I thought it’d be interesting (and potentially useful) to post travel tips about your home town and/or places you’ve been. I’ve found members’ advice to be really helpful in the past when moving to Canada and my recent trip to Houston.
So post away What are the good things to see? Places to stay? Places to go out? Best way to get around? Places to avoid?
How to get there: Direct flights from most major Australian centres. Flights via Auckland from LA, Singapore, Honolulu. If you’re already in NZ just drive, it’s not that big
Things to do: Great place if you’re into the outdoors. Mountains very close by with lots of isolated wilderness. Skiing is OK but not up to Canadian standards. Also worth going to the Arts Centre Market of a weekend, Botanic Gardens, up onto the Port Hills (walk, drive or via the Mt Cavendish Gondola) and going to some of the little places out on Banks Peninsula e.g. Akaroa. If you’re European, climb the “Cathedral” spire and have a big laugh.
Places to go out: Pretty much anywhere around Manchester St in the middle of town.
Places to stay: plenty of hotels/motels everywhere. Backpackers Hostel (Warners?) right in the middle of town.
Things to avoid: Nothing really. Used to have a bit of a gang problem and east of Moorhouse Ave is not always the nicest place to hang round at night.
Best routes in
By air: to BWI Airport. It’s an internatioal airport with flights, particularly, from Ireland. Also accessible via Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, DC and (if in a bind) Dulles in Northern Virginia.
By train: Amtrak’s Northeast corridor rolls right through
By car: Stop-off point on I-95. Easternmost Termination point of I-70.
In proximity to
Philadelphia- 2 hours northeast
Washington DC - 45 minutes Southwest
Ocean City - 1.5 hours Southeast
University of Maryland (www.umd.edu)
University of Maryland Baltimiore County (www.umbc.edu)
Townson University (www.towson.edu)
Johns Hopkins University (www.jhu.edu)
McDaniel College (www.mcdaniel.edu)
Thing to remember about Baltimore - Don’t come here. Until our current mayor came into power, the slogan of the city was “The city that reads.” That of course is a joke since the Baltimore city public school have a high school graduate illiteracy rate in the 60% range. It’s is in the top 5 for bloodiest cities making the tongue-in-chief slogan “The city that bleeds”.
Parliament Buildings, National Monuments
Museum of Nature, Museum of Science & Technology, Museum of Civilization, Art Gallery
Casino de Lac-Lemay (Hull/Gatineau)
Corel Centre: Concerts, Home of Ottawa Senators (Kanata/West End)
Canada Day Celebrations (July 1st)
Rideau Canal: World’s Longest Skating Rink in the winter.
Gatineau Park (Quebec, accross Ottawa River)
Skiing: Pakenham, Mt. Tremblant & many others nearby
Nightlife & Restaurants
The Byward Market (Near downtown, North/East of Rideau)
Notes and Highlights
Provincial capital of Alberta
Northernmost 24hr international airport in Canada
Home of the largest mall in the world
Taxes on goods and services in Alberta are lower than several other Canadian provinces
Driving - Drive to Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway (#1) or up from the US border. Take Highway 2 approx 3hrs north from Calgary.
Flying - Direct flights from most major Canadian centres. WestJet is generally cheapest. Direct flights to several US cities including Houston. Calgary has better international air connections.
Bus - Greyhound Canada run quite a few daily services between Calgary and Edmonton.
West Edmonton Mall (West Ed) - largest in the world www.westedmall.com Alberta State Legislature Building Fort Edmonton Historic Park
Edmonton river valley has very good walking/biking in summer and cross country skiing in winter
Several small ski hills in town Approx 4 hrs drive from Banff (via Calgary) and Jasper National Parks in the Rockies. Banff has better skiing, Jasper better hiking and general getting back to nature.
Events Edmonton Folk Music Festival Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival Klondike Days Festival
There are some good places downtown, but where everything really happens is round Whyte Ave (82 Ave)
Best routes in ABIA
*Other routes: If you can afford it, rent a helicopter. Austin traffic is one of the worst in Texas. Avoid travelling by car if at all possible.
*The Dillo bus system runs in the downtown area providing free connections to the major destinations. Unfortunately the Dillo only runs at certain times.
*All freeways in Austin except Loop 1 (Mopac), have what are called “feeder roads”. These are essentially just frontage roads that run along either side of the freeway, its entire length. Normally the feeder roads are commercial zones with local businesses lining them. Newcomers sometimes find the feeder system a little confusing. Virtually every surface road intersection on a feeder has a “U-turn” lane on the left side used primarily for cars exiting and trying to get to a business on the other side.
Austin drivers are infamous for their excessive speed and disdain for basic traffic laws and signals. As far back as 1909, progressive motorists were pestering the City Council to raise the speed limit up from 8 mph. In an effort to prove that cars could be safely driven at speeds up to 20 mph, several crusaders took Mayor Wooldridge and the City Council for a joy drive. Today the average speed of an austinite driver is 80 mph on the I-35 corridor.
Austin is the Bat Capital of the World
Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World. We have more bars, restaurants, clubs and musicians per capita than any other city in the states. Possibly worldwide but the census taken is based on national statistics only.
There are two types of Austinites - those who live here and those who can’t wait to come back.
*Austin has the highest percentage of musicians of any city in the United States
*Austin has the highest percentage of college graduates of any major city in the U.S.
*Austin is one of the worst places in the country for allergies. Even if you’ve never had problems, be prepared to see an allergist if you visit in January
*Austin is unofficially considered to have the most casual business attire in the U.S. (even compared to Silicon Valley). The “Austin uniform” is generally considered to be a T-shirt, shorts, and Birkenstocks (this is, of course, a stereotype but not drastically off the mark)
I recommend South Africa.
There are 2 things that you should try on your holiday there.
You should go to the Kruger National Park. There you can see the big five, Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Hipos and Buffalo.
Then you should also go to Durban and try shark cage diving.
I think that would make for two unforgettable holiday experiences.