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TRAVEL GALLERY - SPRING/SUMMER 2015
 
(2015 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: CYNTHIA DAVID



Philadelphia is promising a blockbuster season this summer. Some highlights include the arrival of the Tall Ships®Philadelphia Camden festival; the first full season for Indego, Philly’s bike-sharing program; the return of the acclaimed Spruce Street Harbor Park; and the season-long showing of Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Add in plenty of pop-up beer gardens, public art displays and a wide array of festivals and events and you have the makings of an unforgettable summer that’s sure to please all ages. Is it any wonder The New York Times ranked Philadelphia as No. 3 among “52 Places to Go in 2015”? visitphilly.com; uwishunu.com

World-renowned American chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller is set to bring his award-winning French and American cuisine and culinary creations to the Seabourn cruise line in fall 2015. In addition, Seabourn will partner with Keller to introduce a new signature restaurant, to be revealed in spring 2016 on Seabourn Quest before being expanded to the entire fleet. A culinary leader in the cruise industry and honoured as the “Best Culinary Cruise Line” in the SAVEUR Culinary Travel Awards for 2013 and 2014, Seabourn’s new partnership with Keller will undoubtedly result in an unrivalled dining experience like no other at sea. seabourn.com    

Scheduled to open in 2015 in Nassau, the Bahamas, the luxurious Baha Mar Casino and Hotel presides over three kilometres of pristine white-sand beaches and spectacular, azure waters. Although you may be reluctant to leave your elegant guest accommodations in the iconic 1,000-room hotel, a Vegas-style casino and more than 20 restaurants and bars await you. Swim with stingrays or sea turtles in the Sanctuary pools and snorkel among tropical fish on the artificial reef. Enjoy a round of golf on the Jack Nicklaus-designed TPC course at Baha Mar, which features dramatic ocean views and winds through native forest. Or visit the 2,785-square-metre ESPA spa and relax on an oceanview terrace after sampling the many treatments available. The New Riviera awaits. BahaMar.com

Southern Ontario’s beloved year-round farmers’market in St. Jacobs is literally rising from the ashes in a brand new building. Fire destroyed one of the original buildings in 2013. Vendors haven’t missed a market day since, using other buildings and the huge outdoor square. The market, held Thursday, Saturday and summer Tuesdays, is just three kilometres from the village of St. Jacobs, where unique boutiques and gift shops, antiques, crafts, restaurants serving hearty Mennonite food, and cool exhibits, including North America’s largest O-scale model railway, await. Spend the night at a charming bed and breakfast and take in a play at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. stjacobs.com   

The Meliá Costa Hollywood Beach Resort is set to open this year in the Hollywood–Fort Lauderdale area of South Florida, within easy proximity of two international airports and two seaports. The six-storey condominium hotel will have 304 furnished hotel and residential “smart units” overlooking Hollywood Beach, with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean. Boasting a spa, fitness centre, rooftop infinity pool and bar, five fine-dining restaurants and a gourmet coffee shop, Spanish-owned Meliá Hotels International will open and operate the Costa Hollywood, its second U.S. property under the Meliá brand. costahollywood.com

From May to October, get up close and personal with loggerhead, leatherback and sea turtles in Florida’s West Palm Beach. The gentle giants return to the Palm Beaches year after year to nest. Juno Beach, Turtle Central, is home to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, which cares for wounded creatures and organizes nesting tours. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton also offers sea turtle-themed activities and events for the whole family, including turtle walks, hatchling release observations and free outdoor marine feedings. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park organizes sea turtle walks and talks, with tickets starting at $10 a person. Reservations are required. macarthurbeach.org; gumbolimbo.org; marinelife.org

Visitors travelling between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies this summer can include a stay for one to three nights at Sun Peaks Alpine Village in the interior of B.C. as part of Brewster Travel Canada’s new Mountain Quest Tour. The tour offers two possible routes. The first leads to Jasper National Park, one of Canada’s oldest national parks and a Dark Sky Preserve. The second connects Banff National Park and the towns of Banff and Lake Louise. Along with outstanding value, Sun Peaks offers summer festivals, soft-adventure activities and concerts featuring Lou Gramm on July 4 and Colin James on August 29. brewster.ca

The 36th edition of the TD Montreal Jazz Festival, June 26 to July 5, promises to be even more dazzling than ever. New concerts have just been announced by Huey Lewis and the News; the Steve Miller Band; Rodrigo y Gabriela, a Mexican acoustic guitar duo; and Chris Botti, an Italian-American trumpeter and composer. That’s on top of featured artists Colin James, Jesse Cook and a world premiere Battle of the Bands face-off between the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras. montrealjazzfest.com

Plaza Premium Lounge has announced the grand opening of its upgraded lounge at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). One of four Plaza Premium Lounge spaces at YVR, the 594-square-metre space has seating for 135 and highlights Plaza Premium’s commitment to offer travellers a first-class experience regardless of airline or class of travel. Facilities include a comfortable lounge, dining and bar areas, a business centre, as well as private spaces where travellers can freshen up with a shower or unwind in one of three semi-private resting areas. The company also plans to open a lounge in Winnipeg International Airport later in 2015. Admission rates start from $40 per person for two hours. plaza-network.com

Vancouver-bound this summer? Book a ticket to the 26th Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival in Vanier Park, with its exciting line-up of plays, concerts and special events. The festival runs from June 4 to September 26, and features Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, King Lear and Love’s Labour’s Lost. This year also marks the world stage premiere of Shakespeare’s Rebel, adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name. There’s even a Bard-B-Q & Fireworks, which includes dinner and a play, entertainment and fireworks. Festival tickets begin at $26 and are now on sale. bardonthebeach.org    

Following its roster of summer 2015 sailings through famous North American inland waterways and favourite coastal seas, the Haimark Line turns its gaze toward Central and South America where, between December 2015 and April 2016, the MS Saint Laurent will set sail on several fascinating 10-day journeys between Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica. En route, passengers tour the Old Panama City, enjoy a daytime transit of the Panama Canal, visit Darién National Park and board Mach Five Zodiacs with expert guides to explore the San Blas Islands, Manuel Antonio National Park, the Osa Peninsula and more. On board, guests relax in private suites and are treated to world-class dining and spas. Pre- and post-cruise extensions are also available. haimarkline.com   

While most Canadians think of Jamaica as a sun and sand vacation destination, plenty of festivals and special events, ranging from world-class food to sporting events, happen year-round throughout the island. Highlights include the Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, June 7 to 14; International Reggae Day, July 1; the Portland Jerk Festival, July 5; Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay July 12 to 18; and the Little Ochie Seafood Carnival July 12 in Manchester located on the south side of the island. visitjamaica.com

Starwood has just opened its eco-wise Element brand in Doral, Florida, minutes from Miami’s world-famous beaches, shopping and nightlife. The Element has 139 bright, stylish rooms featuring fully-equipped kitchens, spa bathrooms, fast and free Wi-Fi and the signature Heavenly Bed. Suites have flat-screen TV, large desks and custom-designed closets, perfect for travellers spending a few days or a few weeks. Pets are welcome. Guests are invited to fuel their day with the healthy RISE breakfast and wind down with the RELAX evening wine reception, both of which are complimentary. You can even borrow bikes, work out in the 24-hour fitness centre and enjoy the outdoor pool at the Aloft hotel next door. Elementhotels.com

Until September 7, you can fly non-stop with Air Canada Express between Toronto and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The new route lets passengers enjoy Atlantic City’s famed boardwalk, beaches and casinos. Flights are conveniently timed to link with Air Canada’s extensive network of connections to and from the rest of Canada. Travel on board a 74-seat Bombardier Q-400 aircraft, operated by Jazz, on Monday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. aircanada.com   

Adventure seekers, prepare to be dazzled this summer on North America’s newest and longest zip line. Experiencing two kilometres of pure exhilaration, guests will fly from a launch high up on Blackcomb Mountain and land mid-way up Whistler Mountain. “The views are simply spectacular,”says Ziptrek Ecotours CEO Charles Steele, “but it will be quite the thrill ride!” Scheduled to open in mid-July, the line will be offered to single tourists and as part of a tour. ziptrek.com

Go nose-to-nose with sharks, stingrays and a giant Pacific octopus at the new Sea Life Michigan Aquarium in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The 2,320-square-metre attraction takes visitors on an amazing and educational journey through an underwater world of more than 5,000 creatures including jellyfish, eels, seahorses, tropical and native fish via interactive exhibits, a 180-degree ocean tunnel and a hands-on touch pool. Advance booking is recommended, or save 20 per cent on tickets with the D Discount Pass. visitsealife.com; visitdetroit.com

 
 
 
 
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