Posts for North America Category

Discover the Magic of the New York City Tours

North America, Travel Blog - Ross French - November 27, 2017

New York City is one of the globe’s great cities. It’s a bustling metropolis which is a feast for the senses. Last year (2016), over sixty million people chose to visit the Big Apple. This is the highest number of yearly visitors ever! Clearly, New York hasn’t lost its magic. Today, we want to show you some of the best ways to tour NYC.

From Ellis Island to the Empire State Building to the glittering jewel that is legendary Central Park, this is a city that has it all…it’s the city that never sleeps!

There are tons of tour operators out there. Before signing on for New York City Tours, be sure to vet provider companies carefully. Check Yelp reviews, visit their official websites and compare tours and prices. You’ll find that there is a tour from a reputable company which fits your budget and hits all of the right local attractions.

Here are three New York City tours which are perennial favorites!

1.) Explore NYC’s Heritage at Historic Ellis Island

Did you know that twelve million immigrants came to the USA via Ellis Island’s famous gold-toned door? These immigrants were filled with hope for a better life and many did manage to make the American Dream come true!

When you take a ferry from Battery Park in the Big Apple, out to The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, you’ll be able to learn so much about the history of the city. It’s quite possible that some of your ancestors arrived at Ellis Island for processing before entering the city proper. To get to the museum, you’ll need to book with a company called Statue Cruises. It provides ferry services to the Island and it’s the only cruise company which is approved by the National Park Service, for the purpose of transporting passengers by ferry to Ellis Island.

2.) Check Out America’s Most Famous Lady

The Statue of Liberty is a gorgeous and inspiring symbol of hope and freedom. However, it wasn’t made in America. It’s actually a gift from France. It’s now located upon the grounds of Liberty Island, in the New York Harbor. Crafted from copper, this wonderful statue of America’s most famous lady was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and then constructed by Gustave Eiffel. The dedication of this statue took place on the 28th of October, 1886.

To see the statue up close and personal is an unforgettable experience…especially if you’re seeing it for the very first time. You’ll need to take the ferry from Liberty State Park or Battery Park. E-tickets are available and we do recommend using e-tickets which you may download and print out at home and then take with you. When you have e-tickets for the ferry passage, you’ll be able to go right to the security check.

We recommend the open level of the ferry, as it offers the most superlative views. Once you arrive at Liberty Island, walk across the pier and then visit the information building. If you wish to, you may sign on for a guided tour of the park. If you prefer to wander and take it all in, without a tour guide, you’ll be free to do so. The Island features a gift shop and refreshment concession.

The ferry which travels to Liberty Island stops at Ellis Island afterwards. So, there’s always the option of getting on the ferry again and heading out to Ellis Island. How much you do in one day is really up to you.

Unwind in Central Park

Some New York City tours will put you in contact with big crowds. With the sheer volume of tourists flooding into the city each year, it’s no surprise that the city’s key attractions are often surrounded by lots of people. If you want to escape from the crowds, while still enjoying one of the New York’s most appealing attractions, why not book a pedicab tour of the Big Apple? When you do, you’ll discover so much natural beauty.

Since the park is large (3.41km), there’s plenty of room for everybody. There’s room to breathe in fresh air, see the sights and take plenty of beautiful photographs. The park allows for superb people-watching and also gives people space to think and chill. It’s really a great place to be and some of its attractions, including Strawberry Fields (a tribute to late Beatle, John Lennon), Bethesda Fountain and the Loeb Boat House, are so much fun to see!

It’s best to book a pedicab tour, as the park is vast and you will be likely to miss its key attractions if you try to cover it all on foot. Central Park Tours NYC will make sure that you are comfortable as you snuggle into the back of a rickshaw-type vehicle. He or she will pedal you along a route that takes you past some amazing park highlights. Tours and tour durations will vary, as will tour prices.

A two-hour tour should be extremely relaxing. An hour-long pedicab tour will also be great fun, but may leave you wanting more.

When you see the park from the padded passenger seat of a pedicab, you won’t need to tire yourself out, as you’ll be pedaled around. This is nice, as you’ve probably spent some time pounding the pavement on the city sidewalks already, or will after your tour.

As a bonus, Tavern on the Green (one of New York City’s most iconic restaurants) is right in Central Park. A perfect day in the city might include a pedicab tour, followed by a luxurious supper at Tavern on the Green.

Gossip Girl Tour is one of the popular pedicab tours among teenagers.

Plan Your Big Apple Itinerary Today

You deserve to take a big and flavorful bite out of the Big Apple. Now that you know three New York City tours which really deliver, why not plan the ultimate NYC itinerary?

In New York City, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do. A mixture of outdoor and indoor activities will provide the right balance, so consider visiting the Metropolitan Museum, the flagship Tiffany’s jeweler on Fifth Avenue and the The American Museum of Natural History, which is located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

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CANADA TRAVEL GUIDE

Canada, Travel Guides - Ross French - August 15, 2017

CANADA TRAVEL GUIDE

Being the second largest country in the world, Canada attracts thousands of tourists every year with its diverse landscape and rich history. The culture and the people of this great country is as diverse as its landscapes. From tundras to forests to deserts to huge mountains to rocky beaches, Canada is a country where each and every traveler is in for a treat. It is such a huge country that at least a few months should be spent exploring the beauty and culture this country has in store to offer. This extensive Canada travel guide talks everything Canada – from accommodation costs to food to daily budget to must do activities – so that you can plan the perfect trip to this Great White Northern country. Continue Reading

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8 Reasons to Visit the USA this Spring

Central America, North America, South America, Travel Blog - Ross French - March 10, 2017

USA

The USA has a diverse climate, ranging from hot and humid to below freezing point. Many travellers who plan to visit America need to be well-informed about its varying climate. However, the spring months between March to May is a perfect time to visit the US.

Since each geographical region in the US is different, visitors can experience a generally mild and pleasant climate in all regions during spring time. In the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, spring is mild and beautiful. In the Central Plains region of Kansas and Nebraska, spring is short and pleasant, and in the Southeast states like Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, spring time is awash with colourful blooms.

Here are 8 great reasons to visit the USA this spring. Choose the most compelling reason, plan a trip well, take our travel insurance, and go have your spring adventure.

1.Portland Rose Festival – Portland, Oregon

Portland’s weather in April, May, and June brings spring showers to the city, which is why it is an ideal place for roses to thrive. Every year, the city of Portland celebrates spring with their signature festival, the Portland Rose Festival. Known as the “City of Roses”, you also get to see and smell thousands of rose varieties all-abloom at the International Rose Test Garden. In April, Portland also hosts the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, where visitors get to see 40 acres of tulips and daffodils in bloom in an event which also includes food, wine, and pony rides.

2.Historic Sights and Beautiful Beach – Cape May, New Jersey

Recognized as one of America’s best beaches, Cape May is a historical seaside town in New Jersey. Being one of the oldest resort towns in the US, the town is dotted with Victorian architecture and it is also a top bird-watching location. Spring is the best time to relax in this beach town, before the summer residents and holidaymakers descend.

3.National Cherry Blossom Festival – Washington, D.C.

From late March to early April, the country’s capital Washington, D.C. is awash with wonderful cherry blossoms. This is why the city celebrates the National Cherry Blossom Festival every year. The mild weather is also perfect for bike rides, moonlit river cruises, and walking around the city where many attractions are free, including the National Archives and the Capitol building.

4.Yosemite National Park – California, USA

Spring time is the perfect season to view the stunning waterfalls at Yosemite National Park. Since warmer weather are starting to melt the snow, you will encounter the gushing falls at its most powerful as you hike through snow-free Yosemite Valley and Hetch Hetchy, which are already snow-free by April. The tourist crowd has not arrived yet, so you get the feeling that you have the vast park to yourself. Weather in the Yosemite Valley is quite variable, though, and lightning-caused fires may sometimes occur. To protect yourself from these calamities, it is best to get proper travel insurance coverage before visiting the park.

5.Post Mardi Gras – New Orleans, Louisiana

When the revellers of Mardi Gras have come and gone, New Orleans still has a lot of fun. Springtime is the best time to visit with its cool weather and list of music festivals and outdoor concerts such as the French Quarter Fest. It is also great to walk around the city and see its best sights by foot. Spring is also crawfish season. You haven’t experienced New Orleans if you haven’t tried boiled crawfish!

6.Santa Fe, New Mexico

The weather in Santa Fe can get extremely hot in the summer, so spring time is an ideal time to visit and appreciate the city’s sweeping view of the desert and its artistic and cultural vibe. This city of art and culture is also an ideal place to visit if you’re into old churches, and interesting architecture.

7.Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is bordered with 1 million acres of forest land, and many people visit this place for its stunning skyline and sandstone colour palettes, which range from burnt orange to mustard yellow. Summer time is stifling hot, but March to May has ideal temperatures. The place is in full bloom with stunning desert flora, and it is an ideal time to engage in outdoor activities.

8.Great American Road trip – Skyline Drive, Virginia

America is known for its vast, scenic highways, and while there are many beautiful highways in this great country, one of the best routes to drive through in spring is 105 miles (169 kilometres) of Skyline Drive, which stretches through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Spring adds blooming flowers to the landscape. The National Park hosts the yearly Wildflower Weekend to showcase its more than 1,000 species of plants.

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Casino Resorts: A Brief History

North America - Ross French - March 4, 2017

Casinos today are more than just games of chance. They’re the biggest hotels, concert venues, theaters and offer a multitude of experiences. A symbol of entertainment and indulgence, modern casino resorts, complete with over-the-top architecture and flamboyance, are on the bucket list of most travel junkies.

While no one is sure where it all started, there are references to games of chance all through history. It was in the early 17th century in Italy that a venue was created that could be remotely associated with the casino of today. Soon such venues appeared in several places in Europe, but it was America that gave the world its first casinos as we know them today, in the form of gambling saloons.

The first few casinos were found in Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans during the early 20th century. However, it was only in 1931, when gambling was legalized, that everything changed forever. Casinos have evolved a lot since then and we now have casino holidays that are widely popular and there are entire cities that are totally devoted to it.

Resorts

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Universal Studios – Must Visit Attraction for All

North America, Travel Blog - Ross French - December 20, 2016

Universal Studios, Orlando is a world-famous vacation destination with production studios, exciting rides, a water park, film sets and onsite luxury hotels. Situated within the Universal Orlando Resort area, the site is home to four exciting entertainment experiences in one location and includes more than 40 thrilling rides and 3D shows. It makes for an ideal destination for a family vacation. However, to make the experience hassle free, it’s wiser to get your tickets online before you go! Continue Reading

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