Summer in Alberta may soon be coming to an end, but there are still plenty of places to vist where the good times don’t end. Here are our 10 ten best places to squeeze in a few more weeks of summer fun.
The temperature may have cooled down but Hawaii is still hot in autumn. Fall is festival time in Maui. The Maui County Fair, held at the end of September, brings people together to enjoy great food, exciting rides and showcase Hawaii’s rich culture. And visiting off-season means you won’t have to fight throngs of tourists for front row seats. To hear the best Hawaiian music, get tickets to Maui’s annual ukulele Festival, held mid-October. After, you’ll have a new appreciation for Tiny Tim.
Honey grab the kids, we’re heading to Portland. This blue-collar city is a hidden gem in the land of weekend fun, especially for families. Before the kids get antsy, hit the Portland Children’s Museum, followed by a visit to the Oregon Zoo. For adult fun, there’s the Hawthorne-Belmont neighborhood, home to the Bagdad Theater & Pub, HeluimHelium Comedy Club and Mount Tabor Park. The Bagdad Theater, known as the “brew-and-view” theater, swaps popcorn and pop on the movie menu for pizza and a pint. Everyone will enjoy a Saturday morning at the Portland farmers’ market, which offers everything from homemade eats, such as perogies and beet-horseradish relish to hand-carved instruments.
Southern Alberta’s arid Badlands is a great destination for kids fascinated with all things dinosaur. The main attraction, the Royal Tyrell Museum, hosts extensive exhibits showcasing the history and science behind our saurian friends. If you’re not a dino-phile, catch a play at the nearby Rosebud Theatre, or stop for a brew at the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, a lonely ghost town located about a ten-minute drive south of Drumheller.
Kelowna may only be an hour plane ride away but it feels like it’s a world away. The big ticket from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, is the annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, which celebrates the region’s wineries with everything from vineyard tours, food and wine pairings and al fresco dining among the vines.
New York City and surroundings
Mention a trip to New York City, and most people think museums, shopping and theatre. But minutes outside of the City That Never Sleeps, you’ll find more chill places you’d ever imagine. Get your zen on at Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden, located in North Salem, about an hour-drive north of the city. Visitors can journey through the lush gardens, view the museum’s eclectic art collection or take a painting or ceramic class. If you tire of looking at New York city’s skyscrapers, head to Staten Island and tour the historical districts of St. George and St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights. After hitting the island’s historic pavements, quaff down a beer at Killmeyer’s Old Bavaria Inn, a homey pub which serves over seventy different types of beer from around the world.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Fresh seafood at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in Alberta might be reason enough to head east, but September through to November also means beautiful foliage is sure to be the highlight of any Maritime fall road trip. After a morning stroll on Halifax’s Waterfront Boardwalk, head to the Annapolis Valley where visitors can sample wine at Domain De Grande Pre winery, and tour Fort Anne National Historic Site and the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. Of course, no trip to Nova Scotia would be complete without a trip to the Peggy’s Cove to see, what locals say is the most photographed tourist attraction in Canada.
Didn’t get your music fix this summer? There’s still time to get your groove on at the live-music capital of the world: Austin, Texas. This southern city is home to over two hundred live-music venues. From honky-tonk bars in the Red River to posh concert halls, music will be ringing in your ears from dawn till dusk. Albertans who love their large roadside attractions will definitely want to snap a photograph by the 35-foot tall Gibson Guitar. Now that’s a Facebook moment.
Salt Spring Island
Don’t forget to pack your Birkenstocks and reusable shopping bags when travelling to Salt Spring Island. Island residents were eating and local, long before it was hip among urbanites. Every Saturday at the farmer’s market in Ganges, you can buy fresh salmon, oysters and sea cucumbers, along with farm-fresh produce, such as corn, kale, zucchini and root vegetables. Make sure to try the Salt Spring Island Company goat cheese. Adventurous travellerstravelers can go kayaking in the Gulf Islands, while the artistically inclined will delight in the vast amount of galleries and studios in Grace Point Square.
Fall is one of the most colourful seasons in Banff. Vibrant reds, yellows and greens are naturally displayed in the foliage during September and October, and the best place to view them is on hiking trails. The path at Lake Agnes provides a stunning vantage point overlooking Lake Louise. The Twin Lakes hiking trail traverses under an enormous cliff-like watershed range, providing a stunning view. One more great thing about Banff in the fall: the hiking trails won’t be packed with tourists.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is one of California’s most family-friendly cities. Add to your itinerary a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge and the Fisherman’s Wharf, where fresh Dungeness crab is on the menu at most area restaurants. The kids will be entertained at the San Francisco Zoo, which has more than 260 animal species. When your feet get tired from walking, board a historic cable car and see the city sights by rail.
Maui photo by Smart Destinations, Flickr, Creative Commons