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TRAVEL GALLERY - SPRING/SUMMER 2014
 
(2014 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: CYNTHIA DAVID



Enter a magical and mythical world at the blockbuster exhibit Mummies of the World at the Buffalo Museum of Science. This collection of rare mummies from South America, Europe, Asia and ancient Egypt provides a glimpse into the lives of ancient people. The collection includes a mummified family from Hungary that may have died of tuberculosis, a German baron tucked in the crypt of a 14th-century castlew wearing his best leather boots, and the modern-day Maryland Mummy that scientists created in 1994 using ancient Egyptian techniques. Also see how scientists apply modern techniques such as CT scans to study these ancient remains. sciencebuff.org; mummiesoftheworld.com

Kick off summer with the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. To the delight of half a million fans, more than 1,500 musicians will present more than 350 concerts across 40 locations from June 19 to 28. Styles range from straight-ahead to blues, bebop to fusion, swing to avant-garde. Highlights for 2014 include Earth, Wind & Fire; Japan’s Hiromi: The Trio Project; Spanish singer Buika; and Canada’s own soprano Measha Brueggergosman. Other confirmed artists include legendary vocal performer Bobby McFerrin; Grammy award-winning bassist, composer and producer Stanley Clarke; R&B Grammy winner Snarky Puppy; prolific guitarist Bill Frisell; and funk and jazz jam band Galactic. torontojazz.com

Guests at the Meliá Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic can now choose a new LEVEL of accommodation, brimming with preferential services and amenities. These include a private check-in/check-out lounge, access to a continental breakfast in the VIP Lounge, free Internet access, premium beverages, all-day hors d’oeuvres, coffee and tea and exclusive access to the GABI Club. THE LEVEL and THE LEVEL ADULTS ONLY guests can relax in a private section of the resort’s white sand beach and swim in an adults-only pool. Take a Body Balance class, a mix of yoga and Tai Chi, and indulge in the Experiences Menu, featuring workshops, dinners on the beach, private breakfast and in-room dining. The new area is ideal for families, couples and groups. meliacaribetropical.com

The city of San Antonio, Texas just completed a $358-million project to lengthen its world-famous River Walk from 4.8 to 24 kilometres. One minute you’re in a busy waterfront restaurant and the next you’re hiking or biking along a quiet path surrounded by nature. The trail takes you to four of the city’s Spanish colonial missions in south San Antonio, and to the historic Pearl Brewery in the north, which is becoming an art-filled urban village and boasts the city’s largest farmers’ market. visitsanantonio.com

According to legend, a Swiss hotelier made a bet with a few summer guests 150 years ago in popular St. Moritz. If they’d leave behind the cold, damp English winter to relax in the warm sunshine of the Swiss Alps, he promised they could stay as long as they liked. If they didn’t enjoy it, he’d reimburse their transportation costs. Of course they loved it, and Switzerland’s winter tourism season was born. It was soon the main holiday season in the Engadin St. Moritz area, 1,800 metres above sea level on the “roof” of Europe. The area boasts 350 kilometres of pistes and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Plan a trip next winter to take part in the 150th anniversary celebrations. myswitzerland.com

Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto has been awarded the prestigious five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. Trump Toronto is also the only North American hotel to make the world’s Top 10 hotel list on TripAdvisor. The 65-storey boutique hotel, with 261 elegant guest rooms and suites, is located in the heart of downtown Toronto with panoramic views of the city and Lake Ontario. Guests can enjoy three floors of meeting and event facilities plus two levels devoted to Toronto’s most luxurious spa and wellness facility, including a heated infinity salt water lap pool. Don’t miss the Stock restaurant bar and lounge located on the 31st floor. trumphotelcollection.com/Toronto

The Toronto-based German National Tourist Office is the first national tourist board to receive the prestigious international Green Globe certificate. The award honours the board’s environmentally-friendly practices in energy, waste and water management, its “green” meetings, involvement in accessible travel and support for German partners in creating sustainable offers and services. The award also recognizes the board’s high levels of consistent customer service and operational standards. germany.travel

Residents of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, can’t wait to hit the decks of their famous waterfront restaurants each spring. The town of 21,000, dubbed one of America’s prettiest, is a magnet for food lovers serious about seafood. Buyers for high-end Surf on Bow Street visit the piers daily to inspect the catch and handpick the choicest fish and shellfish. For more casual fare, try the Old Ferry Landing’s fried scallops with a glass of local craft beer. Prize for the best al fresco dining goes to Martingale Wharf, in a century-old building. Between meals, enjoy another local tradition—tax-free shopping. GOPortsmouthNH.com, visitnh.gov

Travel back to the late 1950s and early ’60s at the brand new Cabana Bay Beach Resort, one of four hotels located right in Florida’s Universal Orlando theme parks. The value-priced retro hotel promises endless family fun, with two huge pools, a lazy river, three-storey waterslide, a 10-lane bowling alley and suites that sleep up to six people. Until June 14,book a family suite at a standard room price. Staying in the park gets you early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and complimentary shuttle buses or walking paths to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk. UniversalOrlando.com

Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach summer theatre festival celebrates its 25th anniversary season June 11 to September 20 with two of William Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, The Tempest and a re-imagined A Midsummer Night’s Dream, plus many other exciting events. Productions are staged in Vanier Park, next to the downtown core, in modern open-ended tents against a backdrop of mountains, sea and sky. This year also marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. bardonthebeach.org

With its rugged coastline, ancient castles and breathtaking scenery, Northern Ireland is the perfect setting for HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones. Fans can now visit key filming locations from the first four seasons via bus tours from Belfast on one-, two- or three-day self-drive tours along the Causeway Coast and Glens route. Visit Castle Ward in County Down, the main location for Winterfell, and try your hand at archery in the courtyard where Jon Snow taught young Bran, stroll along the King’s Road or visit the cave where red witch Melisandre gave birth to the shadow baby. A visit to the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another must-see along the coastal route. Ireland.com;minicoachni.co.uk/game-of-thrones-tour.cfm

More than 70 artists will perform during the four-day Calgary Folk Music Festival from July 24 to 27 at Prince’s Island Park. Highlights include Andrew Bird & The Hands of Glory and acclaimed U.S. singers/songwriters Amos Lee and Jason Isbell. Now in its 35th year, the festival is one of the city’s longest-running and most-loved summer events, attracting more than 53,000 people. calgaryfolkfest.com

Be one of the first to experience the new Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage in southern California’s Palm Springs Valley. Until June 30, book a room in this stunning 244-room hotel starting from US$379 a night. The rate includes a luxury room, American breakfast for two, overnight valet parking and a special welcome amenity. Enjoy the resort’s fresh California cuisine and relax in one of three swimming pools. While the kids explore the kids’ club, book an ultra-relaxing outdoor Hammock Massage in the stunning spa and coax your guy into a Rat Pack facial, which exfoliates the skin with black diamond dust. Rancho Mirage is minutes from high-end shops and 32 kilometres of mountain hiking trails. ritzcarlton.com/ranchomirage

Book the trip of a lifetime with Paul Gauguin cruises.The company’s 2015 brochure features 52 all-inclusive seven- to 14-night voyages aboard one of two deluxe small ships, both offering luxury accommodation, gourmet dining and an elegant yet casual ambience. The Gauguin sails in French Polynesia, Tahiti and the South Pacific, while the Moana traverses Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. New this year is the 12-night sailing in August from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to Fiji plus a unique 14-night cruise leaving on October 25 for Marquesas, Tuamotus and the Society Islands. pgcruises.com

If you’re dreaming about retirement real estate, consider the Huala-lai Resort on the North Kona Kohala coast of Hawai’i’s Big Island. Rent a spacious villa and check out the custom homes. Owners have access to two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, the award-winning Huala-lai Sports Club & Huala-lai Spa plus the beach and pools at the nearby Four Seasons Resort. Hualalairesort.com; hualalairealty.com

To encourage more Canadians to experience its luxurious rooms and amenities, the newly-redesigned Inn on Fifth and Club Level Suites in downtown Naples, Florida, is offering a seven-night stay for the price of five. From now until December 19, the Snowbird Special starts at US$895 for a seven-night stay at the Inn, or US$1,675 for a seven-night stay in one of 32 exclusive new suites. Standard features include free valet parking and Wi-Fi, a breakfast buffet, evening hors d’oeuvres, rooftop pool, plush robes and more. Following dinner in one of the inn’s two new restaurants, enjoy an easy stroll to white sand beaches. Call 1-888-403-8778 to book the Snowbird Special. innonfifth.com

The St. Pete/Clearwater area brings together two of the biggest names in the world of art this fall with a brand new exhibition in St. Petersburg called Picasso / Dalí, Dalí / Picasso. The exhibition runs at The Dalí from November 8 through February 15, 2015, then travels to the Museu Picasso in Barcelona for viewing from March 19 until June 28, 2015. This world exclusive features dozens of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures from more than 25 international museums, as well as some from the Picasso family’s private collection. thedali.org

Travellers looking for adventure this summer need look no further than Inuvik in the Western Arctic, a plane ride from Edmonton or Vancouver. Take a boat tour through the Mackenzie Delta’s maze of channels, or fly over the delta for a guided Parks Canada camping trip to Ivvavik National Park, offered from June to early July. Stick around for the Circumpolar Games, July 21–27, and meet traditional and contemporary artists at the Great Northern Arts Festival July 11–20. On summer Saturdays, buy local produce and handmade crafts at the Arctic Market in Jim Koe Park and experience 24-hour daylight. destinationinuvik.com

To celebrate its 175th anniversary, Cunard Line’s 2015–2016 Voyages Programme offers commemorative cruises and unique Mediterranean voyages aboard its majestic ships the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Mary 2 plans 20 seven-to nine-day transatlantic crossings, three of whichstop in Halifax, as well as six roundtrip New York crossings (15–23 days) and new seven and 14-day New England and Canada voyages. Season highlights include overnight stays in Liverpool and Québec. cunard.com

Expedition cruise company Adventure Canada has won the prestigious 2014 Cruise Vision award from Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador. The award celebrates its 20 years of sailing in the province and its commitment to the region’s booming tourism industry. This summer’s sailings include Newfoundland and Wild Labrador (June 29 to July 12), Greenland and Wild Labrador (September 11–24) and two exclusive sailings to Sable Island from home port St. John’s. Well-known local authors and filmmakers often accompany the cruises. adventurecanada.com

 
 
 
 
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