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TRAVEL GALLERY - WINTER/SPRING 2014
 
(2014 - Winter/Spring Issue)

Writer: CYNTHIA DAVID



Spend a relaxing vacation in Delray Beach, nestled on Florida’s southeast coast. This stylish village by the sea offers fashionable boutiques and more than 30 fine art galleries and artists’ studios. Or hang out at the municipal beach and try snorkelling, sailing, paddleboarding or beach volleyball. Ride into the sunset March 22 and 23 during the Twilight bike festival, and Savor the Avenue on March 27, the annual culinary festival on downtown Atlantic Avenue featuring four-course dinners paired with wine. Tropical breezes and warm temperatures year-round make this the perfect destination for any season. downtowndelraybeach.com

Once off limits to all but China’s emperors and their families, the Forbidden City opens its doors at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum from March 8 to September 1. Many of the treasures on display, from textiles and calligraphy to a throne of lacquer, jade and ivory, have never been seen outside Beijing. China’s emperors lived in the sprawling complex during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. The exhibition begins outside the walls of the Imperial Palace, and brings characters from the royal household to life as visitors make their way to the emperor’s personal study. It ends with the departure of the last emperor in 1924. The exhibition also commemorates the ROM’s 100th anniversary. rom.on.ca

The 53rd Can-Am Days Festival in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is shaping up to be quite the party from March 8 to 16, culminating in a rousing St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Each year, thousands of snowbirds flock to the Beach and neighbouring communities for a round of welcome receptions, military band concerts, golf tournaments, parades and unique dining events. At night, check out the great theatre! Canadians get special discounts on attractions and golf during this annual showcase of southern hospitality. Porter and WestJet airlines offer seasonal flights between Toronto and Myrtle Beach. visitmyrtlebeach.com

November 9 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall as the rest of the world watched. A series of special events and exhibitions are planned throughout 2014, culminating in a symbolic “wall” of helium-filled balloons stretching 12 kilometres along the former inner-city border on November 9. The longest remaining stretch of the Wall is the East Side Gallery, decorated by 118 artists from 21 countries. Step into the Black Box at Checkpoint Charlie to learn the history of this famous border crossing, then enter the giant steel cylinder nearby, where artist Yadegar Asisi offers a panoramic view behind the wall featuring the sights and sounds of a typical day in East Germany.visitberlin.de

Revel in luxury at two brand new couples-only resorts from Sandals. Sandals Barbados offers 280 accommodations ranging from beachfront suites to exquisite rooms in a lush tropical garden, along with seven gourmet restaurants. Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa, which opened in December on the Isle of Spice minutes from the airport, offers the brand’s most fabulous accommodation to date with 225 rooms housed in three distinct villages as well as nine gourmet restaurants including a steakhouse. The five-storey Italian Village features two exclusive river pools at ground level while the extravagant sky suites offer infinity-edge plunge pools. sandals.com

The new 1,672-square-metre Star Alliance Lounge at the Los Angeles International Airport, developed and managed by Air New Zealand, promises a world of comfort for VIP passengers flying out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. A unique open-air rooftop terrace complete with fire pits and a water wall offers fabulous views of the Hollywood Hills. Indoors, there’s a bar area for socializing and a den and library for guests seeking peace and quiet. Freshen up before a flight in one of eight shower rooms. USB power ports quickly recharge mobile devices, while printing, fax, copy services and tablet computers are available on request. First-class passengers get their own exclusive area. staralliance.com

Immerse yourself in Europe this summer when you choose one of the 104 unique itineraries in Trafalgar’s 2014 Europe & Britain brochure. Cross a few cities off your bucket list with the new 18-day Wonders of Europe tour, which takes you from world-famous sites such as Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower to a Michelin dinner in the medieval wine city of Beaune and glass-blowers at work in Venice. The new 12-day Northern Spain trip takes you from ultra-modern Bilbao to the Picos de Europa national park, while The Balkans and Venice tour contrasts the beauty of the Dalmation coast with stories of civil war in Sarajevo and Mostar. trafalgar.com

Plan to visit Prince Edward Island this year as it celebrates the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference with more than 150 festivals and events. The historic meeting led to the birth of our nation in 1867. Charlottetown’s waterfront becomes a celebration zone for the summer, featuring musicians from across the country, culinary adventures and interactive walking tours. Be there July 1 for Canada’s largest fireworks display ever, or step back in time during Founders’ Week August 28 to September 7 as the majestic tall ships sail into port. And be sure to save room for a lobster supper or two.  pei2014.ca

Finnair has announced its summer flight schedule between Toronto and Helsinki. From June 1 to September 21, an upgraded Airbus 330 will operate between Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and Vantaa Airport on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Flight AY031 will leave Helsinki at 5 p.m. and arrive in Toronto at 6:45 p.m. EST while Flight AY032 will leave Toronto at 10:35 p.m. and arrive at 1:45 p.m. the next day. Finnair is among the world’s oldest and most experienced global airlines and flies to more than 70 international destinations. finnair.com/ca

Air Canada’s new Boeing 787 jets, expected to start arriving in 2014 after a long delay, will be “a game changer,” says spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick. The Dreamliner can carry up to 250 passengers, and is lighter and more fuel-efficient than previous jets, making it ideal for long-haul flights and allowing Air Canada to open up new routes such as India. Fitzpatrick said the new jets will be more comfortable, and feature a new entertainment and lighting system, “huge” overhead bins, larger windows and a smoother ride. aircanada.com

Vintage Hotels welcomes The Parlour Inn in Stratford to its collection of seven luxury properties. This historic 28-room boutique hotel, formerly a Best Western, has been a landmark in downtown Stratford since 1871. Warm and welcoming, it radiates charm and offers all the luxuries and amenities one expects from the world’s best hotels. Stop in for a drink or stay for dinner and sample the award-winning desserts. Come for the famous Stratford Festival and stay awhile to explore this delightful city. theparlour.ca

Add Prague and Marseille to your bucket list, the newest additions to Air Transat’s list of direct European destinations. From June 17 to October 15, Air Transat will fly directly to Prague in the Czech Republic from Toronto and Montréal. With its medieval city centre, architecture and beautiful scenery, you’re guaranteed a magical vacation. Marseille, the lively port city in Southern France, is another European gem, with weekly Monday flights. Transat’s newly-redesigned cabins will make the trip more comfortable than ever. Buy flight only or indulge in a Transat Holiday vacation package and personalized itinerary. airtransat.ca

 
 
 
 
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