Tag - Summer

Top 10 Activities in Quebec City

    Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac / Provided by Quebec City Tourism

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac / Provided by Quebec City Tourism

With over 400 years of history, Quebec City and its surrounding areas are loaded with things to see and do. We’ve tried to perform the impossible task of narrowing it down to a mere 10. To hear more about these and other activities, listen to our Travel Show on Quebec. Below, in no particular order, (because they’re all so fun) are our favorite top  10 activities.

The Old City

The combination of buildings and streets dating back centuries, a walled city and people speaking French (don’t worry, the locals are mostly bilingual and very nice about speaking English) gives you the feeling of being in Europe. Stop by the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac (866-540-4460, 1, rue des Carrieres), an incredible hotel sitting high on a cliff above the St. Lawrence River that has become the symbol of the city. The boardwalk in front of the Chateau offers amazing views of the river below.

The Lower City

This crescent right below the cliff that holds the Old City, has plenty of history and beauty in its own right. A great way to learn the history of the area, and the city as a whole, is to explore it on a bike tour with Cyclo Services Bicycle Tours (877-692-4050, 289, rue Saint-Paul).

The St. Roch District

This area, pronounced “ Saint Rock,” has been revitalized over the past decade to become the city’s hip new neighborhood filled with restaurants, clubs and boutique shopping. Stop by Les Bossus Restaurant (418-522-5501, 620, St.-Joseph Est) for great food and atmosphere, or stay at Hotel Royal William (888-541-0405, 360, boulevard Charest Est) for a location convenient to a variety of areas of the city.

The Citadel

his fort in the Old City has played an important role in the history of the city, and the Citadel (418-694-2815, 1, Cote de la Citadelle) is still an active military facility for the Royal 22e Regiment of the Canadian Forces. A 60-minute tour is both interesting and very valuable for learning the history of the area.

The Plains of Abraham

After taking the Citadel tour and learning about the 1759 Battle of Quebec, walk right over to where it took place on the Plains of Abraham, which is now a huge, beautiful park with its own exhibits, concerts and things to do.

Aquarium du Quebec

Kids will love seeing polar bears, seals, walruses and a variety of other animals is the Aquarium du Quebec (418-659-5264, 1675, avenue des Hotels). Parents may want to call ahead and find out about a program that allows children to assist the animal keepers, and even learn to teach the animals tricks for the shows.

Whale Watching

If the seals and walruses interest you, go see the biggest animals in the ocean by doing a whale watching trip. Cruises AML (866-856-6668) runs whale watching trips out of Tadoussac, Baie-Sainte-Catherine and other ports that are a bit of a drive out of the city, but well worth the trip for the chance to see a variety of whales, including belugas.

Grosse Ile

A fascinating piece of Canadian history can be found at the island of Grosse Ile (888-773-8888) not far from Quebec City. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the island was used as a quarantine station for immigrant ships, and today it is a beautiful national park where many of the buildings have been preserved to use in a historical tour. Take a fun boat trip on Croisieres Lachance (1-888-GROSSE ILE, 110, de la Marina, Berthier-sur-Mer) to get there.

A Sauce Like No Other

Visiting L’Entrecote Saint-Jean (418-694-0234, 1080, rue Saint-Jean) is an opportunity to try “Entrecote Sauce,” a delicious combination of curry, mustard and other secret ingredients poured over steak and fries. The restaurant claims to be the only place to find this sauce in North America.

Summer Arts

The arts are in full bloom in the summer. Cirque du Soleil puts on an outdoor show only performed in Quebec City, “The Image Mill” turns the giant grain silos in port into a huge outdoor screen, or try the festival celebrating French heritage or music festival.

For more information on these, check out the tourism offices for both Quebec City (877-783-1608) and the Quebec Province (1-877-BONJOUR).

Quebec City is full of great things to see and do, picking just 10 is hard to do.

Summer Wildlife in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park

Summer Wildlife in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park

Summer Wildlife in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park

Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park are excellent places to view wildlife at any time of the year, but during the summer there are even more ways to see get out in the good weather and view the elk, bison, bears and other animals found in this beautiful area of Wyoming. Traveling to the Teton area, you can view animals from a boat, bike or specialized vehicle designed to take you into the back country.

The biologists on staff at the non-profit Teton Science Schools conduct wildlife expeditions in vehicles that have been customized to allow guests to go off the main road while still maintaining a level of comfort inside the vehicle. The biologist-guides who conduct the tours are regularly out in the field around the area, so they have expert knowledge of where animals might be, (You can hear a radio interview with one of the biologist-guides here) . The guides also have a lot of information they can pass on, and always conduct the observations in ways that don’t disturb the animals. Binoculars and spotting scopes are provided as well as snacks and beverages.

Summer Wildlife in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park

Summer Wildlife in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park

For those who enjoy biking, or simply getting out in the open air, Teton Mountain Bike Tours is an excellent option. There are a variety of guided tours available, but you can also just stop by and rent a mountain bike, comfortable beach-cruiser style bikes with gears, or racing style bikes, depending on what type of experience you want to have. One nice thing about renting from this outfit is that the location at the edge of town on North Cache Street means you can park, rent a bike, and then hop straight onto the trails right from the shop without having to transfer the bike anywhere. There are mountain bike, dirt path and paved paths that can be picked up just across the street from the store. For those who are not hardcore bikers, a good option is the paved path that goes up through the National Elk Refuge, into Grand Teton National Park and up to Jenny Lake.

Another option for wildlife viewing is a float trip from the water while going down the Snake River with Mad River Boat Trips. This is particularly a great way to see a variety of birds, including bald eagles. For those who want a relaxing ride while just taking in the scenery, the float trip is a good choice. The trip is a 13 mile float and includes a hot breakfast.

The area surrounding Jackson Hole contains an amazing number and variety of wildlife and there are plenty of different outdoor options to view them while also having a fun time.

Teton Science Schools

307-733-1313

700 Coyote Canyon Road  Jackson,WY

Teton Mountain Bike Tours

800-733-0788

545, North Cache St.,  Jackson,WY

Mad River Boat Trips

800-458-7238

1255 South US Highway 89,  Jackson,WY

Zermatt Resort Near Park City Provides a Luxury Swiss Alps Experience in Utah

Zermatt Resort  Credit: Kathleen Curry

Zermatt Resort Credit: Kathleen Curry

The town of Midway, Utah, was settled by Swiss immigrants who thought the mountains looked like the Alps. The Swiss tradition continues at Zermatt Resort and Spa.

The arrival area for this luxury hotel gives the feeling of being in the town square of a authentic European village in the Swiss Alps. The main feature is a Swiss Chalet-style, five-story tall, luxury hotel, complete with 226 rooms. There are a variety of room sizes including five penthouse suites. The Swiss theme continues in the rooms, with tapestries and carved wood furniture. The hotel, which opened a few years ago, is just one feature of the 18-acre grounds which includes a spa, carousel, state-of-the-art facilities for holding business meetings, a Euro themed restaurant and a bakery.

Zermatt is located in Midway, which is part of what is known as the Heber Valley, an area that has taken advantage of its proximity to Park City to undergo incredible growth during the past 10 years, and now offers an interesting variety of restaurants and other lifestyle amenities.

Skiing, Golf and Outdoor and Water based Recreation in Heber Valley

Midway is just a 15-minute drive from Park City and its world-famous ski resorts, including Deer Valley. Zermatt offers shuttle service to the resorts for skiers and snowboarders. Beyond the slopes, visitors to Zermatt can also easily access Park City’s other attractions, notably its clubs and night-life, particularly during the Sundance Film Festival.

For those who visit in the summer, the Heber Valley offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, and all of them can be easily booked with assistance of the hotel, activities such as horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, boating and water activities, hot-air ballooning and learning to fly-fish on the Provo River, which meanders through the Heber Valley.

If one would prefer lacing up golf shoes to hiking boots, Zermatt sits in Wasatch County, which has five golf courses, and an online program that lets visitors book tee times up to 60 days in advance.

Relax at The Spa at Zermatt

Part of the Zermatt complex includes a 17,000 square-foot Spa stretched out over three-floors within the hotel. There are 11 treatment rooms to go along with a 13-head Swiss Shower, Aromatherapy Steam Grotto and Ruheraum Relaxation Room. The variety of treatments, some of which are geared specifically towards men, including house specials such as the Monte Rosa Full Body Rejuvenation and the Caviar and Pearls Anti-Aging Facial.

Zermatt Resort and Spa

784 W. Resort Drive, Midway, Utah 84049

866-643-2015

Whether one wants to visit for the skiing, the outdoor recreation, the golf or the spa, the Heber Valley is a great place to be, and the Zermatt Resort is a good place to stay to be convenient to everything.

Mount Gambier’s Famous Blue Lake: A World Wonder

Mount Gambier Blue Lake

Mount Gambier Blue Lake

The small city of Mount Gambier, located in the picturesque South Eastern region of South Australia boasts some of the state’s most amazing natural wonders. Of these, the most famous is the breathtaking Blue Lake; the only of its kind in the world.

The Geology of the Site

The land surrounding Mount Gambier is densely rich is limestone, due to the remnant of a shallow sea which lay over the region millions of years ago.  This limestone, made up from fossils of fish and coral, forms a crust under the earth which extends for over two hundred kilometers and reaches a maximum depth at three hundred meters at Port MacDonnell, a small fishing town nearby. Over the years, this abundance of limestone has gradually been worn away by the ever flowing water table and has created an immense system of caves and underground cavern, providing a beautiful sight for divers.

The History of the Blue Lake

Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake is actually situated in a dormant volcanic crater and lies over fifty meters below ground level. Here, the crystal clear water found in the numerous underground caves is exposed, as it flows slowly through the layers of limestone under the city. The lake is made famous by the remarkable color changes it undergoes throughout the years. The summer months are the most spectacular, with the lake turning almost a fluorescent aquamarine. Following this, it starts to change back and maintains a steely grey color during the winter.

Why the Lake Changes Color

Many crazies theories abound as to why the Blue Lake is the color it is, the most common being that certain molecules in the water reflect the sunshine differently at certain times of the year. However, according to information provided by Mount Gambier Tourism Center the natural color of the water is blue. But why then, does the color change in the winter? The simplest explanation is the increase in rainfall causes a disturbance in the delicate balance between the layers which create such a blue color. Hence in winter, the position of the top layer of algae, largely responsible for the aquamarine color, becomes altered and the clarity of the water becomes decreased.

The Blue Lake: A Tourist Attraction

The Blue Lake is the single biggest tourist attraction in the city, thousands of people from all over the world travel to the region during the summer months to catch a glimpse of the azure color. There is a road which winds its way around the lake, with several look outs positioned along the way to allow you to stop and take in the view. However, if time is on your side there is also a footpath which surrounds the perimeter and is a favorite walk for locals and tourists alike. The circumference of the lake is just over three kilometers and provides a leisurely one hour walk, where the lake can be viewed from all perspectives. There is a variety of accommodation available for tourists meters from the lake and a quaint coffee shop which also offers a guided tour which takes participants on an exclusive route, right down the surface of the water.

For more information on the Blue Lake contact Mount Gambier Tourism or the Lady Nelson Tourism Information center at www.mountgambiertourism.com.au/.

Mount Gambier Tourism. (2011, March 20) About Mount Gambier – Geology. Retrieved from http://www.mountgambiertourism.com.au

Your Ideal Summer Job – Summer Camp USA!

If you are lucky enough to have the summer to yourself, would you ever consider going to America? What’s more would you ever consider working in America? All these experiences can be in the palm of your hand by applying for a summer camp.

Camp Counselors

Camp Counselors

Now being a camp counselor isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fun and outgoing, enjoy kids and have a few skills to pass on, then it could be the job for you. Also, it would give you that added extra bit of pocket money to get yourself around and see the country while you are there.

Getting There

There are many companies that provide a way to set people up with a camp that would suit them, such as CCUSA, Camp America, Bunac and Camp Leaders. Many of these help with a visa, insurance, and even discount flights. Also, it is possible for you to apply for a camp yourself and get these companies to help you with the other aspects.

Experience

What are these experiences? Well, they are best told by the people who have done it?

Sarah Hill, 22, from Brighton, England, said: “The opportunities camp provided me with a boosted CV in terms of my teaching career, working with children in a new and different way, and the experience has enabled me to learn lots of new skills, such as lifeguarding and archery.”

Ben Hocking, 24, from Perth, Australia added: “I gained confidence in myself to be able to go out into the world on my own.”

Ines Cordoba-Robyn, 20, from Spain, said: “Going to camp is helpful for me, I am learning English and improving it. I am more responsible, and camp teaches me to take care of kids, something that three years ago I thought was impossible.”

The Kids

It is not just beneficial to the counselors personally; the kids they teach also gain life skills from the people they meet and who are responsible for their care.

Lindsey Schmelzer, 24, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, commented: “Camp is a place where campers are able to leave their troubles at home and enjoy the outdoors. They don’t have to pretend to be someone they are not and get to feel included. These children get to work on their strengths or get to try something new because that is what camp is for.

She added: “Being a counselor allows you to help these children enjoy what I just stated.”

Kelsey Titus, 21, from Burlington, Vermont, added: “I feel like what I am doing is important. We have the chance to have an impact, and I love what everybody brings to the table internationally.”

Recommendation

Would people recommend it? What advice would they give to budding counselors?

Tom Luke, 21, from Preston, England, said: “I would recommend it if people enjoyed travelling and meeting new people. My biggest piece of advice I would give is work hard and play even harder.”

Ben Hocking added: “I think camp is a great experience for anyone to do! It’s a lifetime adventure where you learn skills you wouldn’t learn anywhere else.”

Friends Forever

Camp seems to be all about friends and relationships with the people you work with and meet. Ines Cordoba-Robyn said: “I gained a lot of friends, friends for life, friends that I will never forget. I think friendship is the main reason I went back.”

Lindsey Schmelzer said: “Being from the United States, summer camp is a normal opportunity for children to experience. Yet working and camping with people from all around the world makes you look at something in a new light. you expand your surroundings and open your mind.

She added: “Being a counselor puts you in a bubble where you have to learn everything about those you work with and learn to love their positives and negatives. You barely have phone reception and internet that only works every other week; all of our entertainment is bonding with these other people.

“Working at camp with everyone made me want to travel more. When I finally did, I was able to visit those from camp that I kept a close friendship with.

“Camp did not end after that summer.”