Tag Archives: Canada

Awesome Road Trips Within Several Hours Of Major Cities

Awesome road trips don't take long to reach truly epic places, like Waterton Lakes near Calgary, Alberta, Canada (photo courtesy of http://www.cgpgrey.com/)

These days, you’re really busy with your career, and you don’t think you have time for travel.  Well, you are wrong.  You might not be able to jet halfway around the world and lounge on an exotic beach for six months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t discover the world that lies immediately outside your home base.

Travelers explore your city and the area around it every day, and they are wowed by what they find … and so can you. Resolve to begin exploring the territory within quick reach of your home turf, as many surprises await.

Before you hop in your car, tell loved ones when you expect to be back, and let them track your progress by having them download a GPS tracking app that allows them to see where you are at all times, and with a function that lets you tell your relatives that you’ve gotten home safely, even the most neurotic mother will be set at ease.

To give you examples of the awesome road trips you can have within a short distance of home, here are three sample itineraries from centres around the world…

From Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Waterton Lakes National Park

Most folks hit the Trans-Canada highway for weekend day trips away from this dynamic Canadian city to see the uber-popular Banff National Park, but few take the time to head southwest along the Cowboy Trail (Alberta Highway 22) towards Waterton Lakes National Park, a considerably quieter natural reserve that sits adjacent to Glacier National Park in Montana. Check in for the night at the posh and iconic Prince of Wales Hotel, and you can either elect to admire the beauty of Waterton Lake from there, or get right into the thick of it by taking an international boat tour that crosses the 49th parallel in its quest to show you the epic views present in this off-the-beaten track park.

From Miami, Florida, USA: Key West

When the lavish sands of South Beach start to get too hectic for your tastes, taking to U.S. 1 and heading south is the perfect antidote.  Cruising over the aquamarine waters and tiny cays of the southern Gulf of Mexico, your stresses and cares will melt away.  Find a secret beach along the way, or head all the way to Ernest Hemingway’s favourite abode of Key West, where the locals have a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the urban reality of Miami.

From London, England: Cornwall and Land’s End

When the humdrum of daily life in London has you at your wit’s end, escape in your automobile and explore rugged seacoast, secluded beaches and ancient castle ruins of Cornwall.  If you want to contemplate the nature of your existence, or are just looking for a moment of zen, head all the way to Land’s End, where you can stare out into the open Atlantic, where the next bit of land lies thousands of kilometres away.

The Open Road Is Calling

Even if you don’t own a car, renting one will allow you to steer you and your friends to adventures you could never anticipate until the moment you bust loose from your city.  Give Netflix a break this weekend … a wealth of experiences are lurking outside your established comfort zone!

Photo of the Week: The Largest Ship in The Great Lakes

largest ship in the great lakes

The Great Lakes of North America are massive. While us Americans and Canadians seem to overlook them when we look at the map because we’re so used to seeing them, they in fact take up a ton of real estate. They’re the largest fresh water lakes in the world, and if you were standing in Downtown Chicago looking out across Lake Michigan, you would think it was the ocean as you can’t see across it.

The Great Lakes have played a huge role in building up the Midwest  and many of North America’s largest cities reside on them. While the lakes are connected to the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, only smaller boats can pass through the lock system. There are actually massive ships that just sail around the great lakes, moving raw materials and cargo around. The largest ship in the great lakes is pictured above, the humongous MV Paul R. Tregurtha. This behemoth was built back in 1979 and is still in service. Its total length is 1,013 ft (309 m), has a depth of 56 ft (17 m) and can haul 14,497 tons of cargo, all while never setting “foot” in an ocean. You might get on fine in a dingy with no training, but you better do a little Google search for “boat license Canada” before getting behind the wheel of something in the Lake Freighter class like the MV Paul R. Tregurtha!