Porter @ 50% off!

Two more days!!!

Porter is offering 50% off all flights to/from Toronto Island Airport.

So I could go to NYC for March break for $300 round trip. Not too shabby!!! Or Boston, or Quebec City….or Montreal….Halifax…drooooool

It really is the most wonderful time of the year when Porter is so nice to us.

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Best U.S. Hiking Cities

National Geographic came out with an interesting article a few days ago on the best cities for hiking in the US. At first, I read the list and laughed a bit…seriously, Vegas? But then I read through it and the hikes actually sound quite spectacular!

Salt Lake City

1. Salt Lake City, Utah

Get Hiking: From the Brighton Ski Resort, follow the Brighton Lakes and Lake Mary trails to some of the wildest scenery near any American city: high-altitude wildflower meadows, three serene alpine lakes, a ring of ragged peaks surrounding the valley, and, if you make it just more than five miles to Sunset Peak, views over the canyons surrounding Salt Lake.

2. San Francisco, California

Get Hiking: Even though it’s within biking distance of the city, parts of the seven-mile loop on the Matt Davis, Steep Ravine, and Dipsea trails can feel nearly as pristine as they must have felt when Miwok Indians walked here centuries ago. That is, of course, until you get to the panoramic views of the coast, city, bay, and beaches from the top of the 2,571-foot namesake peak.

3. Portland, Oregon

Portland

Get Hiking: Try Triple Falls, a three-mile walk from the Horsetail Falls Trailhead that takes hikers through a wooded canyon with views over the Columbia River. The payoff is a stunning three-pronged waterfall—all told, a mere 30 miles from Portland.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Get Hiking: Try the strenuous five-mile round trip to Turtle Head Peak from Sandstone Quarry. You’ll hike 2,000 vertical feet through flats covered in blackbrush, Joshua trees, and yuccas; along a ridge; and finally to the 6,300-foot summit with a hawk’s-eye view over Sin City.

5. Seattle, Washington

Get Hiking: This popular four-mile hike has a large measure of challenge (3,700 vertical feet of climbing) with an equal payoff (views of Mount Rainier, Seattle, and the Olympics on a clear day). The journey isn’t so bad either: Along the way, hikers pass classic Pacific Northwest conifer and fir forests, streams, and views over the valley.

Phoenix

6. Phoenix, Arizona

Get Hiking: Park at the Pima Canyon Trailhead and wander a nest of well-mapped trails, or tackle all or part of the 14.3-mile National Trail, which leads to spectacular lookouts on South Mountain over Phoenix and Camelback Mountain, another classic local summit hike.

7. Washington, D.C.

Get Hiking: Check out the kayakers from a lookout over the falls, then keep ambling south to shake off the majority of the visitors. A three-mile loop on the River, Ridge, and Matildaville trails leads along the craggy Mather Gorge, up steep climbs, and through serene forests of oak and ash.

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Get Hiking: Pick up a map at Valley Green Inn, then head up the yellow trail to a nest of less-frequented loops through evergreen and deciduous forests frequented by deer, fox, and some 125 species of birds.

9. New York, New York

New York

Get Hiking: Despite the weekend crowds, the view from the top of Bear Mountain is worth the 1,100-vertical-foot climb. The four-mile loop on the Appalachian and Major Welch trails leads past a vista of the Hudson River, Iona Island, and the verdant hills of Westchester far below. It’s also the perfect spot to pick out your next hike—perhaps Anthony’s Nose, right across the river.

10. Austin, Texas

Get Hiking: The park’s Wolf Mountain Trail is one of the region’s most beloved hikes, winding past fern-lined canyons, the ruins of a settler’s house, beautiful views over the Pedernales River Valley, and finally to the mother of all Hill Country vistas at the peak.

11. Chicago, Illinois

Get Hiking: Happily, there’s little reminder of nearby urbanity on the 4.5-mile loop (trails two, ten, and nine) that winds through forests, wetlands, and the 200-foot-tall dunes that have formed over millennia.

12. Miami, Florida

Get Hiking: Try the Long Pine Key Trails, a seven-mile nest of paths through pine forest and saw palmetto, haunted by birds, lumbering alligators, and even the elusive Florida panther.

Boston

13. Boston, Massachusetts

Get Hiking: The 3.7-mile Rock Circuit Trail can take over four hours to complete thanks to its rugged forest terrain and steep rocky scrambles. Just when you’ve forgotten your proximity to the city, you’ll top out at Pinnacle Rock, which has views over the Boston skyline and the tree-speckled New England landscape.

14. Los Angeles, California

Get Hiking: One must-do hike, the six-mile Mishe Mokwa loop, climbs 1,400 vertical feet to the top of Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, where hikers gaze over the Pacific Coast, the Channel Islands, and the sparkle of Los Angeles far below.

15. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Get Hiking: Tick off an out-and-back on any part of the state forest’s 31 miles of trail—the scenery is similar between sections—to see a glimpse of the vestiges of prehistoric America.

My pick? I would go for Portland or Seattle. I really want to visit those cities, and I can just imagine how spectacular the views would be on those hikes.

Travel Alert!

Serious business!

Check out Porter Airlines if you wish to travel to and from Toronto. There is a crazy deal on right now – 50% off all flights! Must book by September 7th, and is good for travel until December 15th.

I just looked for my long weekend in November. I could go to Boston for some clam chowder for $290 round trip/taxes included or Chicago for deep dish pizza for $230 round trip/taxes included….Montreal shopping…&230….New York sightseeing …$260….oh I’m in the danger zone!

Fantasy Friday IV – Boston Boo-ins

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Since it is the NHL finals, I thought I would spotlight the city that will lose (Sorry, I am Canadian!).

I have heard so many great things about Boston, and cannot wait to visit this city (hopefully this summer!). The one thing I have heard from several people is that it is not a drivers city. In the way that you get lost, or end up driving in circles trying to exit a highway.

Here are some of the things I fantasize about doing when I visit Boston, Massachusetts:

1. Watch a baseball game at Fenway Park. I can just picture myself sitting in one of those old green seats, hotdog in hand, cheering on the Red Sox.

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2. Wander around Boston Commons and The Freedom Trail.

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3. Try out the restaurants and cafes in the north end.

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4. Visit Copley Square and see great buildings including Trinity Church, Boston Public Library, and The John Hancock buildings.

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5. EAT – New England Clam Chowder, perhaps at The Union Oyster House

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