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Exciting Vacations in Your Own Backyard - You Don't Need To Travel Far To Experience A Memorable Getaway


(NC)—The summer is in full swing and so is the travel season as Canadians take advantage of the long awaited warm breezes and sunny skies. For those of us without a family cottage or a plane ticket out of the province, the options may seem limited for creative, fun destination ideas for a day trip or even a summer-long getaway.

Options do exist – and it's often surprising just how close and convenient the fun can be. Below you'll find some great ideas in regions across Canada that are sure to create memorable and fun vacations for even the most discerning traveler. All of these options and more can be found in Michelin's Green Guide to Canada – a fountain of information, and an indispensable travel companion.

Spas

Spas are sprouting up almost everywhere in Canada. Michelin's travel guide highlights several of these pampering palaces, particularly those in Ontario. Day spas like Kingston's serene Spa at the Mill, spacious in a restored woollen mill overlooking the Cataraqui River. Or Toronto's newly relocated Victoria Spa, a haven of Asian-accented calm within the Crowne Plaza Toronto Centre. As for resort spas, High Fields Country Inn & Spa, an hour north of Toronto in Zephyr, combines wraps, facials and hydrotherapy with swimming, tennis and nature walks on the expansive hilltop property. In charming Port Hope, guests at The Hillcrest of Haldimand Hills Spa Village spend the night in finely appointed bedrooms within a grand porticoed mansion—after a day of exercise, mud facials and massage. In The Michelin Green Guide Canada, you'll find plenty of places throughout Canada for luxuriating.

Cool Places to Stay

Guest Ranches are increasingly popular, especially in British Columbia's Cariboo, where week-long stays in rustic log cabins (at Elkin Creek Ranch, for example) close a day of trail riding, roping lessons, fishing and—you guessed it—spa indulgence (try the Moor Mud Wrap at Echo Valley Ranch or rosehip oil treatments at Hills Health Ranch). For a selection of BC ranches, find the page number for The Cariboo on The Green Guide's detailed Contents page.

For travel beyond the summer months, visit the Ice Hotel in Quebec City, where you slumber in a sleeping bag nestled on deer pelts.

Or sink into a whirlpool tub, complete with heated towel rack, at Murray Premises, a converted trading house in St. John's. In Vancouver, you'll overnight in your own "gallery" of Northwest Coast art on Listel Vancouver's museum floor. And in Jasper, warm your toes by the wood-burning fireplace in a Tekarra Lodge cabin that recalls the Rocky Mountain bungalow camps of the early 1900s.

Good Eats

Try a blend of Indian, African and French cuisine in Montreal at Le Piton de la Fournaise (relocated to Rue Duluth Est). Or French-Québécois cookery (foie gras de canard du Québec) in Québec City's Le Saint-Amour (Rue Sainte-Ursule). Out West in Calgary, you'll find Brazilian entrées at Latin Corner Cantina (8th Ave.) and Thai cuisine at Thai Sa-On (10th Ave.) that compete with the traditional Canadian fare and western specialties of other city restaurants. Vancouver's Blue Water Cafe in trendy Yaletown serves up seafood delights from sushi to Dungeness crab cakes. Authentic Mexican food can be found in Fredericton (of all places) at El Burrito Loco (King St.) and on Queen Street, German dishes draw repeat customers at Schade's Restaurant.

No matter your budget, finding a new and interesting travel destination close to home is easier than you think. This summer, make it fun to find out more about Canada!

For more information, pick up the latest edition of The Michelin Green Guide Canada, available from major booksellers across the country or visit www.viamichelin.com.

- News Canada

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