old restaurant right at the falls but very hard to get a table unless you are early or off hours.
If you get to Buffalo, look for restaurants with roast beef on cummelweck (sp). Unfortunately the best restaurant for this has closed. Often it’s just called wick or weck.
Spending many a summer on Lake Seneca, let us know if you’re serious about Finger Lakes. I know creeks n pools and even waterfalls you can walk right to the edge. Also, if you happen to travel south to Erie PA, I could recommend a beach that rivals any in the world and the second best sunsets in America. We always used to say, perhaps It’s the steel mills in Cleveland… Spectacular. Also one of the best Americana diner fish fries ever.
Damn, I’m going back this year, you talked me into it!
A month in Ireland and Scotland early summer, first time to both places.Then 3 weeks in Prince Edward Island in Canada late summer.
We have been going to Prince Edward Island the last 10 years it is our special place. PEI is truly a beautiful place if you like no crowds, red sand beaches, amazing seafood, wonderful friendly locals, lush green rolling potato fields, warm water compared to Maine and folk music, best time to go is July & August. If you need info on PEI let me know.
Regarding Canada you may need a passport to get in and back into the USA. Make sure you top off the gas while in NY, gas is like $4.25 a gallon in Canada.
Calico, where in Missouri are you going? We went to Branson years ago, very touristy but we stayed by Table Rock Lake, beautiful area.
If you want a great experience in Niagara I'd do the night boat trip and falls-view dinner. The falls are lit up and it breathtaking.
The CN tower restaurant is high end and a bit pricey but you can go look at the view and stand on the glass floor afterwards.
Skydome is a wonderful stadium. Hope you plan it so you can see your team play the BJ's.
As mentioned there is; the Hockey HOF, Casa Loma, for museums. Nathen Phillips Square, Harbourfront Center, Ripley's aquarium, The Distillery District, Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy, Canada's Wonderland, Canada's Walk of Fame (always surprises on that), Winter Garden Theatre. There is also a Medieval Times last time I was there.
Not sure if you are into churches or not but there is St Patricks's Cathedral, St. James's Cathedral, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir,
St Michael's Cathedral Basilica. That's just to name a few.
Hope that helps
Bessie - We are looking at property in the southeast area of the state. We have picked two "home bases" for the trip. St. James and Perryville. Will be looking at property in the counties of Phelps, Pulaski, Perry, Washington, Crawford, Ste. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau.
St. James is actually in the wine belt of the state. Many vineyards there. We are looking forward to speaking with the locals and getting a general feel for the area.
As always, thanks for the responses..they've given me a lot to think about. I'm glad I'm in the company of such a well traveled group of friends.
Two tips for Toronto:
1) Do not, under any circumstance, get pizza;
I've been Toronto a few times for business. There is a bar/restaurant around the block from the King Edward hotel. They had a pizza made with wheat and rice flour. The rice flour made for a very thin and light crispy crust. Was fantastic. I just wish I could remember the name of the place.
The area around the soccer stadium has tons of small pubs. I had dinner at one and it was great
Personally, I liked Montreal much more than Toronto. Toronto had NYC vibe (which I like) but Montreal was just so much cooler - artistic neighborhoods, very walkable, great French bakeries, museums, Old Montreal has a European feel, and POUTINE!
Bessie - you can check out my wife's FB page to see all the pictures of Montreal.
Bessie here's another vote for the Canadian side of the falls. I haven't seen anyone mention the botanical gardens yet so thought I would throw this out there.
I'm another person who loves PEI too.. we go there as often as we can but it's quite a drive so not every year.
Seems like I need to get planning! Not sure what we want to do this year yet but might rent a house or cabin on a lake in NY state. Want to be able to walk outside and swim, fish or kayak.
We just got back from Myrtle Beach. Watched some college baseball and stayed on the beach in our timeshare. In June we're going to the Dominican Republic for a week at an all-inclusive resort.
We would prefer Montreal but since there’s no professional baseball team there anymore, we were looking at Montreal. We like to try and get a ballpark in our travels.
Toronto is a great city but my idea of vacation is getting AWAY from the crowds.
Toronto is a small NYC so not so much worth a trip other than business or passing through. Montreal is quite different plus you can combine with Quebec City for a long week.
Info on PEI if you like no crowds only downside 2 days of driving.
If you like country music and the beach here you go
Carrie Underwood is one of the headliners.
Vacation? What’s that? Envious of the responses. Have fun!
we're going to meander through Maine and spend several days on Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy
Maine is for that. Paddled/portaged the Allagash river decades ago and car camped with the family on the Machias river. Highly recommend going to Maine during the Summer, although for skiers you need to go to Sugarloaf once in the Winter.
Did Newfoundland for 3 weeks in August 2018, amazing place so different the east and west coasts. Hiking was over the top fantastic. Takes forever to get to Newfoundland, 3 12 hour days including 7 hour ferry, not many roads to drive on very cool 50-60 in August. Food was a real challenge unless you like cod, we like it just not for 21 days. Tons of bear and moose made driving a lot of fun! If you need more info let me know.
Plan on seeing my wife’s family in North-East Thailand & Koh Samui. I hope to do a side trip to Sri Lanka a place I have always been fascinated by. I may have to do this trip alone.
Hopefully, Operation Koh Samui is a success and you don't get evicted from the Circle of Trust, Gaylord. Nursing is a noble profession...
Iris you rock!!
Emaxx - LMAO re: pizza tip!
I'll be 'parachuting' myself down into Nepal or Tibet with zero planned itinerary later this year. Just land on the ground and go where the wind blows me and the teachers call...
Weedwacker - Sri Lanka - yes! That place is calling me too.
Going to our home in FL in 2019. Saving for Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in 2020.
"Nepal or Tibet" - I've heard Tibet isn't the easiest place to just show up. You're supposed to need like three different visas and permits. And then you pretty well get led around by the hand.
"where the wind blows me" - travel well and travel safe Lungta, there are many paths to follow even if they all are to the same place. With every rustle of the prayer flags another prayer is sent to heaven.
"We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"
Jono you will love South-East Asian! I first went in 2000 & have been back over a dozen times. Even worked in Hanoi for some time. I brought back a ball & chain from Thailand. But don’t forget Loas My favorite country to visit in South-East Asia.
Rebecka I just watch a train ride ( I love train travel )threw Sri Lanka on YouTube. It looked so amazingly lush going up the mountains to the tea plantations. I had a trip booked to go to Sri Lanka about 5 years ago from Bangkok & my girlfriend now wife didn’t want to go. I should have went anyway. I regret not going. I was already on that side of the world.
To be honest I’m ready to sell everything & ditch out to a studio apartment I used to rent in Udon Thani Thailand for $80 a month.
Thanks Weedwacker for the suggestion. I will try to get Laos worked in as we will be away for a month. Really looking forward to this trip.
Jono - reserve as much time as you need for Angkor Wat. I'd like to see a few different places in that area, but that is the one place that I can't imagine skimping on.
Tracy, Grand Cayman is our favorite. We were there a month ago. You probably won't have much time with it being a cruise, but definitely take a stroll along 7 mile beach. Cocoloba is a great spot for lunch. Enjoy.
We're headed to Hilton Head in July, as well as Pittsburgh for the Vintage Grand Prix.
Thinking Chicago for September. We have a Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on our to do list, as well as Greece.
GC Angkor Wat is on the schedule with lots of time.. What other must see sites do you recommend ?
Rebecka, my daughter was in Nepal a few years ago & loved it! Let me know if you want to talk to her about it.
Jono - I haven't been there myself so understand I'm saying that because it's what I'd really like to do too. I've seen all the Nationall Geogrphic type shows on it. When I looked into it there was a national park nearby that was interesting. And some caves in the other direction. Bangkok - Phnom Penh - Ho Chi Minh looked doable but am not sure I really want to do much more than Angor Wat in Cambodia and Vietnam. I have on my list Bangkok and Ayutthaya so I figured I would do mostly Thailand if I ever get there.
I hope you get there GC. After working 50 plus years these trips are on my bucket list. Some day hopefully Hong Kong, Abu Dahbi ( not sure of the spelling ) and Greece/Istanbul/ Ephesus. There are other locations in the USA and elsewhere to visit and experience. Some would be return trips. Unfortunately there is so little time along with other obligations and of course that thing called money.
A coworker loves to visit Cambodia, he has been there many times. Definitely on my "list" but my list is long...
Thanks, Meister and Calico. We leave in less than a month and I have not had time to make any more plans. We're doing an all-inclusive in Cozumel that I booked privately. Besides that, I really wanted to do the sting-rays with the kids in Grand Cayman but I couldn't decide what tour operator to use. I also really would have liked to do Dunn's River Falls, but I think the kids are still just a bit too young and uncoordinated.
My brother is currently in Thailand on a solo trip. He seems to be enjoying himself so far.
@Weedwacker - you're ready to... well... that makes two of us. And I'm going for it. ;-)
@GC - no worries to be had. One can make no mistakes when one is following one's heart, soul, mind and everything else. This girl knows with every bone in her body where she needs to be.
Block Island for me. I've been to RI but never there. The bf and many friends love it, so hopefully I will too.
I'm jealous of those who've been to Iceland. It's been on my list a long time.
Everyone, have fun!
I was born 30 miles North of here. Came to America when I was 5. I am a true Yankee. Can't beat NJ to live in.
It is beautiful country with all the Botanical gardens. A must to see the one around Hamilton which is on the QEW to Toronto. Stop in the wineries around St. Catherines
The Falls is nice (Canadian side) better.
Casinos are everywhere. Toronto has a great baseball stadium, an underground city for shopping, lots of great places to eat (don't ever get pizza) a castle to the north to visit (a must) and an island to the south VIA a short ferry ride. This is just a "touch" of interesting things in the city and close by. Try POUTINE (fries with gravy and cheese) and you will see vinegar out on the table and have to ask for ketchup.
Gas is expensive, and you are taxed for everything. This is how their Socialized Medicine is paid for.
Be sure to take a drive past Megyn Markel's place.
Have a great time, you will love this vacation.
As previously mentioned, sheanimal and I are heading to Old Town Alexandria next weekend for our 12th wedding anniversary. We haven't been there in about a decade and unfortunately, our favorite Italian place on King Street is no longer open. The restaurant that replaced it looks interesting but is more of a New American F2T-type than your classic Italian.
Any recommendations on the best Italian restaurant currently in either the Old Town or Del Rey neighborhoods? I've looked on Yelp, but who knows if people down there have any idea what good Italian food is, right?
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