Gone are the days when oversea holidays were the only kind of holiday. Today, more and more Canadians are choosing to stay in North America for their vacation and visit one of the many vibrant cities close to our front door. Between hipster craft beers in Portland, to Montreal’s legendary outdoor festivals, there truly is no shortage of options when it comes to good old-fashioned urban getaways.
Here are six options that are guaranteed to make your precious vacation days worthwhile this summer.
Are the nicknames Windy City and Chi-Town still a thing nowadays? Regardless of its name (something about the rose smelling just as sweet), Chicago’s low-key vibe is definitely enticing, as are its splendid buildings (which include big-tickets items like Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, glass-floored Willis Tower and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House), various Lake Michigan beaches and delightful cocktail scene (try Maude’s Liquor Bar in the high-end West Loop or the inconspicuous Three Dots and a Dash tiki bar). Why not throw in a scenic river cruise while you’re at it?
Because desert heat has to be experienced at least one in a lifetime, and Las Vegas’ pool parties are among the world’s most legendary, Sin City is the perfect destination for those in dire need of dry heat. Las Vegas’ many merits have been made abundantly clear already, with reason; from its fantastic foodie scene to its many day trip possibilities, the city really is a one-stop-shop destination that appeals to all kinds of travellers, from families to groups of friends.
While the city is notoriously freezing in the wintertime, its summers are surprisingly warm; with temperatures oscillating between 25 and 35 degrees. Montreal is the perfect city for al fresco dining (with a new restaurant opening up almost every day), lazy afternoons in the park (try Laurier Park for a more local experience) and, of course, nights out at the many outdoor festivals. For the best views of the legendary Jazz Fest, make sure to book a room at the Hyatt Regency: the hotel’s rooftop bar-terrace overlooks the festival’s two main stages.
New York City
Few things are more enjoyable on one of New York’s hot summer day than having an ice cream cone in Brooklyn Bridge Park while watching the sun set behind Manhattan’s iconic skyline; this is what a Big Apple getaway is all about. Good food, people watching and dramatic skylines. Whether you are an experienced or a first-time visitor, whether opt for a hip stay in Williamsburg or treat yourself in one of New York’s many iconic palaces, whether you seek the local experiences or the landmarks, there simply is no such thing as being “over” New York City, for it has everything to offer.
The Pacific Northwest crown jewel to many, an up-and-coming foodie destination to others, Portland has been getting a lot of attention in the past couple of months. Between the world-famous coffee (try classic Stumptown or Coava for the novelty), the craft beers (Portland is home to more breweries than any other city in the world) and the farm-to-table cuisine (try Clyde Common, next door to the hip Ace Hotel), a trip to Portland is an epicurean experience on many levels.
No longer the spring break capital but rather a fancy destination in its own right, Fort Lauderdale has recently grown into a full-blown Florida hotspot with its trendy restaurants and luxury oceanfront hotels. Tequila body shots and party anthems have been replaced by martinis and jazz music, for the enjoyment of sophisticated travellers in need of a peaceful, sunny getaway. With its Venice-like waterways flanked by lavish mansions and its lively yachting scene (not to mention excellent water sports options), Fort Lauderdale is definitely one of the hottest destinations of 2015.