Located at the heart of the Island of Montreal, the city is a part of the Quebec province in Canada. The place derived its name from the famous hill of Mount Royal. The city enjoys a continental climate and has many cultural attractions that draw thousands of local tourists to this historic city. The place also has many museums, parks, and recreational centers. We also enjoyed some great city tours that covered most of the top attractions. Some of the memorable places in the city are as follows:
- Notre-Dame Basilica
Located at 110 Notre-Dame Street, the cathedral of Notre-Dame Basilica is the oldest church in Montreal. It was built in the year 1956 and is valued as one of the most beautiful religious sites. The structure of the cathedral is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. The interiors are intricately decorated with stained glass art and wooden carvings. The unique feature of the interior design is that the images depict Montreal’s religious history.
- Mount Royal Park
Opened in the year 1876, the Mount Royal Park is one of the oldest parks in the country. The large park houses a wide range of trees, plants, and shrubs. It is a beautiful getaway that separates this part of the city from the noisy urban life. Mountain hiking is the popular tourist activity in this area. The views from the hilltop are quite picturesque. It is an ideal place for a day-long picnicking.
- Montreal Tower Observatory
The Montreal Tower Observatory is built on the world’s tallest inclined tower located in Olympic Park. The panoramic views from the observatory are quite striking. Besides enjoying the views, we took entry tickets to tour the Botanical Garden located in the park. The thematic garden offers an amazing display of rare plants and flowering trees. The place is a ‘must visit’ destination if you happen to be in Montreal. This observatory was recommended by my friend Brandon, who runs Southern Star Roofing, is a big fan of science and has visited a number of amazing planetariums & observatories. He said this is one of the most amazing he has experienced to date.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada and lies on the southern shore of the Ottawa River. It is the 4th largest city in Canada and also a popular tourist destination with numerous historic places and heritage sites. My trip to Ottawa was extended by several days because there was so much to see and experience. Some of the best spots in the city are noted below:
- Canadian War Museum
Located at Vimy Place the Canadian War Museum is popularly known as “the national museum of Canadian military history”. The main exhibits include armored vehicles, weapons, medals, artillery, and aircraft. The place displays war artifacts that are hundreds of years old. The museum offers lots of information and relics associated with the First and the Second World Wars.
- National Gallery of Canada
Located at Sussex Drive, the National Gallery of Canada is a place you must definitely visit if you are an art lover. It is popularly known as the premier art gallery in Canada. Here you can see a vast collection of drawings, paintings, sculpture, native art, and photographs. It took me almost an entire day to tour the whole place. There were volunteers who assisted me in learning lots of interesting facts about the famous displays. The place also has a beautiful gift shop.
- Rideau Hall
My visit to Rideau Hall was unplanned but the place was surprisingly enchanting. Located at a distance of 2.7 km from the National Gallery of Canada, the place attracts thousands of visitors. Besides seeing the Official Residence of the Canadian monarch, people come to walk around the beautifully decorated gardens that surround the entire property. It is a perfect destination for sightseeing and I have never seen such beautiful landscapes anywhere else. The meandering pathways, groves of flowering trees, and broad lawns can keep you occupied for hours.
Nashville is the capital city of the US state of Tennessee. It houses favorite music venues such as the Grand Ole Opry house and country of music hall of fame and museum. The first April month is celebrating which brings together the music, films, and fashion. Every year in June, there is the Country Music Association. There is a variety of historic homes, gardens and plantation houses to visit in Nashville. Nashville is often called the music city. Apart from other tourist attractions, there are child-friendly attractions like theme parks.
We were marveled at the Ryman Auditorium. We also visited the parathion which is a beautiful replica of the Greek landmark along with the centennial park and the Tennessee State Capitol. Our kids loved the historic train ride and the adventure science center.
We are a lover of wine and Bourbons loved visiting the Nelsons’ green beer distillery. We enjoyed the BBQ at Bar B Cutie on Nolensville Road which is famous worldwide. We took an early hike to the Cummins Waterfall which is situated just one and a half hour from Nashville. The tourists were either swimming in cool gorge water falling or just napping at leisure on the boulder hopping there. Make sure you are carrying good hiking shoes for that.
If you are a history lover, take a tour of Belmont Mansion. Other attractions in Nashville are the Johnny Cash museum, the Hermitage, Tootsie’s orchid lounge, Belle Meade Plantation, the first center for the visual arts, John Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge, historic RCA Studio B, the Broadway, the cheek wood estate and gardens and many other must-see attractions in and around the city.
We lodged at La Quinta Inn and suites. We loved the outdoor pool facility and contemporary breakfast provided by the hotel. As we were visiting during August, it was quite hot and humid there. If you happen to visit between the periods of November to March, you might experience light snow and chilly weather.
Nashville is a place which has to be on the checklist of every traveler.
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina stretches along 60 miles of beautiful coastline. Our cherished memories of stunning sunrises on the Atlantic Ocean, fun days at beach and family time. It’s a perfect place to capture the first time of your little one’s toes touch the sand or see the ocean.
The beach was our playground with the sun and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean.
Things to do
- Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater
It would be a bumpy ride where we seriously got the realistic 5D moving theatre experience. The digital effects made us feel like we were in a movie.
- Wild Water and Wheels
It is a 16-acre park filled with exciting rides and slides. With 18 holes of mini golf, it was a fun ride and much more than a water park. It is a place to be all summer long and the complete fun center for the family.
It is an indoor amusement park for the mind, having about 100 interactive exhibits for all the ages. We got an experience of 84 mph hurricane force winds, design and rode a virtual roller coaster and more.
There are plenty of choices for selecting accommodation for the stay at Myrtle Beach. My family and I loved the spacious villa accommodations at Holiday Inn Club Vacations, across the street from a pristine stretch of beach and their club on the oceanfront. To have an exquisite view of the Atlantic Ocean, you can prefer Holiday Sands North with endless amenities for adults and children.
We enjoyed the delicious cuisine at the House of Blues that offered a mix of American and international dishes. One may visit Hungry Howie’s for the pizzas made from the freshest ingredients.
How to reach Myrtle by flight?
The closest airports which serve domestic flights are the Florence Airport and the Wilmington Airport, both in South Carolina.
Do not consider Montauk by its size, well literally. Only about 3000 people are living here permanently, but hundreds of thousands of tourists flock like us to explore the white sandy beaches, participate in hiking expeditions and taste the famous wines straight from the farms. This place resonates history. Here is the list of sites we recommend you to visit.
- Montauk Point Lighthouse
According to us, this is one of the best attractions in Montauk. Although initially, we were skeptical about visiting there, upon reaching the top, the sight like no other manifested before us. Glorious views of the Atlantic Ocean and the gentle breeze slapped our face endlessly restoring a sense of calm and tranquility.
- The Camp Hero State Park
If you keep heading east on the Long Island, then you will come across the relatively whole park, the Camp Hero. Formerly, it was used as a military base, and later converted into a park filled with wildlife, and this promises to offer you peace and tranquility for hours together.
The biodiversity which the park boasts makes it an ideal place for fishing and hiking. Alongside this, since we visited the site in the summers, it was bustling with a wide variety of activities which we could try out. One can use the playground to play various games or sit by the bonfire and have a chit-chat in groups.
- Montauk Yacht Club
You would be surprised like us when you realize that this club is 80 years old. It is situated on the Star Island at the center of the Montauk Lake. It offers exceptional views of the ocean coupled with extreme comfort and luxury, perfect for being spoilt on vacation.
Montauk is located at around 130 miles from the NY city, and the trip usually takes approximately 3 hours by car thanks to the right roads.
Melbourne, set beside the Indian River Lagoon, offers beaches, fishing, golf, snorkeling and many other outdoor activities. We basked in the sunshine on Melbourne’s unspoiled beaches. Within an easy drive of the Kennedy Space Center, Melbourne also is the home of annual festivals such as the Independent Filmmaker’s Festival, Arts Festival, Aviation Day and Oktoberfest. There are all types of shopping and restaurants in Historic Downtown Melbourne.
We visited the Eau Gallie Arts District, Main Street, and a historic community, full of shops, art galleries, and restaurants.
- Sebastian Fishing Museum
It is the landmark of the cultural history of the fishing industry. We got a hint of the way of life of people living in Sebastian interwoven with fishing and Indian River Lagoon. We even saw a duplicate of an original fish house, followed by the dock in the museum.
It is clean and well maintained with a variety of fantastic animals. We managed to cover the whole thing in about 2.5 hours, which included a train ride. They offer an interactive package whereby we can feed the veggies to the animals.
- Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands
I visited this place twice and recommended visiting it during the colder months. It is fascinating to see all types of birds there and also raccoons and gators. We did see some sandhill cranes and baby great blue herons. It is an excellent place for bird and nature watching.
Melbourne is a real wonder, and this is a place to which you can spend your vacation peacefully without burning a hole in the wallet.
We stayed at the La Quinta Inn and Suites. It was a pleasant stay there. We even visited Around the World Cafe, considered the best restaurant in the area for breakfast and lunch. It offers delicious varieties of home-made pastries, fresh bread, soups, sandwiches, and more at a reasonable price.