USA and Canada

USA

LOS ANGELES

The largest city in California and the second largest city in the USA. Home of Hollywood and Beverley Hills. Stroll along the famous Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip. In Burbank are many modern movie and television studios. Along the Pacific shore, Malibu, Santa Monica, Marina de Trey and Palos Verde are high class residential beach communities. Long Beach is a thriving seaport with a vibrant commercial district and oil wells.

SAN FRANCISCO

Famous for it’s steep streets and panoramic views over San Francisco Bay. Founded in 1776, San Francisco is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the USA. The steep streets lined with Victorian era houses, a great turquoise bay surrounded by low mountains, and antique cable cars that still shuttle passengers up and down the city slops make San Francisco one of the most picturesque cities in the USA. San Francisco Bay is the home of the Alcatraz prison, now a major tourist attraction.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - CARMEL VALLEY AND MONTEREY

Classic Californian towns such as Cambria, Carmel and Monterey attract artists of every kind, lending a bohemian quality to the atmosphere. Santa Barbara is just a short detour and features wide expanses of golden beaches and Spanish Revival architecture.

Other highlights include the glorious 'Seventeen Mile Drive' and 'Big Sur' for ocean views. There are first-class wineries to visit, colonies of sea otters and elephant seals to spot, miles and miles of unspoiled coastline and elegant restaurants in which to sample delicious local cuisine with grilled seafood the order of the day

Writers such as John Steinbeck Richard Henry Dana and Robert Louis Stevenson have settled there as well as Jack London, Isadora Duncan, Henry Miller, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Jack Kerouac.

CARMEL

The city of Carmel was established in 1904 as an artist's colony. Carmel has maintained its rustic quality, successfully keeping both street addresses and chain stores from within its city limits.

The Central Coast offers delicacies such as Monterey Bay king salmon, abalone and the delicate Monterey spot prawn plus steak houses, cantinas and barbecue joints. Monterey County grows and ships much of the country's best artichokes, broccoli and lettuces.

Pebble Beach has what may be one of the finest stretches of coast on the Monterey Peninsula. Craggy shoreline, crashing surf and cypress groves mark the spot where Portola landed in 1769 on his first, fruitless expedition to find Monterey.

CARMEL VALLEY

Life in Carmel Valley is even more relaxed than Carmel. Carved from the original rancheros in the area, it still looks very much as it did when Spanish dons owned the rolling green hills. Driving along Carmel Valley Road, cattle and horses graze on the hillsides. Golf courses such as the Rancho Canada Golf Club offer a more affordable alternative to courses along the Pacific while John Gardner's Tennis Ranch provides an alternative to golf with a exclusive resort and gourmet dining.

MONTEREY

Commonly described as the greatest meeting of land and sea on earth, Monterey County offers some of California's most magnificent scenery.

Monterey City on Monterey Bay, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, was first settled in 1770 around a Franciscan mission. Monterey was a Spanish colonial capital for much of the time from 1774 to 1846 and retains much of its Spanish influence.

A first-time trip to Monterey County should include such sites as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, 17-Mile Drive, National Steinbeck Center, Elkhorn Slough and Monterey Wine Country. Even with all this, Monterey is a also shoppers paradise catering for every taste.

From the dramatic Big Sur coastline to romantic Carmel and Pebble Beach through historic Monterey and its diverse peninsula communities, to the fertile Salinas Valley, Monterey County offers a rich and complete variety of destinations for the leisure or business traveller.

BOSTON

Rich in history and culture, Boston is the hub of the six state New England region. It is a mix of old money Yankee conservatism and the drive and energy of the tens of thousands of students who attend the 60 universities and colleges. Some of the buildings in the old town date back to the 17th century. The city was founded in 1630, one of the earliest colonies in the USA. The famous Boston Tea Party was a protest about a British imposed tax and the War of Independence started after this.

NEW YORK

New York is a city of superlatives. Besides being a world financial centre, the urban island of Manhattan teems with world-renowned restaurants, architectural masterpieces and venerable art institutions that make it one of the world’s greatest cultural cities.

New York has always been a city of the world and its multinational, multicultural inhabitants – who speak over 80 languages – infuse its concrete canyons with a buzz that is every bit as energising and electrifying as that depicted in countless films and TV programmes.

With over 20,000 restaurants, 150 world-class museums and more than 10,000 stores brimming with brand names and bargains from across the globe, New York really does have something for everyone. New York also boasts the calm and charm of Central Park, the breezy park-lined Hudson River and acts as jumping off point for the ritzy beach towns of Long Island. However, the epicentre of New York life always has been and still very much is the island of Manhattan, which is surrounded by four other distinct city boroughs – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island – all of which have their own character and attractions.

The cultural diversity stemming from the city’s rich history contributes to its importance as a multicultural capital.

New York is an excellent place to visit at any time of year, although it is particularly pleasant during the spring and fall (autumn), when temperatures hover around 21ºC (70ºF). New York winters tend to be unpredictable, although cold temperatures bring less snow here than to other nearby cities, while summers are hot and muggy, often lasting until September.

FLORIDA

The sunshine state. Famous for Disney World, deep sea fishing, diving, swamps and alligators and a huge array of wildlife. The holiday state of America. Daytona Beach is one of the premier surfing spots in the USA. Described as the "World’s Most Famous Beach". In the Southwest, hundreds of tiny barrier islands line the coastline. For a laid back lifestyle, the rustic charm of Old Florida still survives

BOCA RATON AND FORT LAUDERDALE

Boca Raton is a rare treat – one of the USA’s wealthiest cities, but relatively unknown to many tourists. A safe, exclusive place to visit that has great shopping and dining, non-crowded clean beaches, lots of sporting activities and year round sun.

Many of its residents are wealthy and live in homes that are hidden behind gated developments. Everything is immaculately well maintained, from the parks to the pavements.

Boca Raton is about an hours drive North from Miami airport in Palm Beach county.

Restaurants abound in Boca Raton and most of them are busy every night. The food quality is good, portions are large and the prices very reasonable. Thai, Chinese, Japanese, American, Italian, Mexican, Cuban, Indian, French, Jewish Deli… are all on the menu somewhere.

Boca Raton is not the place to go if you are looking to go out late night drinking and clubbing. Fort Lauderdale, which is a half hour drive away is the place for decent bars and nightclubs.

Golf: The area has many fine golf courses which allow non-members on to play.

Everglade airboat tours: Located at the end of Loxahatchee road, costs about $20 a head for a half hour tour on the Everglades and go right up close to the alligators.

Beach: Good sandy beaches with toilets, lifeguards, showers, water sports, etc, spanning the whole East coast of Boca. Most beach goers here are local and the beaches are never over-crowded.

HAWAII

Fabulous surfing, diving and fishing on the North shore and the town of Honolulu with its shops and nightlife on the South. Superb golf facilities. Temperatures seldom fall below 65 degrees F or rise above 80. The "Aloha" spirit of Hawaii warmly welcomes visitors and life is very informal and relaxed.

SEATTLE

Christened "The Emerald City". Contrary to some popular perceptions, Seattle receives less annual rainfall (36 inches) than New York and Atlanta. Surrounded by lakes, rivers, Puget Sound, and mountains, Seattle is a recreation enthusiasts' dream. In the summer, water sports are only 10 minutes away and winter sports, such as snow skiing and snowboarding, are only 45 minutes away.

The greater Seattle area is home to 2.7 million people. Boeing, Microsoft, Nordstrom and Starbucks coffee are based here.

The Pike Place Market, located in the heart of downtown Seattle, is a popular attraction for Seattle visitors. The oldest continually operating farmers market in the country, it is a place where farmers, craftspeople, and artists display their goods. A splendid cocktail of sights, smells, sounds, and characters. Vegetable and flower displays are turned into works of art. Countless eateries cook up tastes of the world.

Just a few steps east of the market is the commercial heart of Seattle, a lively downtown district of department stores, speciality shops, renovated historic theaters, hotels of every size, multiplex cinemas, espresso stands, restaurant and shopping experiences such as Westlake Center, City Centre and Pacific Place

Recommended Seattle Tours

Seattle City Pass- Duration: 1 Day Pass
Boeing Plant Tour- Duration: 3 1/2 Hours
Royal Argosy Lunch Cruise- Duration: 2-3 Hours
Locks Cruise- Duration: 2 1/2 Hours
Harbour Cruise- Duration: 1 Hour
Whale Watching from Friday Harbour- Duration: 3 Hours

CANADA

VANCOUVER BRITISH COLUMBIA

Canada’s most westerly province, British Columbia is sandwiched between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the mighty Pacific Ocean on the west, bordered on the south by the USA and to the north by the Northwest and Yukon territories. Its location on the Pacific Rim ensures that British Columbia has a rich blend of cultures, with large numbers of Asian communities living among the descendants of the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh pioneers. Together with the area’s own rich native culture, this makes for interesting town and cities with a cosmopolitan ambiance.

The combination of sea and mountains, and the broken coastline which sports hundreds of islands and inlet, gives the province a diverse set of natural attractions and recreational opportunities, from world-class winter sports to sailing or hiking in tall forests. It is especially attractive to travellers who enjoy the great outdoors, particularly because a good transport infrastructure of ferries, charter boats, trains and well-maintained roads makes it possible to access all the wilderness spots in British Columbia with ease and comfort.

The provincial capital is the city of Victoria, situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, but its largest and most populated city is Vancouver, known as Canada’s “emerald jewel” because of its green-blue vistas of mountains and sea.

WHISTLER

Whistler, 56km beyond Squamish, is Canada's finest four-season resort, and frequently ranks among most people's world top-five winter ski resorts. In 1996, for the first time ever, Ski, Snow Country and Skiing magazines were unanimous in voting it North America's top skiing destination. Skiing and snowboarding are clearly the main activities, but all manner of other winter sports are possible - and in summer the lifts keep running to provide supreme high line hiking and other outdoor activities (not to mention North America's finest summer skiing). Standards are high, and for those raised on the queues and waits at European resorts, the ease with which you can get onto the slopes here will come as a pleasant surprise.

The resort consists of two adjacent but separate mountains - Whistler (2182m) and Blackcomb (2284m) - each with their own extensive lift and chair systems, and each covered in a multitude of runs. Both lift systems are accessed from the resort's heart, the purpose-built and largely pedestrianized Whistler Village, the tight-clustered focus of many hotels, shops, restaurants and aprés-ski activity. Around this core are two other "village" complexes, Upper Village and the recently completed Village North. Around 6km to the south of Whistler Village is Whistler Creek (also with a gondola and lift base), which has typically been a cheaper alternative but is now undergoing a $50 million redevelopment that will see its accommodation and local services duplicating those of its famous neighbour. In truth the whole ribbon of land on and just off the main Hwy 99 from Whistler Creek to Whistler Village is gradually being developed - Whistler is the single fastest-growing municipality in BC.

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