If you can get away for an adult week (or just weekend), here are eight fabulous cities to hit without crossing any oceans
There are two kinds of vacations for MOMeos: with kids, and without kids.
Don’t you go and feel bad about what’s behind door number two, either: everyone needs a break to recharge and refresh. Put those pangs of guilt down and back away slowly.
If you can afford/manage/bear to leave your little ones behind for a few days, here’s a list of fun an interesting spots to hit – without breaking the bank on airfare.
1. New York, New York: It’s not very original, but The Big Apple just has to be number 1 on the list. Check out a Broadway show, go shopping, catch a ball game, go to the Met. New York is a true melting pot of ethnicities and customs, with a li’l something for everyone. Not only is the Manhattan skyline absolutely incredible, but all of these incredible restaurants, hotels, museums and theatres are crammed into just 23 square miles. So whatever your passion, you’ll find it there. And there are four other boroughs with plenty of things to do and to see.
2. Quebec City, Quebec: Want to feel like you are in Europe, but without the expensive price tag? Then head to Quebec City, one of North America’s best-kept secrets. More charming and quaint than Montreal, its busier, bigger and more expensive neighbor to the west, Quebec City is a convergence of culture, history and festivals. The Quebec City Summer Festival, fireworks competitions, the New France Festival, the International Folk Music Festival, and the Jazz Festival all take place in the summer months.
3. San Francisco, California: Eat your way through San Francisco, the food capital of the world. Poke around the ethnic markets, discover quaint little restaurants, or go on a fabulous food tour – every gourmand’s dream come true. Other highlights include cable cars, fabulous architecture, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Ethnic Dance Festival, and for the more ribald, try the Folsom Street Fair in September. For those partial to leather, latex and a good dash of domination, San Francisco hosts the definitive S&M celebration. Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
4. Boston, Massachusetts: A stroll around Boston is like reading an American history textbook. Follow the red line marking the Freedom Trail and come across Boston Common, the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house and Bunker Hill. The cultural hub of New England, Boston has absorbed all best from the region, including the best food, such as Maine lobster and the New England clam chowder – said to be the best in the world.
5. Penticton, British Columbia: Wine country! Penticton is located in the breathtaking Okanagan Valley, with dozens of wineries located within a short drive. There are the fantastic beaches and weather to enjoy them – Penticton has more than 2,000 hours of sunshine a year. If that’s not enough, the “City of Festivals” lives up to its name. The Children’s Festival, Jazz Festival, Elvis Festival, Meadowlark Festival and most famous, Peach Festival.
6. Portland, Oregon: One of the most underrated cities in the US, Portland is a fantastic jumping-off point for a Pacific Northwest vacation — with proximity to the Oregon coast, Mount Hood, and Willamette Valley wine country — but the “City of Roses” also boasts beauty and culture aplenty. Portland has more breweries per capita than any other city in the U.S. — 30 in all. The famous Saturday Market boasts great shopping and art. There’s also the Nike Headquarters, if you’re keen on athletic shoes at warehouse prices.
7. New Orleans, Louisiana: An old city with a storied history—not all of it happy—New Orleans is famous for its energy, history, culture, food, good music and partying. Yes, Mardi Gras isn’t in the summer, but that might be a good thing. The French Quarter isn’t as filled with partiers, and you can at your way through the city. Garlic oyster po’ boys, beignets & cafe au lait, pulled pork, gumbo, crawfish, bread pudding, BBQ, and fresh pralines…wow. Don’t miss the chance to explore the bayou, via boat tour. Cyprus trees, alligators, nutria and turtles abound. The state is still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, so spending some time there supports the local economy and brings vitality back.
8. Winnipeg, Manitoba: No, wait. Hear me out. Winnipeg is the Rodney Dangerfield of Canada: it just can’t get no respect. The downtown core is not its main attraction, but you may enjoy it for its movie-set, turn-of-the-century charm. So while there are many nice parks, a zoo, a children’s museum, and a conservatory to explore, that’s not what makes Winnipeg cool. The people are simply the friendliest, most humble, down-to-earth and genuine. The Folklorama Festival has a variety of pavilions sponsoring different countries, live music, and food. The architecture is amazing and the business and arts community is great.
One hour north of nearby Gimli lies Grand Beach, amazing in the summer with its pure white sand and beautiful lake. And besides, there are fewer mosquitoes than in Minnesota.